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Anticipation is high but information is slow for those organizing bus trips to pope’s Mass in Philly Sept. 27

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Staff reporter

The excitement in the Diocese of Wilmington of those planning bus trips to attend the public Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate in Philadelphia on Sept. 27 is building, but a lack of details from organizers is proving frustrating.

Up to 1.5 million people are expected to fill the Benjamin Franklin Parkway that Sunday afternoon, but the city of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families and the Secret Service have yet to release details about several key issues that concern folks who will attend, according to Barbara Willis of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Diocese of Wilmington. Her group is sponsoring three buses that will depart from Salesianum School in Wilmington. Read more »

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Box believed to be Catholic artifact found at site of Jamestown church

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JAMESTOWN, Va. — The identities of four men discovered almost two years ago at the site of Jamestown’s historic 1608 church have been identified and one of the men had been buried with a silver box that is “likely a Catholic reliquary.”

Smithsonian forensic anthropologists Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide and colleague Ashley McKeown examine the grave of the Rev. Robert Hunt in Jamestown, Va. Earlier this month a team of scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Jamestown Rediscovery announced the identities of high-status leaders who helped shape the future of America during the initial phase of the Jamestown colony. (CNS photo/courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

Smithsonian forensic anthropologists Doug Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide and colleague Ashley McKeown examine the grave of the Rev. Robert Hunt in Jamestown, Va. Earlier this month a team of scientists from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and Jamestown Rediscovery announced the identities of high-status leaders who helped shape the future of America during the initial phase of the Jamestown colony. (CNS photo/courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne announced the men’s identities July 28.

They are the Rev. Robert Hunt, Sir Ferdinando Wainman, Capt. William West and Capt. Gabriel Archer, on top of whose coffin was resting the silver box.

Their remains were found beneath the chancel area of what was an Anglican church at the front of a structure where a communion table would have been located and where only elite community members would have been buried.

“Religion played a prominent role at Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, and many efforts were made to convert the neighboring Powhatan tribes to the Anglican Church,” a news release said. “The presence of the reliquary, however, suggests that at least one of the colonists retained his Catholic faith, perhaps in secret.”

High-resolution CT scans of the sealed box, which has what looks like the letter “M” engraved on the lid, show that inside are seven fragments of bone and two pieces of a lead ampulla, a container use to hold holy water.

In 2010, archaeologists discovered post holes that outlined the what had been the church, which is where Pocohantas married John Rolfe, one of the English settlers.

Three years later, the graves of the four men were discovered.

Rev. Hunt, who was Jamestown’s first Anglican minister, died in 1608 at age 39. Wainman died in 1610 at age 34. West was killed in 1610 at age 24 in a skirmish with the Powhatan.

Archer died in late 1609 or early 1610 at age 34. His death came during the “starving time,” a period of six months during which approximately 250 settlers perished at Jamestown from disease, starvation and Indian attacks, the release said.

According to a Washington Post story, “Archer was not known to be Catholic. But his parents in England had been recusants, Catholics who refused to attend the Protestant Anglican Church, as required by law after the Reformation.”

The news release and the Post report said that Archer may have retained his Catholic faith in secret.

Since 1996, Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley and his team have worked with archaeologists from Jamestown Rediscovery “examining skeletal remains in an effort to better understand the lives of the first colonists in the Chesapeake.”

“The skeletons of these men help fill in the stories of their lives and contribute to existing knowledge about the early years at Jamestown,” Owsley said in a statement.

The scientists will continue to study the men’s remains, which will be kept in a vault, and there are plans to put the silver box on display, but it will not be opened.

 

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Cardinal and archbishop say Planned Parenthood videos illustrate ‘throwaway culture’

July 30th, 2015 Posted in Featured, National News

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Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley said that Planned Parenthood officials’ videotaped descriptions of how fetal tissue and organs are procured for researchers during abortions illustrates what Pope Francis calls today’s “throwaway culture.”

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, in a July 29 statement, said Pope Francis calls abortion “the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.’” (CNS file/Bob Roller)

Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, in a July 29 statement, said Pope Francis calls abortion “the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.’” (CNS file/Bob Roller)

The officials also discuss what the organization charges for the body parts, which opponents of Planned Parenthood said violates federal law and the organization said are customary handling fees paid by research labs.

Cardinal O’Malley, in a July 29 statement, said Pope Francis calls abortion “the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.’”

He made the comments as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a radio interview that he was “appalled” by the videos but even more “appalled at the reality of abortion, the taking of the life itself.”

The prelates were referring to videos filmed undercover earlier this year and released in mid-July by a nonprofit California-based organization called the Center for Medical Progress.

In two videos, top Planned Parenthood physicians describe how abortions are carried out to best salvage fetal tissue and organs for researchers and described a range of prices paid for different body parts.

A third video was an interview with a technician talking about a company she works for harvesting and included graphic footage. As a fourth video was about to be released, until Los Angeles Superior Court July 28 issued an order blocking its release.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement said that “allegations that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.” She later apologized for “the tone” the physicians used in describing abortion procedures and also argued the videos had been heavily edited to distort the truth.

The Center for Medical Progress has posted the first three videos on its website, www.centerformedicalprogress.org.

“The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society,” said Cardinal O’Malley. “The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues though abortion.”

“Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life,” he said. “This fact should be the center of attention in the present public controversy.”

He also urged any woman for whom the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused them to “experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion” to seek help from the Catholic Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel, www.projectrachel.com.

“Be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance” by the ministry, Cardinal O’Malley said.

Archbishop Kurtz discussed the videos in a call to the Catholic Channel’s “Seize the Day With Gus Lloyd” on SiriusXM July 23.

He said he “would be saddened” if the issue of abortion itself “somehow it lost its impact. That it became simply a debate over what’s legal and what’s illegal and I think the child in the womb then gets lost.”

“Our bishops’ conference has from the beginning opposed issues related to the funding, federal funding, of Planned Parenthood,” Archbishop Kurtz said, adding that just because “something may be legal doesn’t mean it’s right.”

The release of the videos, he added, is “an occasion for all of us to be renewed in our commitment to be pro-life and to promote a culture of life. … Our culture is becoming increasingly utilitarian. It’s very easy when you get into that mindset to see people as objects.”

The USCCB “is going to continue to promote a culture of life” and looking at what can be done legislatively to further that goal, he said.

On Capitol Hill, a number of Republicans in the House and Senate have called for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Several states also have launched investigations into the organization.

Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget from federal and state programs. According to 2013 data, the latest available, Planned Parenthood says abortions represent 3 percent of the total services its facilities provide.

Democrats and other opponents of cutting off federal funds point to the millions of women across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for contraceptive care, many who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Planned Parenthood also provides limited testing for sexually transmitted diseases and cervical cancer screenings.

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Ukrainian bishop warns of mass starvation, millions of refugees

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Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland — A Ukrainian bishop said a Russian-backed separatist rebellion has plunged his country into its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II and warned that “millions of refugees” could soon head for Europe to escape starvation.

Boy sleeps in his mother's arms as she listens to a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delegation talk to internally displaced people at a camp iin Kharkiv, Ukraine, June 21. The delegation was visiting the camp for people forced to flee fighting between rebel separatist forces and the Ukrainian army in the eastern part of the country. Now, a Ukrainian bishops is predicting the political situation could cause starvation and mass refugees. (CNS photo/Sergey Kozlov, EPA)

Boy sleeps in his mother’s arms as she listens to a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delegation talk to internally displaced people at a camp iin Kharkiv, Ukraine, June 21. The delegation was visiting the camp for people forced to flee fighting between rebel separatist forces and the Ukrainian army in the eastern part of the country. Now, a Ukrainian bishops is predicting the political situation could cause starvation and mass refugees. (CNS photo/Sergey Kozlov, EPA)

“Huge numbers are now caught between hammer and anvil; the separatists aren’t looking after them, and the Ukrainian government won’t care for them because they haven’t declared which side they’re on,” said Auxiliary Bishop Jan Sobilo of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia.

“Not since World War II have we seen such poverty and destitution,” he told CNS July 29.

“People are continually arriving at our Catholic communities asking for food, medicines, money and shelter,” he said, noting they included young widows with small children, whose husbands have stayed in the war zone or been killed.

The bishop spoke as the Catholic Caritas organization also warned of growing starvation and desperation in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.

Bishop Sobilo told CNS lack of water currently posed the biggest problem in eastern Ukraine, where food prices were three times higher than in the rest of the country.

He added that local children would be unable to start the new school year because most schools were closed and said the Ukrainian authorities had hushed up a spiraling rate of suicides.

“Whereas family members and friends were ready to help for a month or two, most have now exhausted their money and savings and had to ask the refugees to move on,” Bishop Sobilo said.

“Many elderly educated people, who previously had jobs, have been unable to face begging on the streets and have thrown themselves from windows and bridges. Such people often have no means of survival and no one to turn to, and have ended up starving.”

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied direct Russian involvement in Ukraine, church leaders repeatedly have accused Moscow of military intervention in the war. A June United Nations report said more than 6,400 people have died and 16,000 have been wounded.

In a July 28 interview with Germany’s Cologne-based Dom Radio, Andrij Waskowycz, president of Caritas Ukraine, said 700,000 Ukrainians had now left the country, while 1.4 million more were internally displaced by the fighting and lacked basic necessities.

“He said a February cease-fire agreement had failed to prevent daily skirmishes and conflicts, adding that at least 100,000 people were now without water in the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Bishop Sobilo said church leaders had been promised access to Catholics by separatist forces, but had been barred from visiting the “occupied territories” by the Ukrainian troops controlling the makeshift borders.

He added that Western aid often failed to reach those in need and was “not always the right kind of help.” He said it was “more effective and less wasteful” for church donors to send money.

“This is a war of oligarchs, and any future peace will depend on the conversion of those oligarchs in Russia and Ukraine who’ve kept the conflict going with their lies,” the bishop said.

“The West should get ready to accept the millions of homeless, hungry refugees who will soon head across central and western Ukraine toward Europe,” he said. “Pope Francis has urged help for refugees from Africa, and we now have parts of Africa right here. Unless solidarity is shown with them, countless innocent people will die simply because they happened to live in an unlucky place during a conflict ignited by those with a personal interest in war and suffering.”

 

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World Youth Day opens registration; pope signs up

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis was the first pilgrim to sign up for World Youth Day to be held in Krakow, Poland, launching the opening of registration.

Pope Francis is flanked by two Polish youths as he uses a tablet to officially open online registration for World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. (CNS photo/Ettore Ferrari, EPA)

Pope Francis is flanked by two Polish youths as he uses a tablet to officially open online registration for World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. (CNS photo/Ettore Ferrari, EPA)

Accompanied by two Polish teenagers who wore World Youth Day 2016 T-shirts, the pope had to make a couple of attempts pressing the screen of a tablet before his online registration went through.

“There. With this electronic device I have signed up for the day as a pilgrim,” he told thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square July 26 for his Angelus address.

The pope said, “I wanted to be the one to open registration” in front of everyone gathered for the Angelus and in the company of two teens on the day sign-ups began July 26.

The celebrations July 26-31, 2016, will come during the Holy Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis proclaimed to invite people to follow the merciful example of God, the Father.

World Youth Day “will be, in a certain sense, a jubilee of youth” during the holy year, as its theme is also about being merciful toward others, the pope said.

God’s merciful power through Jesus “heals every ill of body and spirit,” the pope said before praying the Angelus.

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading, St. John’s account of the multiplication of loaves and fish, Pope Francis said the story shows how the disciples tried to find a market-based solution by calculating how much money they would need to feed the large, hungry crowd that had gathered by the Sea of Galilee.

“But Jesus substitutes the logic of buying with another logic, the logic of giving” when he points to the generous gift offered by the boy, Andrew, who offered to give all that he had: five small loaves and two fish.

Even though people could not see how such a small contribution could make a difference, “God is able to multiply our tiny gestures of solidarity and let us participate in his gift,” the pope said.

Jesus offers “fullness of life for those who hunger. He satisfies not only material hunger, but also that deeper hunger — the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God,” Pope Francis said.

Complaining does nothing to solve the many problems in life, “but we can offer that little we have like the boy in the Gospel,” he said.

Everyone has some kind of talent or skill as well as time, he said. “If we are willing to put them in the Lord’s hands they will be enough so that there will be a little bit more love, peace, justice and above all joy in the world.”

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‘Good Is Winning’ — Social media effort for Pope Francis’ U.S. visit is fully engaged

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A broad digital media project to coincide with Pope Francis’ visit this fall to the United States aims to recruit and interact with young people, particularly those who do not think of themselves as religious.

These “nones,” as researchers have called them, are especially found among the millennial generation, generally defined as those who came of age around the year 2000. Read more »

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Jesus House at 40: Renewal center in Wilmington still a place of counsel, recovery and retreats

By

Dialog Editor

 

The folks running Jesus House call it a “prayer and renewal center” for good reason.

Founded by Chris and Angie Malmgren with the help of other lay Catholics 40 years ago, Jesus House has survived for two generations on countless prayers, a steady renewal of its resources through donations, fees and grants, as well as “the grace of God,” says Spring Davidson, the center’s current director. Read more »

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‘We must recommit ourselves to end’ death penalty, say U.S. bishops

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WASHINGTON — The Catholic faith tradition “offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake,” two bishops said in a statement renewing the U.S. Catholic Church’s push to end the death penalty.

“No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability,” wrote Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami. Read more »

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Media-savvy bishop-designate appointed to Los Angeles

By

Catholic News Service

In an era where Catholics are pretty much an afterthought on television, the sight of any cleric on the small screen almost immediately evokes thoughts of “the next Bishop Sheen,” the 1950s prime-time inspirational program host Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Father Robert Barron is pictured in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles July 20. Pope Francis has named Father Barron an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Father Barron, 55, is a native of Chicago who has served as rector of Mundelein Seminary and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, also in Mundelein, Ill., since 2012. (CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Tidings)

Father Robert Barron is pictured in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles July 20. Pope Francis has named Father Barron an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Father Barron, 55, is a native of Chicago who has served as rector of Mundelein Seminary and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, also in Mundelein, Ill., since 2012. (CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Tidings)

But in pretty much all past cases, those clerics weren’t bishops themselves. But now Father Robert E. Barron, a media savvy priest, has been named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and will be moving to the heart of the television industry.

Bishop-designate Barron, appointed July 21, may be best known to TV viewers for having hosted “Catholicism,” a 10-part DVD series. Four parts of the series aired on 90 PBS affiliates in fall 2011. The series earned him a Christopher Award and the Clarion Award the following year from the Catholic Academy of Communications Arts Professionals.

It was discovered by Catholic News Service earlier this year that “Catholicism” is available on the black market in Cuba, purchased for download onto a thumb drive so that Cuban Catholics can watch it, not because the series is illegal but because it’s not readily available in a store.

In a 2013 interview, Bishop-designate Barron said his dream was to assemble another sweeping documentary on Catholicism. With Hollywood in his new backyard, that dream could become reality. He once estimated it would cost $4 million to produce the documentary, tentatively titled “Pivotal Players.”
The new series is still in the pipeline.

He also appeared on EWTN in 2007 on “Untold Blessings: Three Paths to Holiness,” providing concrete, practical advice on how to become a saint.

Bishop-designate Barron’s reason for using video?

“If you want to reach people who are under 40, you have to use media. Things like YouTube had just come into being and we jumped into that with two feet,” he said in 2013. “If you want to find the unchurched Catholics and the secularists, you aren’t going to find them by staying in church and inviting them to programs. You have to use this new means. We have to invade that space.”

The 55-year-old bishop-designate has taught systematic theology, but outside seminary education, his stock in trade has been evangelization. The Chicago-born cleric is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and he has traveled across the United States to speak at conferences, conventions and symposiums on spreading the Christian message. In 2010 he launched a Sunday morning TV show, “Word on Fire,” on the WGN America cable channel.

“It is a blessing for me to work with you to introduce people to Jesus Christ and invite them to share all the gifts he wants his people to enjoy,” Bishop-designate Barron said in a July 21 statement released by Word on Fire.

He is slated to be a speaker at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, although it was not immediately clear whether his new duties as a bishop would allow him to remain on the schedule.

In an interview with The Tidings, newspaper of the Los Angeles archdiocese, he said his main responsibility will be to serve as auxiliary bishop. “I have to be present to the people of the archdiocese,” he said.

For those who don’t watch TV or videos, Bishop-designate Barron also has written 10 books and does radio commentary. His book “The Strangest Way” took second place in the 2003 Catholic Press Association’s book awards for best popular presentation of the Catholic faith. There’s also a 300-page stand-alone “Catholicism” book that complements the DVD series.

 

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Medical professionals oppose assisted suicide bill in D.C.

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WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the District of Columbia are considering legislation that permits doctors to prescribe medications that would enable terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Health and Human Services held a daylong hearing July 10 on the proposed Death with Dignity Act of 2015.

Members of the public attend a July 10 hearing at the Wilson Building in Washington. A Council of the District of Columbia committee heard testimony on the Death of Dignity Act of 2015 that would legalize assisted suicide in the nation's capital. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

Members of the public attend a July 10 hearing at the Wilson Building in Washington. A Council of the District of Columbia committee heard testimony on the Death of Dignity Act of 2015 that would legalize assisted suicide in the nation’s capital. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

Lawmakers heard testimony from opponents and supporters of the measure that would allow doctors to legally prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a patient who is deemed mentally competent and who has received a terminal diagnosis.

The bill was introduced by council member Mary M. Cheh. She said that if the proposal passed, it would offer terminally ill patients “a peaceful exit.”

“The law should not force upon a person a punishing death,” she said.

Opponents of the measure contend that a doctor should not kill patients in an effort to ease their pain.

“It’s a really bad idea for physicians who are in charge of bringing health and comfort to their patients to be looked upon by some patients as someone who might be the bringer of death,” said Dr. G. Kevin Donovan, director of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics and professor at Georgetown University Medical Center.

The bill specifies that a physician may legally prescribe lethal drugs to patients who have been deemed mentally competent and who have received a terminal diagnosis of six months or less.

“We physicians know that predicting the duration of a terminal disease is nearly impossible to do accurately,” Donovan said. “Rather than enable our patient’s suicide, we should be improving palliative care and hospice options near the end of life. That would allow patients to truly live their final days with comfort and dignity.”

Those opposing the bill point out that it does not require doctors to give patients a screening for depression before providing them with the lethal prescription; the patient is not required to notify family members before taking the medication; and no doctor, nurse, or legal witness is required to be present when the lethal dose is taken.

“Our health care system is failing people with disabilities, including disabilities caused by terminal illnesses and this legislation is not the answer. We need to make sure people are receiving the supports they need in order to live in their own homes — not to create a new fast track toward death,” said Samantha Crane, director of public policy for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. “People who need these supports shouldn’t have to die to have dignity.”

Crane also is a spokeswoman for No DC Suicide, a coalition of health care professionals, disability advocates, representatives of various faiths and concerned citizens that was formed to advocate against the District’s proposed Death with Dignity Act of 2015.

The No DC Suicide coalition stresses that it is impossible to accurately predict a patient’s terminal prognosis. It also said that the proposal before the district council does not have safeguards to ensure that a patient is not coerced into ingesting the drug, or to prevent another person from administering the drug.

Elaine Petty, a registered nurse and director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture and part of the No DC Suicide coalition, said that physician-assisted suicide would lead to “medical abandonment” at the very time people most need such support.

Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Health, also told committee members that she opposed the measure because “a physician’s oath is to do no harm.”

She said that the legislation is vague and “catapults the District into uncharted territory we are not prepared to navigate.” She told lawmakers that the bill does not specify the type of lethal medication to be prescribed or outline what qualifications a doctor needs in order to be able to determine if a patient is terminal or is mentally competent.

Other medical professionals also urged the committee not to pass the legislation.

Dr. Sarah Murray, an attending physician at Georgetown University Hospital, said, “physician assisted suicide goes against everything we do as doctors.” Dr. John Campbell from Providence Hospital’s Center for Geriatric Medicine called the proposed bill “false compassion.”

Cheh said she modeled her bill on the assisted suicide law in Oregon which allows doctors to prescribe medicines so that terminally ill patients may end their lives. That is that state where 29-year-old Brittany Maynard moved last year in order to terminate her life. The California woman, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, gained national attention as she advocated for “death with dignity” for terminally ill patients by publically announcing her decision to kill herself. She did so Nov. 1.

Maynard’s husband, Dan Diaz, testified at the council hearing via telephone hookup.

Diaz, who said he is a practicing Catholic, noted that he was “keenly aware of the doctrinal side of this” proposal, but added that “nobody should impose their doctrine on somebody else … and submit them to a brutal death.”

Council member Yvette Alexander, a Catholic and chairperson of the council’s Health and Human Services Committee, said that “the greatest human freedom is to live and die according to one’s belief,” but she conceded that “there are ethical, moral and religious issues that must be addressed.”

Seattle-based attorney Margaret Dore, president of the “Choice is an Illusion” human rights organization opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia, also testified via telephone hookup. She said that under the proposed bill, a person can commit suicide and the “the death certificate is falsified and does not reflect the true cause of death” because it would list the person’s diagnosis and not suicide as the cause of death.

She also warned that “predicting life expectancy is not an exact science” and because of a “complete lack of oversight,” anyone can administer the lethal drugs to the terminally ill patient.

Council member LaRuby May, also a member of the committee hosting the hearing, noted that some residents in her ward are opposed to the measure and that “passion in opposition to this bill is very real.”

However, she dismissed that by saying such opposition “is based on fear.”

Michael Scott, director of the District of Columbia Catholic Conference, told the Catholic Standard, Washington’s archdiocesan newspaper, the Committee on Health and Human Services was accepting written testimony through July 24. After that, the committee will compile a report during the July 15-Sept. 15 legislative recess.

By Richard Szczepanowski, who is a staff writer at the Catholic Standard, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington.

 

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