Monthly Archives: May 2006

Despite some reports, the new Archbishop of Washington won’t be any better than McCarrick

In Brain Saint-Paul of Crisis sees the appointment of Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh to be the new archbishop of DC to be “good news”

—–Original Message—–From: Brian Saint Paul [mailto:mail@crisismagazine.com] Sent: Friday, May 19, 2006 12:48 PM

Subject: The Good News, The Bad News*

* * * Thankfully, not all the recent news has been bad. Earlier this week, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, DC, announced his retirement and his replacement has been named: Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh. Bishop Wuerl is not only doctrinally solid, but he’s also tremendously pastoral as well. And he’s good in front the camera… so good that he has a nationally syndicated television program, The Teachings of Christ. That will come in handy in the very visible role as archbishop of Washington. Yet another sign that Pope Benedict is committed to providing great bishops for the Church. I’ll talk to you next week,

How is Bishop Wuerl “doctrinally solid”?He’s chairman of the so-called National Catholic Bioethics Center, which has openly defied the Pontifical Academy for Life on the issue of tainted vaccines.

After seeing the NCBC, CNS and other Americanized groups sticking with their positions on vaccines and offering an “interpretation” of the Pontifical Academy’s instruction that went clearly against the literal meaning of the document, I finally wrote to the Academy myself. Msgr. Suaudeau, one of the authors of the instruction, wrote back to me within days and said that the CNS and other news agencies greatly misquoted and misrepresented what he said in their interviews. In fact, the “interpretations” of the document in the CNS and other news agencies reflect the opinions of NCBC far more than they do the Pontifical Academy for Life.

This is what the CNS article attributes to Msgr. Suaudeau:

“Parents who do not immunize their children against rubella would be responsible for the malformations and subsequent abortions of malformed fetuses that might result from a pregnant women being infected by the unvaccinated child, both the study and Msgr. Suaudeau said.”

Again, Msgr. Suaudeau told me that he was misquoted, as he was referring to people *where the diseases are epidemic* and *where morally acceptable alternatives are available.*

The CNS article is far more in keeping with the opinion of the NCBC, which is that, ” parents have a moral obligation to secure the life and health of their children.”

Here’s the problem. The NCBC says this in reference to immunizations, speaking of the serious complications suffered by 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000 rubella victims.

I have a genetic disorder, Marfan syndrome. It is autosomal dominant, meaning that I have a 50% chance of passing it on to each child. One of my three children is already diagnosed with Marfan syndrome. It is my understanding that, as Catholics, we are to accept and embrace suffering the way Christ did, especially when it is a choice between suffering or compromising with the world.
The odds of my children having Marfan syndrome are far greater than their odds of even contracting Rubella, and the lethal and debilitating consequences of Marfan syndrome are almost guaranteed, whereas the potentially lethal or debilitating consequences of rubella are also rare.
Therefore, according to the NCBC’s position of a “moral obligation of parents to prevent disease,” I am committing a mortal sin by reproducing at all.

When I presented this argument to Msgr. Suaudeau, he totally agreed with me.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center’s direct response to the letter sounds very much like the CNS article. Again, Msgr. Suaudeau emphasized to me that the document *is* intended to support conscientious objection, and that tainted vaccines are only justifiable in situations where there is an *immediate* health risk or no alternative. The document insists that compulsory vaccination against conscience is itself a grave evil.

The NCBC article even downplays the importance of the Pontifical Academy for Life, dismissing it as merely an “advisory board to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith” (what does that make the NCBC?).

The CNS, NCBC and other pro-vaccine groups target Children of God for Life as some kind of fringe pro-life group, but the position of Children of God for Life is held by American Life League, Human Life International, Bishop Robert Vasa, and several other bishops around the country (not to mention the Pontifical Academy for Life). Even many pro-life leaders named as “pro-vaccine”, including Janet Smith and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, denounce the evil of the tainted vaccines, acknowledge the right of people to conscientious objection, but note that there is no moral guilt in situations of serious medical need.

Interestingly enough, conscientious objection during the recent outbreak of mumps has now caused the Catholic Medical Association to join with COG for Life, ALL and HLI on this issue.

The reason conservatives don’t like Cardinal McCarrick is—rightly—that when the CDF acted on a controversial, “radical” pro-life position and supported what the laity wanted to do, Cardinal McCarrick misrepresented the CDF position and went ahead with the compromising, Americanist position he had to begin with.

Bishop Wuerl is the chairman of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, which has done the exact same thing in regard to tainted vaccines. So why is there any reason to hope he’ll be better than McCarrick?

John C. Hathaway