Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A "throw away" society

The following are excerpts from a timely and insightful commentary by Richard Szczepanowski in last week’s Catholic Standard:

“Being an animal lover, dog owner and human being, I have followed with horror, shock, and revulsion the story of Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick and the alleged dogfighting ring he ran from his home. The 27-year-old former Virginia Tech superstar pleaded not guilty to multiple charges involved in the alleged dogfighting operation. More than 65 dogs were found at his Surry County, Va., home. Those dogs who were ‘underperforming’ in the fighting ring, were destroyed by being tortured: they were doused with water and electrocuted, they were hanged, they were shot…

Compare this to the news this week from Ocean City.

Inside the home of Christy Freeman, a dead newborn baby was found wrapped in a blanket and shoved under a bathroom sink. Additional remains of fetuses were found buried about the property. Police were alerted to this horror when the 37-year-old mother of four was admitted to a hospital showing signs of being pregnant. She delivered a full-term placenta, but there was not fetus. Authorities have charged Freeman with first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter.

What is ironic here – to me at least – is that while those poor abused and mistreated dogs have People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society working to bring public attention to their plight, there are no such advocates for fetuses and infants and humans.

I was talking to a priest friend of mine about the two incidents, and he made a good point. He said that these two cases (and if you think about, many others) prove that we are a ‘throw away’ society. He lamented that we live in a time when, if we encounter something or someone we do not want, we simply throw it away.

Remember the Terri Schiavo case?...

Look at Dr. Jack Kevorkian…

Anyone even remotely connected to the pro-life cause is aware that almost 35 years ago (since abortion was made legal in this country), the Church has warned that abortion was just the first step in a ‘slippery slope’ toward an overall disrespect (and sometimes outright) disdain for all life…

The late Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae (‘The Gospel of Life’) has rightly been acclaimed as a masterpiece of theological reasoning and one of the best and clearest outlines of why the Church is such an indefatigable defender of life from conception to natural death.

‘This is a particularly pressing need at the present time, when the “culture of death” so forcefully opposes the “culture of life” and often seem to have the upper hand,’ the encyclical says.”


At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term "throw away society" is perfect to describe popular culture. When there are big tragedies, I see people all pull together, but with some of the more isolated instances- it’s like we act as if we are disconnected, and that single loss, especially the one free of drama, intrigue and controversy, was no big deal. I fear that our youth are becoming irreparably desensitized to the lack of respect for life they see demonstrated everyday in so many ways. Until we respect all life, in all of its varying stages, colors and forms and appreciate how important each of us is in the world, our society will continue to decay. The following from John Donne was something that has stuck with me since my freshman year of high school:

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two questions:

Are there any sins that can't be forgiven by a priest in confession?

Can a priest refuse sacraments to someone who could otherwise receive them?


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