VOL. 10, NO. 3

Sep/Oct 2007

Dear Readers:

 Our Catholic Teaching article, Gestures and Postures, is a republication of an article written by Fred Paschall. He reminds us all of the proper reverence for the Eucharist. Recently, due to construction in our physical church building, we celebrate Mass in our church hall. With the crowded conditions and lack of a visible tabernacle, it is easy to lose our perspective on the requirement for proper reverence.  Unfortunately, there are other churches where the parishioners lack proper reverence even though the tabernacle is fully visible. As Fred writes, “Many churches sound like a social club before Mass and a High School Gymnasium after Mass.”

In this issue of The Defender, we are providing some much-needed information about “Living Wills.” Most people don’t realize the state-required Living Wills they sign when entering the hospital were a 1967 invention of the Euthanasia Society of America.

The article called Modern Day Grave Robbers or Body Snatchers provides an historical account of the medical profession’s need for human bodies from the early 1800s to modern day. The article will seem bizarre to some but it is based upon current court cases concerning the actual termination of live human beings for the harvesting of living organs. To facilitate this modern day body-snatching, the definition of death is continually changing. Now one may have a beating heart and still be considered legally dead. In the case of Terri Schiavo, she not only had a strong, beating heart, but continued breathing after removal of her respirator. Nevertheless, she was put to death. Thankfully the Church recently issued a document giving clear and moral guidance in cases such as Terri Schiavo’s.

Mary Tillman has written an excellent article, Medical Advance Directives, to provide information on the Church’s recent documentation; a detailed description of state provided Living Wills; the problems with these Living Wills; and, finally, how to obtain Church-sanctioned Medical Advance Directives. This is a lengthy article but well worth the read, extremely informative. and the information could save your life.

I have included a very moving article on a recent save at an abortuary in nearby Maryland. Its title is A Very Unusual Save, and it certainly qualifies as such. Convincing a woman not to go through with an abortion is always an emotional experience, but this was especially emotional.

Our Modern Day Saint is Gianna Beretta Molla. She was a heroic Italian woman who gave her life so her child could live. Since learning about her life, I have read many instances of other women doing the same thing without hesitation. A current example is a woman with a brain tumor who has stopped chemotherapy in order to protect her unborn child. Please pray for her. She is a living saint.

Jim Fritz

cc: Most Reverend Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

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