Questions of Conscience

May 19, 2015 09:00 AM

From California to Wisconsin to Illinois and beyond, the consciences of believing Catholics are being challenged by politics and the medical profession with, seemingly, no relief in sight. Let’s examine what’s happening in these places.

The California state senate just passed a law that would literally wipe out all conscience protections for parents who do not want their children to be injected with contaminated vaccines containing fetal cells. In a compromise move, the authors of the bill did agree to “‘grandfather in’ many public and private school students whose parents have claimed personal belief exemptions. That would mean that more than 13,000 children who have had no vaccinations by first grade won’t have to get their shots until they enter seventh grade.”

Notice that the caveat may—and probably will—require even these students to eventually be vaccinated. So much for religious freedom to stand on principle and be protected by law!

Responding to this arrogant power grab by California politicians, Children of God for Life pinpointed the problem. It reports that Senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician, addressed the need for the legislation to his fellow politicians but misrepresented the facts. Debi Vinnedge, executive director of Children of God for Life, writes that the senator “should certainly know that there are aborted fetal cell components, DNA and proteins present in several other vaccines and medicines, notably Hepatitis-A, MMRII, Varicella, ProQuad, Pentacel, Zostavax and some Rabies.” She continued, “Pan also failed to acknowledge that there were over 80 elective abortions involved with the rubella vaccine alone and that the pharmaceutical industry continues to use both existing and new aborted fetal cells for ongoing research and development of future vaccines.”

Apparently sticking to the facts is not part of the political process in California.

Add to this the fact that the California Catholic Conference has chosen not to take a position on the bill, and one can see clearly which road will be taken. Parental rights will take a serious blow if this bill passes into law as the Catholic bishops look on.

In the state of Wisconsin there are persistent questions being raised by pro-life folks about the staff privileges of well-known abortionists at a Catholic hospital in La Crosse. While there have been repeated requests for an explanation to be provided by the state’s Catholic conference, as well as the National Catholic Bioethics Center, it seems that only crickets are answering the pleas of faithful Catholics. The most recent communications with the NCBC were shared with me by one of the Wisconsin pro-lifers who wrote of her frustration over a situation that continues to fester with no apparent relief in sight. We wonder how it can be that an abortionist who is on the staff of a Catholic hospital can refer patients to others to kill their babies without fear of reprimand at any level. 

Scandalous seems to be too polite a word.

And lastly, in Illinois, the struggle over conscience rights and faithful Christians has taken a different turn. Or has it? We learned recently that a “battle is under way over conscience rights and health care in the Illinois Legislature that has pro-life groups on one side, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood on the other, and the Illinois Catholic Conference standing neutral on the sidelines.” The debate centers on SB 1564, amending the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. Catholic doctors are concerned and have organized meetings to discuss the dangers of SB 1564, a bill that “would require pregnancy center workers to violate their core mission by referring women for abortions or distributing information on where to obtain abortions.” 

One wonders how in the world the bishops could be neutral!

It is crystal clear to me that bishops who play politics with conscience rights, the lives of preborn babies, and the health and well-being of expectant mothers have lost their way. Shepherds are not supposed to lead their flock TOWARD the wolves. They are supposed to lead them AWAY from danger.

Act today to get informed and stop the madness:

Pray and fast for your bishop, your priests, and the entire body of Catholic bishops, including Pope Francis. 

Learn the facts about childhood vaccines and your rights as parents. 

Learn the facts about abortion and what you can do to be part of the solution. 

Read the letter from Children of God for Life that clearly defines Church teaching on moral conscience. 

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