Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332. A, a girlhood of singular innocence and piety, she was given in marriage to Patritius, a pagan. She at once devoted herself to his conversion, praying for him always, and winning his reverence and love by the holiness of her life and her affectionate forbearance. She was rewarded by seeing him baptized a year before his death. When her son Augustine went astray in faith and manners her prayers and tears were incessant. She was once very urgent with a learned bishop that he would talk to her son in order to bring him to a better mind, but he declined, despairing of success with one at once so able and so headstrong. However, on witnessing her prayers and tears, he bade her be of good courage; for it might not be that the child of those tears should perish. By going to Italy, Augustine could for a time free himself from his mother’s importunities; but he could not escape from her prayers, which encompassed him like the providence of God. She followed him to Italy, and there by his marvellous conversion her sorrow was turned into joy. At Ostia, on their homeward journey, as Augustine and his mother sat at a window conversing of the life of the blessed, she turned to him and said, “Son, there is nothing now I care for in this life. What I shall now do or why I am here, I know not. The one reason I had for wishing to linger in this life a little longer was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This has God granted me superabundantly in seeing you reject earthly happiness to become His servant. What do I here?” A few days afterwards she had an attack of fever, and died in the year 387.

O Holy Monica, by your burning tears and unceasing prayers you saved your son from eternal dammnation.  Obtain for us the grace ever to comprehend what is most conducive to the salvation of our children so that we may effectively restrain them from sin and lead them by virtue and piety to Heaven! Amen

I’m sure you have read all about Planned Parenthood, the American abortion providers being exposed of selling aborted babies parts for research.  There are videos on the internet showing the evidence but for most of us this will be too horrific to contemplate watching.

However, the topic of whether it is right to gain some good from something which is wrong is thrown up once more from this news story.  I found the following article on the website Catholic Stand by JoAnna Wahlund which helps us with the debate.

Planned Parenthood has vehemently defended its practice of selling (yes, selling) the body parts and tissue of aborted babies to biomedical companies for use in scientific research. (In fact, Catholic Stand’s Editor Emeritus, Dr. Stacy Trasancos, has already written several articles detailing how the practice of using aborted fetal tissue for research has been quietly ongoing for decades).

What has baffled me is the response of so many people, including some Catholics, who say that while abortion was horrible, at least these babies didn’t die in vain. Does it really make sense, the argument goes, to “waste” all those valuable fetal organs and tissue just because they came from a victim of abortion?

In an article for the Washington Post, Bill Leinweber, President of the National Disease Research Interchange, echoes these sentiments: “We wouldn’t be where we are today in much of medicine without the use of human tissue. […] The important concept we strive to convey to folks is: Any donation of organ or tissue for research should be cherished as a gift.”

Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson also said, in response to allegations that he had participated in a study involving the use of aborted fetal tissue samples, “To not use the tissue that is in a tissue bank, regardless of where it comes from, would be foolish. Why would anybody not do that?”

These quotes reminded me of the words of another doctor, one who, like Dr. Ben Carson, was studying diseases of the brain:

“…those brains offered wonderful material, of mentally poor, deformities and early children’s diseases. Of course I accepted the brains. It really wasn’t my concern where they came from and how they were brought to me…”

Sounds very similar to what Leinweber and Carson said, right?

That particular quote was said by Dr. Julius Hallervorden during the Nuremberg Trials. Dr. Hallervorden was a Nazi scientist who experimented on the brains of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Keep in mind that during that time it was perfectly legal under German law to kill Jews, thanks to the Nazi regime. Given it was legal to kill Jews, it seemed silly to Dr. Hallervorden to let their corpses go to waste. And indeed, Dr. Hallervorden and a colleague, Hugo Spatz (also a Nazi) discovered, through their research, Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome (now called Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration).

Were Dr. Hallervorden et al smart and sensible to make use of the “material” legally “donated” to them, regardless of the origin? If not, why is there widespread acceptance of the use of aborted fetal tissue for medical research – especially by those who profess to oppose abortion? Would it have made a difference if the Jews were unborn?

The Washington Post article cited above, and this New York Times article, spill much virtual ink telling us how important fetal tissue is for research purposes. However, one key principle in medical ethics (or any kind of ethics) is this: the end does not justify the means.

The End Does Not Justify the Means

In other words, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “One may never do evil so that good may result from it.”

It doesn’t matter if aborted fetal tissue cured cancer, Alzheimer’s, made the blind see and the lame walk. It’s simply not moral or ethical to use the corpses of unjustly murdered human beings to advance medical research — especially when the human beings in question are murdered for profit (and the company that murders them further profits by selling the organs, tissue, limbs, and sometimes intact bodies).

Humans of New York pro-life - abortion - pregnancy care center - rescue - testimony
Photo: Brandon Stanton / Humans of New York

“I was 16 when my girlfriend got pregnant. We went to the abortion clinic on 59th Street.
We filled out the papers and everything.
Then right before we were called back, we looked at each other, and said: ‘Let’s get out of here.’”

A beautiful tribute to a true pro life warrior!

The biggest challenge the #prolife movement faces is the increasing hostility to religion. #catholic

Save the Date


Ladies Lunch

Please save the date Saturday 14th November 2015 for our annual St Margaret of Scotland,  Ladies Lunch.  It will be held in St Thomas’s, Riddrie.  Details to follow soon!

Saying Goodbye


On Saturday 19th September, 11.00 am at Glasgow Cathedral in High Street there will be a Saying Goodbye service for all parents who have lost a baby. It is organised by the Mariposa Trust whose core objective is to support people who have lost babies at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy
We know that as 1 in 4 women suffer miscarriage and baby loss, so the chances are you will have contact with a significant number of people who have either personally suffered baby loss or are close to someone who has
So who is the service for? Anyone who has either personally lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years, or anyone who has been affected by a family member’s or friend’s loss. Whether the loss was recent, or 80 years ago everyone is welcome. Babies and children are also invited to come with their family, as the Saying Goodbye service is truly a family event for all.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. - John 10:10

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