Loading
Archbishop Chaput sees societal lesson in Amelia Rivera case
Archbishop Charles Chaput speaks at the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid
Archbishop Charles Chaput speaks at the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid

.- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia believes that the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the U.S., undermined reverence for the lives of the mentally and physically disabled as well as the lives of unborn children.

“We need to understand that if some lives are regarded as unworthy, respect for all life is at risk,” the archbishop said.

In his Jan. 19 column for the Catholic Standard and Times, the archbishop commented on local media coverage of Amelia Rivera, a young girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome who was denied a kidney transplant. Her parents said that she was denied the transplant because of her diminished mental ability and shortened lifespan.

While Archbishop Chaput cautioned readers not to rush to judgment about the medical personnel involved because of the media coverage, he praised Amelia’s parents for loving their daughter and knowing “the beauty and dignity of her life despite her disability.”

He lamented a “growing” habit of treating genetically disabled children as “somehow less worthy of life.” This practice is advanced by prenatal testing, which can detect many pregnancies with a risk of genetic problems.

“The tests often aren’t conclusive. But they’re pretty good. And the results of those tests are brutally practical,” he said, noting that more than 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

“They’re killed because of a flaw in one of their chromosomes – a flaw that’s neither fatal nor contagious, but merely undesirable.”

Archbishop Chaput criticized doctors who encourage these abortions and steer women towards deciding to abort.

“I’m not suggesting that doctors should hold back vital knowledge from parents. Nor should they paint an implausibly upbeat picture of life with a child who has a disability,” he said.

Rather, doctors should refer women to parents of children with special needs, special education teachers and therapists, and pediatricians who have treated children with disabilities.

They often have “a hugely life-affirming perspective” and can bear witness that every child with special needs has “a value that matters eternally.”

The archbishop praised parents who care for these children with “real love” that “forces its way through fear and suffering to a decision, finally, to surround the child with their heart and trust in the goodness of God.”

“The real choice in accepting or rejecting a child with special needs is never between some imaginary perfection or imperfection. ... No child is perfect,” he said. The choice to accept or reject a child with special needs is in fact one “between love and unlove; between courage and cowardice; between trust and fear.”

“That’s the choice we face when it happens in our personal experience. And that’s the choice we face as a society in deciding which human lives we will treat as valuable, and which we will not.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: