Monday, June 21, 2010

Today on Kresta - June 21, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on June 21

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – CBS News: “Church Ousts Nun Who OK'd Abortion to Save Woman” – We get the Truth From a Canon Lawyer
In late 2009, an abortion took place at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix after a hospital ethics committee deemed the abortion necessary to save the life of the mother. Sister Margaret Mary McBride, the hospital’s vice president of mission integration, was a member of the committee that made the decision and has since been assigned new duties. The hospital has defended its decision, while Bishop Thomas Olmsted warned that Catholics who formally cooperated in the abortion were automatically excommunicated. That led to nationwide headlines like “Church Ousts Nun Who OK'd Abortion to Save Woman.” We get the real story from canon lawyer Michael Dunnigan.

4:40 – Israel and Palestine: What Does the Just War Theory of “Proportionate Response” Really Mean?
The last three times Israel has taken military action, international commentators criticized the country’s use of force as “disproportionate.” During the recent flotilla incident, the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006, and the Gaza War of 2008-09, officials from the United Nations, the European Union, and several countries used that word to describe Israel’s military actions. Coverage in the press was similar — one newspaper columnist, for example, criticized the “utterly disproportionate ... carnage.” The phrase originates in Christian just war theory. But what does it really mean in context of the Christian teaching? Keith Pavlischek is here to explore that question.

5:00 – Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions
Over 2,000 years of tradition can lead to many questions and misunderstandings about the Catholic Faith. Why do Catholics pray for the dead?...Is there humor in the Bible?...Is purgatory painful?...Is there a dispensation for missing Mass when traveling?...Be more confident in your faith. Allow the why to enhance the what you do as a Catholic. Make better decisions. Be more prepared to pass on your faith to others. Feed your curiosity. Author, theology professor, and Catholic apologist Paul Thigpen ensures the answers are not only rock-solid, but also pastoral in their approach and written in everyday, relevant language.


  1. Re: Faith in Science vs. Faith in Religion

    In the first hour you said, "Christians believe in divine revelation, which we accept as rational authority," because God "is an authoritative agent who deserves to be accepted." You then said that, in a similar way, you have faith in the claim that the Sun is 93 million miles from Earth because respected scientific authorities have said so.

    Al, you don't have to take it on faith, from respected scientific authorities, that the Sun is 93 million miles from Earth. Various methods have been used to calculate the distance, and you can even do the calculation yourself. If you can't figure out how to do it, then you can ask a respected authority, like Stephen Hawking or Steven Weinberg, to show you how. It's silly to say that your faith in a scientific claim is similar to your faith in a religious claim.

  2. Re: Ectopic Pregnancy -- Double Effect?

    During the discussion of abortion, Al mentioned the Doctrine of Double Effect and applied it to ectopic pregnancies. He said: "We know that there are cases where what's called Double Effect comes into use, and that is, say, an ectopic pregnancy, where a surgery is done which doesn't directly abort, but the surgery does foresee that the death of the child will occur."

    I think Al is wrong on this. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the actual intent is to remove the child. It's the child that's causing the problem. Some ectopic pregnancies require that part or all of the fallopian tube be removed (a salpingectomy). Other pregnancies, for example when the embryo is small enough, allow the fallopian tube to remain intact by removing the embryo and allowing the tube to heal (a salpingostomy). The Church considers salpingostomy to be immoral because it is a direct abortion procedure. A salpingectomy, on the other hand, is OK because the surgeon is going after the fallopian tube, not the embryo.

    I think it's a phony distinction. We all know what's going on. The purpose of the surgery is to get rid of the baby. Trying to mask that fact by contriving a false double effect, and forcing women to have a section of their fallopian tube removed that doesn't need to be removed, doesn't change the fundamental intent of the surgery. We know it, and God knows it.

    If I got any facts wrong, I would appreciate being corrected. Also, if I have oversimplified the situation, I welcome additional analysis. For example, a salpingostomy may increase the risk of future ectopic pregnancies.