Vatican to fund adult stem cell research

This caught my eye yesterday as I was giving a quick perusal to the news headlines: “Vatican to fund adult stem cell research

Such a headline may be surprising to the confused. Especially to those who don’t pay attention to what the Catholic Church actually teaches. The news media gets that wrong all the time. The article starts out, “The Catholic Church may be the last organization you’d expect to fund stem cell research, but that’s precisely what they’re planning to do.”

See, the thing is, not many people understand that there are two types of stem cells. Adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. The Catholic Church has been outspoken (alongside many pro-life groups) against the grave immorality of using embryonic stem cells– stem cells that require the death of the baby in the womb in order to be harvested.

Further entrenching this common misunderstanding is the current portrayal of stem cell research. Keep reading the article… it starts off sounding pretty favorable towards the Catholic Church. After all, the Church is taking a great step in funding adult stem cell research. But the media can’t resist taking a pot shot at the Church, quoting a doctor’s opinion that “this is another attempt to pit adult stem cells against embryonic [ones]” when the two are used in very different ways and have potential for different conditions.” And praising the ‘potency’ of embryonic stem cells.

‘Potency’, huh? That’s a very interesting word. You see, in abortion discussions that word comes out. Usually. And usually it’s the pro-life side bringing it up and being dismissed by the pro-abortion advocate. Pro-aborts are only in favor of a particular kind of ‘potency’. The ambiguous potential of potency. A fantasy world where all things can be fixed so long as we can use whatever means we desire, whether they be morally permissible or not. It’s a potency based on fiction and not on reality. When pro-lifers talk about the ‘potency’ of an embryo in the womb, it’s a proven and demonstrated potency. We know that embryo is a human person (or, at the very LEAST it is ‘potentially’ a person). Not simply because we (pro-lifers) believe and desire that an embryo has this power and capability, but because since the beginning of the human race this FACT has proven itself. No woman has ever given birth to anything but a human person. There is no evidence for the ‘potency’ of embryonic stem cells as therapy. NONE.

Check out the scoreboard:73 to 0. ZERO embryonic stem cell success. It’s not even a competition anymore. Scientists are not only uselessly murdering babies, but they are wasting their time. Adult stem cells have proven their worthiness, morally and scientifically. The truth is plain for all who have eyes to see.

The list run by stemcellresearch.org:

Adult Stem Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells

    Cancers:

  1. Brain Cancer
  2. Retinoblastoma
  3. Ovarian Cancer
  4. Skin Cancer: Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  5. Testicular Cancer
  6. Tumors abdominal organs Lymphoma
  7. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  8. Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  9. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  10. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia
  11. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  12. Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia
  13. Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia
  14. Cancer of the lymph nodes: Angioimmunoblastic Lymphadenopathy
  15. Multiple Myeloma
  16. Myelodysplasia
  17. Breast Cancer
  18. Neuroblastoma
  19. Renal Cell Carcinoma
  20. Various Solid Tumors
  21. Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  22. Ewing’s Sarcoma
  23. Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia
  24. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
  25. POEMS syndrome
  26. Myelofibrosis
  27. Auto-Immune Diseases

  28. Diabetes Type I (Juvenile)
  29. Systemic Lupus
  30. Sjogren’s Syndrome
  31. Myasthenia
  32. Autoimmune Cytopenia
  33. Scleromyxedema
  34. Scleroderma
  35. Crohn’s Disease
  36. Behcet’s Disease
  37. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  38. Juvenile Arthritis
  39. Multiple Sclerosis
  40. Polychondritis
  41. Systemic Vasculitis
  42. Alopecia Universalis
  43. Buerger’s Disease
  44. Cardiovascular

  45. Acute Heart Damage
  46. Chronic Coronary Artery Disease
  47. Ocular

  48. Corneal regeneration
  49. Immunodeficiencies

  50. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  51. X-linked Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
  52. X-linked Hyper immunoglobulin M Syndrome
  53. Neural Degenerative Diseases and Injuries

  54. Parkinson’s Disease
  55. Spinal Cord Injury
  56. Stroke Damage
  57. Anemias and Other Blood Conditions

  58. Sickle Cell Anemia
  59. Sideroblastic Anemia
  60. Aplastic Anemia
  61. Red Cell Aplasia
  62. Amegakaryocytic Thrombocytopenia
  63. Thalassemia
  64. Primary Amyloidosis
  65. Diamond Blackfan Anemia
  66. Fanconi’s Anemia
  67. Chronic Epstein-Barr Infection
  68. Wounds and Injuries

  69. Limb Gangrene
  70. Surface Wound Healing
  71. Jawbone Replacement
  72. Skull Bone Repair
  73. Other Metabolic Disorders

  74. Hurler’s Syndrome
  75. Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  76. Krabbe Leukodystrophy
  77. Osteopetrosis
  78. Cerebral X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy
  79. Liver Disease

  80. Chronic Liver Failure
  81. Liver Cirrhosis
  82. Bladder Disease

  83. End-Stage Bladder Disease
NONE

Earth Day 2010… what REALLY matters

Catholic Vote’s newest ad campaign for Earth Day 2010 (today) is great. Very creative. This is what we need to get people thinking:

… and I’m all for making people think.

Don’t get me wrong, Fr. Frank Pavone at Priests for Life has a point when he says that, “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion“. But those graphic images are best left for adults/older children in an appropriate setting. Advertisements  that younger children might see should preserve their innocence and instead provoke thought and/or celebrate life in a positive way. Associating abortion with pictures of cute newborns/young children (i.e., a “fetus” is a scientific name for a baby in the womb) is just as effective as showing an adult/mature child the gruesome reality of abortion. Either way, the message [that abortion is the murder of a baby] comes across– but in an age appropriate manner.

Divine Mercy Sunday!

Jesus, I trust in You!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday to you! Today is the great feast of Divine Mercy (or Low Sunday/Quasimodo Sunday…(yes, the Hunchback took his name from the day on which he was found)/Dominica in albis depositis (“Sunday of putting away the albs”)). Traditionally, it is the day the newly baptized (at Easter) put away their baptismal robes.

Since 2000 (officially), it has been celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. It comes from the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, a polish nun in the 1930s. Our Lord appeared to her and under the direction of her spiritual director St. Faustina wrote down her revelations in a Diary (i.e., Divine Mercy in My Soul). Regarding today’s feast her Diary says,

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Today, you may gain a plenary indulgence (the  remission of the temporal punishment due to sin) under the usual conditions (Confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father… all the while being free from any and all attachment to sin–even venial sin). It is the Sunday that proclaims the mercy of God through the story of doubting Thomas and the institution of the Sacrament of Confession:

Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.

He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord.

But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.

Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

John 20: 19:31, Douay-Rheims version

Merciful Jesus, I trust in You!

Some reads for Divine Mercy Sunday:
Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska by St. Faustina
Frequent Confession by Dom Benedict Baur
Dives in Misericordia encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II on mercy

Updates, updates!

Major updating and construction as I move my blog back over to WordPress… please be patient!

Especially as I am importing from both my old WordPress account and Blogger… things may look a little messy with posts full of broken links and absent images.