LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – June 29th, 2015 issue
It is rare to see a public "debate" enfolding in print between a priest and a philosopher; it is more usual between a theologian and an atheist.
At least the positions taken in the BCC recently have been rational and civil, and have accepted that faith and reason are compatible. God has been honoured, and not dismissed as having no involvement in His creation.
The discussion has been so poorly explained in the secular press, which has one side implying evolution is a godless process, and the other claiming it is a God-involved process all complete in six days.
At least the debate in our Catholic press has God firmly in the picture. It is how He operates that is contentious. The differences discussed seem to come down to interpretation of Scripture, Catholic philosophy, and teaching.
From my research, and from comments and pronouncements from Popes and theologians since the late 20th century, I support the idea of continuing change in all aspects of God's creation throughout the universe.
The exception, very definitely, is the transcendent human soul/spirit. The material things of our world that we experience with our senses are "evolving," or changing slowly. This we can discern through research.
This does not impinge on belief in God as the "Master Creator." On the contrary, it reinforces awe and wonder in His divine providence.
Not so, unfortunately, for those without knowledge or belief in God. In their pride they see evolution as an operation of unexplained causality not contingent on the Almighty as "first cause."
So I stand with the "philosopher" in this exchange. I do not see any conflict with Church teaching that accepts that all material creation can evolve/change. I do not agree with biblical literalists and fundamentalists who do not accept Church teaching that an evolving universe of God's design is not in conflict with faith and reason.
CWL and organ donation
The article in the May 11 issue indicated there is concern that registered donors could become vulnerable when assisted suicide comes on the scene. I wish to assure you that organ procurement in
Canada is not to be obtained at any cost or by any means available.
Patients who request euthanasia or assisted suicide are doubtless suffering from an irreversible affliction with no hope of improvement, and are therefore not suitable for organ donation.
Organ donation is often an uncomfortable subject. However, there is a desperate need for organ donation in our province, with 473 patients waiting for a suitable organ. Hundreds more are waiting for cornea transplants.
Many patients die waiting for a suitable organ. Sometimes this is because loved ones cannot make the decision to donate fast enough during a crisis situation, or because they are unaware of the wishes of their loved ones who have just died.
One must consider that less than one per cent of potential donors die in a way that would allow them to be a donor. You are more likely to need an organ than to give an organ. Most deaths do allow you to be a donor of tissue such as skin, cornea, or bone, but solid organ donations must meet strict criteria.
In short, you must die in hospital, be on a ventilator, and be declared brain dead by two doctors who are not connected with the organ donation or transplant process. You are also protected under the Human Tissue Gift Act.
No one knows what the future may hold, but one donor can save up to eight lives. Remember, one of those lives could be yours!
Port Moody, B.C.
Re: "Less emotionalism," the letter from Chase Conell in the June 1 issue about the CWL's recently passed resolution on organ donation:
It has been the policy of the Catholic Women's League to encourage organ donation for several years, and their position has been stated through several resolutions. This most recent resolution addresses the method of registering as an organ donor, which must now be done using the personal health care number.
We need look no further than the Catechism of the Catholic Church for support in this matter. It states, "Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of generous solidarity."
Pope Francis has also weighed in on the issue, stating that organ donation is "a testimony of love for our neighbour."
I believe there is no need for the CWL to reconsider their endorsement of organ donation, as it falls completely in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Maple Ridge, B.C.