Ethics of feeding tubes
John L. Allen Jr.
Ethicists ponder practicality, rightness of Vatican rules on
Tubes for food, water may cause discomfort
John L. Allen Jr.
In its Sept. 14 ruling, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
recognized three exceptions to the requirement to provide food and water to
patients in a persistent vegetative state: isolated or impoverished locations
where use of a feeding tube is impossible; when the patients body can no
longer assimilate food or water; and when the treatment causes
significant physical discomfort.
Rome tightens rules as 'right to die' laws spread
John L. Allen Jr.
Its no accident, experts say, the Vatican began to tighten its
position on the obligation to provide food and water to patients in a
persistent vegetative state in the late 1980s, at the same time that some
Western nations first began to experiment with decriminalizing euthanasia.
To awaken the conscience
John L. Allen Jr.
One core issue in Catholic bioethics is the distinction between ordinary
and extraordinary means, which goes back to the 16th century. The basic idea is
that while one is morally obliged to use ordinary methods to preserve life, the
pursuit of extraordinary, or heroic, measures is optional.
Nancy Mairs is the author of eight books, including Ordinary Time,
Remembering the Bone House, Carnal Acts and Waist High in the
World. Raised as a Congregationalist in New England, she converted to
Catholicism. Her poems and meditations on spirituality, on marriage and
sexuality, on understanding vocation in a life circumscribed by multiple
sclerosis have appeared in numerous periodicals. Her essay, On Being a
Cripple, is used as a text in medical schools for students learning how
to treat and talk with persons with disabilities.
Insurer rejects church policy application because of gay stance
Religion News Service
A United Church of Christ congregations pro-gay stance puts it
at a higher risk of litigation and property damage, a leading U.S.
church insurer said in refusing to offer coverage to a Michigan
Violence can happen anywhere. But when Israel Morales, a neighborhood
organizer and parishioner at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish on Chicagos
Southwest Side, was gunned down this summer near the church, community members
decided they had to do something.
By many measures, Javonne Patterson is a good example of the benefits
the civil rights movement won for African-Americans. A graduate of OHara
Catholic High School in Kansas City, Mo., shes a successful senior
biology major at Xavier University in New Orleans and looks forward to medical
school next year.
St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke is urging ministers to deny Communion
to politicians who support abortion rights, arguing that its a
mortal sin to offer the sacrament to the unworthy.
Media frenzy buries U.N. goals
When the U.N. General Assembly opened its 62nd annual meeting Sept. 25,
the disproportionate attention accorded the controversial Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad overshadowed other topics. Granted, the fuss that followed
Ahmadinejad forced valuable debate over such themes as freedom of speech,
hospitality (or lack of it), and tolerance for half truths and misinformation.
Nevertheless, his appearance was among a stream of high-profile events at the
United Nations that siphon attention from significant projects underway in the
wings. Not everything notable relates to government leaders and their
We call it RCA, or Roman Collar Amnesia.
-- Janice Hesselton, an employee of the Cleveland diocese, talking about
an acronym commonly used at the chancery to describe memory problems that
strike priests called to testify in court. Her comments occurred during
testimony at the recent trial of a diocesan employee.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Louisiana investigation found a juvenile justice system in
Legionaries sue Web site critic
The Legionaries of Christ, a religious order whose founder was recently
disciplined by the Vatican following years of accusations that he had sexually
abused young seminarians, has filed a lawsuit against one of its most public
The Switzerland-based World Conservation Union called for urgent action
to stave off a global extinction crisis as the organization
released its 2007 Red List of Threatened Species Sept. 12.
After allowing nearly 10 days of massive anti-government protests led by
Buddhist monks, Burmas military junta Sept. 25 ordered a ban on
demonstrations and a 60-day curfew. However, thousands of people took to the
streets the next day, and troops were sent to disperse crowds in the
nations capital Yangon.
Episcopalians make bid to stay in Anglican Communion
and Daniel Burke
Expressing their passionate desire to remain a full partner
in the worldwide Anglican Communion, U.S. Episcopal bishops Sept. 25 said they
remain committed to not allowing more gay bishops and pledged not to authorize
public blessings of same-sex unions.
Musicians aim to convert musically traditionalist pope
Catholic News Service
British musicians recorded the classic Irish hymn, Sweet
Heart of Jesus, in a calypso, disco style and sent it to Pope Benedict
XVI on an iPod nano.
Emad Bornat, a 37-year old videographer from the West Bank village of
Bilin, remembers when there was no metal barrier or Jewish settlement on
the horizon of his hometown. The villages western view looked out on
agricultural fields, olive trees and open land. It was beautiful,
Last month, Dr. Zion Evrony, Israeli ambassador to Ireland, met with
Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and her colleague Ann Patterson
to apologize on behalf of his government for an April 20 shooting incident in
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
Countering the postal hike
In recent issues of NCR, Ive written about the 23 percent
postal increase we face this year. That increase translates into an additional
$95,000 annually just to mail the paper to our readers 42 times a year. As you
can imagine, where that extra $95,000 will come from has been cause for
consternation. Its well over and above the reasonable increase for which
we had budgeted.
Conference seeks to legitimize civilian casualties.
Roadside faith expressions are especially American.
Raymond A. Schroth
I had a dream last night. There was President Bush on TV, on the Al
Jazeera network. Bush had disappeared from public view a month before and his
White House staff had been feeding the press old pictures of him biking and
cutting brush on his Texas ranch. Blog sites were beginning to ask whether he
might be back on the sauce.
Located in the backwaters of the Missouri Ozarks, Rays Store, like
many rural roadside bait and tackle shops, looks ramshackle, needs paint on the
front. A handwritten sign on the screen door says No shirt, no shoes, no
problem and below Smokers welcome. A beat-up Harley Davidson
squats on the porch.
Poetry October 5, 2007
Letters for October 5, 2007
Classifieds for October 5, 2007
News Briefs for October 5, 2007
People for October 5, 2007
A memorable quote from this