Action Alert!

We have met the enemy...

By Leila Marie Lawler ( articles ) | Feb 10, 2005

So maybe we here at are the enemy. Maybe Rod Dreher, of the Dallas Morning News, is the enemy. Maybe only a very few clergy are involved in the scandal but the rest are manly and brave, the Church is in great shape, it’s springtime in the faith, and we’re just suffering from some kind of delusion brought on by an icy cynicism combined with a starry, cock-eyed trust in the anti-Catholic media.

I bet we could be brought back to reality, though. Suppose that the bishops could get hold of an issue and just speak with great moral clarity in time to do something about it. That would show us!

How about stem cell research? Could the bishops help us out with that? There are basically two kinds of research possible using embryonic stem cells. You can take cells from embryos already created at fertility clinics and use them (a foregone conclusion), or you can produce embryos solely for the sake of their cells. In either case you must destroy the embryo, a human being, to make use of its cells.

Today the New York Times reports that Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts will oppose efforts by the state legislature to promote embryonic stem cell research of the second kind.

Romney’s wife suffers from multiple sclerosis-- which, the article points out, made some people think that he would support any measure to find a cure. However, he stands on principle, saying that “he objected to therapeutic cloning because ‘creation for the purpose of destruction is wrong.’” (He doesn’t oppose the use of stem cells from fertility clinics.)

The Times detects a whiff of politics in the offing, attributing Romney’s clear position to his ambitions on the national level. And perhaps this is so. Yet it’s not absolutely impossible to imagine that a man might draw the line in the moral dust and refuse to step over it, right?

Romney will lose anyway, the Times article tells us; the stem-cell industry will escape restraints even with “the sizable number of conservative Democrats in this heavily Roman Catholic state.” In other words, not even the "conservative" Democrats of Massachusetts are expected to mount any opposition to the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

That's a kind a feeble nod our way, isn't it? For practical purposes "in this heavily Roman Catholic state," Church opposition doesn’t mean a thing.

Other than the Mormon governor, there's been no word from any leader, much less from the Catholic clergy. No, there’s nothing about it on the bishops’ web site. Archbishop Sean O’Malley hasn’t mentioned it. Maybe the archbishop doesn't wish to appear partisan, now that the governor has taken a stand. But then he could have piped up in early January, when Senate President Robert E. Travaglini proposed the legislation.

I guess we are the enemy of that.

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