White Mass: Feast of St. LukeBy: Bishop Edward M. Rice Springfield MO
White Mass, St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield, Oct. 15, 2016
I wish to thank you for participating in this White Mass, close to the Feast of St. Luke, the Physician. We pray for those in all aspects of health care, that you continue to offer your hands, your healing hands, as an extension of the hands of Christ Himself, the Divine Physician.
With so much technology being applied to the field of medicine and medical research these days, it seems to me that, all the more our health care professionals need to be grounded in a morality and ethics, lest we drift farther and farther away from the foundational principles which guide health care as well as Catholic Health Care.
In my most recent column for our Catholic Paper, The Mirror, I referenced the quote etched upon the wall in the State Senate Chamber, “Nothing is Politically Right that is Morally Wrong!” I am amazed that those words have not been painted over. I wonder how long they will remain, or worse, how long they will continue to be ignored.
Think of those who daily enter and leave the senate chamber without so much as raising their eyes to consider the impact of those words.
Those words were used, as far as I can tell, to inspire those who worked toward the abolition of slavery. In our own state, in St. Louis, was passed the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 denying citizenship to Scott and his wife.
Of course, the Supreme Court would make another mistaken decision with the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortion. Again, the verse comes to mind, “Nothing is Politically Right that is Morally Wrong.”
Catholic physicians, nurses, and health care providers have the opportunity to proclaim that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the cornerstone of all the principles of our social teaching. In our society, human life is under direct attack from abortion and euthanasia, just to name two. The value of human life is being threatened by cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, and the use of the death penalty. The intentional targeting of civilians in war or terrorist attacks is always wrong.
We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
A most recent horrific development has been in the area of injecting human embryonic stem cells into animal embryos, creating part-human and part-animal organisms. Have you ever seen the movie, “The Island of Dr. Moreau?”
In the midst of so much darkness, Catholic Health Care providers more beacons of light. St. Luke, pray for us!