Montana Supreme Court Hands Parental Rights of Woman

Today at I came across this sad story, in which a woman who had left the lesbian lifestyle to marry and raise her children was forced to relinquish custody of her adopted children to her former lover.

At every level, this makes no sense — the woman who was granted sole custody was not the legal parent of the children.  Nor was it in the children’s best interest, as they have now been denied not only their mother but their best chance to have a father as well.

Please pray for this family. These poor kids are going to need all the prayers they can get!

Montana Supreme Court Hands Parental Rights of Woman’s Adopted Children to Former Lesbian Lover

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Gardasil: Wait

This week I came across this article by Mary Beth Bonacchi about the dire side effects surfacing among girls who were recently vaccinated with Gardasil. She did not address my original concerns about protecting girls in the event of sexual assault (Bonacchi contends that girls are “100% safe” if they remain chaste before marriage to an uninfected partner).  However, I do agree that in light of the 29 reported deaths (see link below to the CBS report on this), regular medical screenings for those exposed to HPV may need to suffice until a safer and more effective vaccine may be found.

In 2007 I wrote an article on Catholic Exchange that expressed concern about parents (especially parents of older teens) who refuse to have their daughters vaccinated as a way to ensure they would remain chaste before marriage. Because of the prevalence of sexual assault, because men can carry the virus without being symptomatic, and because the vaccine has to be administered before the woman becomes sexually active — before pregnancy is a concern — at that time I felt that parents could make a prudential judgment in favor of the vaccine.

However, in light of  this CBS report about the many girls who have now died or experienced life-threatening conditions after receiving the vaccine (whether or not it could be proven that the vaccine was the direct cause), I can only conclude that the wise parent should wait until a safe alternative to the Merck Gardasil vaccine is found.

I still believe that if we do our job as parents, and teach our children about the benefits of remaining chaste before marriage (including not only “technical” virginity but the importance of safeguarding the heart as well), a safe vaccine would not undo that. To me, it would be like giving my daughter self-defense lessons — a safeguard measure, to protect her from situations beyond her control. 

But until the vaccine is as safe as kick-boxing or tai kwan do, I’ll wait.

Treading on Sacred Ground: Why NOT IVF or Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

Last week my friend Denise published on Catholic Exchange an account of her IVF experience, which is entitled “Treading on Sacred Ground.”  If you’re considering this type of assisted reproduction … or are still on the fence with how you feel about embryonic stem cell research, this article is for you.

One line in the article that gave me pause  was the obvious pain the author felt over venturing beyond the ethical boundaries the Church has established for family life — in this case, satisfying the desire to conceive a child.

As I wrote to Denise in the comments:

[You wrote in your article,] “My husband and I talked about it later. We had come face to face with the earliest moments of our children’s lives. We had peered into something that only God should see. We didn’t deserve what blessing might come despite our serious sin.”

I’m sure you must realize the sin was not in the looking … the looking was a kind of grace, for it gave you an opportunity to contemplate the seriousness of your actions. And in the contemplation, to express the lesson in words that even now may change a life.

“[God makes] all things work together for good…” the Scriptures tell us. By walking as closely as possible to truth, we spare ourselves untold heartache. And yet, in our failures we often catch an unforgettable glimpse of the mercy of God.

We were made for love, to participate in the divine and creative love of God. But for every true and good gift, the evil one conjurs a deceptive counterfeit. Your story shows just why the Church is right to speak against these kinds of assisted reproductive technologies. The cross of infertility is both real and painful … but perfect love always works according to God’s design, not our own.

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