Monday, January 4, 2010

Fr. Prieur gets it wrong -- again

I was surfing the web and minding my own business when I came across an article by Catholic Insight that debunks another error by Father Michael Prieur.  In 2001, Fr. Prieur claimed that it was acceptable for Catholic hospitals to cooperate in a tubal ligation performed for the purpose of contraception.

Wrong -- again.

Why do we care what one priest thinks? This isn't just any priest. He's a Professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology at St. Peter's Seminary in London, Ontario. He's also Canada's foremost Catholic bioethicist. If you're angry about the rotten state of the Catholic Church in Canada, ask yourself what kind of formation our priests and ethicists are receiving with teachers like this. You can read more about Fr. Prieur's other errors here and here.

This is not a witch-hunt, but I'm tired of blind shepherds leading Christ's faithful into a spiritual ditch. If we ever hope to turn this Church around, there will need to be changes at many levels, not the least of which is in our seminaries and other areas of formation.

Let's get back to the issue of tubal ligation.  Dear reader, in case you think that you don't have enough theology degrees to address this question, please don't underestimate yourself so quickly.  Your gut instinct is correct.  This one is a no-brainer.  There's no way a Catholic can freely and directly cooperate with a tubal ligation or any other method of contraception.  Don't take my word for it. Read the Catholic Insight article here.

In the meantime, our seminary professor continues to mislead our future priests and health care practitioners.  Here's a non-exhaustive list of major errors found to date:

  1. He endorsed "early inductions" before viability for 12 years, which is exactly the same thing as abortion but under a different name (by his own admission).  He only changed his tune when the US bishops dropped the hammer in 1997.
  2. He continues to endorse "early inductions" on babies with severe deformities using a misguided notion of viability. The hospital where he serves as ethics advisor even performs early inductions in cases when the mother's life is not in danger, which is euthanasia, pure and simple.
  3. He supports the Winnipeg Statement and believes that the decision to use contraception is up to the individual conscience.
  4. He wrote an article endorsing embryonic stem cell research, in opposition to Church teaching.
  5. And now we know about his support for tubal ligations, again in opposition to the Magisterium.
On virtually all the major issues in bioethics, he's at odds with Church teaching. And yet we rely on him to form our priests and health care practitioners? We're getting what we deserve.