Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rose tinted glasses?

Fr Ben has often suggested that we Brits, particularly clergy, might have a rather rose-tinted view of things here in the US. Perhaps there is some justification for this.

On my second day here I was taken out to meet a wonderful family for supper. Ed's a dentist, Sue's a doctor, they have four sons all practising the faith. Two of them studied at the Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio, renowned for its fidelity to the Catholic faith. Perhaps its most famous professor is Scott Hahn, the well-known convert from Presbyterianism to the Catholic faith. One of their sons is currently studying there and there is one son left to go.

They live a simple lifestyle. Not surprisingly TV does not play a huge part in their lives. EWTN is one of the channels they watch more frequently. They have a house on the shores of Lake Elmore which is open to all, and we met an English couple, not catholic, whom they have befriended and who want to live permanently in the US.

Sue can no longer practise the branch of medicine - obstetrics and gynecology - she was trained to do. Neither can she work in general practice because of her objection to referring for abortion and family planning. She recounted how, twice, the contract that had been signed was ripped up when her employers realised that she was Catholic and that she would not get involved in these areas.

To meet someone who has lived her faith and stuck to her principles and been prepared to make such sacrifices in the face of clearly unjust discrimination was a great privilege for me. Although I know several Catholic doctors and other medical practitioners in the UK who have been faithful to the natural moral law, far more compromise. (Earlier this year I 'lost' a couple of parishioners when I said that it was not acceptable for a Catholic pharmacist to be involved in dispensing the morning-after pill and other anti-life/anti-conception pharmaceuticals.)

Sue is involved in medical care of a sort, but not that which she would love to practise.

Another thing this valiant couple have done is to get a school started in the area. They were so concerned at the education being given to their children in the state schools that they started the Bishop Marshall School. Apparently it's a lovely school, open to non-catholics too, but where the faith is taught in its integrity.

So you see, my spectacles have, if anything, become even more rose-tinted. Perhaps you would pray for Susan, Ed and their family that they will continue to be a beacon of faith, hope and love here in Vermont.

1 comment:

  1. Unless the liberal state of Vermont has really changed its laws, I thought every state in the union had laws forbidding this sort of descrimination. I'd think Sue could build a case for a lawsuit. Has she talked to the Thomas More Law Center? Perhaps there's a way to stop this train before it gets down the tracks. [No Catholic hospital nearby? ] I think the 0ero Administration would dearly love to be able to force obstetricians to do abortions or not be able to receive certification as an obstetrician.


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