We are like seeds. Spread here, spread there until we all blend together into a beautiful garden. I’m reminded of that imagery whenever I attend a pro-life event. Today I participated in the Bucks County Pro-Life Coalition’s annual Walking with Moms in Need event. The primary focus of the walk is to raise funds to support our local life affirming pregnancy centers. However, there is so much more that boils over from the pot when we get together face-to-face. Firstly, there is the camaraderie of being around people who share the same goal and widening your circle by meeting new faces. Secondly, there is always a knowledge sharing aspect to a gathering such as this and the information I learned today is what I would like to share with you, our readers.
A presentation was given by Luke Luca, a student at Martin Saints Classical High School in Oreland, PA. This is a school that follows a classical curriculum. The classical model believes in the integration of knowledge — all knowledge is connected and unified through our commitment to the Catholic faith. That alone was something I did not know and this particular school is not that far from where I live.
The students are taught in the Socratic method, that is to say to ask questions to stimulate critical thinking until you find answers. Luke’s question centered around the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement concerning the Covid vaccine. While the USCCB agreed that for the greater good it was acceptable for Catholics to receive the various Covid vaccines despite ties to aborted fetal cells, the last statement of its new release included this directive:
“For our part, we bishops and all Catholics and men and women of good will must continue to do what we can to ensure the development, production, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine without any connection to abortion and to help change what has become the standard practice in much medical research, a practice in which certain morally compromised cell lines are routinely used as a matter of course, with no consideration of the moral question concerning the origins of those cell lines.”
So, Luke wanted to know exactly what is being done within the Catholic hierarchy and the Catholic community in general to ensure a future where there is no connection to aborted fetal cells while we strive to prevent and cure disease. He had contacted the office of Archbishop Nelson Perez (Archdiocese of Philadelphia) and is awaiting a follow up response. In the meantime, he and his father started their own investigation and learned of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa. This institute is working on medical research that does not use embryonic stem cells in any point of vaccine research, testing or manufacture. Of course, the stumbling block is funding. Luke took the opportunity at our Walking with Moms in Need event to spread the word about this research in the hopes that funding can be attained to reach this goal. It may be too late for this pandemic, but for future medical needs and cures this could be a game changer if an alternative way of doing things proves to be successful.
I have provided links throughout this blog post so that you can learn more about Luke, his school, and the John Paul Medical Research Institute’s online funding. Luke took the time to ask the question and share his knowledge with us. So now it is up to us to be the seeds of change and spread the word.