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The covenant of marriage Print E-mail
The Catholic Difference
Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

My son Stephen and I recently attended the golden wedding anniversary celebration of my friends Piotr and Teresa Malecki.

It began with a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Cracow's Wawel Cathedral -- the place where Piotr and Teresa had exchanged vows on July 4, 1964, kneeling before their old kayaking and hiking friend, the archbishop of Cracow (who, as St. John Paul II, was canonized two months before the Maleckis' jubilee).

Network of Wojtyla’s friends

Piotr Malecki, Karol Wojtyla's altar boy at St. Florian Parish and the self-described "enfant terrible" of that network of Wojtyla's friends known as Srodowisko, is a distinguished physicist.

Teresa Malecka, who had to convince Wojtyla (whom she and others called Wujek, "Uncle") that she was ready for marriage at age 20, is an accomplished musicologist and the former vice-dean of the Cracow Academy of Music.

Christian themes in The Giver Print E-mail
Word on Fire
Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Lois Lowry's 1993 novel The Giver has garnered a wide audience over the past two decades, since it has become a standard text in middle schools and high schools across the English-speaking world.

With the enormous success of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games films, Hollywood has been busy adapting books written for the young adult audience. The most recent is the movie version of The Giver, produced by Jeff Bridges and starring Bridges and Meryl Streep.

Having never heard of the novel, I came at the film with no expectations, and I confess I was surprised both by the power of its societal critique and its implicit Christian themes.

Seemingly perfect city

The story is set in a seemingly utopian city, where there is no conflict, no inequality, and no stress. The streets are laid out in a perfectly symmetrical grid, the buildings are clean, and people dress in matching outfits and ride bicycles so as not to pollute the environment.

Is artificial insemination wrong? Even among married couples? Print E-mail
Making Sense Out of Bioethics
Thursday, Sep. 04, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Editor's note: This column contains some information that might not be suitable for younger readers.

Artificial insemination introduces sperm into a woman's body by use of a thin tube (cannula) or other instrument to bring about a pregnancy.

Artificial insemination can be either homologous (using sperm from a woman's husband) or heterologous (using sperm from a man she is not married to). Both forms of artificial insemination raise significant moral concerns.

Treating people as objects

Bringing about a pregnancy by introducing a cannula through the reproductive tract of a woman and injecting sperm into her body raises concerns about reducing her to a kind of conduit for the purposes of obtaining a child.

These actions fail to respect the most personal and intimate aspects of a woman's relational femininity and her sexuality. She ends up being treated or treating herself as an "object" for the pursuit of ulterior ends.