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The Catholic News Service reports that the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit brought against the Department of Health and Human Services to stop the draft rule requiring that contraceptive coverage be covered with no copayment.  The reason for the dismissal is because the suit was not ripe because no final rule had been issued.

The final rule is not to be issued until 2013, and until it is, no lawsuit is appropriate.  Indeed, not only is the comment period still open, but the Church and its various bodies have been commenting.  Anyone who has taken basic Administrative Law could tell you this was coming.  Oddly enough, one of the complaints in the suit was a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.  Perhaps the Church's legal counsel should have bothered to read the Act concerning ripeness for suit, as well as the rules for civil procedure.

Given that the lawsuit went forward anyway, one has to conclude that there was much more to these lawsuits than stopping the mandate or defending the rights of the Church.  That can happen next year.  The only possible reason was as part of the Church's well choreographed Fortnight for Freedom, which was a two week exercise in episcopal fidelity concluding on Independence Day.  The fact that the only reason to do this before the final rule was issued is the pending election should be lost on no one.

If this publicity stunt was an attempt to energize Catholic Democrats to support the bishops and vote against the President, telling the truth about it should have the opposite effect.

Also in the current Arlington Catholic Herald is a piece by Fr. Tad Pacholczyk, who is a neuroscientist who writes on bioethics, on the embryo that grew up.  The other major writer in the Church's quiver is a caridologist.  While both of these researchers can say a lot about end of life care, it would be better if they stayed out of embryology.  An embryologist could tell them that prior to gastrulation, a growing blastocyst can have a non-human parent but will develop in exactly the same way and that during this stage of development, only the maternal DNA controls the process - which indicates that there is no soul in charge except that of the mother. DNA from both parents only kick in once gastrulation occurs.  If the spiritual law that the physical reflects the spiritual is still part of Catholic teaching (see Aquinas), then ensoulment cannot have occured prior to gastrulation, so birth control cannot be abortive.  If that is the case, then the only concern the bishops should have about paying for employee birth control is their personal sexual ethics.  I, for one, think such a concern is a bit creepy for any employer to have, even the Church.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You make perfect sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, enhydra lutris

    but you're also using science as justification.
    These are men that fervently believe in the immaculate conception, after all.  

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:14:31 PM PDT

  •  well, helloooo, Michael.... (0+ / 0-)

    this is the first time I have caught a diary/comment by you and was pleasantly surprised indeed with what you said and your evidenced knowledge.

    Two questions:

    1) At how many weeks does gastrulation occur?

    If the spiritual law that the physical reflects the spiritual is still part of Catholic teaching (see Aquinas), then ensoulment cannot have occured prior to gastrulation, so birth control cannot be abortive.
    2) How come, that although you have been around DK since 2007, you have not commented in any one else's diaries?  Do you read other people's diaries?  Just curious.

    I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

    by SeaTurtle on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:17:43 PM PDT

    •  ??? WTF??? (0+ / 0-)

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:00:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  drive by diaries are not appreciated on this site, (0+ / 0-)

      Michael.  I checked and you have not commented AT ALL in several months of diaries......  that is a pity because although I might not agree with you, you bring an interesting perspective.

      I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

      by SeaTurtle on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 06:43:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bookmarking by commenting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, enhydra lutris

    I want to be able to easily resurrect this piece because the local RC parish seems to have a rabid right wing priest in charge. So right wing that my wife, politically pliable (and having the great misfortune to have spent the last 42 years in the company of a rabid left wing atheist) but spiritually rigid, is being driven from the church (small "c").

    The Fortnight for Freedom crap got a full court press here locally (a quite red area of FL) and it's been all I could do to keep from responding to their email bullshit to her.

    I am absolutely intrigued by your final paragraph and am setting out to learn as much as I can about this. Should make for some interesting holiday dinner conversation.

  •  Uh...what? (0+ / 0-)
    An embryologist could tell them that prior to gastrulation, a growing blastocyst can have a non-human parent but will develop in exactly the same way and that during this stage of development, only the maternal DNA controls the process - which indicates that there is no soul in charge except that of the mother. DNA from both parents only kick in once gastrulation occurs.
    I'm pretty sure that the assertion that the embryo only asserts maternal DNA before gastrulation is, well, utterly wrong.  Impossible, even.  For one thing, I'm fairly sure that there's no way for a cell, itself, to tell which of its strands of DNA were maternal or fraternal.  It can't be an external control mechanism asserted by the mother because that would mean that we'd have some really screwed up kids from IVF using eggs unrelated to the mom, if any at all.
    •  Do you deny that it can have a non-human (0+ / 0-)

      parent?

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:34:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In theory, no... (0+ / 0-)

        ...But in reality, I don't think I've ever heard of any kind of experiment where a human ovum was successfully fertilized by nonhuman sperm.

        In any case, that's not the problem -- the problem's with asserting that only the maternal DNA is expressed.  As I understand biology and embryology, this is not true -- and, indeed, the reason why most cross-species fertilization incidents among mammals fail immediately, even if the sperm can successfully penetrate the egg.  

        DNA's DNA; it's the same no matter what it comes from, basically.  Only what is encoded and the length of the code is different.  The basic cell mechanisms from a cheetah could parse DNA from a mouse -- or an oak, or a DNA-based virus.  However, running code from Animal A at the same time as you're running code from Animal B can cause a major systems crash -- if it even gets to the point of trying to run the code, and doesn't just get the tape all jammed up in the mechanism because both sides don't match while trying to load it up.

        •  I'm seriously curious, based on the (0+ / 0-)

          diarists assertion, because I'm pretty sure that I've read of cases of short lived parthenogenic human "embryo's", like maybe blastocyst or so.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:53:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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