Tuesday, November 2, 2010

John Paul II influenced George Dubya

Yup, the great pope did.  Before anybody reacts violently, read first the article below, courtesy of Catholic Culture.


In his forthcoming memoir, Decision Points, former US President George W. Bush discloses that the late Pope John Paul II had enormous personal influence on him, and particularly on his attitude toward embryonic stem-cell research. [Though he did not listen to the pope's protest against the Iraq invasion.]

Bush relates in the book that after a meeting with the Pontiff in 2001, he resolved to promote a “culture of life.” He also reveals that during the funeral for Pope John Paul, at his wife Laura’s suggestion, he prayed fervently for a miracle: [see the photo below.  Look at how, Clinton, a well-known Mason, looks like in front of the body of the dead pope.  FYI. George's brother, the former Florida Governor, Jeb, converted to Catholicism and is a 4th degree Knight of Columbus.] the healing of American television newscaster Peter Jennings, who was then suffering in the advanced stages of lung cancer. Jennings died a few months later.

This makes two US presidents, apart from the late president Ronald Reagan.  I remember reading this issue of Time.


  1. Mr Bush was raised as an Episcopalian. In Anglican tradition, praying for miracles is OK.

    I have a big discomfort (and probably President Bush has) about the use of embryonic stem cells. The science behind using these for therapeutic purposes is in its earliest stages. It is immoral for anyone to promise all sorts of cures with their use until the science has been established.

    But I honestly believe that these scientific developments will make the use of ADULT and AMNIOTIC stem cells more practical. These cells are likely to be accepted by the body rather than rejected.

    Difficulties with harvesting and culturing adult stem cells can be answered by appropriately prioritizing research on these. Embryonic stem cells are easier grown in culture. But there is likely a bigger chance that embryonic cells are tumorigenic!

    The Catholic Church alone among the major religions, provide the clearest moral teaching on how to approach stem cell therapies. The moral principle of doing the course of treatment that has minimal "harm" is then root of Catholic principles here. There are much more uncertainties in using embryonic stem cells that it is more logical to use adult stem cells. And here we haven't made the ontological argument that the embryo has already the full nature of being a person!

  2. I think the moral argument with embryonic stem cell research starts with the question "When does life start?

    That is where the Church draws the line on artificial birth control like pills and embryonic stem cell research.