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Courageous example

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 Contents - Apr 2006AD2000 April 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: New cardinals: Benedict XVI signals his intentions - Michael Gilchrist
Conscience: Dissenters' appeal to Rome 'a real hoot' says Cardinal Pell - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Books: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
EarthSong: Green Christianity or a new paganism? - Michael Gilchrist
Salesian Missions: Cardinal Pell visits East Timor - Michael Lynch SDB
Creation: Intelligent Design and the war against God - Stephen Hitchings
The Domestic Church: The Christian Family Movement: re-evangelising through families - Leslie Sammut
Has just punishment had its day? - Fr Matthew Kirby
1973 Decree: A Fourth Rite of Reconciliation for Queensland? - AD2000
Music and Culture: Benedict XVI, Mozart and the quest for beauty - Mark Freer
Letters: Religious education - Saskia Ebejer
Letters: Action needed - Kevin McBride
Letters: New Age - Yana Di Pietro and Magenta Ray
Letters: Translations - George Simpson
Letters: National suicide - Greg O'Regan
Letters: Anti-life politicians - Robert Bom
Letters: RU486 - Brian Harris
Letters: Courageous example - Arnold Jago
Letters: Inclusive language - Ottavio Kos
Letters: Overseas priests - Peter Gilet
Letters: Leadership needed - Tom King
Letters: Church of England - Jim Turley
Letters: Religious life - Barbara Chigwidden
Books: Swear To God: The Promise and Powers of the Sacraments, by Scott Hahn - Jacinta Cummins (reviewer)
Books: Mother Angelica, by Raymond Arroyo - Stephen Hitchings (reviewer)
Books: Fr Martin D'Arcy: Philosopher of Christian Love, by H.J.A. Sire - Michael E. Daniel
Events: Holy Week 2006: Classical Roman Rite in Melbourne
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: The redeeming Cross: at the centre of Christian faith - Cardinal George Pell

Following the debate and voting on the abortion pill, RU486, we might ponder the example of a great man from the recent past.

Professor Jerome Lejeune was the French research doctor who discovered the chromosome causing Down Syndrome. In France in the 1960s there were doctors willing to abort pregnancies if the baby had Downs.

Lejeune opposed this whenever possible, including on national TV. His fame led to him being invited to address the United Nations.

His speech followed others expressing views favourable to abortion. So in his speech, Lejeune said, "Here we see an institute of health turning itself into an institute of death." That evening he phoned his wife, "This afternoon I lost my Nobel Prize."

His Downs discovery would normally have guaranteed a Nobel. But, sure enough, he never got it. Such honours are not for those who won't knuckle under to the mentality of death-for-convenience.

The walls of his medical school were defaced by graffiti: "Tremble Lejeune! The revolutionary student movement is watching you!" and "Lejeune and his little monsters must die."

When Lejeune died on Easter Sunday 1994, Pope John Paul II commented: "If God called him from this earth on the very day of Christ's Resurrection, it is difficult not to see a coincidence in this sign."

It would be handy if all doctors everywhere believed like Jerome Lejeune - and, like him, lived by their beliefs.

Mildura, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 3 (April 2006), p. 15

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