When I was a kid in the middle of the last century, Catholics were constantly asking themselves this question: What does the Church say about that? What is the Church’s teaching on that? What does the Church say?
The question might be about a new movie, a best selling book, some unusual conduct or activity present in our society. We had great faith in the Church and looked to her for moral guidance on everything from minute aspects of daily living to profound theological questions.
Because the Church’s moral standing has been so badly damaged by recent scandals, her members, still faithful to the basic teachings, such as about Jesus Christ and the sacramental life of the Church, are, however, somewhat more hesitant to accept the Church’s answer on every aspect of daily living, especially when new situations develop that have not existed in the past.
One example of this would be organ transplants. Remember when that South African doctor, for the first time, successfully transplanted a human heart? Since then, medical science has gone forward at a terrific rate of speed, and awesome things are being accomplished and the donation of organs presents a major aspect on the medical scene. For the most part, organs are donated in one of two ways. When a person dies suddenly one or another of his organs, if removed quickly, can be salvaged to be given to a person who is alive but in need of such a transplant. Another is that friends and family occasionally give one of their own healthy organs to someone they love or care about. For example, this often happens in the case with kidneys.
What does the Church say about that? In this case, it is a positive answer. This development in modern medical science is to be commended and the donors, especially those making a gift from their own body, should be praised for their extraordinary generosity and concern for others. In all of these cases, the intention is not to deform the human body but to stretch its possible accomplishments to a greater extent. Such cases are almost always examples of heroism of generous friends and relatives.
What does the Church say about that? May God bless those who make this possible.