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New York Guilds: Beacons of Hope in a Challenging State

July 11, 2023

By Dr. Paul Carpentier

CMA doctors and Catholic health care professionals in New York are doing a beautiful job of witnessing God’s love and the Gospel truth by their conduct in a challenging society. This witness shines through the gloom here in New York and allows the people of this state to hope amidst the lack of governmental support for the dignity of persons as children of God.

New York CMA in turn receives the wonderful support of religious brothers and sisters, pastoral mentors, and episcopal leaders. This invisible network is subtle but strong and extensive in New York. Led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and fostered by our Catholic hospitals and parishes, the people and physicians of New York are able to express joy amidst sadness, and laughter amidst hardships.

Over the past few years, Catholic nurses have been hurt in many ways by the vaccine mandates and have been deeply challenged by the tidal wave of covid illnesses including family tragedies. It has been difficult to hear of God’s children dying of covid in hospitals without family at their bedside. In so many cases, the nurses, aides, respiratory therapists, and lab technicians have served so well in being the only available lamps of God’s love and mercy to those suffering and dying in our hospitals and emergency rooms. May God bless them!

Politically, while the governor has passed rules to protect providers who prescribe abortion drugs to people in states with laws against abortion, our legislators have managed to defeat yet another attempt to pass physician assisted suicide, by letting it fail in committee. A few years ago, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that assisted suicide is murder. The Court cited more than once an Amicus Brief composed by Catholic physicians and lawyers on this topic. Cardinal Dolan wisely requested the panel of physicians and lawyers and the resulting document continues to stand as a key reference in our state.

Prolife candidates continue to bravely run for office in various regions and levels of government. We thank them sincerely for the hardships and insults that they must endure. We also thank the national CMA and affiliated organizations for the white papers and public statements they are making. These give us, on the front lines, a foundation and a tool for representing Catholic teaching on the various ethical medical issues we are facing.

During these challenging and isolating times, many New York CMA members have been inspired by our parish priests, and we are also edified by Fr. Mike Schmidt’s Bible in a Year and Catechism in a Year podcasts.

In August, Guild members will gather with Catholic lawyers for the  Catholic Professionals Conference and Mini-Retreat at the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY, centering on the theme of Living by the Light: Virtue, Ethics, and Professionalism.

We remain prayerful, faithful, and hopeful.

 

Dr. Paul Carpentier is the assistant state director of New York.