WRONG TO STERILISE
• By a Stag Reporter Surgeons from 32 nations were present when the Holy Father received, last week, 600 members attending the International Congress of Surgeons in Rome.
In his impromptu speech to the gathering, the Pope showed himself familiar with all stages of the surgeon's work, describing the steps in diagnosis, operation and cure, with all their details against the background of the Christian conscience of a responsible surgeon.
In one passage the Pope spoke specifically of the hard cases when the law of God demands inflexible resistance to the appeals of sentimentality and apparent utilitarianism.
" There are other cases," the Pope said, which, though they cannot be called embarrassing since duty is clear, arc more painful because of the tragic consequences vwehtoich at times result from the pursuit of duty. These are the cases where the moral law imposes its
" If it only depended on you, it might not be so hard to refuse to listen to the suggestions of a misconceived pity and to allow reason to overcome mere sensibility. How often however you have to react, not only against the pretensions of low and evil motives, but also against conjugal and fatherly love. NO FREEDOM OF CHOICE " Well, principles are inviolable!
" God alone is Lord of life and the integrity of man, of his members, his organs, his powers, more especially those which have to do with the creative act. Neither the parents, nor the husband, nor the person affected possess freedom of choice.
" If it be wrong to mutiliate a man. even at his own insistent request, in order to enable him to escape the duty of serving his country, or to kill an innocent man to save another, it is no less wrong, evep to save the mother, directly to cause the death of an infant being called, if not in its life on earth, at least in its future life to a high and sublime destiny.
" It is wrong to dry up or sterilise through an operation otherwise without justification the sources of life. It is not allowed to risk a life —to suppress it, never—save in the hope of saving a greater good or of saving and prolonging that life itself."
Among those received by the Pope was Dr. Hamilton Bailey, of Bristol, whose lecture and films illustrating his special cancer operation was actually cheered by his normally less demonstrative international colleagues.