Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dr. John Bruchalski on the Radio Maria Airwaves

I tuned in a little after the interview started. I had just read an email that said my friend, John, would be a guest on a Catholic radio program on Radio Maria called, The Quest for a Culture of Life in America. The show, hosted by Steve Koob, seeks to highlight those individuals who are living and promoting the culture of life in our country. Today, it was John's turn to be previewed for his incredible ministry for life.

Dr. John, as people affectionately call him, perhaps because Bruchalski can be a mouthful to pronounce, is a pro-life OB/GYN with a practice in Northern Virginia that ministers to all in need of their medical services. John started his practice in 1994 in the basement of his home after realizing that a wholistic approach that centers on Christ Jesus and the Gospel of life needed to be at the heart of the way he practiced medicine.

The decision to start the Tepeyac Family Center has changed and improved the lives of thousands of men, women and children, and has saved countless babies from the scourge of abortion. The opportunity to frequent an OB/GYN practice that will not push birth control or sterilization after you have had a baby is refreshing. Tepeyac focuses on providing health care -- babies are a blessing not a disease; fertility is a gift not a curse. John practices the type of care that respects the body and doesn't unnecessarily pour chemicals into a woman that she doesn't need or deserve -- the type of drug that will enslave her in the culture of death and fill her with a false sense of liberation.

You see, as John aptly pointed out today in the interview with Koobs, from contraception flows abortion. They are directly related. Contraceptives often fail, and when a woman has been convinced that freedom only comes from suppressing her natural fertility, she can see no freedom attached to an unplanned pregnancy. The only way to restore her selfish sense of freedom is to be rid of the pregnancy -- the next step is abortion. And, misguided women have been foolishly making this decision to kill their own children based on a false idea of freedom for too many decades -- far too long.

Fear, John said, is at the root of the problem. Women are afraid to be who they a meant to be, to live as they are meant to live. But, it is not only the women who fall prey to the mentality of the culture of death. John also pointed out that many practitioners fear the fall out of living and practicing medicine according to their conscience. He reminded the listening audience that "fear is not of God." A point that we must all clearly consider in the arena of health care. If we are operating according to a sense of fear -- fear of pregnancy, fear of loss of respect from our colleagues, fear of not fitting in because we don't use our bodies as objects of pleasure -- we will surely choose against the good.

This culture of death, a term coined by Pope John Paul II, and a lack of the sense of sin leads to all sorts of moral irregularities in our society. It brings with it a sense of entitlement -- that we can have what we want, the way we want it regardless of objective truth. The unitive and procreative nature of marriage can be swept aside when what we want, what we desire most, is to give ourselves partially, not completely, to one another. We can just have sex for fun because contracepting has freed us from the priggishness of bygone years. But, there has to be the safety net of abortion to catch us when the contraceptives fail and the false sense of that freedom of promiscuity metes out its consequences.

Consider, too, the high divorce rate, 50+% of all marriages will end in divorce. Why? When we can only partially commit ourselves to our spouses, not lovingly offering him all of who God made us to be in our body and fertility, we are doomed to fail. And, when contraceptives make it easy to "cheat" or "wander" because they protect against pregnancy, why stay committed? Temptation to sin is our great nemesis as human beings. We need to accept the fact that God left us a set of guidelines: in the natural law written on our hearts, and in the Ten Commandments which help us to stay within the will of God. We cannot trust ourselves to get it right on our own; we need His help.

Dignitas Personae, Instruction on the Dignity of the Person on Certain Bioethics Questions, promulgated by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 2008 clearly states:
In the fruitfulness of married love, man and woman “make it clear that at the origin of their spousal life there is a genuine ‘yes’, which is pronounced and truly lived in reciprocity, remaining ever open to life... Natural law, which is at the root of the recognition of true equality between persons and peoples, deserves to be recognized as the source that inspires the relationship between the spouses in their responsibility for begetting new children. The transmission of life is inscribed in nature and its laws stand as an unwritten norm to which all must refer”. (DP, 6)
Of course, Dr. John was the consummate spokesman for life, for how to develop a pro-life medical ministry. One of the most important pieces of wisdom he offered during the hour-long show was the notion that Catholics have lost their moral compass. We have taken sides within our own camp: Pro-life vs. Social Justice. John put it simply: "It's not and either/or, it's a both/and scenario." Catholics must come to understand that you can't deliver necessary social justice without a proper respect for life at all stages.

With Obamacare right around the corner, John and his colleagues have a tremendous task ahead of them in providing comprehensive care that is pro-life, pro-family and pro-excellent health care. Please pray for his efforts, for Tepeyac Family Center and Divine Mercy Care, and for Steve Koob, who through Radio Maria brings Dr. John and his mission to the airwaves.


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