Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ireland and God's People

Elena Maria Vidal quotes a "mother of a Down's Syndrome child speak[ing] from the heart," who informs us that "abortion is illegal in Ireland, so the 90 percent abortion rate that has virtually extinguished people with Down elsewhere is not operating" — No More "Mental Retardation".

The mother relates an anecdote in which "an American psychiatrist traveled to Ireland, and was puzzled by the fact that he saw many more children with Down syndrome in the population than he was accustomed to seeing at home," and "noted that they were integrated into everyday activities, and marveled at how they were casually accepted in everyday life." We also learn that "they are debuting a cartoon on Irish TV whose main character, 'Punkie,' is a little girl with Down syndrome," which "will be included among the ordinary children's programs."

As I've written before, my mother worked as a nurse for many years at a day treatment facility that served many people with Down's. She always called the "God's people" because of their gentle, loving nature.

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Blogger あじ said...

I'm not entirely sure what to think of parents who will murder their children if they suspect they might not live up to their expectations. It does make me curious about how their living children view them.

3:01 PM  
Blogger boinky said...

we have two in our parish here in the Philippines.
One is an altar boy, and is part of the service.

Alas, the other is a grown woman and a beggar who sleeps inside the market. she has family, who all work overseas. But the people here all know her, and give her money.

Another reason for many children with Downs might be because older women still have children...the rate is 1 in 40 births over age 40. Most American women tie their tubes after two kids.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Great post. This really clarifies the reality of what is happening to people with Down's Syndrome, particularly in regard to aborting unborn children with the condition. This doesn't get anywhere near enough attention -- thanks for posting this and reminding us not only of the horror of what is happening in this country, but the beauty that can flourish in a society where the law has a correct understanding of the value of human life.

4:12 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I neglected to post a link to my all-time favorite post, which happens to be on this subject -- Anne de Gaulle .

7:40 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

A Protestant friend from Tennessee once pointed out that it is only at church that one can see handicapped people integrated in Korea. It's true of my Catholic parish and the other parishes I go to.

I guess Buddhism doesn't offer much for them, since according to its doctrines they are being punished for bad karma in past lives.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


There is a teenage boy with Down Syndrome who helps pass around the collection baskets. The first time I saw him, I thought he looked like an angel.

I was especially struck by his way of acknowledging each contribution. He'd put his hand on his chest and bow very slightly. I thought that was just lovely.

PS--Captcha is "reborns"!

5:05 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Sounds like he has a true place in your parish life. God bless him and your parish.

The story of Anne de Gaulle above speculates that she may have played a role in the defeat of Hitler. "JFK and the Unthinkable" suggests that the president's infant son Patrick, who lived only a few hours, may have played a role in turning Kennedy and the world away from WWIII. Who knows what great role each of "the least of these" is destined to play?

10:07 PM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.