NYC Parade Chairman and Critic of St. Patrick Harvests Fetal Tissue

The new chairman of New York City’s iconic Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, who has proposed eliminating the honoring of Saint Patrick from the parade’s bylaws, is “a director” of a foundation that financially supports medical experiments that use fetal tissue harvested from abortions and acquired for a fee from a company at the heart of the Planned Parenthood video scandal that has horrified the nation.

Dr. John Lahey, who took control of the parade’s board of directors in July, called a meeting for Oct. 29 with agenda points designed to secularize the traditional celebration of Irish Catholic heritage.

Matthew Hennessey, writing in Crisis, reports:

According to the meeting’s published agenda, committee members will decide whether to remove the section that states, “The Parade will be held in honor of St Patrick, the Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of New York and the Patron Saint of Ireland….”

 

[T]he board of directors will also vote on whether to remove the requirement that members of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee be Roman Catholic, active members of a parish, and of Irish descent. The formation of a new executive committee will exclude affiliated organizations like the Ancient Order of Hibernians from any future decision-making role in the parade and grant Lahey near total control of the event.

The meeting was later postponed, Irish Echo reports.

Lahey is also president of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. On his bio page at the university’s website, Lahey is listed as “a director of” a group called the “Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.”

Lahey is listed among the board of directors on the medical foundation’s website, in which the organization declares its mission is to “support the extraordinary potential offered by cell and gene-based therapies to accelerate effective and safe treatment of all types of cancer.”

One of the ways the Alliance supports such therapies is by financially backing federally-supported studies that use human organs that have been mined from aborted infants and sold to researchers.

On the National Institutes of Health website is an “author manuscript” of a 2013 study titled “Humanized mice: novel model for studying mechanisms of human immune-based therapies.”

The manuscript by medical researchers Louis Gonzalez, Natasa Strbo and Eckhard R. Podack states, “We have set up and tested in our laboratory the latest technology for generating mice with a human immune system by reconstituting newborn immunodeficient mice with human fetal liver-derived hematopoietic stem cells.”

The source of the fetal human tissue involved in the testing is bluntly admitted:

Human fetal liver and thymus from elective terminations, 12–23 weeks of gestational age (Advanced Bioscience Resources, Alameda, CA), are acquired on a fee for service basis, and the tissue is delivered approximately every 14 days.

Under a section titled “Acknowledgments,” the researchers gratefully note “support from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT).”

Advanced Bioscience Resources has been exposed for paying Planned Parenthood abortion clinics to procure intact organs for them as the clinics dismembered unborn children.

In an August 6 article, Politico reported that “One of the companies identified as a fetal tissue supplier in sting videos of Planned Parenthood counts two federal health agencies among its customers, earning at least $300,000 for material used in research of treatments for HIV and eye disease.”

In one of the videos secretly recorded by the Center for Medical Progress, who conducted the undercover investigation into the grisly business of cash for baby body parts, “Katharine Sheehan, identified in the film as former medical director of Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, mentions [Advanced Bioscience Resources] in passing,” Politico reports.

“We have already a relationship with ABR,” she says to someone posing as a competitor to the company.

“We’ve been using them for over 10 years—a really long time. … They’re doing the big collection for government-level collections.”

The Center for Medical Progress has posted an overview from Advanced Bioscience Resources on its website. Under a section titled “Service and Processing Fees” the company states:

Participating medical facilities that enable ABR to execute its tissue acquisition and distribution programs may be paid a nominal fee for such services. A minimal processing / preservation shipment fee is also assessed for services provided to research facilities.

A footnote to the humanized mice manuscript on the NIH website shows profit as a key motive behind the research that relies on ABR’s harvested fetal tissue. The footnote states:

Conflict of interest Dr. E. R. Podack and the University of Miami have financial interest and hold equity in a commercial enterprise developing this vaccine technology.

This same Dr. Podack is listed along with Lahey on the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy website. Podack is referred to as an “ACGT Fellow.”

He died Oct. 8 at the age of 72 due to “respiratory issues,” the Miami Herald reports.

ACGT mourned his passing.

Liberal NPR talk radio host Diane Rehm dedicated her Sept. 30 show to a discussion of the use of fetal tissue harvested from abortions in medical research.

According to a transcript, a caller named Phyllis from Greenwich, Connecticut called in and said:

I work for the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy here in Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut. And we work with many scientists, who are looking for [unintelligible] gene therapy treatments. I am wondering why all of the scientists, such as your guest from Johns Hopkins University, who are benefitting in their research from the use of this fetal tissue are not speaking out to illuminate to the public at large that it is essential to their work.

Lahey’s ACGT also sponsored a 2008 genetic therapy study that used a line of human kidney cells known as HEK293 that were originally harvested from an aborted child. The acknowledgment section reads:

Grant sponsor: Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy Young Investigator Award

The cell line has been in the news over the past couple of years due to the revelation that a company that makes flavor enhancers for behemoth food and beverage corporations such as Nestle and Pepsi was developing its products by experimenting with HEK293 human kidney cells.

Clues to the intellectual foundations of the parade chairman’s active support for using murdered infant body parts in medical research can perhaps be found in an interview Lahey gave upon being named “Irish American of the Year” by Irish America magazine in 2011. The interview was published on the IrishCentral.com website.

Discussing his days as a student at the Catholic-affiliated University of Dayton, Lahey reveals that Patrick is not the only saint who apparently makes him uncomfortable.

“Lahey found his niche when he enrolled in his second philosophy course at Dayton,” the article reads. “The class explored the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, and little else.”

As Lahey tells it:

At this point, it was still 1964 or ’65, and only certain types of philosophy were officially taught. Since Dayton was a Catholic university, they were still only teaching the traditional philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, upon which much of Catholic theology is based. There was a whole index of banned works they weren’t allowed to teach: essentially, anything that was deemed to be inconsistent with St. Thomas Aquinas or Catholic doctrine.

He continues:

Another student and I were asking a lot of questions in class. We didn’t want to get Professor Balthasar in trouble, but we were curious about how to reconcile scientific thought with Catholic doctrine. One day, he asked us both to stay after class, and he said “Look, you two. I’ll give you an A for the course, you know what you’re doing in terms of St. Thomas Aquinas. You don’t have to come to class for the rest of the semester, but come to my office and I’ll teach you the philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I can’t teach you this officially in the classroom but there’s nothing to prevent you from reading the books.”

So he gave me two of his books: Phenomenon of Man and The Divine Milieu. And it was exactly what I had been looking for. The author, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, was somewhat of a contradiction at that time: he was a Jesuit priest, a philosopher, and a scientist, and had written extensively about his belief that the creationist theories of how man, the world and the universe came into being could be reconciled with evolution; that Catholicism and the theory of evolution could co-exist. At the time, this was deemed to be totally inconsistent with Catholic teaching.

But I was a young person, and evolution understandably had a lot of enticing aspects. Not only was it supported by a lot of scientists, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, but it was also a dynamic kind of philosophy that allowed for change. I had heard there was a contradiction between being a good Catholic and believing in evolution. But here was a brilliant scientist who was also a Jesuit priest! He used philosophical thought to combine the two things I wanted to combine in my own life. I was totally taken by it.

The progressive scientific theology of de Chardin seems to have led Lahey directly down a road that has found its way to the abortuaries of Planned Parenthood.

Renowned Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote a critique titled “Teilhard de Chardin: A False Prophet” in his book, Trojan Horse in the City of God, which was published in 1967.

Franciscan Father Maximilian Mary Dean has posted the entire critique on his blog site.

In it, von Hildebrand slams Teilhard de Chardin as a philosopher whose “own theories dehumanize man” by valuing the spirit of the communal above that of the individual:

Now, the point we wish to make is that Teilhard himself ignores the value of high natural goods and that, contrary to his claim, a real dehumanization takes place in his monistic pantheism. We have seen that his ideal of collective man and superhumanity necessarily implies a blindness to the real nature of the individual person and, derivatively, to all the plenitude of human life. But dehumanization also follows inevitably from his monism which minimizes the real drama of human life—the fight between good and evil—and reduces antithetical differences to mere gradations of a continuum.

Is it really a stretch to suggest that a mind seduced by a theology that values the collective over the individual would eventually come to embrace the utilization of the remains of slaughtered individuals in the name of “progress” for a collective humanity?

The shocking Planned Parenthood revelations of the past few months have led outraged Americans to decry the callousness of people who seemingly have no values at all.

This may be missing the point entirely.

In fact, these are people fired by a core belief every bit as intense in its religiosity as the polar-opposite spirit Lahey is trying to remove from the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The chief component of this opposing theology is the belief in the unquestioned good that is always to be found in “progress.”

One of the unreleased Planned Parenthood undercover videos allegedly leaked by a congressional staffer reveals a panelist at a National Abortion Federation conference telling abortion providers that they should stop ignoring the existence of the fetus in public comments on abortion, saying “let’s just give them all ‘it’s violence, it’s a person, it’s killing.'”

“Let’s just give them all that. And then the more compelling question is, why is this the most important thing I can do with my life?”

Spoken like a true believer.

For His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York—or anyone else—to participate in a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade headed by Dr. John Lahey is to march arm-in-arm with someone complicit in the lucrative business of killing infants in the name of “progress.”

Joseph Schaeffer

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Joseph Schaeffer is the former managing editor of The Washington Times National Weekly.

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