Earlier today, FoxSports.com reporter Jay Glazer broke the news that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning went to Europe for a non-embryonic stem-cell therapy.
Peyton Manning (image from FoxSports.com)
Glazer reported a desperate Manning underwent the procedure, not allowed in the U.S., to heal his ailing neck. The Super Bowl winning quarterback has since had surgery on the neck and could miss the 2011 NFL season.
Glazer said the procedure "took fat cells, probably out of his belly, and they put it in a culture. They try to turn back the almost hands of time with these cells and they inject them in the neck hoping these cells regenerate the area, regenerate the nerves."
Manning, Glazer said, is just trying to get back to the field. The story of how this happened, and what exactly happened, has yet to be fully revealed. As far I know, the Catholic Church and the U.S. Bishops have not made a comment on this particular story yet.
Of course, those with agendas on the Internet have taken to comments sections below blogs and stories talking about Manning and stem cells
and are saying people of faith oppose stem-cell research. They're blaming people of faith for Manning's decision to go to Europe. It's ironic.
Here's the thing: the Catholic Church has opposed embryonic stem cell research, but has supported work regarding adult stem cells.
Baltimore's own Bishop Denis J. Madden said in April of 2010, “We are very supporting of adult stem-cell research and we feel that this is an area that has great promise.”
Baltimore's Mercy Medical Center, a Catholic facility, recently started an umbilical chord blood banking program.
Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien, now the apostolic administrator of Baltimore, clarified the church's stance on stem cells when Mercy launched the program in October 2010.
“There’s a common misconception that the Catholic Church is opposed to stem cell research,” he said. “That is wrong. The church has long supported adult stem-cell research, but is opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, which destroys human embryos and which has yet to cure a single disease.”
Who knows where this Manning saga is going, but just know that the church has "long supported adult stem-cell research," while opposing embryonic research.
September 18, 2011 08:27
By Matt Palmer
MADRID- I put together this video of the Catholic young people from around the world working their way through the beautiful city of Madrid. I hope you enjoy it. For the people of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, you'll see some familiar faces.
August 17, 2011 02:39
By Matt Palmer
I found this National Catholic Reporter column, posted on Jesuit Father James Martin's Facebook wall, to be interesting.
Photo courtesy of vatican.va
It examines if the church is rushing the potential sainthood of Pope John Paul II and the logic behind the sainthood push just a few years after his death. His May beatifcation certainly has created a stir. Many are celebrating what they think was a foregone conclusion when he died- he was a saint.
While he defined what a pope meant to me, I'd prefer a patient analysis of my saints. If he spent a lifetime in service of God, then his entire lifetime should be examined thoroughly.
Both Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa have the benefit of being Catholic leaders in the television age. Both were tremendous leaders and examples to millions of how to live a Catholic life. Someone like Mother Mary Lange, still waits for sainthood because there is not as much available as there is for the more well-known Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
Where do you stand on this? Are you a person who says, "Why wait?"
February 01, 2011 12:12
By Matt Palmer
Although not related to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, this video was too impressive to not share with you.
St. John Vianney Catholic School seventh graders in Kailua, Hawai won the grand prize of the 2010 Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). CCHD is a program that aims to support programs that get at the root source of poverty.
The students researched homelessness in Hawaii and the U.S. to produce this incredibly well-done documentary.
For more information, visit here.
Locally, kids in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, through ideas4us.com also produced topical videos about technology safety issues for a contest earlier this year.
December 11, 2010 11:59
By Matt Palmer
Father John Hurley and the staff of Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Father John Hurley, a Paulist, has been a busy man since starting the Department of Evangelization five months ago.
Through it all, though, the executive director of the department has made it his mission to be out with the people, particularly the teens so vital to the Catholic Church.
He celebrated the closing BYCC's Mass and shared some parting thoughts with the teens before they returned to their parishes and high schools.
"I am ever more convinced that the future of the church is in good hands in the archdiocese," Father Hurley said. "My staff has heard me say this over and over again and I will continue to say it over and over again, the youths are not the future of the church, but the future of the church depends on our youths."
He continued, "But, with that brothers and sisters comes a heavy responsibiity that we have shared and rejoiced in this week: the call to discipleship. So, next time you look in the mirror in the morning when you get up, rather than saying "Oh my God" say that "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ," and maybe something profound will happen throughout that day. God has great things in store for us. Amen?"
The 500-plus people in the ballroom responded "Amen," resoundingly.
Father Hurley extended an invitation to vocational discernment for the young people in attendance, pointing to two archdiocan priests, Father Austin Murphy and Father Michael Triplett as inspiration.
"God does have amazing surprises for us," Father Hurley said.
He reminded the youths to follow history's biggest hero.
"I'm often reminded that Jesus invited 12," he said. "One doubted, one betrayed and one committed suicide. Even because of all of that, you and I are here today. If it can happen to that lot of that pack of 12, and to Dismas, just imagine what can happen with 500 of us here this day. "
"Brother and Sisters," he continued, "let us pray that God's spirit be upon us because the kingdom of God is in our midst."
November 23, 2010 10:56
By Matt Palmer
Father T. Austin Murphy Jr, director of vocations, delivered a homily about a surprising hero of his. It was a fitting end to this busy, but affirming weekend in Ocean City.
November 21, 2010 12:22
By Matt Palmer
The last day of BYCC is here. I can already hear teens moving about the hallways as they prepare to head downstairs for breakfast.
You haven't lived until you've seen 500 teens pray the rosary under the moonlight at the beach. Surrounded by candles, the teens took to the sand last evening (Nov. 20) in a moving display of spirituality.
It was such a serene experience.
The teens have learned quite a bit about the power of quiet in their lives. Father T. Austin Murphy Jr. led the teens in an adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in one of the ballrooms. It never ceases to amaze me how familiar young people are with adoration. As a child, I was an altar server and active in my parish, but adoration was not something that was taught to us.
It's second nature to these kids and a truly centering experience for them.
Not everything was quiet last night. The kids rocked out to Joia Farmer's versions Sweet Child O' Mine, Journey's Don't Stop Believin' and The Bangles' Hazy Shade of Winter.
These kids are spiritual and know their 80s music? Millennials FTW!
This video doesn't have the greatest quality, but you'll see the energy on full display.
November 21, 2010 07:41
By Matt Palmer
In the opening minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, it becomes brutally clear this is no longer a children's story.
It has been said that the world has watched Harry Potter and friends grow up before our eyes. I’d disagree. We’ve seen their childhoods destroyed. The innocence in Potter’s eyes that greeted us six films ago is long gone.
Magic is no longer cool. It’s deadly.
The opening minutes see Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione, literally saying goodbye to their childhoods and, in some cases, their families. They’re going off to war, uncertain if they’ll ever return. More raw emotion pulsates in the first two minutes of Part I than in any of the other excellent Potter films.
The evil Lord Voldemort has ascended from the magic version of purgatory and he’s corrupting souls. Not even the magic world’s trusted ministries are safe from his reach.
For the first time in the series’ film history, the action gets gory. The teens who grew up with the series would never have able to view this nine years ago as children. It’s that intense.
The movie focuses on a mystery. Voldemort has left pieces of his soul in keepsakes, called horcruxes, scattered across the world. It’s up to Potter and crew to find the horcruxes and, along the way, they must dodge Voldemort’s minions. It appears Voldemort would relish killing Potter more than ruling the universe.
It was Potter, as a baby, who survived Voldemort’s murderous attempt. Harry’s parents weren’t so lucky. Now he wants to finish the job by turning "the boy who lived" into "the boy who died."
We’ve always known that the series would come down to Harry and Voldemort wand to wand. This film is about moving chess pieces across the board. Harry is winning small battles while Voldemort appears to be winning the war. Darkness dominates the film from start to finish.
Daniel Radcliffe is so comfortable with the titular role at this point that it’s going to be hard for him to avoid becoming this generation’s Mark Hamill. It's not a bad thing, though, to be known as the 2000's version of Luke Skywalker, the ultimate every hero.
Just as Harry was destined to be magic's savior, Radcliffe was born to play Potter.
Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron) are equally terrific, giving the film an emotional core. The series has teased a Hermione and Ron union since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone nine years ago. Now at world's end, they're realizing they can't live without one another.
After the group locates one of the Voldemort's horocruxes, Ron wears it around his neck and quickly falls into darkness. It exploits all of his fears and insecurities. Grint rises to the occasion, playing the scenes with suitable anguish. It calls to mind the inner turmoil facing Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings series earlier this decade.
The supporting adult cast is strong as always. The story plays out like a hybrid of Star Wars/Lord of the Rings and finally, after seven films, the Potter series can stand toe to toe with them in terms of emotional resonance and action.
The film’s tagline states “Nowhere is safe.” No one is safe either. The characters we’ve come to care about are laying their lives on the line. They’re saying goodbye as we prepare to say our own ‘so long’ to the film series.
No end to this movie would be satisfying. Part II of Deathly Hallows is still eight months away from being released in theaters. When it concludes, so will the Harry Potter saga.
Like Star Wars' The Empire Strikes Back, the bad guys appear to have the upper hand as a conclusion is tantalizingly close, but still so far away.
If Part I's exhausting emotional journey is any indication of what's ahead, there won't be a dry eye in the house come July 2011.
To read Matt Palmer's story about the local impact of Harry Potter, CLICK HERE.
November 18, 2010 07:00
By Matt Palmer
If you're heading out to BYCC, make sure you check this video featuring APEX Ministries!
November 17, 2010 09:57
By Matt Palmer