Thursday, October 17, 2013

Letters to Good Samaritan Hospital: Stop Circumcising Baby Boys!

Petrina Fadel, of Catholics Against Circumcision, gave permission to reprint two letters she has sent, so far without any response from those at Good Samaritan Hospital. Her letters are filled with good resources on infant circumcision and also clarify Catholic teaching.

To Good Samaritan Hospital Non-Responders:

A faithful Catholic has chosen to write about how Good/Bad Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati is violating Catholic teaching and Catholic ERDs:

As a faithful Catholic, I find it appalling that NO ONE from Good Samaritan Hospital has the decency to stop this unethical experiment or to even respond to anyone who writes to you about it.

Imagine, Sister Agnes Coveney, Michaela Eschenbacher, Dr. Mounira Habli, Dr. Rachel Sinkey, and Maureen Cramerding, what it would be like if someone strapped you down to a board to slice off part of your HEALTHY genitals, and then judge if you were in more or less pain by the grimaces on your face and the blood loss you experience.  

Does anyone at Good Samaritan Hospital even have a conscience left any more, or is everyone spiritually dead? Catholics were shocked to learn that some in the Church were engaged in the sexual abuse of children by errant priests behind closed doors.  Now your Catholic hospital is engaged in the sexual abuse of male infants by doctors in your hospital nurseries.  That is equally shocking.  A person who is a Good Samaritan does not treat children this way.

Good Samaritan Hospital is an embarrassment to Catholics who take their faith seriously.  What you are doing scandalizes the Church!  The only morally right thing you can do now is STOP this atrocious experiment and stop the genital mutilation of male infants on your premises.  Start obeying Catholic Catechism teaching on "Respect for bodily integrity" and Catholic ERD #29: "All persons served by Catholic health care have the right and duty to protect and preserve their bodily and functional integrity." All persons means all persons, and that includes male infants.  No exceptions!

Petrina Fadel

October 3, 2013

Dear Mr. Joe Kelley:

You are quoted this evening in a news report by WLWT news.  You state, "Male infant circumcision has been practiced for centuries and is not among the procedures prohibited in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services."  This statement is incorrect.  It is troubling that the first word coming from Good Samaritan about this study came only after there was a demonstration in front of the hospital.  The hospital staff who were contacted months ago (Sister Agnes Coveney and others) refused to respond to numerous letters and phone calls.  There was a deliberate attempt to NOT discuss or acknowledge the inherent problems with this unethical study, by the person who should have been most concerned- your hospital's ethicist!

Male circumcision violates Catholic teaching on many levels, including in the violation of Catholic ERDs.  Here is how it does so:

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services
Fifth Edition - Issued by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 17, 2009

"The moral teachings that we profess here flow principally from the natural law, understood in the light of the revelation Christ has entrusted to his Church."  [In the natural law, all males and females are naturally born with foreskins.  They are there for a sound reason.]

"While providing standards and guidance, the Directives do not cover in detail all of the complex issues that confront Catholic health care today."  [The standards and guidance expressed in the Directives do apply to circumcision, although not every surgery is dealt with on an individual basis.]

The mystery of Christ casts light on every facet of Catholic health care: to see Christian love as the animating principle of health care ... [Love does not consist of painfully cut off healthy body parts from other people without their consent, nor does it consist of studying which method of unnecessary amputation is more or less painful to the child!]

"Catholic health care ministry is rooted in a commitment to promote and defend human dignity..."  [Unnecessary male circumcisions, and female circumcisions in other countries, do not "promote and defend human dignity."]

"Catholic health care ministry seeks to contribute to the common good. The common good is realized when economic, political, and social conditions ensure protection for the fundamental rights of all individuals... " [Catholic hospitals that subject male infants to medically unnecessary circumcisions are NOT ensuring the fundamental rights of these individuals!]

"Catholic health care services will encounter requests for medical procedures contrary to the moral teachings of the Church. Catholic health care does not offend the rights of individual conscience by refusing to provide or permit medical procedures that are judged morally wrong by the teaching authority of the Church."  [Catholic hospitals should NOT be participating in a study that is morally offensive, nor should Catholic hospitals be doing non-therapeutic  circumcisions in the first place.  What is the medical diagnosis for these infant circumcisions, or are they being done for non-medical reasons?]


4.  "...medical research must adhere to Catholic moral principles." [The study at Good Samaritan does not adhere to Catholic moral principles.]

5. "Catholic health care services must adopt these Directives as policy, require adherence to them within the institution as a condition for medical privileges and employment, and provide appropriate instruction regarding the Directives for administration, medical and nursing staff, and other personnel."  [Why is your Catholic hospital not adhering to these Directives when it comes to infant circumcision?]

9. "Employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution and adhere to these Directives. They should maintain professional standards and promote the institution’s commitment to human dignity and the common good."  [Again, the commitment to human dignity is not happening at your Catholic hospital when non-therapeutic foreskin amputations are performed.]

23. "The inherent dignity of the human person must be respected and protected regardless of the nature of the person’s health problem or social status. The respect for human dignity extends to all persons who are served by Catholic health care."  [Why is the human dignity of male infants being ignored, and  disrespected?}

29. "All persons served by Catholic health care have the right and duty to protect and preserve their bodily and functional integrity."  [Non-therapeutic infant circumcision is a clear violation of bodily and functional integrity.  See below to learn more about the anatomy and functions of the male foreskin.]

31. "In instances of nontherapeutic experimentation, the surrogate can give this consent only if the experiment entails no significant risk to the person’s well-being. Moreover, the greater the person’s incompetency and vulnerability, the greater the reasons must be to perform any medical experimentation, especially nontherapeutic."  [Why is this Directive being totally ignored?  There are significant risks to infant circumcision, and serious cases of botched circumcisions and deaths from this medically unnecessary surgery.  See:  and  )

In 1977, Directive 33 of the ERDs stated that "unnecessary procedures, whether diagnostic or therapeutic, are morally objectionable."

The company that manufactures the Mogen clamp used in your study has gone out of business following a huge lawsuit from a botched circumcision.  I will send you information about that case in a separate email.

Circumcision violates Catholic Catechism teaching and New Testament Scriptures.
St. Peter dismissed circumcision as unnecessary and disadvantageous in Acts 15:10 (the Council of Jerusalem). "And now are you going to correct God by burdening the Gentiles with a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear?" [St. Peter here was referring to the form of religious circumcision that existed at that time, from the time of Abraham until around 140 A.D.  This type of circumcision removed only the small amount of foreskin that extended beyond the glans penis.  St. Peter was not referring here to the more radical form of circumcision that removes the entire foreskin, as is done today in medical and religious settings.  See: ]

Pope Eugene IV- Council of Florence Bull of union with the Copts Session 11-4 February 1442

"Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation."

Pope Pius XII, Discorsi e Messaggi Radiodiffusi t. XIV, Rome 1952, s. 328-329

"From a moral point of view, circumcision is permissible if, in accordance
with therapeutic principles, it prevents a disease that cannot be countered in any other way."  [Here Pope Pius XII speaks about therapeutic circumcision, not elective circumcision.  In addition, today there are many ways to prevent disease, without ever needing to resort to circumcision.]

Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) articulated the "Principle of Totality" - "the amputation of any part of the human body is never legal, except when the entire body cannot be saved from destruction by any other method."

No. 2297 of the Catechism, "Respect for bodily integrity," states in part: "Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law." The American Heritage Dictionary defines amputate as "To cut off (a part of the body), esp. by surgery," and it defines therapeutic as "Having healing or curative powers." In 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics described circumcision as "amputation of the foreskin," and the American Medical Association called elective circumcision "non-therapeutic" (Council on Scientific Affairs 1999). Elective circumcisions are directly intended, nontherapeutic amputations of healthy foreskins.  As such, they do violate the moral law."

Philippians 3:2-3: "Beware of unbelieving dogs. Watch out for workers of evil. Be on guard against those who mutilate. It is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus rather than putting our trust in the flesh."  [Here, St. Paul uses the word mutilate to refer to circumcision, and he warns Christians against this.  At the time of St. Paul, Jewish ritual circumcision removed only the foreskin that extended beyond the glans penis, not the more radical form of circumcision that is done today.  The Pharisees, whom Jesus had a lot to say about, instituted the more radical form of circumcision in the second century A.D.]

1 Corinthians 12: 18: "As it is, God has set each member of the body in the place He wanted it to be." [God, in His Divine wisdom, designed and created the human body perfectly!  God did not make a mistake that people may think they need to correct.]

For your information, attached is an article about circumcision that appeared last year in "The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly."  Good Samaritan Hospital should immediately stop this circumcision study and non-therapeutic circumcisions on its premises, and come into compliance with Catholic teaching.  It is the morally right thing to do.  Will Good Samaritan Hospital do the right thing, or will profits override morality when it comes to protecting and respecting the bodily integrity rights of male children as Catholic Catechism teaching #2297 commands Catholics to do?

Petrina Fadel

Here is how circumcision violates the bodily and functional integrity of male infants and the men that they become.

Anatomy and Functions of the Male Foreskin:

What is Lost to Circumcision

Danish Study- Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life November 14, 2011

"Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows."

"How Male Circumcision May be Affecting Your Love Life" by Christiane Northrup MD

BRITISH JOURNAL OF UROLOGY, Volume 77, Pages 291-295, February 1996.

The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision -  by J.R. Taylor, A.P. Lockwood and A.J. Taylor

The Prepuce: This video fully explains the many physiological functions of the foreskin. It covers the development and functions of the prepuce (foreskin) from before birth through adulthood. The terminology used, while professional, is comprehensible to a lay audience.

1 comment:

  1. Well stated, Petrina. The truth is the truth. I am a practical Catholic and I am aware the Catholic Church forbids routine infant circumcision on the grounds that it is non-therapeutic amputation and mutilation and therefore against the moral law. Catholics are required to respect bodily integrity. Lack of respect for bodily integrity is viewed as a violation of the 5th Commandment, Thou shalt not kill. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994).

    World wide, only about 20 out of every l,000 newborn male infants are circumcised—and 18 of those 20 are in the United States. The medical evidence however is overwhelmingly against circumcision in infancy. Studies show that neonatal circumcision causes significant pain and trauma, behavioral and neurological changes in infants, potential parental stress from persistent crying (colic) of infants, disrupted bonding between parent and child, and risk of surgical complications. Other consequences of circumcision include loss of a natural, healthy, functioning body part, reduced sexual pleasure, potential psychological problems, and unknown negative effects that have not been studied (See:

    Today's parents are educating themselves in every way they can about infant circumcision. This includes watching videos of the surgery (thank you Internet!) and the effect on the babies. They are also thinking about how their adult son might feel about having been circumcised. Today's parents are saying no to infant circumcision and joining the worldwide Catholic population where circumcision is rare. Male circumcision among Jews is not universal. Many Jews are reconsidering Jewish circumcision. Brit Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony for newborn Jewish boys.  Many parents report that if they could take back one decision, it would be their son's circumcision. I am a circumcised father of an intact son. God created us in God's image and likeness.

    How long, O LORD? I cry for help
    but you do not listen!
    I cry out to you, "Violence!"
    but you do not intervene.
    Why do you let me see ruin;
    why must I look at misery?
    Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and clamorous discord.
    Then the LORD answered me and said:
    Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
    so that one can read it readily.
    For the vision still has its time,
    presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
    if it delays, wait for it,
    it will surely come, it will not be late.
    The rash one has no integrity;
    Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4.