Organ Transplants: Avoid Harm to Temple of the Soul
Peter Hoar, Waterfall, KZN – Yvonne Morgan of the Catholic Healthcare Association of South Africa responded to my letter on organ donation and I would like to reply.
While I accept that a number of people, including some popes, believe there is nothing wrong with doing organ transplants, I feel the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Bible say the opposite.
In my original letter, I quoted from the Catechism — which states that the body is sacred because it is the temple of the soul — and from St Paul — who says our bodies are members of Christ, they are not our own, so we should glorify Christ in our bodies. I also quoted professor Fr Paul O’Callaghan: “Because the bodies of Christians have received the Eucharist during their lives, they have been carriers of God. A corpse should be seen … from the religious point of view as something that is sacred.”
So there is no doubt that the body is sacred, whether dead or alive.
Resurrection of the Body
Yvonne Morgan said she thought I felt that organ transplants prevent the resurrection of the body after death. I assure her that this is not the case, simply because our faith teaches us that nothing is impossible for God.
Rather, my concern is as follows: The Bible and the Church teach us that we have been placed on this earth to enable us to prepare ourselves to return to our Father in heaven. We are told that our trials will be left behind when we enter heaven. But to gain this reward, we have to die.
That is why I said in my original letter that we need to accept God’s call when it comes because if we have taken our faith to heart we will be happy to return to our Father, and not try to prolong our lives on this earth, causing harm to the temple of our soul.