One of the greatest Pro – Life figures of the twentieth century – in fact, perhaps the greatest – was Dr. Jerome Lejeune, a Paris geneticist who discovered the cause of Down’s Syndrome and who worked tirelessly for its cure, and who traversed the globe repeatedly to speak on behalf of unborn children.
There is now in France a Jerome Lejeune Foundation, and its President, Jean-Marie Mene once said the following about Lejeune:
“Lejeune wasn’t afraid of mystery, he saw the promise it contains and tasted its sweetness. His faith and hope were the foundation that sustained him and he accepted the mystery with a smile on his face. The mystery made him stronger and brought him peace, because the truth he was looking for was just another name for beauty and love. It wasn’t an attack but an invitation to go beyond the tangible world in steadfast confidence that comes from the light we pray for….He knew that he lived in an order miraculously established by love and not in a world of tyranny of sheer chance…”
His was a science for Good, for him human DNA was a sign of a tremendous dignity buried within the heart of every human person, that is, the dignity of beings created in the likeness and image of God. When he approached his research, it was with respect for persons and Creation generally, and with serious purpose. Jean-Marie Mene recalls that Lejeune would say that: “medicine was his true vocation and that he became a scientist simply out of necessity”.
Too many scientists today have the wrong view of human life, seeing it as a thing to be manipulated rather than a sacred mystery to be respected and served. Lejeune stands out as a reminder that human life is a gift and mystery. Every person needs to discover both their own dignity and the sacredness of all human life, and live in such a way as to honor both. When scientists neglect these simple truths about human life they exercise Bad science, a science that manipulates rather than serves.
There should be a higher purpose to scientific inquiry, but to get to that higher purpose we need faith and grace. May God bless our world with holy scientists; scientists who fear God but aren’t “afraid of mystery”.
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment