Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catholic Culture in Mainstream America

The following story is from yesterday's Washington Times:

Va. pharmacy caters to pro-life customers
Will stock no birth control

When Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy opens Tuesday in a Chantilly shopping center, it will have on display a picture of St. John Leonardi, the 16th-century patron saint of pharmacists.

But there will be no birth-control pills, condoms, cigarettes or pornographic magazines. There will, however, be booklets on natural family planning.

DMC Pharmacy is one of the country's few "pro-life pharmacies" that refuse to dispense contraceptives on moral and health grounds, arguing that they cause abortions, lead to promiscuity or endanger a woman's health.

"Birth control is not health care," said Robert Laird, executive director of DMC, the Fairfax nonprofit that will own and operate the 1,500-square-foot store at 13945 Metrotech Drive. "We are catering to a special niche of people who like the pro-life message in their business."

The store is within a mile of two large parishes serving about 20,000 Catholics. Within five miles are four other booming parishes, bringing the total population of Catholic residents to about 50,000. The Catholic Shop, a bookstore next door to the pharmacy, already attracts plenty of customers.

"In the pharmacy business," Mr. Laird said, "you don't normally go more than two miles from your drugstore, but people are going to be coming from miles to come here."

If people want contraceptives, he said, there are two other stores in Sully Plaza that stock them. Robert Semler, the pharmacist in charge, will not direct people on where to find such stores.

"People can look it up," Mr. Laird said.

DMC Pharmacy opens for business at 10 a.m. Tuesday with a blessing by Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde. Benefactors of the $350,000 project also will attend. A more elaborate grand opening is planned for December.

Catholic doctrine forbids the use of any kind of artificial birth control, and all DMC's board members are Catholic. Click HERE for the full article.

If you'd like to visit Divine Mercy Care's web site, please click HERE.

HT: Gina of Catholic Treasures

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