Skip to comments.Catholic journalist dies after delaying cancer treatments for unborn baby
Posted on 07/13/2012 2:34:37 PM PDT by NYer
Barbara Castro Garcia
July 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) One day early in 2010, newlyweds Ignacio Cabezas and Barbara Castro Garcia were sitting in a café eating breakfast. The couple both had smiles on their faces that, in the words of Ignacio, were impossible to erase.
After 11 years of dating, the couple had gotten married several months before, and now they had just found out they were expecting their first child. “We were crazy about getting married and once married, we wanted very much to be parents, Ignacio remembers.
Little did they know that this pregnancy, which had already brought them so much joy, was also the beginning of a saga that would test their faith to the limit—and ultimately take the life of the young mother.
Four months into the pregnancy, Barbara took a trip to the dentist complaining of a sore in her mouth. The dentist sent her on to a specialist, who diagnosed her with mouth cancer.
The couple was presented with a conundrum: Barbara urgently needed life-saving treatment, but the treatment had the potential to harm their unborn child.
Bolstered by her Catholic faith Barbara, who worked as a journalist in the communications office of the Catholic diocese of Cordoba, made the difficult decision to forgo all treatments except for a surgical procedure that left her in immense pain.
But Ignacio says that throughout the ordeal, Barbara remained strong. “My wife said from the beginning that our daughter would be born the day that God wanted, not one before,” he says.
A statement on the diocese of Cordobas website remembers Barbaras faith at this time. Anchored in the heart of Christ, the inexhaustible source of love, Barbara opted first for the life of her daughter, the diocese says. At all times she has maintained an unwavering faith, and has been the encouragement and hope for all who have surrounded her during this long and painful illness.
Their child, Barbarita, was born on Nov. 1, 2010 a healthy baby and the source of much consolation to the couple.
But within days the pains of Barbaras cancer were flaring up, and the couple went to Madrid to see a surgeon. The news wasn’t good. The surgeon told Barbara that there was little hope, and that he was amazed she even survived as long as she had.
Thus began the grueling rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments that left her without a tongue and part of her jaw, rendering her incapable of speaking or eating. She had to be fed through a tube.
Ultimately the cancer would get the upper hand, and earlier this month Barbara died, after having sacrificed everything for her child.
The Spanish publication La Gaceta reports that it spoke to Ignacio the day after Barbaras death, and that he seemed serene.
He told the paper that he feels a strength of faith that I had never felt before.
I feel invincible…God is holding on to me and he doesnt want to let me go.
In part of a letter from Ignacio to his wife, quoted by La Gaceta, Ignacio wrote: I sensed we were going to suffer a lot, that it would be very hard and probably very long, but I also assured you that, no matter how hard it was, afterwards I would make sure you were the happiest person in the world, that all the effort was worth it, that we would enjoy our daughter and that we would have to prepare ourselves for an uncertain and horrible period.
The statement on the Cordoba dioceses website concludes: The Good Father, Lord of Charity, who embraced [Barbara] tenderly in her lifetime, today opened the doors of Paradise. The angels have come to her and the Blessed Virgin gave her the crown of victory, because she, better than anyone, knows what it takes to give her life for love.
For his part, Ignacio says he simply wants to honor her as she deserves.”
The story of Barbaras heroism closely parallels that of Chiara Corbella, an Italian woman who died just last month, also after foregoing cancer treatment to save the life of her unborn baby.
Um, one of the posts before mine the person said something about her enjoying eternal life. In other words he presumed she was saved. That’s what I was responding to. I see the same type presumption everytime someone dies. I always hope they are correct in their presumption, just as I do in this instance. Based on the authority of Scripture, I can say with certainty that there is nothing WE CAN DO, even dying for a child, to secure salvation.
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
The NIV says it this way:
“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:16)
No one but God can know with 100% certainty what was in this woman’s heart, but the article makes a diligent case in her favor. This woman was so devoted to her Christian faith that she refused treatment that would kill her unborn child. She did place her trust in Christ, in the end sacrificing her life to save an innocent child. Doesn’t that sound like something deserving of eternal life in Heaven? She put her faith in God and pursued what she believed to be true. Believing in God without acting on it is empty.
Jesus loved his mother and his mother loved him. In Heaven they were reunited. If Barbarita has as much faith in God as Barbara did, then one day they will be united in Heaven.
What a beautiful gift of life this woman gave her child, and may it never be taken for granted.
“Doesnt that sound like something deserving of eternal life in Heaven?”
Using the default calculus of men, sure. But based on the Bible, a thousand times NO.
There is ONE and only one way to be saved and it has zero to do with our merit. The Bible says that even our best is tainted with sin. In other words, our prayers, charity, and even our worship are tainted by sin. According to the Bible, what we have earned based on our merit is death. (”The wages of sin is DEATH.”) Unbelievers will be judged according to their works. Thankfully, believers don’t get what they have earned. By God’s mercy and grace they are viewed as perfectly righteous IN CHRIST. Now that is good news.
“It doesnt matter what Catholic doctrine is. It only matters what Scripture says”
You’re right. But Catholic doctrine and the Bible are the same, afterall it was Catholic scholars who determined what was divinely inspired scripture and the true word of God. It has always amazed me how protestants live and die by the word of the Catholic document known as the Holy Bible. The Catholic Church came before the Bible, not the other way around.
I’m not getting in to that debate. Suffice it to say I deny Catholic doctrine and the Bible are the same and I certainly disagree with your notion that Catholic scholars had anything to do with how the Bible came to be.
I urge you to read the Bible and search out the truth for yourself. If you ask, God will reveal Himself to you in His Word.
Good night and God bless.
Some of the words you write are indisputable, but I cannot agree with your conclusions because we have different theologies. Man is tainted by sin; he was perfectly created, yet is an imperfect creation! This great flaw results in physical, or worse, spiritual death. Physical death is only a process, a way to re-unite with the ultimate Godhead. In spiritual death the soul finally understands God, but can never transcend through the dark abyss and join with Him; they are separated for all eternity. That is Hell.
But just who is to spend life in Heaven?
If merely having faith in the words of the Bible and receiving God’s Mercy and Grace alone is the only way to salvation, I must disagree. We are made in God’s image; we are his children. Children separate from their parents, though they are welcomed home. That is why we already have Mercy and Grace. God loves his children, and wants all of us to return to him, not just the chosen elect.
The Gospels are an essential part of reaching Him, but we were created with the spark of the divine. We have the power of prayer and insight. We are capable of feeling true human love (agape) and can do so by giving of ourselves selflessly to others and expecting nothing in return. That is, we must try to live as Christ-like as possible. Undoubtedly, we are not Christ, but His works are part of the path to eternal life. Give without expecting to receive, comfort the sick, teach true compassion (forgive past wrongs and tell others to go and sin no more), aid those weaker than you, and if you must, die to save an innocent life. That’s what Christ did.
This mother a was Catholic, not an “unbeliever” and followed Christ’s example. She already had Grace long before that.
But what better demonstation of faith is there then wonderful acts such as this? "By their fruits ye shall know them".
1 John 4
On Denying the Incarnation
4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
We confess at ever Sunday Mass!
Confession of Faith in Jesus Christ!
The Nicene Creed
Matthew 10:32 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.
Luke 12:8 "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.
Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
Acts 2:32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Acts 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Romans 4:24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 John 4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
“You know I wasnt referring to Christ and His work on the cross. I know you can distinguish between acts of mercy performed by a sinner and the death of the King of Kings...”
Claiming you KNOW what I was thinking is a form of “making it personal” according to the moderators. That’s a violation of the rules. I suggest you don’t do that.
“Um, one of the posts before mine the person said something about her enjoying eternal life. In other words he presumed she was saved.”
He may have been presuming it, but if he was, he was doing so based upon her faith and her demonstration of that saving faith. You, however, made presumptuous comments based upon nothing apparently other than your own presumption. Your presumptions were certainly not based upon the facts given about the woman, her faith or her actions based on her faith.
“Thats what I was responding to. I see the same type presumption everytime someone dies. I always hope they are correct in their presumption, just as I do in this instance. Based on the authority of Scripture, I can say with certainty that there is nothing WE CAN DO, even dying for a child, to secure salvation.”
You’re still wrong. We can still have faith. That is something we can do. Christ does all of the heavy lifting, but if we don’t choose to have faith then we have a problem.
In your unlearned opinion.
Fortunately, her eternal fate will be determined by Almighty God and not by someone with your lack of acumen.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13
Because you poorly exercise your free will in cherry picking Scripture. I'll bet there are many verses which you choose to ignore.
"Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:20-21
"And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15-16
imperils your own salvation. The bottom line is that you have to walk the walk not just talk the talk.
"Who will render to every man according to his works. To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation." Romans 2:6-8
"For we must all be manifested before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil." 2 Corinthians 5:10
"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers be transformed as the ministers of justice, whose end shall be according to their works. " 2 Corinthians 11:15
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by charity." Galatians 5:6
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath prepared that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10
"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation." Philippians 2:12
"Knowing that you shall receive of the Lord the reward of inheritance. Serve ye the Lord Christ. For he that doth wrong, shall receive for that which he hath done wrongfully: and there is no respect of persons with God." Colossians 3:24-25
"Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead." James 2:24-26
"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works." Apocalypse 20:12-13
“I ignore those verses...”
What gives you the authority to ignore verses of scripture??
Philippians 2:12 St. Paul:
“...in fear and trembling WORK out your salvation.”
How can you blithely ignore/or twist the meaning of such a clear instruction??
“I certainly disagree with your notion that Catholic scholars had anything to do with how the Bible came to be”.
The Catholic Church compiled the Bible. In the 4th century Saint Jerome made a standard revision of the Latin Manuscripts. This revision is called the Vulgate. From
the 4th century through the 15th, the Church preserved the Bible by laboriously hand copying the Vulgate. Holy monks, friars, and clergy did this for 1100 years! The Vulgate subsequently was universally accepted. In the 16th century it became the official translation of the Western Rite of the Catholic Church. It still is today.
Further, the first book ever printed was the Catholic
Gutenberg Bible of 1456. Historians have noted that the Catholic Church exhausted all reasonable means to spread the Gospel message. The Church is the true preserver and protector of the sacred word, by duplicating it, by preaching it, and by preserving it from the beginning.
None of the people who had anything to do with the Bible were protestants, who didn’t exist when the Bible was being compiled.
Thay dated for ELEVEN years? Fools.
“In your unlearned opinion...”
That’s rich. I’ve spent a lifetime studying the Bible. I bet you’ve spent a lifetime soaking up Catholic propaganda.
“the Catholic Church exhausted all reasonable means to spread the Gospel message”
Yeah they cared so much they burned people at the stake for daring to translate the Word into everyday languages people could understand.
“the Catholic Church exhausted all reasonable means to spread the Gospel message”
Yeah they cared so much they burned people at the stake for daring to translate the Word into everyday languages people could understand. They hated John Wycliffe so much they dug up his long dead bones and burned them at the Command of Pope Martin V. His ashes were thrown in a river.
I did not say I ignore those verses generally. I said I ignored them in the context of that comment because they do not pertain to the issue for which they were being cited. They were taken out of context and do not support the claim being made. You can make the Bible support almost any notion when you read it out of context.
“Philippians 2:12 St. Paul:
...in fear and trembling WORK out your salvation.
How can you blithely ignore/or twist the meaning of such a clear instruction??”
That is a perfect example of what I said above. I know that verse and quote it often. But it does not teach that your works make you right before God.