Full house greets 'faith-based' pharmacy
Bishop blesses pro-life Chantilly drugstore
Julia Duin (Contact)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Buzz up!Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, one of fewer than a dozen pharmacies in the country that refuse to stock any kind of birth control, cigarettes, pornography or condoms, opened with a Catholic bishop's blessing and sprinklings of holy water Tuesday in Chantilly.
About 100 people, half of them children, crammed into the DMC Pharmacy in Sully Place Shopping Center to hear Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde preach about "transforming hearts through health care" amid boxes and bottles of Clearasil, Neutrogena and St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
"The most fundamental illness in our contemporary society is a pervasive disrespect for the intrinsic worth and dignity of every human person, whose life begins at conception," the bishop said.
Applauding the pharmacy for providing "a faith-based, family-friendly, pro-life environment," he called the opening of the DMC Pharmacy "a historic moment."
The store, just off Route 50 in one of Northern Virginia's busiest corridors, refuses to dispense birth control on the grounds that it destroys a developing life and that the hormones in birth-control pills are dangerous to a woman's health. Catholic doctrine forbids the use of artificial birth control.
There is no sign in the window that says contraceptives are not available inside. DMC officials say there are at least two pharmacies within walking distance that provide them.
"If we sell Coke products, we don't advertise that we don't sell Pepsi," said Robert E. Laird, executive director of Divine Mercy Care, the Fairfax nonprofit that owns and operates the pharmacy.
The DMC has a crucifix on one wall, booklets on natural family planning and a painting of Jesus with a flaming heart on His chest. The DMC logo has a sacred-heart motif, with a heart superimposed over a cross with rays coming forth.