Category Archives: Christian Footbag Players

An award winning film nobody wants to watch…

Our sad times… From the Party of Death over at Blue Oregon comes the story “How To Die in Oregon”. Winning top prize for best documentary over the weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, this indy examines Oregon’s 1994 euthanasia law. Here’s the promo featuring the producer filmmaker Peter Richardson. A Catholic teaching on end of life issues, assisted suicide, and euthanasia follows…

Declaration on Euthanasia

Vatican, May 5, 1980

His Holiness Pope John Paul II approved this Declaration, adopted at the ordinary meeting of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and ordered its publication.

INTRODUCTION

The rights and values pertaining to the human person occupy an important place among the questions discussed today. In this regard, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council solemnly reaffirmed the lofty dignity of the human person, and in a special way his or her right to life. The Council therefore condemned crimes against life “such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful suicide” (Pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et spes,” no. 27).

More recently, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reminded all the faithful of Catholic teaching on procured abortion.[1] The Congregation now considers it opportune to set forth the Church’s teaching on euthanasia.

It is indeed true that, in this sphere of teaching, the recent Popes have explained the principles, and these retain their full force[2]; but the progress of medical science in recent years has brought to the fore new aspects of the question of euthanasia, and these aspects call for further elucidation on the ethical level.

In modern society, in which even the fundamental values of human life are often called into question, cultural change exercises an influence upon the way of looking at suffering and death; moreover, medicine has increased its capacity to cure and to prolong life in particular circumstances, which sometimes give rise to moral problems. Thus people living in this situation experience no little anxiety about the meaning of advanced old age and death. They also begin to wonder whether they have the right to obtain for themselves or their fellowmen an “easy death,” which would shorten suffering and which seems to them more in harmony with human dignity.

A number of Episcopal Conferences have raised questions on this subject with the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation, having sought the opinion of experts on the various aspects of euthanasia, now wishes to respond to the Bishops’ questions with the present Declaration, in order to help them to give correct teaching to the faithful entrusted to their care, and to offer them elements for reflection that they can present to the civil authorities with regard to this very serious matter.

The considerations set forth in the present document concern in the first place all those who place their faith and hope in Christ, who, through His life, death and resurrection, has given a new meaning to existence and especially to the death of the Christian, as St. Paul says: “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord” (Rom. 14:8; cf. Phil. 1:20).

As for those who profess other religions, many will agree with us that faith in God the Creator, Provider and Lord of life–if they share this belief–confers a lofty dignity upon every human person and guarantees respect for him or her.

It is hoped that this Declaration will meet with the approval of many people of good will, who, philosophical or ideological differences notwithstanding, have nevertheless a lively awareness of the rights of the human person. These rights have often, in fact, been proclaimed in recent years through declarations issued by International Congresses[3]; and since it is a question here of fundamental rights inherent in every human person, it is obviously wrong to have recourse to arguments from political pluralism or religious freedom in order to deny the universal value of those rights.

I. THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE

Human life is the basis of all goods, and is the necessary source and condition of every human activity and of all society. Most people regard life as something sacred and hold that no one may dispose of it at will, but believers see in life some thing greater, namely, a gift of God’s love, which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful. And it is this latter consideration that gives rise to the following consequences:

1. No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God’s love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing a crime of the utmost gravity.[4]

2. Everyone has the duty to lead his or her life in accordance with God’s plan. That life is entrusted to the individual as a good that must bear fruit already here on earth, but that finds its full perfection only in eternal life.

3. Intentionally causing one’s own death, or suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder; such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God’s sovereignty and loving plan. Furthermore, suicide is also often a refusal of love for self, the denial of the natural instinct to live, a flight from the duties of justice and charity owed to one’s neighbor, to various communities or to the whole of society–although, as is generally recognized, at times there are psychological factors present that can diminish responsibility or even completely remove it.

However, one must clearly distinguish suicide from that sacrifice of one’s life whereby for a higher cause, such as God’s glory, the salvation of souls or the service of one’s brethren, a person offers his or her own life or puts it in danger (cf. Jn. 15:14).

II. EUTHANASIA

In order that the question of euthanasia can be properly dealt with, it is first necessary to define the words used.

Etymologically speaking, in ancient times euthanasia meant an easy death without severe suffering. Today one no longer thinks of this original meaning of the word, but rather of some intervention of medicine whereby the suffering of sickness or of the final agony are reduced, sometimes also with the danger of suppressing life prematurely. Ultimately, the word euthanasia is used in a more particular sense to mean “mercy killing,” for the purpose of putting an end to extreme suffering, or saving abnormal babies, the mentally ill or the incurably sick from the prolongation, perhaps for many years, of a miserable life, which could impose too heavy a burden on their families or on society.

It is, therefore, necessary to state clearly in what sense the word is used in the present document.

By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated. Euthanasia’s terms of reference, therefore, are to be found in the intention of the will and in the methods used.

It is necessary to state firmly once more that nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action. For it is a question of the violation of the divine law, an offense against the dignity of the human person, a crime against life, and an attack on humanity.

It may happen that, by reason of prolonged and barely tolerable pain, for deeply personal or other reasons, people may be led to believe that they can legitimately ask for death or obtain it for others. Although in these cases the guilt of the individual may be reduced or completely absent, nevertheless the error of judgment into which the conscience falls, perhaps in good faith, does not change the nature of this act of killing, which will always be in itself something to be rejected. The pleas of gravely ill people who sometimes ask for death are not to be understood as implying a true desire for euthanasia; in fact, it is almost always a case of an anguished plea for help and love. What a sick person needs, besides medical care, is love, the human and supernatural warmth with which the sick person can and ought to be surrounded by all those close to him or her, parents and children, doctors and nurses.

III. THE MEANING OF SUFFERING FOR CHRISTIANS AND THE USE OF PAINKILLERS

Death does not always come in dramatic circumstances after barely tolerable sufferings. Nor do we have to think only of extreme cases. Numerous testimonies which confirm one another lead one to the conclusion that nature itself has made provision to render more bearable at the moment of death separations that would be terribly painful to a person in full health. Hence it is that a prolonged illness, advanced old age, or a state of loneliness or neglect can bring about psychological conditions that facilitate the acceptance of death.

Nevertheless the fact remains that death, often preceded or accompanied by severe and prolonged suffering, is something which naturally causes people anguish.

Physical suffering is certainly an unavoidable element of the human condition; on the biological level, it constitutes a warning of which no one denies the usefulness; but, since it affects the human psychological makeup, it often exceeds its own biological usefulness and so can become so severe as to cause the desire to remove it at any cost.

According to Christian teaching, however, suffering, especially suffering during the last moments of life, has a special place in God’s saving plan; it is in fact a sharing in Christ’s passion and a union with the redeeming sacrifice which He offered in obedience to the Father’s will. Therefore, one must not be surprised if some Christians prefer to moderate their use of painkillers, in order to accept voluntarily at least a part of their sufferings and thus associate themselves in a conscious way with the sufferings of Christ crucified (cf. Mt. 27:34). Nevertheless it would be imprudent to impose a heroic way of acting as a general rule. On the contrary, human and Christian prudence suggest for the majority of sick people the use of medicines capable of alleviating or suppressing pain, even though these may cause as a secondary effect semi-consciousness and reduced lucidity. As for those who are not in a state to express themselves, one can reasonably presume that they wish to take these painkillers, and have them administered according to the doctor’s advice.

But the intensive use of painkillers is not without difficulties, because the phenomenon of habituation generally makes it necessary to increase their dosage in order to maintain their efficacy. At this point it is fitting to recall a declaration by Pius XII, which retains its full force; in answer to a group of doctors who had put the question: “Is the suppression of pain and consciousness by the use of narcotics…permitted by religion and morality to the doctor and the patient (even at the approach of death and if one foresees that the use of narcotics will shorten life)?” the Pope said: “If no other means exist, and if, in the given circumstances, this does not prevent the carrying out of other religious and moral duties: Yes.”[5] In this case, of course, death is in no way intended or sought, even if the risk of it is reasonably taken; the intention is simply to relieve pain effectively, using for this purpose painkillers available to medicine.

However, painkillers that cause unconsciousness need special consideration. For a person not only has to be able to satisfy his or her moral duties and family obligations; he or she also has to prepare himself or herself with full consciousness for meeting Christ. Thus Pius XII warns: “It is not right to deprive the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason.”[6]

IV. DUE PROPORTION IN THE USE OF REMEDIES

Today it is very important to protect, at the moment of death, both the dignity of the human person and the Christian concept of life, against a technological attitude that threatens to become an abuse. Thus some people speak of a “right to die,” which is an expression that does not mean the right to procure death either by one’s own hand or by means of someone else, as one pleases, but rather the right to die peacefully with human and Christian dignity. From this point of view, the use of therapeutic means can sometimes pose problems.

In numerous cases, the complexity of the situation can be such as to cause doubts about the way ethical principles should be applied. In the final analysis, it pertains to the conscience either of the sick person, or of those qualified to speak in the sick person’s name, or of the doctors, to decide, in the light of moral obligations and of the various aspects of the case.

Everyone has the duty to care for his or her own health or to seek such care from others. Those whose task it is to care for the sick must do so conscientiously and administer the remedies that seem necessary or useful.

However, is it necessary in all circumstances to have recourse to all possible remedies?

In the past, moralists replied that one is never obliged to use “extraordinary” means. This reply, which as a principle still holds good, is perhaps less clear today, by reason of the imprecision of the term and the rapid progress made in the treatment of sickness. Thus some people prefer to speak of “proportionate” and “disproportionate” means. In any case, it will be possible to make a correct judgment as to the means by studying the type of treatment to be used, its degree of complexity or risk, its cost and the possibilities of using it, and comparing these elements with the result that can be expected, taking into account the state of the sick person and his or her physical and moral resources.

In order to facilitate the application of these general principles, the following clarifications can be added:

–If there are no other sufficient remedies, it is permitted, with the patient’s consent, to have recourse to the means provided by the most advanced medical techniques, even if these means are still at the experimental stage and are not without a certain risk. By accepting them, the patient can even show generosity in the service of humanity.

–It is also permitted, with the patient’s consent, to interrupt these means, where the results fall short of expectations. But for such a decision to be made, account will have to be taken of the reasonable wishes of the patient and the patient’s family, as also of the advice of the doctors who are specially competent in the matter. The latter may in particular judge that the investment in instruments and personnel is disproportionate to the results foreseen; they may also judge that the techniques applied impose on the patient strain or suffering out of proportion with the benefits which he or she may gain from such techniques.

–It is also permissible to make do with the normal means that medicine can offer. Therefore one cannot impose on anyone the obligation to have recourse to a technique which is already in use but which carries a risk or is burdensome. Such a refusal is not the equivalent of suicide; on the contrary, it should be considered as an acceptance of the human condition, or a wish to avoid the application of a medical procedure disproportionate to the results that can be expected, or a desire not to impose excessive expense on the family or the community.

–When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted. In such circumstances the doctor has no reason to reproach himself with failing to help the person in danger.

CONCLUSION

The norms contained in the present Declaration are inspired by a profound desire to serve people in accordance with the plan of the Creator. Life is a gift of God, and on the other hand death is unavoidable; it is necessary, therefore, that we, without in any way hastening the hour of death, should be able to accept it with full responsibility and dignity. It is true that death marks the end of our earthly existence, but at the same time it opens the door to immortal life. Therefore, all must prepare themselves for this event in the light of human values, and Christians even more so in the light of faith.

As for those who work in the medical profession, they ought to neglect no means of making all their skill available to the sick and the dying; but they should also remember how much more necessary it is to provide them with the comfort of boundless kindness and heartfelt charity. Such service to people is also service to Christ the Lord, who said: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40).

At the audience granted to the undersigned Prefect, His Holiness Pope John Paul II approved this Declaration, adopted at the ordinary meeting of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and ordered its publication.

Rome, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May 5, 1980.

Franjo Cardinal Seper
Prefect

+Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Tit. Archbishop of Lorium
Secretary

ENDNOTES

1. “Declaration on Procured Abortion,” November 18, 1974: AAS 66 (1974), pp 730-747.
2. Pius XII, “Address to those attending the Congress of the International Union of Catholic Women’s Leagues,” September 11, 1947: AAS 39 (1947), p. 483; “Address to the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives,”October 29, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), pp. 835-854; “Speech to the members of the International Office of Military Medicine Documentation,” October 19, 1953: AAS 45 (1953), pp. 744-754; “Address to those taking part in the IXth Congress of the Italian Anaesthesiological Society,” February 24, 1957: AAS 49 (1957). p. 146; cf. also “Address on reanimation,” November 24, 1957: AAS 49 (1957), pp. 1027-1033; Paul VI, “Address to the members of the United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid,” May 22, 1974: AAS 66 (1974), p. 346; John Paul II: “Address to the bishops of the United States of America,” October 5, 1979: AAS 71 (1979), p. 1225.
3. One thinks especially of Recommendation 779 (1976) on the rights of the sick and dying, of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at its XXVIIth Ordinary Session; cf. Sipeca, no. 1, March 1977, pp. 14-15.
4. We leave aside completely the problems of the death penalty and of war, which involve specific considerations that do not concern the present subject.
5. Pius XII, “Address” of February 24, 1957: AAS 49 (1957), p. 147.
6. Pius XII, ibid., p. 145; cf. “Address” of September 9, 1958: AAS 50 (1958), p. 694.

Help Save Matt and Janet’s Farm: URGENT – A call to action for the WUWT community (via Watts Up With That?)

Here’s your chance to actively practice the Christian virtues of faith, hope and love within the lives of an honest farm family from Western Australia unjustly treated by government, while simultaneously inserting authentic faith and reason on the subject of caring for the environment.

I for one, have had it with stories such as these below, along with overzealous environmental activists (with their various agendas) placing needless fear–based on shoddy science–within the hearts of my children concerning their futures.

Enough is enough. The planet is not threatened by imminent destruction at the hands of unscrupulous men, but instead, as this case clearly shows, our working families are…

Please join me in this work of justice either financially or by re-posting, e-mailing, or calling any helpful contacts over the needs of this family.

Thank you,
James Mary Evans — The Orate Fratres

URGENT  - A call to action for the WUWT community I need your help, they need your help. Please read this whole story and consider if you can help. WUWT readers may recall this story: Death of a Feedlot Operator In which the anal-retentive government of West Australia has “licensed” a family farm out of operation due to some shonky science and arbitrary application of the “sniff test”. Yes that’s right, cattle farms smell, so do pig farms, as does any farm. But now it’s reason to shut one out du … Read More

via Watts Up With That?

Church Crisis in America? — Solved.

Conversion. Communion. Solidarity.

Sometime this week watch this video.

Don’t break it up. Don’t watch in parts. But instead, set aside 1 hour this week for the special intention of watching it prayerfully whole and entire.

Come back and discuss…

Background Documents: Ecclesia In AmericaEvangelii Nuntiandi   

END OF POST

Evangelizing Jesus…

The subject around here this week was children, and especially today:

–On the phone with my mother on her birthday, I noted, “ I’m appalled at the low-level of Catholic faith formation…” Her reply, “Well, the parents don’t know anything either…”

–On the Internet I read the story of a young woman describing her Catholic upbringing, saying, “I had grown up surrounded by the faith of my parents — studied it in school, practiced it at home and at church, and accepted it at face value. I never questioned it — it wasn’t a faith that was my own…”

–This same young girl is now a teacher and youth minister at a prominent all girls Catholic High School who describes her faith today:

“I will be the first to admit, and sometimes quite vocally, that there are many teachings, practices, and attitudes within the Catholic tradition that I don’t agree with. There are times when I’m not just disappointed by this Church, but I’m angered and wounded, and find myself pondering the questions I’m so often asked by others: “Why do you stay?” or, “How can you teach this?”

And the circle perpetuates.

On the drive to my confirmation class this afternoon I realized I was tired. Exhausted, really… Thoughts on our need for true evangelization soon turned into realizations of my own ineffectiveness this year teaching the faith at home and religious ed. at church. There was a contradiction between the Joyful mysteries and my heart as I drove along praying my rosary.

Before class began I noticed a young Asian boy sitting across the table from me. His family is new to the parish, and I didn’t know much about him, In fact, I thought he was a new student, or visitor. I observed him as he talked with the DRE next to me. There was something special about him. The way he talked reminded me of one of my sons. “You seem to be very intelligent to me.” I said. He just looked at me. “What’s your name?” I asked. (I’ll call him Jesus here…) “Jesus”, I said, “how well do you know the faith?” “Faith?” He replied. There was some silence for a bit, and looking back up at me we launched into this conversation:

Jesus: “My mother is dead.”

Jesus: “My father shot my mother and killed her, and he’s in jail.

Me: “That must have really hurt your little heart Jesus, huh?”

Jesus: “Yea.”

Me: “I know how you feel, I lost my father when I was young. That hurt my heart too.”

Jesus: “My mother told me that I shouldn’t cry for her.”

Me: “Oh, no, Jesus, it’s okay to cry. You loved her right? It’s a good thing to cry.”

Jesus: “I did.”

Me: “Did your mother have faith?”

Jesus: “What?”

Me: “Did your mother believe in God?”

Jesus: “Oh yes, she told me that her spirit would be looking over me.”

Me: “Do you pray for your mother, Jesus?”

Me: “You know, that’s why it’s good to know your faith.” To know God exists.” “Before I had faith I didn’t believe, to me my father was just, well, gone, that was that, the end; I wasn’t aware that we have souls. That my father had a soul which was with God, and at the end of time God will reunite–as with each of us–our souls to our bodies.” “And we shall be like Jesus.” “You know Jesus rose from the dead, and His body is glorified.” “We shall be like that.”

Me: “But you can help your mother through your prayers, now.” “We don’t know the state of our parents souls, she may be in heaven already, or in purgatory, which is why it’s always good to pray for our parents.”

Jesus: “What’s purgatory?”

Me: “Jesus, it’s like a cleansing fire of God’s love.” God is a pure spirit, and He cleanses us before entering into heaven.”

Jesus: “I hurt my ankle playing basketball at school today!”

Me: “You like to play basketball, Jesus?” “Me too!” And I showed him a knot on my ankle from twisting it playing.

Jesus: “I played baseball too!”

Me: “You’re kidding me, right?” “I played baseball as a kid too.”

Me: “What team?”

Jesus: “The Astros.”

Me: “Astros, huh? I played on the Angels.”

Jesus: “Sometimes I get real angry.”

Me: “Really?”

Jesus: “Yea.” “Really angry.”

Me: “That’s when you need to pray hard Jesus.”

Me: “Hey, we should get together and play some basketball together.”

Jesus: “Can you shoot 3’s still?”

Me: “Yea, I still can.” “Well… at least for the time being.”

These are the children we’ve heard about…

END OF POST

YouTube: Pull “The Pope Song”

Insulting to Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus Christ, and the Mother of God,  Tim Minchin’s “The Pope Song” is not simply a case of extreme vulgarity which Catholics find offensive, but can only be considered pure hate speech directed towards the religion of millions of American Christians.

According to policy, YouTube  declares that they don’t permit  Hate Speech:  “Speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity”.

Good. We hope they honor their policy.

Notwithstanding any credible allegations by media, charges filed by law enforcement officials, or for that matter arraignment and justice in a court of law, logical and unbiased persons could easily presume that Pope Benedict XVI is an innocent man. And this being the case, there is no reasonable excuse considering the derogatory content of the “The Pope Song” that it shouldn’t be quickly yanked by UTube.  

To Contact YouTube and file your courteous objections: CLICK HERE 

WARNING: OBSCENE MATERIAL

THE VIDEO: On Milk and Cookies /Tim Minchin official UTube Channel

THE LYRICS: On Milk and Cookies

To Contact YouTube and file your courteous objections: CLICK HERE 

END OF POST

Pelosi’s “PURGATORIOS” — NYT pics divine again!

Someone explain, please… (COMMENTS OPEN)

“RESURRECTION”

“PURGATORIOS”

STORIES:

OBAMA– As Health Vote Awaits, Future of a Presidency Waits, Too PELOSI– Democrats Woo Abortion Foes in Push for Health Bill

PHOTO CREDITS NYT: NOLA LOPEZ, DAMON WINTER, STEPHEN CROWLEY

END OF POST

Betting Against Benedict: 3/1 odds pope will resign

“All in… Show’em Punk!”

LONDON (Reuters) – Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said Friday it had cut the odds on Pope Benedict XVI resigning after allegations of child abuse by priests in Germany gripped the Roman Catholic Church.

Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, which has branches in Britain as well as Catholic Ireland, said it had cut the odds from 12 to 1 to 3 to 1 following a “cascade of bets.”

The bookie also said it had cut the odds on Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze becoming the next Pontiff to 4 to 1, after what it called a significant gamble. The firm said Arinze was now the clear favourite.

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Italy, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, and Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, all on 8 to 1 were next most likely to succeed.

“The dark clouds of clerical abuse scandals show no sign of abating and recent reports from Germany are surely a little too close to home for the Pope,” the company said in a statement.

The head of Germany’s Roman Catholic Church apologised to victims of child abuse Friday and met Pope Benedict at the Vatican who encouraged him to press ahead with measures to root it out.

As abuse allegations multiplied in Austria and the Netherlands, the Vatican expressed alarm about the gravity of the crisis engulfing the Church this week.

Child abuse scandals in Ireland and the United States have wreaked havoc on the Church’s reputation and finances, with the U.S. Church paying some $2 billion in settlements.

There are very few examples of clear Papal resignations down through the centuries. Pope Celestine V who abdicated in 1294, and Pope Gregory XII who stepped down in 1415 are the best-known examples.

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Myra MacDonald)