Little over a week ago, Catholic Ireland passed legislation permitting abortions.
In "Conscience, a last bulwark against totalitarianism", Vincent Twomey argues that failure within the clergy educational system lead many within the priestly class to remain silent or acquiesce to this shift in values.
The kind of fundamental moral theology taught in seminaries in recent decades is one that, contrary to church teaching, denies there are any moral actions, even abortion, that are intrinsically wrong. The moral evaluation of an action depends rather on motive and circumstance. Such a theology also distinguishes between the moral and legal/political spheres, allowing Catholic politicians to put politics above their “private” moral convictions. This theology, though widespread, is radically at variance with church teaching.
For a background article about these events in Ireland, click here.Be the first to comment.
Does it ever seem to you that animals enjoy more protection than the unborn child?
As I go through the daily email offerings and surf the world wide web, I get this impression quite regularly.
The same seems to be the case for a Finnish medical doctor turned politician who raised the question in a public forum resulting in much turmoil.
Paivi Rasanen, Finish Interior Minister and leader of the nordic country's Christian Democratic Party, made some audacious comments, including referring to abortion as "butchery."
Also, she stated that "animals may not be slaughtered in a painful manner, but it’s not permitted to even discuss the painfulness of abortion."
A full story may be read here.
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The following ad was considered too conversial for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles times, and USA Today, and so they refused to allow it in their publication.
Yet, several other american papers thought otherwise and ran it. These include The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Austin Statesman, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle.
The Chicago Tribune did run an ad that they taught less controversial. Here it is:
Full story here.Be the first to comment.
For a third year in a row Canada's fertility rate has dropped.
Statistics Canada reports that the national average has gone from 1.68 to 1.61 over the three year beginning in 2008.
I reproduce a copy of the statistics below.
A couple things caught my attention.
- The stability of the figures. Whether viewed provincially or federally, over the five years of the figures, the percentage difference between high and low figures is under 10% over the indicated years.
- Below replacement rate. With the exception of one region, the fertility rate falls beneath the generally accepted population replacement level of roughly 2.1 children per woman.
For an accompanying story from Postmedia, click here.Be the first to comment.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Dear Friends of Life,
Blessed summertime greetings to you and your loved ones.
As hinted in our previous newsletter, the Quebec government has indeed gone ahead with a bill permitting the practice of euthanasia in our province.
Fortunately, Bill 52, entitled “An Act permitting end-of-life care,” has only been tabled; it isn't law.
Yet, there is little preventing it from becoming law when the National Assembly resumes in September for all four sitting parties agree with the legislation.
So, is Bill 52 a done deal? No it isn't. Here are three things we can do: pray, study, act.
Pray. We can do little without being in union with and supported by our Divine Maker. Prayer, either individually or with others, brings us closer to God to learn his will. One person suggested forming prayer groups within our own faith communities to counter this threat.
Become knowledgeable. The 20-page bill is available simply by visiting the Quebec National Assembly web site ; if you are having difficulty procuring it, call me (438- 930-8643) and I will walk you through the exercise.
Next to perusing the proposed law itself, read commentaries about it. For instance, Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has commented on the bill’s lack of clarity. Concerning section 3 (3) which states that “End-of-life care means palliative care provided to persons at the end of their lives, including terminal palliative sedation, and medical aid in dying...,” he writes:
Medical aid in dying is a euphemism for euthanasia in the bill. The bill states that doctors would “administer” medical aid in dying. The bill is decriminalizing euthanasia and not assisted suicide. Euthanasia is a form of homicide since it directly and intentionally causes the death of a person, usually by lethal injection.
Here is a sampling of other voices opposing this dangerous law.
- Beauchamp, Dr. Marc and Me. Michel Racicot, “Why Bill 52 Should Not Become Law” in the opinion section of The Montreal Gazette, Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
- Somerville, Dr. Margaret, “Quebec is trying to legalize euthanasia by naming it something else. It’s still wrong,” in the opinion section of The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
- Hasbrouck, Mrs. Amy, “Bill 52: Bad Medicine,” available on the website of “Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet,” (http://tvndy.ca/).
Act. Consider calling or, even better, visiting your MNA. Our elected officials need to know that this is a dangerous law. We need to say NO to bill 52 and euthanasia, and YES to a natural death with TRUE palliative care, NOT to terminal palliative sedation.
If you do not know who your MNA is, find out by calling the National Assembly at (866) 337-8837.
Also, consider visiting your elected official. Summer is here and many will be returning to their home riding. Take advantage of this to visit them either in their office or at public gatherings such as a corn roast. Their office locations are readily available again by calling Quebec City.
Pray. Study. Act.
Remember. You are not alone. Many physicians are speaking up about the pending dangers of this law. This past May 18, 2013, a physician group – “Total Refusal of Euthanasia … Caring, not Killing,” was a principal organizer that brought 1700 persons to Quebec City to voice their disapproval of the government’s plans. Now, in light of the legislation, the same organizers of the May 18 event are planning a further civic action. Details will be forthcoming.
Until then, pray, study, and act.
Brian A. Jenkins
P.S. Thank you for your ongoing support, both spiritual and financial!
I wish to protect the elderly and the vulnerable from assisted suicide and euthanasia. Here's my donation to allow QLC to continue its important work.Be the first to comment.
The war aimed at swaying Quebecers to favour bill 52 turned its rhetorical canons today at the anglophone community.
The Gazette Quebec Bureau Chief, Kevin Dougherty hands a bouquet to the bill's proponents in a complimentary article - "Bill 52: Veronique Hivon's long battle," about the legislation that will permit the practice of euthanasia of our fellow citizens.
(Above: Quebec minister Veronique Hivon waves as she is applauded by members of the legislature after she tabled Bill 52. Photo by Jacques Boissinot, CP)
Dougherty (pictured below) argues that the inter-party concord that has prevailed over the process leading up to the tabling of the proposed law is a sign of the merit of this legislation.
Unfortunately Mr. Dougherty's professionalism is lacking on three fronts.
- His logic. It does not follow that if political parties agree on a particular law, then that law is a good one. History is rife with examples: apartheid, segregation, ...
- His objectivity. He subordinates his journalistic duty to that of being a mouth-piece for the government as he spouts the bill's objectives of solidarity, compassion, and respect. Is one really being compassionate when killing a patient to end his pain? Is this really respectful of their dignity?
- His ethics. Finally, through his copious references to anglophone MNA Geoffrey Kelley who endorses the bill, our columnist wishes to sway readers by appealing to a kindred authority figure.
Dear Mr. Dougherty, no institution or government agency should be given the right or power to take the life of an innocent human person.
(Bill 52, entitled "An Act respecting end-of-life care," was tabled this past June 12, 2013, and will be debated when the provincial legislature reopens this Fall, at the conclusion of the Summer recess. You may consult the 20-page proposed legislation by clicking here as well as leave your comments about it.)Be the first to comment.
Will you watch one hour with me?
You are invited to sign up for an hour of reparation prayer as part of a campaign to help our same-sex attracted (SSA) brothers and sisters.
This worthwhile initiative, their second, is coordinated by Courage Reparational Group Toronto and EnCourage Toronto to coincide with Toronto's yearly Pride Week.
Participants can register for a time slot in which to pray, fast, and offer sacrifice by visiting the coordinator's website.
Three prayer intentions are being offered. These are:
Charity: We repent of any ways in which persons with SSA or gender identity conflicts have been the object of unjust discrimination, including violent malice in speech or in action, and have been abandoned, rejected, or denied unconditional love. We affirm that there is a place in the Church for persons with SSA and gender identity conflicts, who are included in the universal call to holiness.
Clarity: We repent of any distortions of Church teaching as properly expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2357 to 2359. We affirm that same-sex acts cannot be approved under any circumstances; that same-sex inclinations are objectively disordered, signifying concupiscence and yet not in and of themselves sinful; and that persons, regardless of their inclinations and acts, are made in the image of God, have intrinsic dignity, and are to be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
Chastity: We repent of any sins against God’s plan for male and female complementarity and the gift of human life, including, but not limited to immodesty, masturbation, artificial birth control and artificial reproductive technologies, abortion, pornography, sexual abuse, adultery, fornication, polygamy, prostitution, no-fault divorce, and same-sex acts. We affirm the unitive and procreative meanings of authentic married love; and the treasure of holy celibacy as lived by single persons, religious, and priests.
Related stories may be found here:Be the first to comment.
The title for this blog is taken from Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Juliet, the speaker, is saying that names of things do not matter, only what these things "are."
This is pertinent to the current discussion about Bill 52 - "An Act respecting end-of-life care" tabled by the Quebec government this past June 12, 2013.
Bill 52 is not about the sweet smell of roses but rather euthanasia or as the Quebec government prefers to call it, "medical aid in dying," or MAD to use an acronym coined by Margaret Somerville.
Ambiguity in language is one example that Somerville, founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law at McGill Univeristy, noted in her commentary on Bill 52 which appeared in The Globe and Mail this past June 19, 2013.
Somerville's commentary about this dangerous bill (her descriptor) is "intended simply to identify some of the arguments, reasoning and strategies that it manifests and issues it raises."Be the first to comment.
Bill 52 - "An Act respecting end-of-life care," was tabled this past June 12, 2013, in the National Assembly, days prior to the end of the legislative session.
In today's opinion section of the Gazette, two professionals speak out against this legislation, arguing that its goal is nothing other than active euthanasia.
A couple points which Dr. Marc Beauchamp and Me. Michel Racicot make about the bill include:
1. its use of misleading language
[T]he government terminology is not based on any semantic recognition in known literature, or in our country's case law. (...)
Bill 52 introduces the concept of "terminal palliative sedation" a concept not defined in the bill, and one that causes a lot of confusion. Inasmuch as the goal of such sedation is to cause death, not to relive pain, it is also another form of active euthanasia.
It therefore appears clear that the bill essentially aims, using this newly invented terminology, to eliminate a prohibition ... on a physician voluntarily ending a patient's life.
2. mistaken notion of compassionate
[The government argues that not permitting] euthanasia would be a sign of a lack of compassion on the part of medical staff. Such an affirmation, false and otherwise improper, undermines the recognition of all those who provide care, with humanity and dedication, to suffering patients in Quebec, and who believe the medical staff should not offer euthanasia to end-of-life patients, or cause their death.
The writers, one representing the Physicians' Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia and the other a board member of Living with Dignity Citizens' Network, make several more points before urging elected officials to "share the responsibility for protecting the population" and vote against this law.Be the first to comment.
Dr. Frank Humphrey may play an important role in discussions about Bill 52 - "An Act respecting end-of-life care."
In a previous blog, I noted that on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, days prior to the Summer recess, the Quebec provincial government introduced Bill 52, a bill if passed will permit euthanasia.
Section 26 of the 20-page bill presents four criteria authorizing euthanasia. These are:
- be of full age, be capable of giving consent to care and be an insured person within themeaning of the Health Insurance Act;
- suffer from an incurable serious illness;
- suffer from an advanced state of irreversible decline n capability; and
- suffer from constant and unbearable physical or pyschological pain which cannot be relieved in a manner the person deems tolerable.
Dr. Humphrey, a quadriplegic, may play an important part in the discussions because he fulfills all four of these criteria.
Dr. Humphrey has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gerig's disease).
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease, akin to muscular dystrophy. In Dr. Humphrey's case it has progressed over the past eight years.
Further after a recent six-month stay in a hospital dealing with pneumonia, his wife Daria was told by a number of physicans that maybe it was time for her husband to die.
Yet, Dr. Humphrey, until recently pastor with the Peoples Church of Montreal, is an accomplished author. He has recently published a text on origins of the universe, melding science with faith.
Bill 52 is a failure for it ignores the giftedness of the person as manifested not only by those who have published works of science but also by simply being a member of the human family.
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