Recently, a priest told me that one problem with euthanasia is that a person who declares the intention to receive assistance to commit suicide cannot receive the last rites. Attempts at suicide are a mortal sin.
The Church takes the view that human lives are of incomparable value, not property to be disposed of. That was the view from earliest times. One of the Church’s earliest documents condemned abortion, for example.
Clearly, progressive culture feels differently.
Always use abortion as a guide when estimating what lawmakers’ reassurances actually mean.
This is not a problem for liberal churches. They can, if they wish, write euthanasia liturgies, with celebrations to follow the decease. But then they claim no continuous history with and fidelity to the apostolic tradition; indeed, they think they have transcended it.
But can we consider, for a moment, the effect that fidelity will have on nominal Catholics?
Nominal Catholics, their faith rotted out by religious education in tax-funded schools, are long accustomed to seeing their faith as a sort of social wallpaper. God can’t really mean that you can’t abort your kid or marry your sibling or yourself or whoever you like of whichever sex, or help have your granny put down–if you feel like it. How dare anyone claim that?
Either these people drop out and the Church much diminishes or else the Church accommodates them and—ironically—dies by its own hand. That is, there is no historical continuum between the Church of which St. Peter was the Rock and an organization that blesses all these things, with group hugs all round. It would be better if the newly enlightened would just drop out, but the progressives among them will want to subsume the Church.
Now, where it gets really interesting is with child euthanasia. Already a fact in the Netherlands (surprisingly common) and Belgium. Be sure it is coming here too, whatever the protestations otherwise. Always use abortion as a guide when estimating what lawmakers’ reassurances actually mean.
So what about Catholic high school grads, now parents, requesting baptism of a child who is about to be euthanized? Well, one approach might be: The child may as well die a Christian even if there is nothing to be said regarding the faith of the parents.
A now long-deceased priest who had ministered in pre-Mao China told me that the nuns who delivered babies would baptise each child, then leave. They knew perfectly well that second daughters would not usually be permitted to live. But what were they to do? China was not and never had been a Christian country and the idea of women as having equal dignity was unknown.
But we are in a different situation. The parents claim to be Christians; otherwise, they wouldn’t be asking. Should they be excommunicated? And on what terms?
What if the parents sneak away to put the child down discreetly after the baptism? The consultants and religious ed people who really own and largely run the daily life of the church will be all for softening the tone and being as understanding as possible of their grief and sorrow and anguish and pain and the really, really hard decision that they bravely had to make.
As Cool kicks in, many people appear helpless. Euthanasia is spreading across Europe despite, as Newsweek explains
Boer, the ethicist, has some theories. Once a supporter of euthanasia, he’s now one of its most vocal critics. Among the reasons for the euthanasia boom, Boer suggests, is propaganda. Over the past decade, he says, Dutch journalist Gerbert van Loenen has been tracking a series of documentary films that depict euthanasia in a wholly positive light. “They do ask certain questions,” Boer says. “But they systematically ignore most critical questions, so that the general public is presented with an opinion that is completely good, and has no risks. This is contagious.”Another key factor: It’s getting easier each year to qualify for euthanasia. In the beginning, most of those eligible were terminally ill. Now doctors are helping people die if they no longer want to bear depression, autism, blindness or even being dependent on the care of others.
It can’t easily be stopped because, for example, at least half the U.S. population no longer believes human beings are special. No. In the near future, only government will be special, and will essentially be run by grievance groups. And most citizens will not even be assets, producers of wealth.
As the right to kill works its acid on all our lives — we’re all the fetuses now. On the bright side, there are jobs with the government in it.
Anyone who is serious about being a Catholic Christian today could face considerable hostility for even making know the true nature of the social change toward acceptance of euthanasia, and will need to take counsel.
See also: My dog had a peaceful death, so…