Halt Euthanasia! Pope Orders Belgian Brothers of Charity!

AUGUST 11, 2017 JIM FAIRPOPE AND HOLY SEE,  in  Zenit News, Rome

   Charity Group Manages 15 Psychiatric Hospital

James Kottor(Note: The well known saying of old is: Rome has spoken and the case is settled. (Roma locuta, causa finita est!) But of late the practice had been just the opposite and its watchword: Rome has spoken and discussion has started. So both are to be expected, a tug of war between the traditionalists and progressives in the Church. 

This has become the new trend in the Catholic Church just because Francis happens to be very liberal in allowing opposition views to be aired, which he encouraged ever since the two family synods were held in Rome. Of course Belgium’s 15 Psychiatric hospitals will stop performing Euthenesia in their hospitals while the discussion may continue openly or privately. 

One reason for saying this is that Cardinal Raymond Burke of US now goes on giving  open speeches warning the faithful to distinguish between the ordinary and extraordinary teachings of a Pope ever since he stated opposing Pope’s exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia”. In the category of extraordinary teachings comes infallible or Ex-Cathedra statements which Rome has given up ever since Pope John XXIII. He said that he was infallible only when he said the right things and he was not interested to sit on that high chair (EX-Cathedra) to pronounce anything infallible. 

So let the discussion, privately or publically, continue since it has world wide ramifications, especially in America where Trump and his group of churches are totally against abortion, which is very pleasing to the Catholic church, especially to the Evangelicals and conservative Catholics. It is against them the ‘Civilta Catholica’, the mouth piece of Pope Francis wrote a very damaging article opposing their “Gospel of Prosperity” championed by Trump which means, anything goes as long it is a money-making religious venture in tune with Trump’s “wealth over faith” motto.

When human life is made to become the cheapest commodity for the rich and powerful nations to treat it with contempt, it is good that at least Pope Francis stands up to defend it. james kottoo, editor, ccv.

Vatican Radio reported August 11, 2017 that the Vatican Press Office confirmed that the Pope ordered the Brothers of Charity in Belgium to stop allowing euthanasia in the 15 psychiatric hospitals the group operates.  The order came in a letter in early August.

Belgium allows euthanasia under a broad array of conditions.  In May, the Brothers of Charity group in Belgium said it would allow doctors to perform euthanasia on psychiatric patients. The charity said in a statement that euthanasia would be performed only if there were “no reasonable treatment alternatives”.

This decision was condemned by the Vatican through the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and the Brothers of Charity superior general in Rome, Bro. René Stockman.  In a June 2017 statement, he said: “The central point and the foundation within Christian ethics is that life is absolute, which cannot be touched. Life is a gift from God and entails an assignment. And because life is absolute, it is a state worthy of protection. Life is more than the quality that it has or does not have.”

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis also ordered Brothers of Charity who serve on the group’s board to sign a joint letter to their superior general declaring that they, “fully support the vision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, which has always confirmed that human life must be respected and protected in absolute terms, from the moment of conception till its natural end.”

The teaching of the Church on matter related to euthanasia is clear: “Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator.” (Gaudium et Spes, 27).

The Belgian group has not, said Vatican Radio, responded to the Pope and did not say whether any patients had actually been euthanized.  Failure to follow the Pope’s directives in this case could result in severe penalties under canon law.

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