Daily Archives: June 2, 2009

A touching testimony on assisted suicide

From a man who considered ODing his dying mother on morphine.

He said that, thanks to the hospital’s refusal, his mother was able to wake up in her dying moments, and they were able to have a final goodbye, which would not have happened had she been in a morphine coma.

As I read stories about Marfans who do not immediately die from aortic dissections but linger on life support, in comas, until their lungs fill with blood, I wonder about that aspect of things. Not direct euthanasia, and not necessarily even rejection of extraordinary means.

But if we’re truly to talk about “death with dignity,” we need to be talking about the best ways to help dying patients regain consciousness long enough to say their proper good-byes as well as to receive their Last Rites.

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Carhart to run Tiller’s "clinic"

Big surprise here: “Dr.” LeRoy Carhart–as in Carhart v. Gonzalez–the guy who invented partial birth abortion, has decided to rake in some extra dough by managing Tiller’s abortuary for the time being.

Carhart called Tiller’s death a “declaration of war” by radical anti-abortion activists, saying they are no different from al-Qaeda, the Taliban or any other terrorists.

Says the guy who’s no better than a mafia hitman. Or, as Peter Kreeft pointed out after making analogy, mafia hitmen at least have a sense of honor.

And what activists? The ones who’ve almost unanimously condemned the killing of Tiller?

The ones who are upset that acts like this mischaracterize our movement ? The ones who are upset that legal efforts to stop Tiller have now been thwarted, who fear that continued efforts to stop people like Carhart from violating federal law will now be thwarted as well?

The United Kingdom claims moral superiority for being amoral

“Why does abortion matter so much to the Yanks? It doesn’t matter to us! It’s no big deal! Why the violence associated with a violent action?”

That said, the statistics they quote of violence by anti-abortion protesters are more than I’ve ever heard of, but I’d like to see a source other than the National Abortion Federation.

But it doesn’t really give one the moral high ground to make the argument that the UK is better because they don’t think abortion is as serious an issue as Americans do, or that the “problem” is that Americans are more religious than Brits.

_USA Today_ has a decent article on Cutie

Point of clarification: Alberto Cutie is not an “ex priest.” I’m pretty sure the laicization process is not this fast, and, even then, as I understand it, one is still a “priest forever.”

He may be a suspended priest, meaning his canonical status is the same as the bishops and priests in the Society of St. Pius X. He is now an apostate priest, having officially joined a non-Catholic religion (we will ignore for the time being of whether Epicopalians are schismatic).

The bishop of Miami has expressed dismay over the fanfare the Episcopalians are giving to Cutie’s defection, noting the Catholic Church tries, in spirit of “ecumenical dialogue,” to be discreet–certainly not to gloat–regarding the conversions of Episcopal priests to Catholicism.

Interestingly enough, apparently when the bishop’s statement was read at Fr. Cutie’s now-former parish, the congregation applauded–the bishop, not their former pastor.

If Cutie was some guy who left his wife for another woman, would the media be presenting him as a hero? If he was a psychologist who ran off with a patient, would the media be presenting him as a hero?

Seeing pictures of Cutie, I’m struck by the same feeling I always had about the former Fr. Francis Mary Stone: he doesn’t “look like” a priest.

Again, why is he known as “Father Oprah”? He looks too “cool.” I’m not speaking of his physical appearance but his demeanor, his facial expressions. When I think of the best priests I’ve known, they always have a certain air about them. Sometimes, they appear more serious and authoritative. Sometimes, it’s a gentle and compassionate air. Usually, it’s a combination of both. But you don’t get the impression that he wants to be your “buddy. “

Wearing the cassock or habit and the right Mass vestments certainly help, but a holy priest carries a certain authority about him, the authority of a man who is truly living in persona Christi. There are priests who, when they enter the church, I rise; not just because it’s the time to rise, but because their presence, in their liturgical role, is so awesome you *feel* the presence of Christ in them, you feel the sense of an authority to which the most powerful secular ruler pales.

When I think of Fr. Paul Scalia, Fr. Christopher Mould, Fr. John Riley, Fr. Greg Kirsch, Fr. Jacques Daley, OSB, Fr. Chris Lefrois, OSB, Fr. Tony Rigoli, OMI, Fr. John Riley, Fr. Michael Duesterhaus, Fr. Jerry Orsino, OMI, Fr. Richard Mcalear, OMI, Fr. Gode Iwele, OMI, Fr. James “Pablo” Burke, CSsR, Fr. Mark Moretti, Fr. Phillip Majka, Fr. Richard Harris, or the FSSP priests whose masses I’ve attended, or several others whose names I can’t recall offhand, even the currently-suspended Frs. James Haley and Christopher Buckner, despite many differences in style or temperament or spirituality, I would not dare to compare any one of them with Oprah Winfrey.

That’s not to say there aren’t a few priests I *could* think of comparing to Oprah Winfrey. . . .

Lastly, to demonstrate that the Episcopal Church is the perfect place for Catholics like Fr. Cutie, let’s hear this commentary from Rev. Lovejoy, in the role of an Anglican Bishop before battling the Spanish Armada in a recent Simpsons episode:

“Lord Jee-zuz, although our country turned Protestant for the sole reason that our fat, mean king could dump his faithful wife, we know You’re on our side. So, please destroy these horrible monsters who believe Your Mother should be revered!”

2 Soldiers shot–1 killed, 1 injured–by Muslim at recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark.

Where are the cries from the MSM that all Muslims are terrorists, or that the anti-war movement is to blame?

Where are the cries from the Catholic Left about “changing the rhetoric”?

Where is the Attorney General demanding US Marshalls at every Army recruiting station?

Where is Janet Napolitano profiling Muslims and anti-war activists as potential soldier-shooters?

Where are the statements of grief from Pax Christi and the School of the Americas protestors, saying, “We are for peace, and this is not an act of peace”?

Where are 10,000 blog and internet headlines say, “Soldier killed at recruiting station”?

Why isn’t this the top story on CNN?

Anybody?

Kansas Bishops Respond to Tiller Shooting

The truth behind "abortion prevention", or "Paul VI was right"

When Mary was at the College of William and Mary, she was active in two groups: the Catholic Campus Ministry and Alternatives to Abortion (ATA). The ATA group was mostly made of conservative Catholics and like one nominal Protestant. She sometimes jokes that ATA was like the “alternative CCM for conservatives.”

Anyway, she says how they’d debate the feminist student group, and the topic of “common ground” would come up. The feminists would insist they wanted to “reduce” abortions and ask for “common ground.” The ATA people would say, “Sure!”

Then the feminists would suggest they get together on a condom drive. “Uh, we’re opposed to condoms, too,” replied ATA, and the feminists were baffled, and called them hypocrites. I don’t recall if ATA suggested to the feminists that they get together to promote chastity.

The claim is often made that pro-lifers are hypocrites for opposing contraception, but two wrongs don’t make a right; the ends don’t justify the means. The claim is especially made regarding AIDS and other STDs that condoms are, in that case, “pro-life” for avoiding spread of disease. John Paul II addresses both of these objections in Evangelium Vitae.

Last year, when Obama was the clear winner of the Democratic nomination, and shortly before Douglas Kmiec made his notorious endorsement of Obama, Obama’s “Catholic Outreach” was made up of the “usual suspects” like Ted Kennedy and one of his nieces. They had an exchange of “open letters” with Bill Donohue. Donohue had urged Obama to pick some “real” Catholics as his outreach if he really wanted to win the Catholic vote, and not these abortion supporters.

They responded by calling Donohue a hypocrite, saying he was engagnig in “anti-Catholicism” by criticizing fellow Catholics, and that proclaiming Catholics must be loyal to the Pope is just baiting anti-Catholicism. They also insisted that they were not “pro-abortion,” but wanted to “reduce abortion”: the claim made by Obama, Catholics United, etc.

Only problem with this is *how* they want to “reduce” abortions. Obama, of course, makes no secret of the fact that he thinks artificial contraception is the way to “reduce” abortion. And while people like Doug Kmiec and Chris Korzen skate the issue, the original Obama Catholics like Ted Kennedy make no bones about it. Let’s recall that it was Ted Kennedy who railroaded the Robert Bork nomination because of Bork’s position on Griswold v. Connecticut and artificial contraception.

These people try to say, “We’re anti-abortion, but we’re pro-contraception,” as if that’s OK, as if that is not just as much a violation of both Catholic teaching and the Natural Law (whether you look to the teachings of other religions or even the behavior of animals, Natural Law favors reproduction).

Yet, the evidence is just the opposite. Rising tolerance of contraception is always followed by rising tolerance of abortion. Liberals insist that chastity education doesn’t work, yet they specifically credit “the Pill” with the so-called Sexual Revolution. Even the Supreme Court acknowledged in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that legalized abortion is necessary so long as contraception is legal. Kissinger acknowledged it in NSSM-200, and said that, if his plan for depopulation of third world countries was to work, then tolerance of abortion needed to be promoted in the US (and that both had to happen under the euphemism of “choice” to create the illusion that the entire thing was not being engineered by the government).

In 1998, Phil Lawler wrote a column talking about how accurate Paul VI’s predictions in Humanae Vitae had been: how the 30 years since the encyclical had proven that societal acceptance of contraception encourages immoraliity and undermines the family.

He has recently reprinted that column in the light of Obama’s speech at Notre Dame, to reemphasize that contraception does not reduce abortions and that it only creates greater evils.