Organ Donation – The UGH! Factor…

The Church is very clear on the meaning of death. “Death can mean decomposition, disintegration, a separation,” Pope John Paul II said in a 1989 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. “It occurs when the spiritual principle which ensures the unity of the organism no longer exercises its functions in and upon the organism, whose elements, left to themselves, disintegrate.”

The scenario has become a familiar one in the news media. There is a tragic accident, a young victim, and a distraught family. Within the next few days, follow-up stories report approvingly that the organs of the brain-dead patient have been donated. The family expresses relief that at least some good has been derived from what might otherwise have been merely a senseless tragedy. Most readers find little controversy in these stories. Donating the organs of a brain-dead patient has become a routine procedure at both secular and religious hospitals throughout the US, and throughout the world. However, a small but growing number of ethicists tire protesting what they deem an overly hasty rush to procure organs for transplant a rush which, they contest, is sometimes so hasty that “brain-dead” patients are in fact alive when they are put to the knife.  Click here to read more…

Comment: 

The Scottish Government plans to bring forward legislation to change the current situation where it is necessary for patients to  choose to donate their organs at death, and such volunteers often carry a card specifying that they wish to donate organs.  Read more here.  

The system is to be changed so that patients must opt-out – otherwise, our organs may be presumed to be available.  I have sent the following email to Aileen Campbell, MSP, Minister for Public Health in Scotland: 

Dear Ms Campbell,

With reference to the planned legislation to enforce “opt out” of organ donation, please advise how to go about opting out.

I presume this entails notifying my GP, but I would also like to ensure that I carry a card to indicate that I do not wish to donate an organ, NOR do I wish to receive one, in any emergency situation that may arise, so I presume that there will be a card to read “I do NOT wish to donate”, as there is an opt-in card already available.

I look forward to your advice on these matters, as soon as possible.  Thank you. END

Now, I know that the new Catechism of the Catholic Church praises organ donation in the highest terms:  Donation of organs after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a manifestation of generous solidarity… (#2296)

So, why do I have such a revulsion against the very idea?  Whatever happened, I ask myself, to accepting God’s will when afflicted with serious illness, albeit allowing for the pursuit of available treatments to improve or restore health. Having someone else’s organs transplanted into us, seems to me, to go way beyond that.  However, I get the feeling that I’m very much in the minority on this subject.  I won’t be won over:  the revulsion I felt when I first heard about organ transplants has never left me – but I look forward to learning how other bloggers view this matter.  Over to you!  

16 July: Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel

The Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel is a very good time to learn about the Brown Scapular, and for those who are not yet enrolled in it to resolve to do so.  Click here for a comprehensive history of the Brown Scapular, with details of miracles and the facts about the (often misunderstood) Sabbatine Privilege.

Our Lady of Mt Carmel, pray for us!

Comment:

Those who are not yet enrolled in the Brown Scapular but would like to be, might be interested to learn that enrolments will take place on the Feast, 16th July, in both the Glasgow and Edinburgh SSPX chapels after Mass.  In  Glasgow, Mass begins at 9.45.am here, and in Edinburgh Mass begins at 1pm here.

Note: in Glasgow, on Sundays, there is free parking on Sauchiehall Street, and a small all-day charge at the National Car Park in Cambridge Street, both a short walk from the chapel.  In Edinburgh, there is usually parking on the street outside the church, but the pavement is currently being restored, so this is not possible at the present time. There is, however, a car park a few hundred yards north of the chapel, first opening on the right. It is signposted St Leonard’s Parking. Usually free on Sundays.

13/7: Fatima Centenary of Vision of Hell

The Lady told Lucia: …Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially whenever you make some sacrifice: ‘O Jesus, it is for love of You, and for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’“ 

As Our Lady spoke these last words (Lucia said) she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.”

The Explanation of the Vision

Our Lady said to us, so kindly and so sadly: “You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God, that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.

To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.

In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world. In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.”

Our Lady then taught the children a prayer to add to the end of each mystery of the Rosary: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell, Take all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.

The seers photographed after the vision of Hell.

Comment:

Believe it or not, there are actually Catholics who disapprove of Our Lady showing the children the vision of Hell.  Why on EARTH would anyone think or say such a thing? 

There is no shortage of warnings about Hell in Sacred Scripture, and saints down the centuries have had visions of the torments awaiting souls in Hell: “I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.” St. Catherine of Siena.

So, rather than be shocked at the children of Fatima being shown the vision of Hell, the truly Catholic response  is one of gratitude; it is, surely,  a great grace to have had the dogma of Hell affirmed by Our Lady herself at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was to come under enormous attack.  Or perhaps you would have preferred a vision of Heaven? Share your thoughts…

 

Sky News Owes Catholic Church Apology

I walked into my living room this morning, just as the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was saying: “The problem is, Catholicism is making women have babies.”

I immediately rang Sky to lodge a complaint about this blatant bias, and then emailed viewer@sky.uk as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was appalled to hear the journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on the All Out Politics Show on Sky this morning, remark that “…The problem is, Catholicism is making women have babies.” (then laugh.) Nasty woman.

Were I to dare to make a similar nasty remark about Islam (her religion, I believe) I would face a visit from my local police – no doubt about it.  Can you imagine the outcry if I, or anyone else, were to say “the problem is, Islam is making these people into terrorists”?

There is one rule for Islam and another rule for the rest of us, notably the Catholic Church.

I will be posting this email on the Catholic Truth blog shortly, because I doubt very much if any publicity, let alone an apology, will be forthcoming from Sky, so I will do what is within my limited power to publicize the unconscionable anti-Catholic bias of Sky.

Signed
Editor
Catholic Truth

Comment:

If a comparable comment were made on air about Islam – “the peaceful religion” – to the effect that “Islam is causing people to become terrorists” all Hell would break loose, so should, in your opinion, Sky News apologise for this scandal – and should Yasmin Alibhai-Brown be dropped as a political commentator on their programme(s)?

I will, of course, seek an email address in order to send Yasmin Alibhai-Brown a link to this thread. She comes across as a tad arrogant, in my opinion,  so I doubt if she will give a toss, but in the interests of fairness, I feel obliged to offer her the opportunity to exercise her right to reply. Just don’t hold your breath, not least because it’s never easy to defend the indefensible and an apology is, to say the least, highly unlikely unless it is in the category of “I’m sorry if I offended you… “  Not acceptable. We require an apology for lying about the Catholic Church and insulting every Catholic woman on the planet – that’s what we are looking for – nothing less.  So, as I say, don’t hold your breath.

General Discussion (15)

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment, as the GD discussion threads fills up very quickly.

Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.   OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there.  Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic.   If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.     

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever.   Enjoy!

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

(1) click here  (2) click here  (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here
(6) click here  (7) click here (8) click here  (9) click here (10) click here
(11) click here (12) click here   (13) click here   (14) click here  

SSPX: Pope Sets Impossible Conditions

For the record: Cardinal Müller’s letter to Bishop Fellay on the necessary conditions for “full re-establishment of communion” with the SSPX

Last weekend, as rumors swirled of Cardinal Müller’s imminent dismissal from his post as Prefect of the CDF, the French website Medias-Presse.Info published what it claimed to be an excerpt from an important letter sent by the Cardinal to Bishop Bernard Fellay regarding the conditions for an accord between the Vatican and the SSPX. Today the Remnant published an English translation of this excerpt; we reproduce the entire Remnant article below, followed by a note on the 1988 Professio Fidei mentioned in it.  

Rorate’s own sources have confirmed the authenticity of this text. 

Cardinal Müller’s Letter to Bishop Fellay 

From http://www.medias-presse.info comes the following excerpt of a letter from Cardinal Müller to Bishop Bernard Fellay. According to http://www.medias-presse.info, Cardinal Müller’s letter was communicated to all SSPX members by the SSPX General House. 

Excerpt from Cardinal Müller’s letter: 

“As you know, Pope Francis has many a time manifested his benevolence towards your Priestly Society, granting, in particular, to all priest members the faculty of confessing the faithful validly and by authorizing local Ordinaries to grant licences for the celebration of the marriages of the faithful who follow the pastoral activity in your Society. Furthermore, discussions are continuing concerning questions relative to the full re-establishment of the communion of your Society with the Catholic Church. 

In relation to this, with the approbation of the Sovereign Pontiff, I judged it necessary to submit to the Ordinary Session of our Congregation (which met on May 10 last) the text of the doctrinal Declaration which was transmitted to you during the meeting of June 13, 2016, as the necessary condition in view of the full re-establishment of communion. Here are the unanimous decisions of all the members of our Dicastery in this regard: 

1) It is necessary to require the adhesion of the members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to the new formula of the Professio Fidei dating from 1988 (c.f. annexe). Consequently, it is not sufficient to ask them to express the Professio Fidei of 1962. 

2) The new text of the doctrinal Declaration must contain a paragraph in which the signatories declare in an explicit manner their acceptance of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and those of the post-conciliar period, by granting to said doctrinal affirmations the degree of adhesion which is due to them. 

3) The members of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X must recognize not only the validity, but also the legitimacy of the Rite of the Holy Mass and of the Sacraments, according to the liturgical books promulgated after the Second Vatican Council.” 

www.medias-presse.info adds that Cardinal Müller concluded the letter saying that “during the Audience granted to the Cardinal Prefect on May 20 2017, the Sovereign Pontiff approved these decisions”. The French website also adds that in his accompanying letter to SSPX priests, Father Christian Thouvenot, Secretary General of the SSPX, recalled the words of Bishop Fellay after the meeting of the major superiors in Anzère, Switzerland, on June 28 2016: 

“The Society of Saint Pius X does not seek primarily a canonical recognition, to which it has a right because it is Catholic. The solution is not simply juridical. It pertains to a doctrinal position which it is imperative to manifest […] Divine Providence will not abandon Its Church whose head is the Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ. That is why an incontestable sign of this restoration will reside in the signified will of the Sovereign Pontiff to grant the means for re-establishing the order of the Priesthood, the Faith and Tradition – a sign which will be, furthermore, the guarantor of the necessary unity of the family of Tradition”.  Source – Rorate Caeli

Comment:

This news is as disappointing as it is worrying.  A one-liner comment on an American blog sums up the problem of the schismatic mentality which has become rooted in the souls of some SSPX affiliates who rejoice each time a “deal” falls through:  A deal breaker.  Thank God!  wrote one USA blogger. 

Clearly, Bishop Fellay cannot compromise – that’s a given.  But that there seems no end in sight (humanly speaking) to the irregular situation in which the crisis in the Church has placed the SSPX, is surely no cause for rejoicing – is it?

Little Charlie Gard: Victim of Rampant Disposable Culture – Cardinal Sgreccia

Little Charlie Gard’s Case in 10 Points, by Cardinal Sgreccia
Give Care Even When One Cannot Cure
July 5, 2017
ZENIT Staff Pope & Holy See

CHARLIE GARD
by Constance Roques with Anita Bourdin

Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, analyzed little Charlie Gard’s case and offered “10 critical points” for consideration in the Italian daily La Stampa, on Monday, July 3, 2017.

We recall that Charlie Gard was born on August 4, 2016 and suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which has affected his brain. He receives assistance to breathe, is hydrated and fed through a tube, but receives no other care.

Give Care Even when One Cannot Cure

Cardinal Sgreccia stressed first of all that “the non-curable character can never be confused with incurability” (1).

He explained: “A person affected by an ailment considered, in the present state of medicine, as incurable, is paradoxically the subject that, more than any other, has the right to request and obtain continuous assistance and care, attention and devotion: it is a cardinal principle of the ethics of care . . . The human face of medicine is manifested precisely in the clinical practice of ‘taking care’ of the life of the suffering and the sick.”
Human Dignity

Cardinal Sgreccia then affirmed the intrinsic dignity (2) of every human being and the rights that stem from it, regardless of his state of health: “The right to be continually the object, or better still, the subject of attention and care on the part of members of the family and others, lies in the dignity of a human person, including a new-born, sick and suffering, and never ceases to be possessed.”

Feeding and Hydration Are Not Therapies

He then recalled the duty to feed and hydrate (3): they are not aps of therapies but the minimum necessary to survive of every human being: “Artificial feeding-hydration through a nose-gastric tube in no case can be considered as a therapy . . . Water and food do not become medications by the sole fact that they are administered artificially; consequently, interrupting them is not like suspending a therapy, but it is to let someone die of hunger and thirst who simply cannot feed himself autonomously.

The Parents’ Decision

Cardinal Sgreccia pointed out that there must not be a caesura between the doctors’ gestures and the parents’ will (4): “The cardinal idea that founds the informed consensus is linked to the principle according to which the patient is never an anonymous individual . . . but a conscious and responsible subject . . . This implies the necessity that he be involved in the decisional processes that concern him, in a dialogic relation that avoids his finding himself in the situation of having to suffer passively the decisions and choices of others. The history of little Charlie proves on the contrary that, in the course of time, a dynamic has been created of substantial detachment between the decisions of the medical team and the will of the parents.”

An Integral Palliative Approach

Cardinal Sgreccia declared himself in favor (5) of an “integral palliative” approach: “It is possible that the experimental therapy does not give the medical results expected, but it is also true that Charlie’s sufferings call for an integral palliative and systematic approach that could hypothetically accompany the experimentation itself.”

To Keep the Pain under Control

Cardinal Sgreccia recommended (6) to keep the pain under control”: “ In our opinion, the principle of the best interest of the minor hardly entails, or better, hardly legitimizes a passive form of euthanasia as that which was decided to practice on little Charlie. We believe that his best interest lies in the direction of assuring him the most dignified existence possible, through an opportune antalgic strategy, which enables to keep the pain under control should it prove to be impossible to follow the route to access the experimental protocol already underway in the United States. It is exactly what Charlie’s parents have not ceased to request up to today.”

The Opinion of the European Court 

The Cardinal believes (7) that the European Court did not respect these criteria: ‘The European Court of Human Rights has glided in an unbelievable way on all the aspects of content listed up to here and it also seems that it went beyond, assuming a purely procedural position, in the name of the principle of the margin of appreciation … It considered that it should not enter the subject of the issue of the suspension of artificial feeding-hydration-respiration in the name of that sovereign autonomy of the Member States, which authorizes them to regulate at their discretion the themes of the ethically most complicated aspects, such as the case of the practicability or not of passive euthanasia on a new-born.”

A “Rampant Disposable Culture”

Cardinal Sgreccia lamented the “rampant disposable culture”: “Hidden behind each aspect of this story, although never mentioned, is the idea of the efficacy in the management of health resources that pushes to make use of them in a manner that cannot but generate a rampant disposable culture.”

The False Paradigm of the “Quality of Life”

He questioned (9) the “paradigm” of the so-called “quality of life”: “More disquieting yet is the lightness with which the paradigm of quality of life is accepted, namely, that cultural model that inclines to recognize the non-dignity of certain human existences, completely identified and confused with the pathology of which they are bearers or with the sufferings with which they are accompanied.”

Euthanasia Demanded 

Finally, Cardinal Sgreccia lamented (10) a drift toward a trivialized euthanasia: “In the transparency of schizophrenic positions implied by these new cultural paradigms, one can perceive the ambivalence of those that, in demanding the freedom of total and indiscriminate access to euthanasia – basing it on the exclusive predominance of individual autonomy — deny at the same time this decisional autonomy in other cases, as the one of which we speak, where it is considered that only the doctors have the legitimacy to decide, without any involvement of the parents.”

Readiness of the Vatican’s Hospital

We recall likewise that on Monday, July 3, the President of the Bambino Gesu (Infant Jesus) pediatric hospital, a dependency of the Vatican, Mrs Mariella Enoc, said she was ready to receive Charlie Gard in Rome if his parents so wished and if his state permitted it.

In a press release on Monday, July 3, 2017, she quoted in Italian Pope Francis’ Tweet, posted on his account @Pontifex_it on June 30: “Defend human life, especially when it is wounded by sickness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to every man.”

“The Holy Father’s words, in reference to little Charlie, summarize well the mission of the Bambino Gesu hospital. That is why I asked the Health Director to verify with London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where the new-born is hospitalized, and if the health conditions exist for Charlie’s eventual transfer to our hospital. We know that the case is desperate and that, apparently, effective therapies do not exist.”

Pope Francis’ Closeness

Mrs Enoc expressed her closeness to the parents, saying: “We are close to the parents through prayer and if it is their wish, we are ready to receive their child at our hospital for the time that remains to him to live.”

Pope Francis addressed a message to Charlie Gard’s parents on Sunday evening, July 2, expressing his closeness, through his spokesman, Greg Burke: “The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the affair of little Charlie Gard and he expresses his closeness to his parents.” Pope Francis, he said, “prays for them and hopes that their desire to accompany and care for their child to the end is not disregarded.”

On June 27, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the request to take the child to the United States for experimental treatment and the British High Court pronounced itself in favor of halting the respiratory, hydration and feeding assistance.

Mrs Mariella Enoc, President of Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital, who had expressed her readiness to receive the baby, if his transfer was possible and if his parents so wished, announced on Tuesday, July 4 that the transfer would not be possible for “legal” reasons: it is in any case the answer of the English hospital where Charlie is at present, reported Vatican Radio. Mrs Enoc said she was contacted by the baby’s mother to discuss his care.
In regard to surmounting the legal reasons, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin assured : “If we can do so, we will,” reported the same source.
[Article Translated from French]  Source – Zenit

Comment:

The UK Government cites “legal grounds” for not permitting this baby to be taken to the Vatican Hospital – click here

Recall,  though, that the “legal grounds” for only permitting people of opposite genders to marry were overturned in a heartbeat, as was the law prohibiting the murder of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs.  Laws can be changed when it suits politicians.  What, then, is going on here? Why are the doctors and politicians so keen to allow this baby to die, despite his parents’ desperate desire to keep him, care for him, raise him in a loving home? What is going on?