Father Lawrence C. Smith
Conservatism’s True Colors
It never ceases to amaze how perennially apt is the saying of a good
Catholic wife in this writer’s acquaintance: Conservatives are
just liberals in slow motion. Here is some proof of the invariable veracity
of that statement:
It was unseemly for critics to compare [Terri Schiavo’s]
end with that of victims of the Nazi regime. There was never a more
industrious inquiry than in the Schiavo case, into the matter of rights
formal and inchoate. It is simply wrong, whatever is felt about the
eventual abandonment of her by her husband, to use the killing language.
She was kept alive for 15 years, underwent a hundred medical ministrations,
all of them in service of an abstraction, which was that she wanted
to stay alive. There are laws against force-feeding, and no one will
know whether, if she had had the means to convey her will in the matter,
she too would have said, Enough. - “The Great Quandary”,
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., online at “Townhall.com”, 22 March
As if the complete capitulation by conservatives to liberals on the
issues of abortion, sodomite marriage, ballooning big government, usurpation
of parents’ rights by public educators, and broadcast obscenity
and blasphemy under cover of the First Amendment to a Constitution wholly
oblivious to the existence of a First Commandment were not “Enough!”,
there is now the spectacle of the high priest of conservatism, the venerable
if at times overbearing William F. Buckley, Jr., inveighing against
the preservation of life and rationalizing that somehow the willful
starvation of a human being is not murder. Mr. Buckley sees fit to ignore
common sense, philosophical truth, and the authority of the Catholic
Church, of which he is a member. Any child knows that not feeding someone
is cruel; thinking men by definition understand that moral absolutes
must be applied else they become futilities whose pursuit is deemed
naught but “service to an abstraction”; and, all the novelties
of Vatican II notwithstanding, Catholics agree that the Fifth Commandment
remains firmly and fully in force.
Modernity has grown more than accustomed to voices from the left abandoning
reason in favor of emotionalism. The murder of children in the name
of convenience, easy pleasure, and rights whose only origin - and destination
- is hell, has been a goal sought for almost two centuries now. Liberals
pleaded, demanded, litigated, marched, and murdered (in secret) until
they got their way (to murder in full view of the public). Hidden from
view, along with untold instances of fornication, adultery, rape, and
marital boredom, was the equally desired result that all of society,
not only liberals, but conservatives, the indifferent, and the ignorant,
would as well accept slaughter as an ordinary way of life among enlightened
citizens of the modern world. The twenty-first century has dawned on
a day in which “conservative” advocates of the “pro-life”
movement have resigned themselves to the fact that abortion is “the
law of the land” and must be enforced by government servants,
that America “is not ready” to end abortion, and that their
position is somehow different from “moderate” liberals who
personally find child murder distasteful and so wish to make it “affordable,
safe, and rare”.
Let us not predict that the stentorian proclamations from the pen of
Mr. Buckley added to the chorus of bloodthirsty compassionates lobbying
for the accelerated demise of Mrs. Schiavo are the last or the ultimate
outrage to be perpetrated by the treacherously fickle partisans of the
un-right. None would have thought thirty-five years ago that Catholics
would be marching in the streets shrieking loudly that mothers should
have government funding to murder their babies, that a Catholic bishop
would apologize for not allowing a funeral Mass for a sodomite drug-user
whose business was to provide a venue for sodomy and drug use under
the guise of “entertainment”, or that another Catholic bishop
would make repeated public statements that a right exists for family
members to starve a “loved one” to death. It is dangerous
to assume the worst is about to happen, and equally perilous to assume
that the worst has already happened. Hard experience demonstrates that
men but loosely clinging to a sense of virtue, truth, and sanctity will
eventually embrace thoroughly foul positions, astonishing in their repudiation
of what had till then been considered absolute verities rejected by
none but the depraved.
But, ladies and gentlemen, it is none but the depraved with whom we
are dealing here. The abandonment of the social reign of Christ the
King - by members of His own Body, the Catholic Church, and, obviously,
by His enemies outside of the Catholic Church - has brought about the
disgusting state of affairs in which it is considered necessary to debate
whether sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance should be permitted in
civil law for those who consent. None but the depraved favor child murder,
sodomy, usury, divorce, euthanasia, and the regicide committed against
our Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ. The social order is not protected by
the fools and/or fiends who defend the state when it attacks the right
to life, the natural order, and the supernatural destiny of mankind.
At the same time, truth is not served when its adherents fail to point
out clearly how foul in the eyes of God are the banes of apostasy, heresy,
deceit, oppression of the weak, and the seven deadly sins. It is long
past time to declare the “debate” ended, the “quandary”
solved: Repent now, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand - or suffer
the consequences forever in hell!
Where We Have Been: Nasty Nazis and Awful Americans
In the happy lands of yore where Christ was King, the letter of the
law as well as its spirit contributed to the wellbeing of those subject
to His Law. Loving God above all things, with one’s whole heart,
mind, soul, and strength, and one’s neighbor as one’s self
unto death, leads to the judgement by God that souls so disposed to
act should not merely be subject to that Law, but should reign alongside
of the Lawgiver. If indeed a man in a position of authority wherein
he must judge according to the laws of the jurisdiction entrusted to
him, instead committed an injustice, higher laws within the state and
the highest laws of the Church defended victims of encroaching tyranny.
And, of course, the final tribunal before God Almighty rights any wrongs
tolerated by the meek upon the earth. Individuals, kingdoms, and the
Universal Church were once in agreement that justice was definable,
discernible, and desirable for all in all cases - perfected in the mercy
manifested on the Cross at Calvary.
Well over a half of a millennium ago, untold numbers of Catholics rejected
this truth. They decided that Our Lord speaking through His Vicar, the
Pope, the heir of St. Peter, was inadequate to render each his due,
citing the all too evident personal shortcomings of various vicars as
their primary evidence. Lutherans and Anglicans and Encyclopedists and
Jacobins and Americans and Russians and assorted secularists of every
stripe abandoned the notion that anyone but man is the judge of man.
In the place of God man was placed. The God-Man was ordered to give
way to man as god.
Very few men have had the privilege of exercising their authority as
gods, but for those who have been so favored - by fate? by merit? by
chance? - there have been countless opportunities for them to demonstrate
their superiority to what was accomplished by God Incarnate among men.
It must never be forgotten that those who most would see man as God
forcefully reject men acting in their own right in their own lives as
sovereign gods. To paraphrase Orwell, some gods are more equal than
others. Pantheons are such cluttered and messy things. Just read Homer.
Realizing this, the Third Reich sought to enshrine a master race as
the inheritors of the earth. Nothing of the meek was involved in that.
Hitler and his henchmen endeavored to cleanse not only Germany, but
as much of the earth as possible of the undesirable, unfit, and undeserving
from the possibility of enjoying a thousand-year reign. This should
not have come as a surprise to anyone - megalomaniacs are never shy.
Adolph Hitler published his ideas decades before he was able to implement
them. It is not as if he did not try to tell everyone what he was about.
It is just that most of the men in a position to stop him did not listen
But many gave heed to him who thought that they could benefit from him.
Thus, Hitler was popularly elected. The Nazi government had diplomatic
relations with Great Britain, France, Austria, Poland, Russia, Italy,
and even the United States of America. Luminaries such as Lindbergh,
Edward VIII, and Petain were able to find common ground with the ideology
of the little corporal. It is often forgotten, alas, amongst the votaries
of political correctness, that both Pius XI and Pius XII were publicly,
vehemently, and unequivocally - and in writing - opposed to the goals
of the Axis Powers - and communism, too.
Democratic suffrage propelled Hitler to power. The apparatus of an advanced
nation-state was given over to his policies. An ancient cultural patrimony
was utilized to propagate a futuristic fantasy of the place of the Aryan
in the world to the world. Most of the world stood aside as all of this
was done. And every bit of it was done according to the laws of due
process within the sovereign government housed in Berlin.
Jews were not dispossessed overnight. Laws were passed. Children of
Abraham appealed. They lost, and lost their goods. Other laws were passed.
The Chosen People protested. They were denied, and in that denial were
denied rights as citizens. Yet more laws were passed. The sons and daughters
of Sion lamented. None heard them as they succumbed to the gas and then
were consumed in flames.
By the way, Jews attempting to escape by sea were turned back on the
high seas by American naval vessels in the name of American neutrality.
The lend-lease policy of the Roosevelt administration along with the
goading toward war by that regime of the Japanese Empire indicates on
which side American “neutral” sympathies lay; and the number
of Jewish refugees accepted on American or any other shores reveals
on which side of the “final solution” the Allied Powers
were during the War. Yalta should disabuse anyone of the notion that
either Wilson’s or Roosevelt’s policies were successful
at making the world safe for democracy. The income tax, the Federal
Reserve system, and the welfare state should alert even the most somnambulistic
that aught but outright totalitarianism under the banner of democracy
as the Trojan horse for socialism was their goal.
”There was never a more industrious inquiry than in the Schiavo
case, into the matter of rights formal and inchoate,” says Mr.
Buckley. Granted. Much like the months of deliberation that went into
the final draft of the American Constitution that resulted in the designation
of blacks as 3/5 of a person each for the purposes of proportional representation
in the national legislature, and zero percent of a person for the purposes
of human rights to due process, property, and life. Years of debate
preceded the revocation of that deliberative decision before the sovereign
majesty of the United States declared war on its own citizens (who were
strict constructionists in regard to constitutional interpretation on
the subject of slavery), notwithstanding the absolute absence in the
Constitution bestowing such power on the federal government. That same
sovereignty in the ensuing decades, in the name of the betterment of
the same aggrieved men supposedly aided by the usurpation by the federal
government of states’ rights, then determined that men who once
were 3/5 of a man sometimes and nothing of a man at other times, should
be treated as separate but equal men at yet other times. Inquiry in
the United States has mandated that some men should be part men, no
men, and part-time men; dispossession, indignity, and death were the
result of that inquiry.
Similar inquiries have gone into the question of sodomy. From the destruction
of Sodom and Gomorrah until the 1960’s, adherents to the law of
God have adopted in the laws of men an absolute prohibition on such
unnatural acts. Continued inquiry absent appeal to the law of God has
resulted in that abomination migrating from a capital offense, to a
disgusting perversion, to a tolerated eccentricity, to a lauded lifestyle,
to a protected right in civil law. Not only are sodomite unions now
sought, but innumerable other combinations of men and women and even
children are now advocated before judges. The refusal to prosecute men
guilty of statutory rape of girls is setting the stage for the violation
of children by adults of the same sex. Encouraging children in the vice
of sodomy and self-abuse gives the unmistakable message that children
are competent to act on carnal impulses. Many will aver that children
are then able to consent to unnatural bonds with adults. Lawrence vs.
Texas, the states of Massachusetts and California, and the sex education
policies of the United States Department of Education make it abundantly
clear that the answer to the inquiry, “May people engage in whatever
carnal practices they wish?” is a resounding yes when the answerer
is the federal government, a state government, or we the people of the
United States of America, resulting in lifeless manifestations of lust,
whose purveyors and addicts would pretend to themselves is the more
noble virtue of love.
Of course, it is not considered polite to point out the self-contradictory
posture of those who insist that children may commit murder of the unborn,
but that children who commit murder of victims free of the womb are
not culpable in their crimes and thus are not deserving of capital punishment.
The overwhelming experience and assumption of mankind in society has
been that certain crimes are punishable by death. In many human societies,
one of those capital crimes was the abortion of a child. Centuries upon
centuries of human history testify to the fact that in law, in social
mores, and in practically every expression of faith, child murder is
an abomination before man and God. Concurrently, the state and society
had a vested interest and the power and the authority to mete out the
supreme sanction to those guilty of many different offenses, including
in utero infanticide. A millennia-long inquiry by virtually the whole
of mankind has found no right of individuals to kill the innocent, and
a strict duty on the part of governments to execute certain criminals.
Americans have seen fit to overturn that ruling.
What the Nazis and the Americans have in common is hubris, pride, and
an overweening esteem of self. Several concrete manifestations of this
shared national trait are borne out in the practices of both societies.
Longstanding legal precedents are easily set aside. Members of the society
heretofore considered guilty of no crime are dispossessed of property
and status under cover of law. And large classes of individuals are
designated as non-persons, who may be relocated, enslaved, and executed
without recourse to any authority above the state imposing the designation
Nazi redistribution of populations in the name of “Lebensraum”
was anticipated by decades in the American government’s relocation
of millions of Indians in the name of “Manifest Destiny”.
Hitler’s mercurial interpretations of treaties had antecedents
in American interactions with the Spanish, the Mexicans, and the aforementioned
Indian tribes. German factories during the War were staffed by countless
men, women, and children forced to labor under the harshest conditions;
black Africans fared no better under the rules spelled out by the Framers
of the American Constitution. Medical experiments by Nazis on uninformed
“patients” have their parallel in the U.S. Army’s
LSD experiments on soldiers, the University of Iowa’s experiments
in which healthy orphans were induced to stutter, and the government-funded
experiments in Alabama in which syphilitic black men were not treated
so as to determine the effects of the disease on human beings. And,
of course, the six million or more Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, sodomites,
dissenters, POW’s, cripples and other Nazi victims are dwarfed
by the well over 50 million infants slaughtered since the United States
embraced the devil’s rule in Roe v. Wade.
Keep in mind that Hitler broke no German laws. Slavery was not unconstitutional
when Lincoln went to war on the South. German courts did not prevent
the theft of citizens’ property, nor did American courts intervene
when Americans of Japanese descent were robbed of their property and
incarcerated on the West Coast during the War. Yes, the Holocaust was
a travesty revealing the evil that can lurk in men’s souls. At
least most Germans today are contrite about their nation’s gory
past. Roe v. Wade is defended in this nation as “the
law of the land” even by those elected officials who claim to
be opposed to it. Just following orders - from the Constitution, from
the people, from the party line - is the supreme law of the land. God’s
Law is no law in America. Far from a national sense of remorse at the
ongoing slaughter in our midst, there are parades each year celebrating
a woman’s “right” to choose.
Judicial inquiry lacking direction from the supreme Judge, God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, results in nothing but the caprice
of strong men inflicted on weaker men. Death sentences for innocents
are horribly common under such rule. Americans may have repented the
repugnant period of slavery at this nation’s founding, but they
learned nothing from the devastating experience. The full power of the
American government has deemed it legal to kill babies for profit, to
kill babies for convenience, to kill babies for research, to kill babies
for compassion, and to kill babies for nothing. Yes, Mr. Buckley, this
is a nation whose history very much can be described in terms equally
applicable to the Nazis and Adolph Hitler.
The courts are no protection from this tyranny, as the Supreme Court
rulings on sodomy, abortion, and capital punishment demonstrate. Politicians
provide no leadership, except in the rush toward perdition which their
every law in the moral sphere hastens. The people are part victim and
part culprit in this - as the saying goes, a democracy gets the government
it deserves. Lamentations about the ill state of things are not matched
with action to change them, except to exchange the foul status quo for
a yet bleaker future.
Blacks, Indians, and Irish have suffered the indignity of legal oppression
in this country in the past. Infants in wombs bear that burden today.
Terri Schiavo is the most well known of tomorrow’s second-class
citizens, the people whom compassionate people wish to kill to make
them feel better. “Them” feeling better can not be someone
like Mrs. Schiavo, because, as we are being told by her sensitive executioners,
she will not feel the pain of her slow starvation, which begs the question
of why she is being slain to end her suffering if she can not feel the
suffering. No, the “them” who want to feel better are they
who do not want to be bothered with the expense, the emotional trauma,
and the moral responsibility attendant to caring for the helpless.
There is little room in the American psyche for the inconvenience of
enduring the demands of the weak and the ill. The America of tomorrow
will insist on removing the human obstacles to the happiness of the
strong and healthy. The young, the well, the wealthy will determine
who is worthy of continuing to receive the benefits of membership in
the master race. Pulled feeding tubes, morphine, saline solutions, carbon
monoxide canisters, and guns in the night are the final solution awaiting
application to the problem of pain. When that problem is finally solved,
there will be plenty of lebensraum for the victors.
Where We Are Going: Therapeutic Poison Prescribed by Dr. Death
in the Nether Regions of the State of Denial
And that future is now.
For at least the last thirty years, medical staffs in The Netherlands
have been euthanizing patients. There have been revelations that not
every one of the “procedures” was done with the permission
of the subject. Others have confessed that family members of the deceased
were not always informed before the fact, either. In the year just ended,
still more statements have been made that children from birth to twelve
years old have been spared the burden of life, sometimes with their
parents’ acquiescence, sometimes not. It can not be known just
how many, but the majority of these activities was done in a period
when such was illegal in Holland. No prosecutions were sought after
the acts were publicly acknowledged. The actual result has been the
legalizing of more euthanasia, the demand for more liberal applications
of euthanasia, and the admission that some illegal acts of euthanasia
continue with the hope that making them more widely known will lead
to them being legalized as well.
The Dutch are having their prayers answered by the United States.
Oregon voters approved legislation in the 1990’s permitting assisted
suicide (accomplices to murder are guilty of murder; accomplices to
self-murder are not guilty of suicide, but of murder). Many legal challenges
are pending, but hundreds have availed themselves of the opportunity
to pursue life, liberty, and happiness through an early entrance to
the grave. Courts in the state of Oregon must wrestle with the question
of whether assisted suicide laws are constitutional, who benefits from
them, how they are to be enforced, what restrictions should be placed,
and what remedies ought to be applied where abuse occurs.
(Imagine the Kafkaesque scene of a “wrongful life” lawsuit
finding in favor or a “victim” who survived an assisted
suicide gone wrong. Perhaps the plaintiff will receive monetary damages
and the right to have the procedure repeated by another doctor at the
expense of the defendant, with the defendant ordered to pay damages
to his estate and survivors when the plaintiff is successfully deceased.
If enough of this were to happen, malpractice insurance rates for doctors
incompetent in the deadly arts would skyrocket. At some point some doctors
might begin to refuse to try to kill their patients for fear of accidentally
preserving life. Congress might become involved, passing legislation
encouraging medical schools to subsidize more students willing to specialize
in elective morbidity, and insurance reform might follow quickly after
so as to make suicide affordable, safe, and rare.)
Already years have elapsed as the litigation works its way through the
system. Many more years of debate, both at the state and federal levels,
will be necessary before a provisionally final determination is made,
for, of course, should some assisted suicide be deemed legal, far more
will be demanded. In the meantime, while the legalists work their magic,
death is reducing the number of house calls it must make and is accepting
There is, however, one fewer minion of mortality available to make suicide
more readily available. Dr. Jack Kevorkian was forced to refrain from
his, ahem, medical practice, although none of his patients complained,
indeed, none of his patients survived. If only he had waited a while
to establish himself in Oregon rather than in Michigan. Pioneers often
do not survive long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Midgets
are left to broaden the trails that the giants blazed as clerks and
bureaucrats seize the bounty won by visionaries.
Dr. Kevorkian is a case study in the inconsistency, nay, the insanity
surrounding the non-principles applied by those who maintain that the
right to life has a corollary right to death. (There is a bizarre irony
involved in a world filled with the indignity of the high life defined
as reality tv, gangsta culture, and laboring for cruelly taxed, inflation-ravaged
wages that at the same time is so set on seeking some kind of dignity
in choosing to escape said life.) Some jurisdictions say that lives
may be actively eliminated, sometimes with, sometimes without permission
from patients or family members. Some jurisdictions say that active
elimination of life is illegal, but that starving someone to death does
not constitute active murder. Still more jurisdictions say that coherent,
conscious, calm people may not elect to end whatever suffering they
find unbearable, but that the same persons if unconscious might be permitted
to die if they had placed such a directive in writing or made mention
of it to a close family member.
Dr. Kevorkian was incarcerated even though no one disputes that his
patients sought his services. Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri
Schiavo, stands to gain monetarily from his wife’s death without
any threat of legal investigation into the circumstances surrounding
her debilitating injury or any possibility of sanctions for pursuing
her death with the aid of hospital personnel. Doctors in Oregon can
do exactly what Dr. Kevorkian did and far from being jailed will receive
their fees. If a husband in Michael Schiavo’s situation were to
do the same thing at home, i.e., to refuse her food and drink, he would
be tried for murder. And Florida, where the Schiavos live, still has
the death penalty.
In this horrible instance, however, it is not the doctors or the husband
or even the judges who face the sentence of death. Instead, it is a
woman convicted of no crime, given no trial, and unable to mount any
kind of defense. Hardened murderers on death row have received more
pleas from the population at large to have their lives spared than Mrs.
Schiavo is now receiving in the court of public opinion. A surprisingly
large, vocal, and intense reaction has been aired, printed, and uploaded
insisting that Mrs. Schiavo’s life be ended. Or maybe such should
not be considered surprising in the land of abortion on demand.
Many who support her murder believe that Mr. Schiavo’s statement
that such would be her wish is sufficient grounds to proceed with the
gruesome, week-long or longer ordeal that is death by starvation and
dehydration. This brings into bright contrast the lack of principles
involved in jurisprudence and philosophical discourse on the matter.
If Mrs. Schiavo’s wishes to die are sufficient to have her actively
euthanized by neglect, then Dr. Kevorkian’s patients acted reasonably
and he provided a compassionate service, for which prosecution should
be unthinkable. On the other hand, some who are repelled by the prospect
of conscious persons choosing to die propose that it is the very debilitation
involved in Mrs. Schiavo’s state that makes it appropriate for
her to be put out of her misery, with less sensitivity than is given
to animals not in no-kill shelters.
What is being ignored is the question of just who determines how severe
suffering must be before the state permits euthanasia and/or assisted
suicide. Some are adamant that psychological suffering is every bit
as debilitating as physical suffering. What one woman finds endurable,
the next man might find excruciating. Thus, there should be an absolute
right for individuals to make this decision on their own or with whatever
counsel they deem necessary. The Netherlands is far down this road,
Dr. Kevorkian walked it until the confused legal system put a stop to
him, and Oregon is taking its first steps in that direction.
Minors and the incapacitated, then, would have such decisions made by
their caretakers. Mrs. Schiavo is in the care of her husband. He insists
that she would ask to die were she able to speak. There is no written
proof of this, no corroborating witness.
Advocates for dignity by death argue that the government has no place
in this conversation, that there is no overriding public interest in
somehow ensuring that death is not inflicted on the unwilling. Dr. Peter
Singer of Princeton University is at the vanguard of a group of extremists
of this ilk who claim that parents have the right to kill children from
conception until the age of reason or even later. Those incapacitated
by age, illness, or injury would be eliminated at the discretion of
their able-bodied caregivers. The Netherlands offers the example of
children up to the onset of puberty being euthanized on the authority
of doctors who did not consult parents or other family members.
The rational progression of the irrational premise that the will to
die is a legitimate urge to carry out, is that the will to kill usurps
the will to life. It is a fact, not speculation, that where euthanasia
is permitted in the name of voluntarily ending suffering, eventually
euthanasia is committed involuntarily in the name of compassion. Not
only is this morally reprehensible, it can mask outright murder posing
as disinterested obedience to the wishes of a loved one. If the state
can not regulate the circumstances obliging citizens to refrain from
murdering the innocent with the innocents’ consent, then citizens
will come to demand the murder of innocents lacking that consent. The
law is intended to ferret out murderers, not to condone or conceal murder.
But, of course, this dynamic will lead to the government taking an active
part in deciding which innocents will live and which will die. Instances
where an indigent is reliant on healthcare from the government might
well result in bureaucrats sensitive to red ink determining that the
quality of life of a comatose bag lady is sufficiently lacking to warrant
her starvation, regardless of whether or not a feeding tube is in use.
The federal government will probably weather the firestorm of outrage
from disclosures that such goings on in the name of the people have
been perpetrated far better than HMO’s have fared when taken to
the public woodshed for their bureaucrats withholding healthcare from
customers. A wealthy man whose family can not agree on whether or not
to “pull his plug” might well have the government intervene
on the side of death in anticipation of the tax revenues forthcoming
upon his demise. Lest any demur that such extreme cases are not fair
game for a sober argument, remember that there is nothing in the lack
of principles involved in the demand for euthanasia that can prevent
such occurrences. The record of the City of Chicago’s management
of public housing, the State of New Jersey in its foster care program
for children, and the federal government in its handling of the debacle
in Vietnam prove that public policy is not always in the hands of the
competent and its failures cost billions of dollars and scores of thousands
Furthermore, hard experience in The Netherlands shows that not all of
the suitors of the Grim Reaper are acting benignly in the name of the
severely ill and aged. Anecdotal accounts in the United States indicate
that severely injured persons have organs “harvested” before
death in order to facilitate transplants, and that babies delivered
with deformities or other medical problems are allowed to die without
further medical attention. A brave new world of euthanasia by government
fiat is not only not farfetched, there is nothing in the current direction
of the infernal debate to suggest that it is far off.
Very near at hand is the extension of the right to commit self-murder
extended to minors. It is irrational to campaign to make abortion available
to minors and then claim that minors are as competent as any adult to
take the lives of their children but are incompetent to take their own
lives as may adults. It is equally irrational to assert that the juvenile
mind competent to kill her baby, kill himself, or kill another, suffers
from inadequate maturity to be held accountable for his actions when
tried in a capital case. But as the Supreme Court has reversed itself
on matters of race relations, abortion, and sodomy - and capital punishment!
- any number of times, it is all too likely that the demand for compassionate
self-murder will overcome squeamishness about executing children. There
is likely still enough consistency and logic at large in society that
eventually the recognized rights of children to kill themselves or their
children will be balanced by the responsibility to be killed if they
kill whomever the government still protects from murder, few though
those souls are fast becoming. At present the government’s efforts
to stave off early death see the most success in preserving inmates
on death row. The unborn, the weak, and the old get far fewer and briefer
For those mortified at the prospect of so much mortality stalking the
land, there is one other voice to be heard on this subject, one other
will to be expressed on the matter of life. Before man descends any
further into this maelstrom fueled by a passion for death, he should
give heed to the Author of Life: Thou shalt not kill. - Exodus 20:13
Choose therefore life that both thou and thy seed may live. - Deuteronomy
32:20 The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy.
I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly. -
St. John 10:10
In all the legalese, tugging at heartstrings, and appeals to compromise,
few are asking the simple question of how starving Mrs. Terri Schiavo
conforms to not killing, choosing life, and increasing life. Every will
except the divine will has been consulted. Every law except the divine
law is invoked. It does not matter what the federal government, the
Florida government, the Schiavos, or Bishop Lynch want. God wants life,
not death. Demands for the death of Terri Schiavo come from those who,
witting or no, place themselves on this issue on the side opposing God.
Where God Is: Justice Lives in His Kingdom
Nietzsche proclaimed, “God is dead!” Some wag once put that
imbecility on the front of a t-shirt, with an attribution to its deceased
author. On its back he inscribed the legend, “Nietzsche is dead!
- God” Nietzsche now knows far better that God has always known
better. The problem with the men who have inherited the insane Nietzschean
nihilism is that they have taken their master’s “God is
dead”, and have gone further, living according to the rule, “Death
Death rules the thoughts and lives of modern men. Fear of death impels
science and medicine. Denial of death informs health and nutrition.
Fascination with death suffuses entertainment and culture. Exploitation
of death warps politics, foreign policy, and various business practices.
And worship of death is revealed in the disdain moderns have for living
a truly full life.
For life is not just pleasure and convenience. The height of unreality
self-inflicted by modern man is his refusal to feel pain. All is escape.
But his inability to avoid discovering the undiscover’d country
incites him to rage. Like a spoiled child at play, when he sees he can
not win, he pouts, throws a tantrum, breaks his favorite toys, and quits.
There is a twisted paradox to this frantic flight from the senses. Self-mutilation,
sodomite men intentionally attempting to attract the AIDS virus, so-called
“extreme” sports, a variety of disgustingly sophomoric “reality”
tv shows, and the vicious culture surrounding much of rock music betray
a terror of being numb among a large fragment of the population. In
a desperate effort to feel something other than the nothing that their
empty lives offer them, people are doing increasingly dangerous, even
suicidal, things in order to convince themselves that they are alive.
So much of daily activity in the modern world is deadening that the
deadly serves as one of the few reminders that death has not yet arrived.
In a world bereft of God, death becomes first and final cause. Biologists
are certain that life exists for no reason other than to not be dead.
Psychologists opine that all is about sex and sex is about rejecting
mortality - futilely. Tyrants consistently err by sending victims to
death in the foolish belief that all men fear death as much as they.
Aged and ill people seek death as the only fate that can spare them
the pain - physical, emotional, spiritual - of the fate of confronting
imminent death - physical, emotional, spiritual. When death becomes
all that one thinks about, then death has won its victory. People fixated
on not dying will never learn to live.
God sees things differently. He is the God of the living, not of the
dead. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth, and breathed into
his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul. God created
man to be alive. Man’s destiny is not meant to be death. Man’s
sin introduced death into the mix, but both the sin and the death are
against the will of God. It is also God’s will to save man from,
not to hasten him toward, death.
Through the Cross of His Son Jesus Christ, God the Father has established
His will to create a new Heaven and a new earth on the Last Day. All
of time leads to and flows from Good Friday in obedience to God’s
intention that all is to be in conformity with that ultimate reality.
Nothing of what man does in life on earth is to be disharmonious with
his divinely willed goal of life in Heaven. God sent His Son who died
on the Cross to make this possible, that men need not die forever but
rather live forever. All that is necessary for this has been accomplished
by Christ crucified. Everything that man needs in life, on earth and
in Heaven, is offered by the Son of God on the Cross.
Thus, if man is to avoid eternal death, he must do all that he can to
cooperate with this divine gift. He must do nothing that thwarts life
and emphasizes death. A far healthier paradox lives in the fact that
a life so lived fears no loss of this life, intent as it is on the life
that can not be lost. Faith in Christ crucified and the eternal life
He brings results in forgetfulness of the ephemeral state of natural
life beset by sin and allows an immersion in the joy that comes with
the supernatural life of grace. Respice finem taken to heart will mean
that a man will forget himself, his fears, and his sins, and instead
remember that God has made him to live with Him forever. Death is an
end but not the end for the faithful soul. After the end that is death,
the saint experiences the end of death and the beginning of unending
Terri Schiavo is in the grip of a legal system, a husband, and a local
bishop who are thoroughly in the clutches of the death-obsessed mores
of modernity. They are not trying to “let her die”. No,
they are trying to kill her. These fiends do not say, “What a
pity that she might die,” but bellow, “What a waste that
Mrs. Schiavo’s feeding tube is no more optional on the moral plane
for those responsible for her wellbeing than a mother’s breast
is for her newborn, the shakes sipped through straws for a man recovering
from jaw surgery, the pureed vegetables served to a toothless nonagenarian,
the absence of peanuts in the diet of those allergic to them, or the
IV drip attached to a teenager recovering from an auto accident. All
men receive food and water from intermediary sources. No one is self-sufficient
when it comes to the basic needs of nutrition and hydration. Hence,
the supreme law of charity requires that a person in more need receives
more, not less, care from those able to provide it.
Fundamentally, folks, no one can feed himself. This is not merely a
matter of feeding tubes or flatware or pizza delivery. Each and all
of us are dependent on God’s creation in which the sun shines,
the rain falls, the seed grows, the tree bears, and the ewe lambs without
man’s ability on his own to bring such startling phenomena about.
Even where men cooperate with God in the sowing or the shearing or the
weeding, they still are operating within a dynamic whose primary workings
are a mystery to the human mind. To a greater or lesser extent, each
man is dependent on all men for daily sustenance; to an infinite degree,
mankind is dependent on God.
It is God who feeds us. It is God who sustains us in being. It is God
who gives us life. If we are not to forfeit that life, we must acknowledge
that our lives are His to begin with. Attempting to keep one’s
life for oneself results in the eternal death of the self. Far worse
is the lot of the soul who attempts to take his life himself. Neither
by omission nor by commission is a man free to destroy what God has
created. We are not our own. We belong to God. Suicide and murder are
attempts to steal life from God. They always fail. No one who seizes
life, his own or another’s, will be able to retain possession
of that life. The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and
to destroy. I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly…And
I shall give them life everlasting: and they shall not perish for ever.
And no man shall pluck them out of my hand. That which my Father hath
given me is greater than all: and no one can snatch them out of the
hand of the Father. God is the Author of all life; any who reject His
claim will gain not life, but death.
Which, unfortunately, seems to be all that modern Americans are interested
in these days.
The dying person has certain rights. Death asserted as a right is a
perversion, particularly in the context of a society that denies the
right to life to so many. Death is a curse resulting from sin. No one
should pursue a curse as a goal for himself or for another. Anyone successful
in attaining such an accursed goal is guilty of heinous sin and thus
subject to the severest punishment.
Rights for the dying entail how they are to preserve their lives until
they die. Such rights are a matter of the manner in which they will
continue to live, not die, until God wills them Home to Him. Ours is
not to choose the time or the circumstances of the end of life. We are
to employ our free will in determining the nature of the life which
God at a time and under circumstances of His choosing will judge worthy
of eternal destruction or eternal preservation.
As a person dies, he has the right to all the medical care he needs
to preserve life, to attend to his duties, and to receive the Sacraments
from the Church. He is not bound to receive more than is minimally necessary
to satisfy these obligations, but he must ask for and be given at least
that minimum. His caregivers have a moral obligation to do all that
they are able materially, technically, emotionally, and spiritually
to provide for the dying in keeping with charity, especially as it is
expressed on the Cross.
Where a dying person has attended to the needs of his soul, reached
peace with all of the members of his family that he is able, and has
exhausted what reasonable medical professionals explain are the means
to recovery, then he is free to forego further medical treatment. It
is vitally important to understand that medical treatment is distinct
from nutrition, comfort, and compassion. The dying are no more to be
starved and dehydrated than they are to be tortured or ignored. Ignoring
the need for food and drink is to torture the dying.
It is a sick thought to suggest that the dying are to be subjected to
the slow and excruciating death of starvation and dehydration in the
name of ending their suffering. Such becomes a prolongation and increasing
of suffering, certainly temporally and if it is willed by the patient,
then eternally as well. If it is willed by others, the easing of their
suffering on earth will be but a postponement of suffering from which
there is no escape in hell.
Those things medical science and techniques offer that replace rather
than assist the ordinary functions of the human body can be foregone
when they are incapable of restoring the body to health. The purpose
of the medical arts is to seek health. When the skills of man prove
futile in that effort, none is required to continue their use.
Food and water are not medicine. They are indeed necessary for health,
but that is because they are necessary for life, and a dead body is
never a healthy body. Medicine can not work without food and water,
but food and water are not medicine. Food and water are doing their
job so long as life continues by their use. The fact that they of themselves
can not make the injured whole, the old young, or the ill healthy does
not mean that they have failed. The measure of whether or not to feed
someone is not how energetic he becomes by so doing, but whether or
not the intake of food and water sustains life. Only when either medicine
or food and water cease to be efficacious in the attainment of their
proper goals may they be withdrawn.
God’s will is not that death be the means to avoid suffering,
but that suffering is the means of avoiding eternal death. Calvary was
not a suicide, nor was it euthanasia. It is the humble obedience to
the will of God, receiving whatever comes in keeping with His will,
not in reaction to demands of the senses, external coercion, or hateful
willfulness. One is not permitted to decide how and when to die, but
how to live until the hour of death. Selfless acceptance of the Cross
is God’s will for His children faithful to the example of His
Son, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal
with God: but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made
in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled Himself,
becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross.
Eating and drinking are unique among human activities. They are reflections
of the divine will for man’s ultimate beatitude. On the Altar
of the Cross, Christ spread out the food and drink of His Body and Blood
in order to nourish His Flock that they might avoid a death wherein
no hunger is sated, no thirst is quenched, and no suffering ceases.
The Life gained and given on the Cross bestows on the faithful a sustenance
wherein hunger, not satisfaction, ends. God’s Life grants a fulfillment
where thirst, not quenching, is exhausted.
Eating and drinking are a cooperative venture between God, His creation,
each man, and all men. Unlike angels, who need no material sustenance,
and unlike animals and plants, that have no will to exert in seeking
sustenance, man is called to cooperate with God in the care of the bounty
of the earth, to cooperate with the natural order God has willed for
creation, and to cooperate with his fellows in cultivating and distributing
the fruits of God’s grace, nature’s largesse, and man’s
toil. In this activity, man’s natural and supernatural essence
is brought into play. He must receive the grace of humility to acknowledge
his absolute dependence on God. He must use his innate reason to bring
forth from the soil, the sea, and the countryside the material necessities
for human existence. And he must act on the virtue of charity by which
the overwhelming excess of nature is to be shared with all mankind,
none burdened with too much, none plagued by too little.
Sowing and harvesting are apt metaphors for God’s work among men.
He offers man the privilege of accomplishing the divine will. He includes
man in the fruits of a labor which man does not merit nor can he effect
on his own. He expresses a wondrous mystery wherein the supernatural
and the natural are brought together within the heart of man by way
of the hands of man submitting to God and ruling over nature. God gives
man satisfaction both in the hopes running high when the seed is sown
and in the pleasant toil that comes with those hopes brought to fruition.
When the harvest is complete, it becomes the basis for further hope
and greater joy in the plantings and yields yet to be. Rest is possible,
labor is rewarded, and peace reigns within and without man’s soul.
The wedding feast is a fitting description of Christ’s Kingdom.
Union occurs between bodies and souls. Bounty is shared joyfully and
fearlessly. Fruitfulness is celebrated for the blessings of the past
and the promise of the future. Humility is received by the groom and
authority is acknowledged by the bride. The wedding feast flows from
all that has gone before and is meant to be a harbinger of what is to
come. It provides a symbol of the life that is to be shared henceforth
Christ’s Cross, the labor of the vineyard, the joy of the harvest,
and the bliss of the wedding feast are intimately united in the Mass.
The seeds of faith are sown in the lessons and the Gospel, and brought
to fruit in the Credo. Thanksgiving for the harvest is rendered in the
Offertory. Angelic ecstasies are heard in the Sanctus. And the consummation
of all of it occurs in the immolation of the Lamb who, under the forms
of Bread and Wine, makes Himself the food and drink by which His Bride
is made a Mother, Her many children become the sons of His Father, and
His Spirit is poured forth so that death is thrown down and the Kingdom
of Life begins His reign on earth as it is in Heaven.
Willingness and even eagerness to pull the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo
is a microcosm of man’s wholesale refusal to eat the Bread of
Life offered in the Mass of the Catholic Church. Mankind is far more
dependent on the real Food and real Drink of the Body and Blood of Christ
than any patient in an ICU requires the aid of various apparatuses for
physical nourishment. The body starved of food and water dies in time;
the soul deprived of Christ’s Body and Blood dies forever. The
faithlessness of apostates, heretics, schismatics, pagans, and atheists
betray a death wish on the part of most men. They are committing spiritual
suicide. It is no surprise that so many of them are now insisting on
the “right” to manifest that spiritual reality in law, in
medicine, and in fact.
Men capable of denying their need for God and their obligation to obey
Him surely will not stop at killing babies, the sick, and the old. It
is a short step from that depravity to the desire to kill oneself. Understandably,
many have come to loathe the world that the sins of man have wrought;
their wish to flee it in death is frightfully reasonable - wholly unfaithful,
but horribly logical. Man’s descent into moral depravity has been
likened to a slippery slope. Some have described the accelerating fall
as a luge. Before long it will be evident even to the most self-deluded
that man has indeed leapt over a cliff.
That cliff was first approached by the revolt of the protestants. Enlightenment
error, freemasonry, modernism, communism, and secularism have propelled
the majority of the world far out over the abyss. There is only one
means to arrest this second fall of man: Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.
The only way He offers is His Cross. The only avenue to the Cross is
the Mass of the Catholic Church. Rejection of the Catholic Church is
rejection of Her Lord; rejection of Jesus Christ is rejection of salvation;
rejection of salvation is a suicide in which starvation for the Bread
of Life is inflicted on the soul and the soul is subjected to dehydration
by not quenching her thirst for the font of Living Water that flows
alongside the flood of the Precious Blood. That suicide begins in this
life on earth, but will have no end in its final perdition.
Conclusion: This Extraordinary Elimination of the Ordinary
Death on demand is the modern American way of life. Euthanasia is now
poised to take its place next to assisted suicide and abortion in an
unholy trinity of despair. To kill someone out of a perverse sense of
compassion, to kill oneself to escape pain, to kill a baby to be free
of responsibility are acts that deny faith in the Providence of God,
they betray an utter dearth of hope in the promises of His Son to save
His lost sheep, and they are an attack on the charity with which the
Holy Ghost vivified us at conception and renewed and perfected in us
through Baptism. It matters not what kind of legal jargon is applied,
the avalanche of empty platitudes mouthed, the protestations of a desire
to be humane, there is no way to explain away the fact that killing
a human being convicted of no crime is an offense against God Himself
and shares no part in the Lord’s clear desire that life be our
lot and the gift from Him that we share with each other. The culture
of death reflects no will except that which is in conflict with, denial
of, and disobedience to the will of God. Killing innocent people is
not a loving action that has a source in Heaven. Killing innocent people
is a despicable activity spawned in hell.
Cain and Judas are the progenitors of the breed of men who would do
murder. Sodom and Gomorrah offer precedent for the principles by which
the laws of the United States are applied in the realm of morals. Babel’s
curse remains in full force as the self-contradictory denizens of death
attempt to make sense of each other’s irrational, capricious,
and self-serving insistence that life may be thwarted before conception
or birth; prematurely eradicated in sickness or age; and all in the
name of living a good life, of living free, and of having a high quality
of life. The god moloch marches through the land promising happiness
to the living founded on his bloodlust for babes purchasing parents’
pleasures, wives winning peace of minds for their husbands by widowing
them, and children celebrating the loss of parents as a liberty for
all in the family. Babylon laid low in its whoredom is a veritable virgin
queen compared to the harlot that is America butchering her children
for profit, devouring her youths for pleasure, and massacring her elderly
in rank indifference.
This nation has lost the will to live. Husbands and wives contracept
their marriages into sterility. Sodomites by definition pursue a barren
lust incapable of generativity. Young people are drugged, both by prescription
and by pusher, into a state of catatonia to relieve themselves of the
pain come from a meaningless existence, precariously begun when the
prophylactic failed, and likely to end when the feeding tube is yanked.
Employment, entertainment, education, politics, and new-age self-made
religions are diversions from distractions from dementia. The frenetic
pace of images on the various screens - computer, tv, movie - that rule
our lives is matched by the rate of change within jobs, marriages, and
what is considered morally licit. For the souls subject to this reign
of terror, death has become not a terror nor an agony nor an enemy,
but a release and a relief.
Simplicity is gone from among us. A man and woman wedding in the midst
of divine love to raise up children for the divine glory is a foreign
concept. Friends spending time with each rather than being entertained
by third parties or machines is an alien activity. Citizens laboring
for the common good by first being individually good is an unimaginable
premise for the body politic. Loving our neighbor as ourselves regardless
of ethnicity, social status, or condition of health is not sufficient
to prevent us from killing that neighbor - or the self - when self-love
Does a man love himself who kills himself? Does a husband love his wife
who watches her slowly die, not because of illness or injury, but from
the lack of simple food and water? Does a society know anything of love
that lobbies, legislates, and litigates in order to ensure that its
members may die whenever, however, and whyever they please?
There is something profoundly wrong when food and water are deemed an
extraordinary offer to make to a fellow human being, rich or poor, friend
or stranger, strong or sick. Alas! this is to be expected among a people
who find it extraordinary to assert that the state is the servant of
its citizens, that the sanctity of marriage and the home must be inviolate,
and that the laws of God and the love of God must reign supreme in every
homeland and in every hearth and in every heart. We have come to a pass
in which to be decent means to deal death. Oppression is now defined
not as the claim to know what is better for the neighbor by way of laws
that advance one’s self interest, but to know what is good for
all according to an absolute Law whose benefits include but are not
limited to oneself. The burden of proof in human justice is shifting
from an assumption in favor of life to the presumption that inflicting
death is doing someone a favor.
Inability to do anything to help someone does not translate into permission
to hurt that person. The impossibility of a cure does not allow for
the aggravation of the condition. Having no means to restore perfect
health does not absolve from the obligation to maintain what health
remains. Doing no harm does not mean doing nothing. Despair has no place
in healthcare, in jurisprudence, or in the heart of a human being with
faith in God who must provide for someone he loves.
God calls us into existence. He sustains us in being. He wills us for
life. We are made in the image and likeness of God. Our whole hearts,
minds, souls, and strengths given to God in love must reflect the divine
bias toward life. Men who deny this obligation are themselves destined
for eternal death, but already have dead hearts of stone while in this
life on earth. Death comes to us all, but life comes after for those
whose hearts beat in time with the Sacred Heart of Jesus whose infinite
love bestows eternal life.
Choose therefore life that both thou and thy seed may live.
Father Smith, Sacerdos vagus
26 March 2005: Holy Saturday
Afterword by Thomas A. Droleskey
I thank Father
Smith for the incisive and thoroughly Catholic commentary that he has
permitted me to post on this site. Father Smith is one of the most gifted
priests in the Church at this time. He sees the nature of our ecclesiastical
and civil problems very clearly, understanding that we must seek to
escape, as far as is possible, from the harmful influences of a culture
that is manifestly hostile to the Faith and thus injurious to the salvation
of individual souls and to the right ordering of men in their civil
is simply a Catholic. He is presenting Catholic truth. He knows that
there is no secular or religiously indifferentist solution to the problems
that face us. He knows that we cannot fight secularism and all of the
evils engendered thereby with secularism. With can only fight secularism
with Catholicism. The people of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in
Garden Grove, California, are very privileged to have priests such as
Father Patrick Perez as their pastor and Fathers Smith and Sretenovic
serving them at this time. Each of these priests is devoted to the restoration
of the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Buckley, Jr., does not believe in the establishment of the Social Reign
of Christ the King. He believes that a Catholic can dissent from such
things as the Church's absolute prohibition against the use of contraception
and remain a Catholic in good standing. He is a dissenter on this issue
himself. He does not see the Catholic Faith as the only basis for personal
happiness and all social order, domestically and internationally. He
would do well to read Father Smith's essay above and to accept the Catholic
wisdom contained therein.
would also do well to consider the words of Pope Leo XIII, found in
Sapientiae Christianae, issued in 1890, about how the social
evils of Modernity are to be combatted:
chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly
the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power.
For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so
hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it
possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error.
So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced
soul, reason yields assent. Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon
of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to
which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than
through the hearing. "How shall they believe Him of whom they have
not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh
by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Since, then, faith
is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must
be preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching,
lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the
bishops whom "the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of
God.'' It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ,
established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains
to morals and faith.
No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals
are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching,
especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong
wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances
demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor,
but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received,
becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such
co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the
Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought
well to invite it. "All faithful Christians, but those chiefly
who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat,
by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the
same God and Savior, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these
errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading
abroad the light of undefiled faith.'' Let each one, therefore,
bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the
Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant
profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect, consequently,
to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne
earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off
errors the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought
actively into play.
I appended yesterday to my Easter reflection pretty much sums up some
of the major objections being raised to defending Terri Schindler-Schiavo's
life by a few prominent Catholics. I will have another commentary on
this whole tragedy if, as seems likely right now, Mrs. Schiavo is to
die from the death sentence that has been imposed upon her by Judge
George Greer. Our prayers, though, must remain with Mrs. Schiavo and
her parents and siblings.
There is an
effort underway to contact Pope John Paul II so that an appeal for Mrs.
Schiavo's life may be made in his name. Although the Pope was unable
to speak yesterday while giving his Easter blessing to the crowd assembled
in Saint Peter's Square, he is evidently mentally alert. Mr. Stephen
M. O'Brien of Staten Island, New York, is thus requesting the following
January 28, 1999, Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan commuted the death
sentence of Darrell J. Mease at the request of Pope John Paul II,
who had personally interceded for the condemned man by name:
If the Pope can intercede for a condemned criminal by name, why shouldn't
we beg him to do the same for an innocent woman who is being murdered
by the corrupt judicial system of a post-Christian society?
As far as I'm concerned, this argument is unanswerable and overcomes
all objections. Consequently, I've made the decision to implore all
Catholics to inundate the Vatican with messages asking the Holy Father
to implore President Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush to send federal
marshals and the National Guard to the death hospice to take Terri
into protective custody. Once she's in protective custody, her feeding
tube can be restored.
All Catholics should flood the Vatican with e-mails and faxes. Those
who aren't shy should be willing to spend money on long-distance telephone
calls. Even if an e-mail or fax is sent to the office of one of the
cardinals, it should be addressed to the Pope. All messages should
begin with this salutation: "Your Holiness:" If a message is
sent to a cardinal's office, the first line should be "TO POPE JOHN
T he only Vatican e-mail addresses that appear to be operational at
this time are these:
The second e-mail address is especially good because it belongs to
Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Pontifical Council for
Justice and Peace. Cardinal Martino issued a magnificent condemnation
of Terri's approaching execution. I believe we can be confident that
he will see that the Pope is informed of what I hope will be a deluge
of e-mails reaching his office.
Let's get the tsunami rolling across the Atlantic! Terri is dying!
Keep and spread the Faith.
Once again, folks, Terri Schindler-Schiavo's case is making headlines
because she has relatives who want to save her life. Far more common
are the people who are being starved and dehydrated to death because
no one in their family objects at all. Pope John Paul II condemned
all of this on March 20, 2004. There is no wiggle room for anyone
who says he is a Catholic and takes the Faith seriously. One can never
take any action which has as its only end the death of an innocent
human being. Anyone who says otherwise is doing the bidding of the
one who hate both bodies and souls and wants to cast both into Gehenna.
Lady, Queen of Mercy, pray for us.
see Father Smith's own open letter to Pope John Paul II, Father
Smith's Open Letter to Pope John Paul II.