Oooo Canada! East v West

euthanasia_syringeThe Bishops of the Atlantic region of Canada, the Atlantic Episcopal Assembly (Archdioceses and Dioceses of Antigonish, Bathurst, Charlottetown, Corner Brook and Labrador, Edmundston, Grand Falls, Halifax, Moncton, Saint John (NB), St. John’s and Yarmouth) issued a pastoral letter in November 2016 in which they veered towards sacramentalizing euthanasia… in the sense of giving a quasi-blessing to euthanasia by giving the Last Sacraments to those who intend to commit that form of suicide.

Get it?  Suicide is a sin.  If a person intends to commit a sin, she can’t receive the sacraments, even the sacrament of penance.  Period.

Hence, as I wrote in a previous post on this,

“It is inconceivable to me that such a letter would have gotten past the rest of the Canadian Conference, or the Nuncio, or the CDF, or for that matter the guy who runs the gas station at the corner of Faith St. and Charity and who goes to Mass on Sundays.  What were they thinking?”

However, please note that the bishops in Western Canada had already issued in September 2016 a pastoral letter in which they took a position that is clearly in keeping with the Church’s teaching on euthanasia.

So, it’s East v West.   Did the Eastern Bishops purposely give their Western brethren the bird?  How else to explain this?  And this is one reason why I find the Easter Letter so confusing?

Given this confusion we have to ask hard questions.

Think about the (really bad) proposal of devolving the oversight of doctrine to conferences of bishops.  We have already seen the circus that has resulted between the bishops of Germany and the bishops of Poland taking contrary positions about the objectively confusing notions in Amoris laetitia.   Now we have two groups of bishops within the same conference taking opposite positions.  What’s next? Bishops deciding what is sound doctrine within their own dioceses on their own authority without regard to their own conference?   Isn’t that is where we started?   And then what?  How about the bishop deciding that the people in, say, Broward County can believe one thing and the people in Indian River County another?  How about the parish of St. Ipsidipsy one thing and the “Engendering Togetherness Community of Welcome” another?

Hmmm… that already sounds familiar.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Canadian bishops had their ad limina visit in Rome.  While they were there, they did a video with the clear cooperation of CNS, in which they doubled down on their position.

More from LifeSite HERE and HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Gregg the Obscure says:

    The bishops in Colorado have issued a good statement on this topic. This was distributed at Mass each of the last two Sundays, in the diocesan newspapers and, of course, online.

  2. capebretoner says:

    When I saw that letter by the Atlantic bishops, I blew a gasket. As someone who survived a suicide attempt many years ago, with all the struggles that go along with that afterwards, I took that letter very personally. When I read it, I honestly pictured my own bishop “accompanying” me to a dignitas clinic & telling me to “go with God”, assuming the poor parish priest wasn’t bullied into “accompanying” me instead. I truly wonder sometimes if the bishops here in Atlantic Canada even believe in God and His Grace. The virtue of Hope has pretty much been kicked to the curb in these parts, at least by our dear leaders……I do make an effort to pray for our bishop, but not as much as I perhaps should. Please pray for us and for our priests.

  3. Dan says:

    This is one of the only times I would recommend NOT turning toward the east.
    It blows my mind how certain people in the Church are elevated to the rank of Bishop. There seems to be two factions in the Church, those elevated by the grace of God and those elevated through the ability to kiss a$$.
    Truly disgusting that they hide behind pastoral sensitivity. How pastoral is it in any way to to make believe someone is safe in order to calm their delicate sensibilities? Don’t tell someone the path is wide when you have been told straight out that the DOOR IS NARROW!.

  4. Ocampa says:

    I fear these are more tremors of a bigger schism to come.

  5. marybiscuit says:

    Was this ad limina visit with Pope Francis ‘the’ opportunity for the Vatican to correct the error of the Atlantic Bishop’s erroneous pastoral letter about euthanasia? Or does the CDF deal with this in a different mode? I no longer live in Atlantic Canada, but I received my first sacraments in the Antigonish diocese and I have many family members still under these Bishops’ care. My fear upon reading this today is that there likely will be no correction of their statement. Where will that leave priests in these dioceses? I am most concerned for them. St Alphonsus pray for these priests.

  6. Alanmac says:

    I, too, found this jointly agreed upon statement amazing, but not half as amazing as the result.
    These liberal, progressive elites are still in office! What a travesty of the Canadian Roman Catholic Church. Just shameful.

  7. Ocampa says:

    “To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law—a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security.”
    ? Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

  8. mepoindexter says:

    The former Archbishop of St Johns NF fills in at my parish sometimes and well…he a reeeallly nice guy. Gentle soul. He’s about 90 now. One of the nicest old men you’ll ever meet. East coasters in Canada can be pretty laid back and I think that’s half the issue here.

    I think at the end of the day they just completely missed the gravity of the situation. Not the best answer, I know, but sometimes its just that simple. I hope everyone’s reaction to the letter was a bit of a wakeup for them.

  9. Elizabeth M says:

    I’m never surprised by news like this. Fatima & Akita warned us. I would love to see a community of monks or nuns devoted to praying and sacrificing for the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops but it looks like we laity are responsible for this battle.

    If a priest were to give this quasi-blessing imagine what damage that could do to the already aching soul! It’s as if we look at the Cross and say “Phew! I’m glad someone else did all that sacrificing for me. I’m worn out just offering up the pain from a paper cut.”

  10. Dan says:

    It seems like so many, even in the Church, have lost faith in God, faith in a Heaven, belief in Hell. They seek to maximize earthly comfort for a few year, while ignoring the danger to the immortal soul. The only reason I can think of for that is that they do not believe in the immortal soul.
    While we might not have a tape recorder to know what Jesus said, we know during his temptation in the dessert that Jesus said NO to just that temptation. He could have then and there done what so many desire to eliminate all human suffering, but to what end?

  11. Emilio says:

    That video is deeply disturbing.. and man, the poor Faithful of the Diocese of Antigonish.. they really can’t catch a break as far as bishops assigned there. As I heard the bishops speak, my mind kept gravitating to the language that one uses when having to put down the family dog.

    Many faithful lay Catholics still have not come to the painful realization that there are heretics among the ranks of bishops and priests. I learned this first hand when I was first employed by an archdiocesan chancery. Heretics: the word that Ross Douthat was crucified for using. It’s not just a case of the liberal bishop here, or the liberal pastor there… no, these are people who believe that the entire Gospel, even the existence of Jesus, is a symbolic construct… a cool philosophy of life not meant to be taken literally, only meant as suggestions to push us toward their brand of social action. Remember the Apostolic Visitation on those heterodox nuns quashed by then-Archbishop Tobin? They deny the Incarnation, the Resurrection, its a myth a la “there werent any tape recorders.” When whales and tigers were projected onto St. Peter’s Basilica, that was the moment I realized how deep the infiltration now is.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    I am having trouble comprehending if these men are saying they are going to cooperate with assisted suicide or not. Like most other communiques from church-y representatives today, it is not clear but fuzzy and nebulous. I yearn for straight talk, but can’t find any. Listening to these men is like nailing jello to a tree, or having someone read you a refrigerator repair manual. The eyes glaze.
    I pray, very much, that this year does not close out without divine assistance. Be careful what you ask for, I know, but watching this is just too blankety painful.

  13. lmgilbert says:

    Often, very often, when encountering this sort of “thinking,” Marivin Olasky’s book, The Tragedy of American Compassion comes to mind. The book had to do with what we did to the black family through implementation of the welfare state, but in the abortion debate, in the euthanasia debate, in the same sex marriage debate, in the acceptation of LGBT mores, and, for that matter, in accepting Islam, the arguments from compassion are repeatedly decisive. Often, very often-almost always- these policy decisions on behalf of the perceived suffering underdog turn out to be very bad not only for the common good, but also for the underdog class as well. The only exception that comes to mind is the law favoring accommodation to the physically handicapped.

    The Church has always had and always cultivated in her members a horror of suicide, to the point till recently of forbidding them a requiem Mass and burial in consecrated ground. Although I can think of families who have found this sort of treatment very hard, it is nevertheless something that gives great pause to the living who are flirting with suicide. In the long run it is beneficial, for I am sure there are very many potential suicides who were prevented by a fear of eternal damnation, which the with-holding of requiem Mass and burial in consecrated ground symbolized, and this in turn prevented great suffering in their families. In other words, the hard line was compassionate in effect..

    Exactly opposite in its effect is all this the current “compassionate” meme about suicide being the result of mental illness. The logic is readily at hand, “Well then, since I have all this suicidal ideation, I must be mentally ill, and if mentally ill, then not culpable, and if not culpable there is no threat of eternal damnation, so . . .where does dad keep that .45? ”

    The bishops in their “compassion” are not only laying down a primrose path to eternal damnation for their flock, but they are also supplying a very strong argument to people living difficult lives, and their caregivers, to put an end to it all, but with priestly, sacramental accompaniment. How is this not sacrilegious?

  14. Hidden One says:

    A minor correction: the Diocese of Yarmouth no longer exists. Now there is the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth.

    Here is something far more important than the above note: sadly, the majority of the Atlantic Canadian dioceses on that list, if not all of them, have exactly zero seminarians.

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