At Mass today, across the Archdiocese of Toronto, all homilies were suspended so that a statement could be read by our Cardinal Collins against the Ottawa government’s impending “euthanasia” legislation. This our Parliament was ordered to write and pass by Canada’s Supreme Court: a junto of nine who are a law unto themselves. The Parliamentary Committee discussing the matter, now dominated by the Liberal Party, has made recommendations such as forcing all doctors and other medical staff to participate in the killings; and arranging for children and the mentally ill to be terminated on the advice of one “care giver” or another. It is a monstrous, unambiguously evil measure they are contemplating — which, like abortion, targets the defenceless.
In reading of the Maoist revolution, years ago, my attention was riveted on the massacres. In villages across China, a quota of persons were to be exterminated, by way of establishing the absolute power of the new Communist dictatorship. The Reds did little of this work, however. They instead compelled the neighbours of accused petty landowners and the like, to do the actual murdering. This was not because the Reds were squeamish. It was to make sure every surviving citizen of China was morally and memorably implicated in what the Communists had done. It was a policy expressly designed to erase “conscience.”
This is what most strikes me about the impending measures: the power to compel doctors and nurses to perform the killings. It is to make conscience itself a career-ending choice; to implicate every single member of the medical profession in murder. Any one you visit might have blood on his hands.
Archbishop Collins, a good man so far as I can see, cannot be criticized for raising the temperature of the public “debate.” He has the guts to make statements when they need to be made; then speaks very softly. One may listen to him read the statement we heard in church today (here). It sounded more fiery when our own priest read it, so one might also consult the text (here). Links to the issue are easy enough to find; and Collins tells his audience how to write their Members of Parliament, “respectfully.” The governing Liberal MPs — all of whom were vetted for their pro-abortion views before the last election — will reply with form letters. If that.
Unless, by a miracle, many millions write in, and a few hundred thousand storm Parliament Hill, I cannot expect the government to change its satanic direction. For in my knowledge of this benighted country, it is only a small minority of Catholics, and others, who much care about the issue, at any given moment; and not all of those are opposed to “euthanasia.” (The replacement euphemism is “assisted dying,” truly worthy of Orwell.)
Emotion trumps thought among those who have witnessed the lonely suffering of the afflicted; and the idea of “mercy” has been so cheapened that they are able to confuse it with murder and suicide. (“Here, dear, press this button if you want a nurse, and this one if you feel like dying. I’ll tell all your visitors which is which.”)
Those who demand, instead of killings, attentive palliative care, also expect the Nanny State to provide it. They have been raised to look for a technical solution in any grim situation, and to react to all stimuli as pure consumers. Indeed, much unnecessary physical suffering is caused by very expensive medical technology which helps to prolong life, artificially. This also creates consumer demand for artificial means to shorten it.
One cannot argue with what is now the great majority of “the people,” to any immediate effect, because they no longer accept the sanctity of human life (including their own) — on which not only our retreating Christian religion, but all the laws of this country were premissed. You do not push ailing granny off a cliff, even if she is asking for it. The case does not change, morally, if you choose a more presentable way to kill her. In the grave new world of our “Culture of Death,” our “Dictatorship of Relativism,” appearances matter, and substance does not.
Less than a generation ago, there would have been a public outcry against what our courts and legislatures are attempting. What will they do in another generation?
That is clear enough. Taking care of the old, and enfeebled; the seriously ill, and disabled; the depressed, and hopeless; the demented, the rude, and the improvident; is something that will remain beyond the means of bureaucracy — especially as fellow-suffering Love, of the toughest least bankable kinds, is the principal requirement in each of these cases. You cannot buy Love, even at the price of an unimaginably large, unionized labour force.
Families, in the first instance, and in the second, institutions that inspire voluntary labour and gifts, are the means by which this “social problem” — that has been and always will be with us — can be assuaged. There never was an alternative. Only the mad, in the deepest sense, could propose and then insist upon “policies” that can never work, in which Man, through massive Kafkaesque public agencies, tries to overwrite both natural and divine commandment. The sane already know where that must end.
Canada’s Liberals and their allies, and their power-seeking colleagues in every other Western country, have formed the equivalent to an international coalition of the “progressively” mad, and madder, to advance this unholy cause. We will see where it will go, next. It makes its appeal to the mindless and glib, who now dominate every Western electorate, and make decisions of profound consequence on less than a minute’s thought. We have, in effect, electorates which demand to be lied to, about the most fundamental facts of life. Who don’t want to think about it (to paraphrase Housman), “because thinking is hard, and a minute is a long time.”
Nor can the few remaining Catholics and others, still animated by the “traditional” human decency, hope to disentangle or separate ourselves, in a time when centralized government is increasingly able to track every individual, and control his behaviour and fate by external means.
Eventually the burden of overwhelming cost will inspire our keepers to cut their expenses by eliminating all their more expensive “clients,” whether they request it or not. The latest proposed legislation will surely be found insufficiently “inclusive” in a few more years. As we see, the great rush of Liberalism is accelerating. It is that of the Gadarene swine.
We cannot stop this “trend” except by growing more faithful and courageous; by raising children with the knowledge and backbone to resist the Devil’s works. We can, at best, struggle to recreate families that will take care of their own, without poisoned government assistance, and persist in doing so — until the jackboots burst in, and the matter is out of our hands, and into God’s.