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Thread: Crooked Press

  1. #1
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    Crooked Press

    Source: thecatholicthing.org

    Assisted Suicide: A Tale of Two Narratives
    Richard Doerflinger

    Saturday, September 7, 2019

    Here’s a narrative recently promoted nationally, beginning in Seattle, by the Associated Press.

    In May, a 75-year-old man with cancer named Robert Fuller obtained a lethal drug overdose under Washington State’s “Death with Dignity” Act, and planned his suicide down to the last detail – with help from suicide enthusiasts at “End of Life Washington.” He arranged his funeral at St. Therese’s, the Catholic parish he had been attending; hosted a farewell party at his Seattle apartment building; married his male partner of some years; and later that day, administered the drugs before witnesses and died. He had invited an AP reporter and photographer to follow him through this process because “he wanted to demonstrate for people around the country how such laws work.”

    Something like this (usually without the festivity and orchestrated media presence) has happened in my home state of Washington about 1200 times since it legalized physician-assisted suicide in 2008.

    Then AP adds this: The Sunday before his May 10 suicide, Fuller attended Mass for the last time, and allegedly received a blessing for what he was about to do (photographed by AP) from local Jesuit priest Fr. Quentin Dupont, accompanied by white-gowned children receiving their First Communion. In support of this narrative, some have pointed to a Facebook post in which Fuller had said “my pastor/sponsor has given me his blessings. And he is a Jesuit!!!”

    The fact is, Fuller posted that in March, so could not have been referring to Fr. Dupont’s blessing on May 5. The pastor of the parish, Fr. Maurice Mamba, is not a Jesuit. We may never know who that Jesuit really was, if he exists.

    Fr. Dupont, it turns out, barely knew [2] Fuller and had no idea he planned to kill himself. Coming down the church aisle at the end of Mass, he was confronted by a man who asked for a blessing because he was dying. Fr. Dupont led the children in praying for his strength and courage during this difficult time. He saw someone take a photo, but didn’t know it was by a news photographer and never signed a release for its public use. This seems like a set-up, designed by Mr. Fuller (or the activists assisting him) to embarrass the Church and undermine its witness against the assisted suicide movement.

    When the pastor learned of Fuller’s plans, he visited him and tried to dissuade him – and when that effort failed, he consulted the archdiocese on whether to go through with his funeral. The decision [3] was to proceed, to provide pastoral care for those mourning his death, on the condition that there could be no perceived support for the way Fuller ended his life.

    What lessons can we learn from this?

    First, some parishioners (notably his longtime friends in the choir) knew of Fuller’s plans and accepted them, even attending that final party. This is a grave wrong and a scandal. But some Catholics have trouble believing that these priests were initially unaware of Fuller’s intentions. As a parishioner in the Seattle archdiocese, I disagree.

    The priest shortage here is severe. My own pastor has care of four parishes and a mission, and for part of this year didn’t have a parochial vicar. He does an amazing job in difficult circumstances, helped by retired and visiting priests and lay administrators.
    Fr. Dupont blesses Mr. Fuller

    Fr. Dupont, a full-time graduate student at the University of Washington, was visiting St. Therese’s solely to say Mass, as he has done before (there and at another parish, despite his academic workload). The pastor, Fr. Maurice, has sole care of two parishes; that morning he was saying Mass at his other church, where he resides.

    If you are upset that our priests barely have time to provide the sacraments, let alone get to know the inner lives of their parishioners, I agree. Please join me in praying for more priests.

    Second, could anyone have blocked Fuller’s plans? It seems doubtful. He was “half in love with easeful death” for most of his life. AP reports that when he was eight years old in New Hampshire, his beloved grandmother drowned herself in the Merrimack River. From this he says he learned: “If life gets painful, you go to the Merrimack River.”

    He attempted suicide in 1975, after he told his wife he was gay and his marriage broke up. Later he helped care for friends with AIDS, administered a fatal dose to one of them, and led a risky sexual lifestyle that “verged on suicidal” – apparently wanting to get AIDS because “all my friends were dying.” He had belonged to the Hemlock Society, and a year before his cancer diagnosis showed great interest in Washington’s law when a woman in his building was using it to kill herself.

    Why didn’t this longstanding suicidal fixation show up during his psychological evaluation under the Washington law? Because 96 percent of the patients obtaining the lethal drugs never receive one. Like such laws’ other “safeguards” [4] against abuse, this one is a joke.

    Third, the Associated Press violated all guidelines endorsed by the World Health Organization [5] and suicide prevention organizations [6] to keep news reports on suicide from leading other depressed and vulnerable people to take their lives. The AP story provided details on the method used, treated suicide as a solution to problems, and romanticized the entire affair (“the party of a lifetime,” said the headline). If more people kill themselves because of this thinly veiled advertisement, their blood is on AP’s hands.

    Fourth, what of the Church’s stand? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paras. 2280-83 [7]) makes three things clear: Suicide is gravely evil; personal responsibility for it can be greatly diminished by factors such as anguish, fear of suffering, or psychological disturbance; and the Church does not despair of the salvation of those who take their lives but prays for them, knowing that God may lead people to repentance at any time in ways known to Him alone.

    The actions of clergy in this case, therefore, seem consistent with this particular application of St. Augustine’s maxim to hate the sin but love the sinner (or better, to hate the sin because we love the sinner). That maxim, mocked by secularists, is difficult to live by – especially on matters of sexuality or life itself. Some Catholics are tempted to err by hating sin and sinner together, others by thinking they have to love and accept both. Yet it seems to me, that maintaining those distinctions – and keeping that balance – is central to our Catholic faith.



    Le mot catholique n’est pas un gros mot.

  2. LOL just2cents LOL'd at this post
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    I am wondering if the shortage of Catholic priests is not something akin to the shortage of new police officers... as in, some jobs are just spring loaded in the self destruct position. It is like putting on a coat with a "kick me" sign embroidered on the back.

    I was also under the impression that Catholics did not condone, much less, bless anything that has to do with suicide. But then, you could put what I know about Catholicism in a thimble and still have plenty of room.

    Providing comfort to those in need is pretty much a given for any man of the cloth. Now, when it comes to Episcopalians, I think all bets are off.
    We have met the enemy and he is us... POGO

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    Growing up Latin Roman Catholic we were taught that suicide was a mortal sin. Since the 6th Commandment tells us "Thou Shalt Not Kill" killing oneself is murder, murder of one self. The ability to enter Heaven after death after suicide would be God's decision since He knows what they had in their heart and mind when they died. If the person was suffering from a mental condition then they weren't able to make their decision with a clear thought.

    I agree that the shortage of priests as well as police officers is from the current environment of the "Me, Me, Me" and those who are offended by any and all things!

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    Having suicides and attempted suicides in my family, I can pretty much guarantee that those who act on suicidal impulses are never in good shape - either physically or mentally. How a church, any church, deals with the matter is doctrinal - the Bible says nothing about suicide. I would hate to be in the position where I could see no other way out. God has the ultimate decision over the fate of our souls, and I am fairly certain He is more forgiving than many of us allow. I certainly will pray for all of those faced with this challenge. It is a horrible choice be confronted with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txswimmer View Post
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    Having suicides and attempted suicides in my family, I can pretty much guarantee that those who act on suicidal impulses are never in good shape - either physically or mentally. How a church, any church, deals with the matter is doctrinal - the Bible says nothing about suicide. I would hate to be in the position where I could see no other way out. God has the ultimate decision over the fate of our souls, and I am fairly certain He is more forgiving than many of us allow. I certainly will pray for all of those faced with this challenge. It is a horrible choice be confronted with.
    maybe it shouldn't be considered as a "choice" or even alternative.......I personally do not believe that those who jumped out of the twin towers had or took a "choice"......mac
    Don't ask f'r rights. Take thim. An' don't let anny wan give thim to ye. A right that is handed to ye f'r nawthin' has somethin' the matter with it. It's more than likely on'y a wrong turned inside out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
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    maybe it shouldn't be considered as a "choice" or even alternative.......I personally do not believe that those who jumped out of the twin towers had or took a "choice"......mac
    My point exactly. Choose to burn alive or jump. That's how most people who commit suicide feel.God forbid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txswimmer View Post
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    My point exactly. Choose to burn alive or jump. That's how most people who commit suicide feel.God forbid.
    i don't believe they had a choice to, as you say, "burn alive".......can you also drown alive?

    don't want to get too much into the weeds here but i wonder why we say something like "burn alive"........when actually you burn dead......just sayin'.....and why a house burns up when actually, it burns down......those are just some things to make you say "hmmm", no response expected......mac
    Don't ask f'r rights. Take thim. An' don't let anny wan give thim to ye. A right that is handed to ye f'r nawthin' has somethin' the matter with it. It's more than likely on'y a wrong turned inside out.

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    The media uses words very effectively to make something be both true and yet, at the same time, appear bad even when the result is good. Like I said, it is selective use of words to make a victory look like a setback.

    I was watching some of the reporting on Trumps broken meeting with the Taliban, and the press has turned it into an internal squabble inside the Trump camp. More of a John Bolton against Trump thing than a "Taliban acting badly" thing. They do it all the time with global warming and other far left agenda stuff.

    Like I said, Trump could save a drowning man by walking on the water to pull him out and they would report "Trump can't swim"....
    We have met the enemy and he is us... POGO

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    The shortage of Catholic priests has many "causes"--the vow of celibacy, adherence to Catholic doctrine, the pedophilia scandal, the Church's stance on abortion vs. society, etc.





    "Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says." 'Argument Clinic', Monty Python's Flying Circus

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    Quote Originally Posted by sojourner truth View Post
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    The media uses words very effectively to make something be both true and yet, at the same time, appear bad even when the result is good. Like I said, it is selective use of words to make a victory look like a setback.

    I was watching some of the reporting on Trumps broken meeting with the Taliban, and the press has turned it into an internal squabble inside the Trump camp. More of a John Bolton against Trump thing than a "Taliban acting badly" thing. They do it all the time with global warming and other far left agenda stuff.

    Like I said, Trump could save a drowning man by walking on the water to pull him out and they would report "Trump can't swim"....
    I heard that Trump asked Bolton for his resignation last evening and Bolton submitted his resignation letter to Trump this morning.




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