Editor’s note: The following is a guest essay from Fr. Dominique Boulet, SSPX. Fr. Boulet is pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration, Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario.
The decriminalization of doctor-assisted suicide in Canada by the Trudeau government has exposed the deep divisions that exist within the Catholic Church in Canada. In its 2015 decision in Carter v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada found the Criminal Code provision that prohibited physician assisted suicide to be unconstitutional. The Liberal government’s Bill C-14, which received royal assent in June 2016, decriminalized the practice and set out a regime to regulate who could obtain “medical assistance in dying.”
In response to the new law, the Catholic bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories issued a document entitled “Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons & Families Considering or Opting for Death by Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia” in which they instructed priests under their jurisdiction to deny the Sacraments of Confession (Penance) and Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) and a Catholic funeral, in certain circumstances, to an individual who helps someone die or who dies himself by assisted suicide.
Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec City and Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal both reacted differently to the new law, declaring that they would not give specific guidelines to their priests about refusing funeral services to the people who requested assisted suicide. “The Catholic Church accompanies people in every step of their life,” said Cardinal Lacroix. “We do that in dialogue with every person and every family that wishes to be accompanied.”
Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, the bishop of Hamilton and president of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of Canada (CCBC) strongly criticized Bill C-14, stating on behalf of the CCCB: “Physician-assisted suicide is an affront to what is most noble, most precious in the human endeavour and a grave injustice and violation of the dignity of every human person whose natural and inherent inclination is indeed the preservation of life.” Despite those strong words, Bishop Crosby indicated that he did not “foresee that the CCCB will be putting out guidelines” setting out a uniform response from the Catholic Church in Canada to the new law.
How is it possible that the bishops of Canada disagree on fundamental issues such as whether individuals involved in assisted suicide can receive certain Sacraments and a Catholic funeral?
The answer to that question can be traced back to 1968, when the Canadian bishops published the infamous “Winnipeg Statement,” in which they willingly distanced themselves from the teaching of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which condemned artificial contraception. While the Winnipeg Statement did not officially reject the teaching of Pope Paul VI, it rendered it practically void by leaving the ultimate decision on contraception to the dictates of the private consciences of the couple instead of the objective moral law.
The Winnipeg Statement deeply weakened the Canadian bishops, who are now found often divided and powerless to oppose to the agenda of the culture of death.
As secularism spreads more deeply throughout our society, we need strong leaders who will clearly reaffirm the Law of God without compromise.
Let us pray that the good Lord will grant us courageous shepherds who will not be afraid of the wolves, but rather will bear witness to the Faith they received a mandate to uphold on the day of their consecration!
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This is the Modernist-NeoProtestant-Catholic model of Church that Pope Francis wants to deploy throughout the world. The Synodal and Bishop’s Conference Churches that empower each Diocese to determine what is Moral and what is not, what is Doctrine and what is not, ultimately to determine what is Catholic and what is not (without ever changing Doctrine mind you…uh huh, sure.) And it doesn’t matter if the Diocese across the street has a completely opposite directive regarding Doctrine and the Moral life, its all about flexible praxis that accompanies the individual conscience which ultimately governs everyone’s self-created personal multiverse.
It’s already spreading throughout the world at an ever increasing rate thanks to Amoral Laetitia and Pope Francis’ absolute refusal to govern the Church in a Catholic manner.
Dialogue….dialouge, dialouge…I’m sick to death of dialogue.
I think that part of the problem about euthanasia is this. Whilst at school being brainwashed, sorry I mean educated in 1987 the curriculum that we were given involved introducing such things as euthanasia. It was very cleverly done because the Teacher had the right material to create a response that would generally not be challenged, and as teenagers we wanted to show the fuhrer, sorry I mean Teacher how mature we were by looking at a subject such as killing people and not giving them the dignity that they deserve in dying through God’s plan. The classic of dogs get put down because pain should not be endured, there is no hope because the person’s situation is incurable, someone is too old and is only going to die in a day, week, month or year but the curriculum never ever disclosed how abhorrent euthanasia is. The starvation and suffering was never ever mentioned. Actually, only learning through reading about Terri Schiavo’s situation was it clear that a person does not deserve such evil and cruelty.
I imagine that my peers that were exposed to the same class who are now 44 years old still believe that there is nothing wrong with assisted dying or euthanasia because we were never exposed to the truth. Sadly this lesson occurred in a Roman Catholic school in England and today they are able to vote and will most probably not even notice how manipulative and socially engineered our education was.
One positive gained from this lesson is that a friend called Tim instead of writing about euthanasia handed in a paper about Youth In Asia. .
And no words from CATHOLIC bishops who are speaking to Canadian CATHOLICS about who is the Giver of life. We are given life by God, and HE and only HE knows how/why/when each life begins and is to end.
This nonsense of these faithless bishops is swallowed hook line and sinker. They want to accompany us do they? They will, right along the wide and beautiful road to Hell. God save us from our own bishops.