Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.”
In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.”
“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said at the Vatican on Friday. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
The Pope has said that gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.
Because they will give birth to and raise vast armies of gay children, who will rise up in their millions and…
Andrew Brown can.
That is why people are – quite rightly – suspicious of the apparently more limited programme of allowing doctors to kill off the terminally ill who are clear that they want to die because their life offers nothing more than suffering.
Because what could be more sinister than actually letting people do what they want?
…Every day, scores of bamboo or metal gurneys carrying corpses are brought to the waterside by grieving relatives….
It was confronting to see a human foot emerging from a pyre as a body became engulfed by flame, but even more so was watching an ancient, birdlike woman waving feebly from a gurney as she was taken from an ambulance to the temple where she had chosen to die and be cremated….
It takes about three hours to burn a body, with every funeral pyre consuming at least 300 kilograms of wood. The unrelenting thick smoke – all the men working the pyres had hacking coughs – is infused with the strangely culinary smell of burning flesh….
But it was also strangely reassuring to see that there are cultures not driven by the fear of death and that saying goodbye with an enormous fire by a sacred riverside temple can be an equally profound and human experience.
Chuck another auntie on the grill for me, Pradesh — I need reassurance.
Fortunately the Nepalese government is building a nice new shiny hygienic crematorium, so that ghouls like this journalist will no longer be able to get their jollies from seeing dead human beings barbecued.
…the Catholic Church chucks a hissy fit.
The Sacramento Bee is reporting the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento has pulled the plug on funding the Francis House homeless services agency in Sacramento. Described as “largest homeless services agencies in the Sacramento region, serving upward of 25,000 people,” the non-denominational agency has enjoyed grants as large as $10,000 from the diocese for decades.
What changed? They hired a new director in April, Rev. Faith Whitmore.
Whitmore, a United Methodist minister, took over leadership of Francis House in April after the sudden death of longtime executive director Gregory Bunker.
Within her own denomination, she has been a strong advocate of same-sex marriage. In 2008, during a short period in which gay marriage was legal in California, Whitmore openly defied church law by marrying same-sex couples. She has said publicly that she supports a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.
Joseph Maraachli, who became known to the world as Baby Joseph, died Tuesday at home with his parents, five months after receiving a tracheotomy at a hospital in St. Louis, Mo., because London Health Sciences Centre refused to perform the procedure. He was buried beside his sister, Zina, at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
Baby Joseph suffered from a degenerative neurological disorder and had breathed with a ventilator. His parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, wanted doctors to perform the tracheotomy, an incision in his throat to insert a breathing tube, so they could take him home to die.
Because if there’s anything God really gets off on, it’s a baby suffering. Here come the vultures:
Twenty-month-old Baby Joseph began having trouble breathing the last several days, said O’Donnell, major superior at Franciscan Brothers of Peace who became a friend of the family.
Why do I feel that ‘friend’ should have quotes around it there?
…and everyone else, too.
Seriously ill people do not need euthanasia. We need better provision of palliative care aimed at managing symptoms and maximising function, especially as we approach death. Rather than help to die, the cause of dignity would be more greatly helped if more was done to help people live more fully with the dying process.
Dignity? You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
– with apologies to William Goldman.