Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bishop Henry rips bill C-484 but ignores euthanasia committed under Bishop Fabbro's nose

As reported by Michael at Freedom Through Truth, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary has sent a letter to Fr. Tim Moyle regarding bill C-484.  It is a very good letter and I applaud Bishop Henry for this strong pro-life effort.  

I am unaware if this letter has been distributed more widely through the media or throughout the Calgary diocese.  It would certainly be worthwhile.  

One paragraph of the letter caught my attention:

The legislation of aid-in-dying would pose a threat to the elderly, the infirm, handicapped newborns and to all members of society who are unable to look after their own best interests. This kind of legislation says to them: "you're not important; you're not needed; in fact, you are a burden to others.

That's an excellent point.  We need to hear this more often.  

It's funny he should mention "newborns", because one of his fellow bishops, Ronald Fabbro (London),  oversees St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in London, Ontario, where they have been deliberately euthanizing babies with birth defects for 20 years.  Here's how it works:
  1. A prenatal diagnosis test reveals a baby has serious birth defects.
  2. Doctors wait until the baby reaches 21 weeks of gestation, the point at which it is considered "viable", in other words that it could theoretically survive outside the womb if it were given highly specialized intensive care treatment.
  3. The doctors then artificially induce labour so that the baby is born prematurely.
  4. They intentionally let the baby die.  They only provide palliative care.
And voil√†, instant euthanasia of a little baby in a Catholic hospital.  Can you believe it?  Disgusting.  

The priest responsible for overseeing this procedure at St. Joseph's, Fr. Michael Prieur defends his Catholic euthanasia and has stated on several occasions that Bishop Fabbro approves of the situation.  Fr. Prieur, by the way, is a staunch supporter of the Winnipeg Statement (notice how it keeps popping up every time there's a moral problem in the Church?)  Fr. William McGrattan, rector of St. Peter’s Seminary, and another member of St. Joseph’s ethics committee also approves of this euthanasia. 

In some cases, expectant mothers have been pressured into having their baby euthanized by the hospital, despite the claim from Fr. Prieur that the procedure is only done when the health or life of the mother is at risk.

The bishops of the United States, on the other hand, have their heads screwed on straight on this matter.  They clearly state that such a practice is never permissible. In a 1996 document called Moral Principles Concerning Infants with Anencephaly, the US bishops explain the moral principles that makes this practice unacceptable:

"In other words, it is permitted to treat directly a pathology of the mother even when this has the unintended side-effect of causing the death of her child, if this pathology left untreated would have life-threatening effects on both mother and child, but it is not permitted to terminate or gravely risk the child's life as a means of treating or protecting the mother.

Hence, it is clear that before "viability" it is never permitted to terminate the gestation of an anencephalic child as the means of avoiding psychological or physical risks to the mother. Nor is such termination permitted after "viability" if early delivery endangers the child's life due to complications of prematurity. In such cases, it cannot reasonably be maintained that such a termination is simply a side-effect of the treatment of a pathology of the mother (as described in Directive 47). Anencephaly is not a pathology of the mother, but of the child, and terminating her pregnancy cannot be a treatment of a pathology she does not have. Only if the complications of the pregnancy result in a life-threatening pathology of the mother, may the treatment of this pathology be permitted even at a risk to the child, and then only if the child's death is not a means to treating the mother.

The fact that the life of a child suffering from anencephaly will probably be brief cannot excuse directly causing death before "viability" or gravely endangering the child's life after "viability" as a result of the complications of prematurity" (Source)

Even though they are talking about anencephaly, the principles can be generalized to other fetal abnormalities. The excerpt above is very explicit and clear, but I'd like to highlight two points:
  • Notice the sentence I underlined in red: the bishops condemn any termination of pregnancy after viability if it endangers the life of the baby.  In the case of St. Joseph's, the whole point of early termination is to end the life of the baby.  
  • In the sentence I underlined in green, they explain that the child's death cannot be used as a means of treating the mother.  That's what they appear to be doing at St. Joseph's.

Politics among bishops

Now watch how the politics works among bishops.  LifeSiteNews called the bishop's office a dozen times to get a comment from the bishop.  Now this was before the Development and Peace scandal.  A spokesperson for the diocese told them that the bishop wouldn't comment.  When asked if the bishop would make comments to the Toronto Star or another agency, the spokesperson said that if "I was contacted by a legitimate news outlet, then the diocese would have a comment on it."  Sure enough, the bishop made some comments when the National Post wrote an article about the scandal.  Talk about being snobbish.  Reminds me of James 2:1-4

"My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please’, while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there’, or, ‘Sit at my feet’, have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?" 

But wait, it gets better worse.  Suddenly, in March 2009, Bishop Fabbro announced that he was launching an investigation into the practice.  Why the sudden flip-flop?  Is it a coincidence that the Vatican also launched it's own review around the same time?  Notice how he said all the right things in public at the time he announced the review:  he said he "wasn't necessarily going to wait until all of this work had been done before I would be in a position to make changes to the guidelines the hospital is following now."  Sounds like a man with determination and a sense of urgency, eh?  Well guess what? That was in March 2009.  We're in November.  That's eight months.  How many more babies have been euthanized in the interim?  Is he going to wait until the Vatican forces him to shut down the racket?

Which brings me back to Bishop Henry.  Your Grace, your letter on C-484 was great. But I would exhort you to pick up the phone and call Bishop Fabbro to talk some sense into him.  You should also make a public statement against what's happening at St. Joseph's.