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Cardinal Burke Clarifies Suffering, Care of the Disabled and Dying to Sell Out Conference in Kansas City


SAN DIEGO, July 28, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Conference in Kansas City this past Saturday entitled "Being Faithful even unto Death: Catholic Wisdom on the Treatment of the Disabled and Dying," sponsored by St. Gianna Physician's Guild drew a sold out, standing room only crowd. Attendees traveled from 17 states and included physicians, psychologists, administrators, attorneys, religious and many others.

The powerful line up of speakers was headlined by the beloved Cardinal Raymond Burke who delivered a powerful address framing the Church's position on suffering and care of the disabled and dying. Other speakers included Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadomo, siblings of the late Terri Schiavo who now advocate for these issues for families and patients through the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, Dr. Austin Welsh a geriatrician and special guest Gianna Emanuela Molla, the daughter of St. Gianna who traveled here from Italy.

"The entire day exceeded all of our expectations. The atmosphere in the room when discussing and analyzing the difficult bioethical issues surrounding the care of the disabled and elderly and the momentum in society to euthanize them was that of a family gathering," said Thomas McKenna, Founder and President of St. Gianna Physician's Guild and sponsor of the event. "The importance of these issues was underscored by the participation of both dioceses of Kansas City, KS and Kansas City -- St. Joseph. It was a great blessing to have Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Finn with us throughout the entire day."

Participants agreed that a highlight of the day came when Gianna Emmanula Molla delivered her first talk since the death of her father entitled: "My mother, St. Gianna, and the legacy she left behind." This beautiful talk gave insight to the spirituality of St. Gianna's husband and family since her death in 1962. Gianna and her siblings represent the first time ever that children were present at the canonization of their own mother.

Cardinal Burke said: "The conference addressed one of the most critical questions regarding respect for human life in our nation. It was outstanding and very edifying for me and I was very pleased to be a part of it."

A set of the conference talks will soon be available on St. Gianna Physician's Guild web site www.StGiannaPhysicians.org.

Photos available upon request.

Contact: Megan Morris, St. Gianna Physician's Guild, 888-345-3343, info@StGiannaPhysicians.org

Cardinal Burke: suffering does not rid life of purpose
By Marianne Medlin

Kansas City, Kan., Jul 25, 2011 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a Kansas City conference on end-of-life care, Cardinal Raymond Burke said that suffering does not cause a person to have less meaning in his life, nor does it give the government the right to decide if that person should live or die.

“No matter how much a life is diminished, no matter what suffering the person is undergoing, that life demands the greatest respect and care,” Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, told CNA.

“It's never right to snuff out a life because it's in some way under heavy burden.”

Cardinal Burke spoke July 23 to a packed auditorium of over 350 people at the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan. on the “mystery” of human suffering and dying for his keynote address at the “Being Faithful, Even Unto Death” conference.

The meeting, organized by the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild, addressed medical issues surrounding those suffering and those at the end of their lives. The event was the first initiative of its kind for the group.

In his speech on Saturday, Cardinal Burke said that human suffering can only be understood in light of the “gift” and “dignity” of human life.

“Human life is a gift to be accorded the highest respect and care from its beginning until natural death,” he emphasized. “We are not the creators of human life and must respect the plan of the author of life for us and for our world.”

The cardinal stressed the importance of Catholics giving end-of-life care more attention, in light of cases involving vulnerable people such as Teri Schindler Schiavo – a severely disabled Florida woman who was deprived of nutrition and hydration by court order and her husband's request in 2005.

He underscored that nutrition and hydration are part of “basic human care” and to deprive patients of such care is not in any way “compassionate.”

Rather, “deliberately taking the life of an innocent human person is intrinsically evil and therefore, is never justified,” he said.

Along with the need for Catholics in general to be more informed on Church teaching about euthanasia, Cardinal Burke put special emphasis on Catholic students and seminarians being well versed on the topic.

All students, he said, should “pursue a certain number of courses of philosophy, so that in whatever field they specialize in,” they will use a logical, faith-filled approach to life issues.

Ultimately, he noted, “respect for the dignity of human life is the foundation of good order in our individual lives and our society.”

Without this respect, “our personal lives become profoundly disordered and society soon becomes a theater of violence and death.”

Cardinal Burke told CNA in comments following his talk that a Christian worldview isn't necessary for people to agree that society does not have the right to determine who lives or dies.

He said that “right reason” alone is enough for people from different perspectives to enter into productive dialogue on the issue.

Also speaking at the event on Saturday was Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla who discussed the spirituality, life and legacy of her mother, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla.

Dr. Molla’s mother was declared a saint in 2004 by the Catholic Church and is known for her heroism in choosing a risky operation to save her daughter Gianna’s life when she was two months pregnant. The conference marks the first visit to the U.S. for St. Gianna’s daughter.

Other speakers included geriatric specialist Dr. Austin Welsh, Thomas More Society executive director Peter Breen, and Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo – both siblings of Teri Schiavo.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph also attended the event.
The mystery of suffering is one that is not understood by so many, even in the Church now.  And yet it is always with us. 

We all experience it in one form or another; let us not waste any of it.
Thanks for posting this.  The push for euthanasia is on and tim and I think that we older baby boomers -- and the oldest only turn 65 this year, which is hardly ancient -- are going to be pressured to accept euthanasia.  

People who don't think the unborn have a right to life probably will not think the elderly or the disabled have a right to life.
How do you think they will pressure people to do that?
I would say to point out that most of the people in favor of euthanasia actually think of it as a right to life- a right to 'quality' of life.  Which is how they justify it.  They really need to be converted.  Because their slogan isn't "lets round up the old people and kill them because we want to" but "they're sufferinga and don't deserve to."

It's another one of those twisted and perverted "humanitarian" trips.  It's really just the sick and feeble mob finding yet another bastion of sin to fulfill themselves.  Prayers are all that can help now, they have fooled themselves beyond reason.
(07-29-2011, 10:26 AM)In nomine Patris Wrote: [ -> ]How do you think they will pressure people to do that?

Do a Google search on "duty to die."

The pressure is immense, its growing, and it will explode under ObamaCare. Its the central tenet of care for the elderly under ObamaCare. See for example ObamaCare Dives Into End-Of-Life Debate