Italian euthanasia row shows Pope Francis’s influence

From, apparently a lefty site. with my emphasis in bold:

Italian euthanasia row shows Pope Francis’s influence
Pope Francis (Photo: Getty)
Michael Day Michael Day 2 months Monday March 6th 2017

“At least Hitler eliminated the disabled without charging.” With this crass comment on a Swiss clinic that agreed to end the life of a disabled celebrity, the far-right Catholic campaigner Mario Adinolfi has underlined both Italy’s problem with extreme social conservatism, and the current Pope’s quiet success in tackling the reactionary Church mindset that underlies it.

The case of the musician DJ Fabo (Fabiano Antoniani), 39, who chose voluntary euthanasia last Monday after being rendered blind and quadriplegic in a 2014 road accident, indicates that Pope Francis is influencing the debate on the most fundamental of issues: the sacrosanct status of life.

Vox Wrote:
And not in a Catholic way, as you'll soon read...

The conservative house journal of Italy’s bishops, L’Avvenire, was uncharacteristically restrained in its response to an act that would previously have seen it frothing at the mouth. “The most profound comment would be silence,” it toned.

‘A terribly sad event’

A priest writing in the same paper, Don Maurizio Patriciello, struck a philosophical and similarly cautious note: “This should make us reflect on that which we usually choose to ignore: the suffering of human beings,” he said.

A senior Vatican spokesman simply added: “This terribly sad event should be reason for reflection for us all.”

This is all in sharp contrast to other high-profile euthanasia cases of recent years that have enraged the Holy See and threatened constitutional crises as the Vatican waded into national politics, staining its reputation and that of Italian politics in the process.

When in December 2006 the muscular dystrophy victim Piergiorgio Welby succeeded in his wish to be sedated and have his respirator switched off, the Catholic Church responded callously by refusing him a religious funeral.

Vox Wrote:

"Callously." Uh-huh. What he meant to say, I'm sure, is that the Church refused a Catholic funeral to someone who apparently wasn't Catholic -- i.e., who rejected the Catholic Faith. How dare we do such a thing, eh?! Meanwhile, Jews and Muslims can get away with refusing weddings and funerals to non-Jews and non-Musims and get away with it without being called bad names. Funny, that.

In February 2009, the campaign by the father of 38-year-old Eluana Englaro to withdraw feeding from his daughter who had been in a persistent vegetative state for 17 years, similarly enraged the Vatican.

‘Monstrous and inhuman’

Its spokesman on health issues, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, said removal of feeding tubes amounted to “monstrous and inhuman murder”. In sanctioning in it, L’Avvenire accused Italy’s highest court of “necrophilia”.

Bullied into action by the Vatican hierarchy, Italy’s then morally malleable prime minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened a constitutional crisis by pushing through a decree that would have seen Ms Englaro’s sedation stopped and the tubes reconnected. But the country’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, refused to sign it, and she finally died shortly after.

The theologian Gianni Gennari told La Repubblica newspaper after DJ Fabo’s death: “It appears obvious to me that there’s a new climate in the church of being close also to the people who have decided to die without judging them.”

Part of the change in tone might be put down to realpolitik; with emptying pews the Church has to respond not only to Pope Francis, but to public opinion.

A recent poll by Eurispese found that 60 per cent of Italians favoured voluntary euthanasia. And 40 per cent said the Catholic Church interfered too much in such matters.

Vox Wrote:
Now, that's a way to run an institution that claims to be divine: democracy! Yay!

Concentrating on the big issues

The papal biographer and veteran political pundit Marco Politi told i: “Under Francis, the Church wants to avoid political clashes. This muted reaction [to the death of DJ Fabo] is another example of how Francis has withdrawn the Church from controversies. He is political, but he wants to concentrate on the big issues, principally, social and economic inequality.”

Vox Wrote:
Yup, abortion and euthanasia aren't "big issues." What are "big issues" are social and economic inequality, 'cause equality rulez! Just ask Jesus, the Revolutionary Feminist Communist! And any talk of economic inequality won't include words like "usury," "fractional reserve banking," "central banking," "the Federal Reserve," "fiat currencies," etc. -- ya know, the means by which 1% got to own pretty much everything. Instead of talking about those things, have at "capitalism" 'cause "capitalism" must include all that nasty stuff I just listed (consult your dictionary!)! That sort of thing is working in Venezuela, where the folks are really feeling their own sort of "Bern"!:

Italy still has a long way to go on equality – of various sorts. But the Church’s muted response (rather than outrage) again last week after an appeal court in Turin decided to recognise two gay men as the parents of the baby conceived in the US by a surrogate mother was another indication of the change filtering down from the top of the Holy See.

The rate of progress in ultra-conservative Italy is too slow for many. The director of L’Espresso magazine, Tommaso Cerno,  railed against the “medieval state” that had forced to DJ Fabo, ne’ Fabiano Antoniani, to go abroad, far from family and friends, in order to end his agony.

But Italy is not alone in grappling with end of life issues.

Vox Wrote:
Why do those who are insistent on killing themselves have to drag down the medical profession with them? Why can't they just, ya know, kill themselves and leave doctors and society at large out of it? Utterly selfish.

And the desperate reaction of people such as Mario Adinolfi this week to an act of mercy, suggests, said Mr Politi, that they realise change is on the way, even if they don’t like it.


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)