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There are two things I could be working on tonight. I could be writing my essay on Summa Theologiae 1 q.1 a.10, or working on lector and EMHC schedules.

The schedules are the part of my job that I hate the most. I chose to work on the schedules. What does that tell you.

For those who are wondering, the Aquinas course isn’t going well.


In an article published in MicroMega, an Italian periodical, Dr. Lina Pavanelli claims that Pope John Paul II and his doctors disregarded Church teaching by using a form of euthanasia to accelerate the pontiff’s death. This shocking claim reached the mainstream American media though an article in Time magazine, under the sensational title “Was John Paul II Euthanized?”. These articles are inaccurate because of Dr. Pavanelli’s, method of diagnosis, dismissal of the reported cause of death, misunderstanding of the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding life support, and intentions.

Dr. Pavanelli, a professor of intensive care medicine, claims that Pope John Paul II should have received a feeding tube weeks before his death. She has published this claim even though she never had access to either Pope John Paul II or his medical records. She openly admits that her claims are based on information she gained though media reports, watching the pope on television, and from a book written by the Pope’s doctor. Although doctors are not allowed to diagnose through these methods, Dr. Pavanelli not only makes a diagnosis, she accuses the pope of suicide. According to the article in Time, Dr. Pavanelli believes that the pope’s doctors recommended a feeding tube, but he refused the procedure, which she claims amounts to suicide in the opinion of the Church. On May 30, 2005, a Vatican press release stated that the pope had been given a feeding tube, but she claims that it was inserted too late. It has been argued that if Pope John Paul II intended suicide, a feeding tube would not have been inserted at any point. Furthermore, in a press conference given on September 26, 2007, the Vatican announced that the feeding tube had been inserted much earlier, but it was not reported to the media until later. In response, Dr. Pavanelli revised her accusations and now claims that the feeding tube provided was the wrong type. Because she was not present and does not have access to the pope’s medical records, these claims do not have any basis in fact.

Nonetheless, Dr. Pavanelli also claims that Pope John Paul “died for reasons that were clearly not mentioned. […] the incapacity to swallow.” All official reports state that Pope John Paul II died from septic shock and cardiovascular collapse. This was not the result of either starvation or dehydration. The incapacity to swallow and the difficulty breathing which he suffered are both symptoms of his advanced Parkinson’s disease. Difficulty breathing creates a greater risk of infection and physically weakens the patient. A tracheotomy was performed to help the pontiff breathe easier. If suicide had been his intention, he would have refused the tracheotomy.

The most disturbing aspect of the articles are the misrepresentations of the teaching of the Catholic Church. The article in Time claims that “Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life.” This statement is false and does not appear in any document of the Catholic Church. On the contrary, article 2278 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted.”

Despite that, the dying can be allowed to suffer from starvation or dehydration. Just weeks before the publication of the MicroMega article, the Vatican released a document entitled Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration. The document states:

“The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.”

While some may interpret that passage to mean that Catholics are obliged to provide feeding tubes at all costs, the Declaration on Euthanasia which was approved by Pope John Paul II in 1980 states:

“When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted”

The Catholic Church teaches that feeding tubes only need to be used when they are necessary and useful. In the case of a dying person, they are to be used to ensure the comfort of the patient. That seems to be exactly what the pope’s doctors did.

Despite appearances, the pope is not the real center of this controversy. He is simply the target which Dr. Pavanelli and MicroMega have chosen. This article is really about Piergiorgio Welby, an Italian man with muscular dystrophy who died after being taken off life support. Mr. Welby was not allowed to have a Catholic funeral because his death was seen by Church law as an act of suicide. The difference between Pope John Paul II and Piergiorgio Welby is that Pope John Paul II was actively dying. Earlier insertion of a feeding tube would not have prevented the pope’s death, but Mr. Welby could have lived for some time if his life support had not been removed. In that way, Mr. Welby’s death was directly caused by the removal of the life support system. Dr. Pavanelli and MicroMega have been vocal supporters of Mr. Welby’s decision. This is simply an attempt to promote their cause.

Through her unsubstantiated accusations and gross misinformation, Dr. Pavanelli has broken the physician’s credo of “First, do no harm”. She has harmed the integrity of the medical profession, the reputation of Pope John Paul II, and the knowledge of all those who do not have expertise in Catholic teaching on end of life issues. Her arguments are not cogent because they are not based on knowledge of the patient, they ignore many disclosed facts, and present an inaccurate view of Church teaching. Moreover, she does not openly disclose her true intentions. I am disappointed that Time has given Dr. Pavanelli a means to promote her message without questioning its factuality.

Read more on this topic here:
Fr. Jonathan Morris
LifeSite News

Source: Fox News

The Catholic League is upset over Miller’s ties to a fair promoted in an ad that shows semi-nude men and women in bondage at a table with sex toys portraying Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” painting.
“Miller is sponsoring an incredibly outrageous and palpably anti-Christian event,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League.
The 2007 Folsom Street Fair, which organizers promote as “fairgrounds filled with people in their most outrageous leather/rubber/fetish attire” is planned for Sunday on Folsom Street in San Francisco.
The fair will benefit a group of local charities, including an organization called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who call themselves “queer nuns.”
“Want to put your cute leather outfit to good use and serve the community at the same time?” according to a promotion on the group’s Web site.
Miller wants its logo removed from the poster, according to a statement in the New York Sun.

“While Miller has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year. We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive,” said Julian Green, a Miller spokeswoman in a statement.
Click here to read a report in the New York Sun.
Donohue called Miller’s response a “lame statement of regret.”
“Miller leaves us with no options,” Donohue said.
Father Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest based in Rome, said the group is not nuns and wants to promote gay rights.
“What they are doing is trying to make a mockery of religion,” Morris, a FOX News analyst, said.
Morris called the ad “blasphemy.”
“When you take something that is sacred to somebody, you turn it into the profane and you use it for your own good,” Morris said. “That’s bad for society.”

The whole thing is rather weird and very twisted, but I am waiting to see the neon vestments at Mass.

Could you spend a year following every law in the Bible. One guy tried it. Read more here.

You know you are Catholic when you are reading posts on a message board, see another poster being referred to as OP and wonder who the Dominican is.

Btw: In this context OP means Other Poster.
To me it means Order of Preachers

For better, for worse, in sickness and in health, for the next seven years. Doesn’t quite sound right? Well, one Bavarian politician thinks that is how marriage should be.

From News 24:

Bavaria’s most glamorous politician — a flame-haired motorcyclist who helped bring down state premier Edmund Stoiber — has shocked the Catholic state in Germany by suggesting marriage should last just 7 years.

Gabriele Pauli, who poses on her web site in motorcyle leathers, is standing for the leadership of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) — sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) — in a vote next week.

She told reporters at the launch of her campaign manifesto Wednesday she wanted marriage to expire after seven years and accused the CSU, which promotes traditional family values, of nurturing ideals of marriage which are wide of the mark.

“The basic approach is wrong … many marriages last just because people believe they are safe,” she told reporters. “My suggestion is that marriages expire after seven years.”

After that time, couples should either agree to extend their marriage or it should be automatically dissolved, she said.

Fifty-year-old Pauli, twice divorced, is a maverick intent on shaking up her male-dominated and mainly Catholic party which has dominated Bavarian politics since World War Two.

“This is about bringing ideas into the CSU and starting a discussion,” she told German television Thursday after she had unleashed a wave of criticism from other politicians.

Former foe Stoiber said she did not belong in the CSU and European lawmaker Ingo Freidrich dismissed her views.

“She is diametrically contradicting our Christian, ethical values,” Freidrich said.

Peter Ramsauer, head of the CSU in Germany’s parliament, compared Pauli’s ideas to “the dirt under your fingernails.”

h/t to the Disciple of the Dumb Ox

You scored as Handel, It’s hard to say where you
got your talent–certainly not from your parents!
But with grudging support from your parents
and sporadic support from people in higher places,
you have room to do things in your style.
When you’re low, keep being your hardworking self.
Big breaks don’t just happen!









J.S. Bach










Hector Berlioz








Which classical composer are you?
created with

Poor reporting strikes again. On first glance it seems that the Diocese of Hamilton is planning to expel students who recieve the HPV vaccine, but that is not the case. This actually isn’t newsworthy since it only states that school nurses are not allowed to administer the vaccine in the school. Since when did kids get vaccinated at school anyway? Leave it to Canada to come up with weird ideas. See what free health care comes with.

Also, the HPV vaccine doesn’t prevent cervical cancer because although HPV is the primary cause, it is not the only cause of cervical cancer.

From 680 News:

The Halton Catholic School Board could become the first in the province to ban female students from receiving the HPV vaccine.

Trustees with the board will vote tonight on whether public health nurses should be allowed to administer the vaccine in its schools, according to a report in the Hamilton Spectator.

The human papilloma virus vaccine is offered to Grade 8 girls in Ontario, as a way to prevent cervical cancer in their future.

The ban could also cover the public health unit from counselling or giving advice on the vaccine to any student on board property.

This article puzzles me. These people are obviously on to something, but they’re going about it all wrong. I wonder if these small classes were intentional, or just happened. I can’t help but think they were intentional based on the fact that these parents are willing to pay $25,000 a year for tuition. That is more than most people pay for a year of college.

Only in New York!

From WCBS:

When school is dismissed at the end of the day, there’s nothing unusual about seeing a rush of children plow through the doors in a frenzy of excitement. But instead of the student body pouring out of the new Academy of St. Joseph, little Sebastian Reardon and Intonina Machniewska-Schlussman are the only students leaving to go play.

That’s because at the Catholic school in Greenwich Village, Sebastian and Intonina are the student body.

“It’s a great school and we’re willing to experiment, just try it out,” says Gosia Machniewska-Schlussman, Intonina’s mother.

And it’s an experiment that costs $25,000 a year in tuition to test. But because Sebastian and Intonina are the only students in their pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, they are receiving individual hands on attention from their teachers, which suits their parents just fine.

“I wanted a small environment for him and Catholic education would be good for him,” said Emily Reardon, Sebastian’s mother.

Added Mrs. Machniewska-Schlussman: “It’s a great school. We went to see last Friday what she has learned in a week and it was amazing.”

Right now the school only offers pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, but the archdiocese plans to add a grade each year all the way up to 8th grade.

“We have a business plan and we are confident, based on the research that we have done, that the school will succeed,” said Joseph Zwelling, of the New York Archdiocese.

The archdiocese, which runs the school, blames low enrollment on the fact that parents were not able to come to any open houses before it opened.

“We were expecting 4, 5 to start in pre-k and kindergarten, but we were hampered from getting to that point because the school was under construction,” Zwelling said.

Machniewska-Schlussman says she’s not worried about Intonina not being surrounded by other students and missing out on the ability to socialize. “We are going to the park. She will have plenty of interaction with plenty of classmates from previous school,” she says.

The renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the month and open houses will begin in October. Each classroom will have Internet access for its students, who aside from the basics will learn French, Italian, Latin, architecture, and principles of character.

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