Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 74(2) May 2024


Is the Mona Lisa Smiling?

Dr Pravin Thevathasan

Dr PravinFiducia Supplicans is the Vatican document which permits non-liturgical blessings of homosexual couples. The document is sufficiently ambiguous for different people to read it in different ways. Some argue that it only permits the blessing of individuals in an objectively sinful relationship. Others argue that it appears to permit the blessing of the relationship itself.

Supposing a Manchester United player asks for a blessing. We take it for granted that he is asking to be blessed as an individual. But supposing the whole team shows up to request a group blessing. Let us also suppose that they turn up wearing their Manchester United outfits accompanied by their fans. It would be difficult not to conclude that Manchester United is itself receiving a blessing! We move from blessing the person to blessing the institution.

By its own admission, the document is proposing a pastoral innovation. It is not teaching on specific matters of morals or doctrine. In view of its ambiguity, it requires to be returned to sender for further clarification.

The document is like a work of art: different people will reflect on it from different perspectives. That is a function of great works of art and is surely one of the reasons why Leonardo da Vinci is a genius. But that is not the function of the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

What They Really, Really Want

When abortion is legalised in any country, the pro-abortionists tell us that they want plenty of safeguards to ensure that there is no abortion on demand. They want abortion to be "safe, legal and rare," or so they claim.

According to Right To Life News (14 November 2023), the pro-abortion MP Stella Creasy has announced her intention to amend legislation set out in the King's Speech to decriminalise abortion. What this means is introducing abortion up to birth. This is what they wanted from the start. Let us make a real effort to lobby our MP's to oppose this amendment.

Why Are They So Interested?

Dr Jeff Mirus reports (7 February, 2024, Catholic World News) that the satanic temple's challenge to Idaho's pro-life laws have been dismissed by the courts.

Why are satanists so interested in promoting abortion? Do they identify with the Moloch ritual described in the Book of Leviticus, a ritual against which the people of God fought so hard?

It goes without saying that most abortionists are not satanists. But it is not surprising that satanists are pro-abortion. Why are the abortionists not bothered by this endorsement? It reminds us that the main means of overcoming the culture of death is prayer and, more specifically, Eucharistic Reparation.

Let us say a prayer to Our Lady at the end of Holy Mass: Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of the Unborn.

The Truth about Assisted Suicide

The journalist and author Simon Caldwell has written an important piece in the Catholic Herald (28 January, 2024). He writes that the current drive to legalise assisted suicide in the UK has been reinforced by celebrity endorsements and by such assisted suicide "aficionados" as the editor of the Express. As he notes, assisted suicide is presented in the media as just another human right, a choice to end one's life at a time of one's choosing. But this pro-choice argument simply does not work in the real world. The pro- choice lobby are, of course, calling for safeguards. But in the real world, the euthanasia laws have gone terribly wrong. In countries like Canada, Belgium and Holland, the original safeguards have been scrapped. In some of these countries, euthanasia is available for "mature minors" without parental consent. In Canada, healthcare is deemed as more expensive than euthanasia and "some greedy healthcare providers and insurers are actively promoting euthanasia even among the healthy elderly." Again in Canada, an elderly woman was given a lethal injection when she complained of feeling isolated during lockdown. Another elderly patient was granted euthanasia because he feared he would be made homeless. In Canada, death by euthanasia is the highest cause of mortality after cancer and heart disease. 

If Quebec's euthanasia death rates were to be replicated in the UK, death by euthanasia or assisted suicide will account for 44,000 deaths a year. 

The celebrity endorsements are made by the wealthy and powerful. Those of us who work with the disabled and mentally ill know how vulnerable these people are. We need to be a voice for these vulnerable people

Where is the consistency?

A google search leads one to conclude that the British politician most committed to childcare reform is Mrs Stella Creasy. She also happens to be the leading pro-abortion politician in Britain. Many of us prayed for her when she was pregnant with her daughter Hettie. She fought to hire parliament's first ever locum to cover the constituency for six months of that pregnancy. We were deeply moved to see mother and baby in parliament. "Women should be able to have kids and do politics" she said (30, October, 2021, The Guardian).

Mrs Creasy is a highly intelligent person. She knows that human life begins well before birth. For those of us who follow the science, we have no doubt: life begins at fertilisation.

Can we refer to the unborn as "kids"? The answer is surely obvious. But how many politicians will say "women should be able to abort kids...?"