Pastor's Corner Feb 25 2018

Last week I advised you to a) pray for final perseverance and tell others you want a priest to be called when your seriously ill, b) appoint a health care agent (Durable Power of Attorney for health care), and to sign NO other portion of any "advanced" directive, and c) to discuss your wishes with your agent so they understand the teachings of the Church and your personal wishes. (Please note that my advice was not "legal" advice – but moral advice.)

Until we ban abortion, euthanasia is a current reality here. Defenseless persons are in danger of legalized abuse.

Can a Catholic receive the ‘Last Rites,' if he has decided to commit physician-assisted suicide? No! Because there is a manifest disposition of mind, in the public forum, obstinately persisted in, which would make reception of the sacraments sacrilegious. If the patient has fallen unconscious, but not yet deceased, can they then receive the sacraments? No, for the same reason. Is this harsh? Suicide exposes us to much worse reality. (Sentimentality is an enemy of true religion.)

Can a victim of PAS receive public funeral rites of the Church? While the Church refuses no one her prayers, public prayers are different than private prayers. Public prayers manifest a certain approbation by the Church. (Some bishops, for instance, have had the courage to refuse public funerals for high ranking members of organized crime.) In order to avoid a mixed message in so important an area, the Church may well refuse public funeral rites for the person who engages in PAS. Please expect this.

Suicide is a sin against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven. Our Lord says, "There is no one who blasphemes against the Son of Man but may find forgiveness; but for him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit there is no forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come." (Mt 12:32). Why? because the opportunity to repent is removed by the sin itself. The Church, a lover of souls and of salvation, warns us of this grave danger. If all Catholics knew with certainty, that they will be refused public funeral rites after PAS, it is a tangible sign that they themselves are cutting themselves off from the body of the Church forever. That said, we never presume to judge anyone's salvation.

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