Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Charles Lewis: Challenging religious leaders to do more.

Cardinal von Galen fought the
Nazi euthanasia program.
y Charles Lewis

Our religious leaders are missing something. I might dare to say they are failing. They are forgetting that shouting is needed in the midst of a disaster. It is sometimes the only solution when no one seems to be listening.

We are now in the home stretch of attempting to keep euthanasia illegal, which given the indications is not likely. Nor will it end if we lose. There will be much work to be done to make euthanasia irrelevant. But that will come later.

For now, Quebec has already put the needle in at least one person's arm. They killed a patient even though our Criminal Code says it is illegal. Instead our federal government, under both Harper and now Trudeau, coming down like a ton of bricks on Quebec they have remained silent.

Let me correct that. Harper remained silent but Trudeau has been encouraging, essentially saying to the Quebec's pro-euthanasia ghouls that we support your right to murder.

So now is the time for the yelling to start. Now is the time for an uncompromising reaction to what is surely the most indecent thing our country will have ever done.

And yet I still keep waiting for our religious leaders to rally their respective flocks to stop this madness. For anyone who is out there doing this please accept my apologies. But in the main it is not happening.

I was told by a priest he would love to have me speak but there were so many other things going on. My worst experience was the priest who said he was too busy ordering the Easter flowers. If I were a nasty man I might have said you might have missed your true vocation by not becoming a florist.

What I hear all the time, particularly in my own Catholic Church, is that there are many things our religious leaders must do. They are being pulled in 20 different directions. And so all must be given equal treatment.

But why? Why can they not decide that this is the emergency? When hurricanes or tornadoes or earthquakes do their damage civil authorities make the rescue and clean up a priority. Everything else can wait, as what is before them is life and death. What a scandal it would be if a civic leader said, “I’m busy right now. Let me get back to you.”

The coming legalization — and I pray to God it will not happen — is no different. Legalized euthanasia will be a blight in which lives will be lost and those family and friends of those who choose state-sanctioned killing will be devastated.

It is not enough to issue a letter. No one reads letters except a few like-minded people. And sometimes journalists who are looking for a story.

What we need, what I beg our religious leaders to do, is  raise voices: on Sundays, in press conferences, in radio and television interviews. The time for being coy or conservative has long left the station. We need people of great moral influence to tell their people that to support euthanasia is a grave sin. They need to say that at this moment in our history this is the priority. They need to make us believe, as some of us already do, that this will change the nature of our country from one of care to one that is indifferent.

How much longer will it take? How bad does this have to get for the voices of truth and compassion to be heard over the din of those who dare to call government approved suicide "death with dignity?"

In the past two years I have done about 40 talks. Perhaps I spoke to about 2,000 people. If a Bishop holds a press conference it would reach many more than 2000 in just a few minutes.

In every talk I said the same thing: do not think about winning or losing but rather stand up for the right thing.

I now ask our religious leaders to do the same thing … not once, not twice but as long as it takes to start changing the minds of the very people who should know better. For the love of God, please.

Charles Lewis is a freelance journalist and the former reporter at the National Post.


Lou Iacobelli said...

I just wish the bishops would take a strong stand against euthanasia as a group. What are they waitning for? They can urge the faithdful to fight the evil of euthanasia and assisted-suicide. It's time to mobilize the parish communities in this country. We need more journalists like Mr. Lewis who aren't afraid to write the truth. The fight for the protection of life is a must before more "legalized" killing in Canada becomes law. Thank you Mr. Lewis and the work done by Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. We should not repeat the horrible crimes we are committing each day in this country with abortion.

Jule Koch said...

Thank you Mr. Lewis. I've tried to circulate Cardinal Von Galen's 1941 speech and I too have been trying to wake the church up, but for the most part all the denominations are just as asleep as the rest of the population. No, people do not realize this is an emergency situation, and we who oppose this are considered to be paranoid. However, some are waking up, and we will keep praying and trying and working in the face of this juggernaut of death no matter how long it takes. Ironically, I feel we are like the little Dutch boy trying to plug the hole in the dyke.
Thanks so much to the EPC and everyone who is working so hard. Thanks Lou Lacobelli for your comment.

Ruben De Poortere said...

There are many different religions, and most of the time we see the differences between them, the fighting. Yet when all major religions with millions of followers and roots that are many centuries old agree on a certain topic, we don't seem to notice this. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, hinduism,... They all agree on the fact that Euthanasia is very wrong ! Wow, how extraordinary is that, they all agree unanimously ! If something like that happens, shouldn't we notice this remarkable fact and listen to their point of view ? If we do something that is forbidden in all religions, shouldn't we think twice and check if what we're doing isn't unacceptable no matter our beliefs ?

Kathie Hogan said...

Thank you very much, Mr. Lewis, for speaking out. If the bishops are sleeping we can't expect anything less for the average pew dwellers!
Luke 12:48