As has been noted so many times in the past, it is beyond wearying to write about the conciliar revolutionaries and their nefarious work. Indeed, one of the book projects that is in its initial stages of development now is a set of anthologies of commentaries on the eras of Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Although this project will take several months to prepare for publication, one volume, containing articles related to the first few months of Bergoglio’s antipapal presidency runs the maximum eight hundred twenty pages permitted in a six inch by nine inch book format. A quick review of those articles has reminded me why I have such a complete distaste for all things conciliar.
However, there are times when circumstances require me to put aside by personal distaste for having to restate the obvious to write on a selected number of topics about events within the counterfeit church of conciliarism. The Conciliar Congregation for the Deformation and Destruction of the Faith’s issuance of Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020, is one of those times when it is opportune to provide the limited readership of this website with a bit of commentary for their consideration.
Samaritanus Bonus Reflects the Double-Minded Nature of Modernism
Samaritanus Bonus is one of those conciliarism products that contains just enough defenses of authentic Catholic teaching against the intention killing of innocent preborn babies, the starvation and dehydration of brain damaged human beings, and euthanasia as to disarm, if not give encouragement to, a believing Catholic. It would be an act of intellectual dishonesty to ignore those parts of Samaritanus Bonus that reaffirm Catholic teaching, albeit in many instances by the use of conciliarspeak, especially concerning the endless invocation of the Sillonist phrase,” human dignity,” which was mocked as follows by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique:
Finally, at the root of all their fallacies on social questions, lie the false hopes of Sillonists on human dignity. According to them, Man will be a man truly worthy of the name only when he has acquired a strong, enlightened, and independent consciousness, able to do without a master, obeying only himself, and able to assume the most demanding responsibilities without faltering. Such are the big words by which human pride is exalted, like a dream carrying Man away without light, without guidance, and without help into the realm of illusion in which he will be destroyed by his errors and passions whilst awaiting the glorious day of his full consciousness. And that great day, when will it come? Unless human nature can be changed, which is not within the power of the Sillonists, will that day ever come? Did the Saints who brought human dignity to its highest point, possess that kind of dignity? And what of the lowly of this earth who are unable to raise so high but are content to plow their furrow modestly at the level where Providence placed them? They who are diligently discharging their duties with Christian humility, obedience, and patience, are they not also worthy of being called men? Will not Our Lord take them one day out of their obscurity and place them in heaven amongst the princes of His people? (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
It must thus be understood that the use of the phrase “human dignity’ by the conciliar revolutionaries is not what motivated the generous work of the saints who labored to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy to the sick, the injured, and dying in the nineteen centuries before the “Second” Vatican Council’s celebration of “man” that is very close in its spirit to the anthropocentrism of Marxism itself.
Consider the remarks of Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini/Paul VI at the close of the “Second” Vatican Council on December 8, 1965:
But one thing must be noted here, namely, that the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching on a number of questions which today weigh upon man's conscience and activity, descending, so to speak, into a dialogue with him, but ever preserving its own authority and force; it has spoken with the accommodating friendly voice of pastoral charity; its desire has been to be heard and understood by everyone; it has not merely concentrated on intellectual understanding but has also sought to express itself in simple, up-to-date, conversational style, derived from actual experience and a cordial approach which make it more vital, attractive and persuasive; it has spoken to modern man as he is.
Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channeled in one direction, the service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need. The Church has, so to say, declared herself the servant of humanity, at the very time when her teaching role and her pastoral government have, by reason of the council's solemnity, assumed greater splendor and vigor: the idea of service has been central. (Address During The Last General Meeting Of the "Second Vatican Council.)
The servant of humanity, not the Mystical Spouse of Christ the King to advance the work of the sanctification and salvation of souls.
Modern man as he is?”
This is important to bear in mind as the underlying presumptions of conciliar documents, no matter how modern reiterations of Catholic teaching they might contain, are based in various kinds of Modernist conceptions and propositions that were dissected, critiqued and condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, starting with a double-mindedness that provides something of an opaque cover of advancing concepts and approaches which contradict their own claims to defend doctrinal and moral orthodoxy. Pope Saint Pius X explained this double-minded strategy as follows in Pascendi Dominici Gregis:
18. This will appear more clearly to anybody who studies the conduct of Modernists, which is in perfect harmony with their teachings. In their writings and addresses they seem not unfrequently to advocate doctrines which are contrary one to the other, so that one would be disposed to regard their attitude as double and doubtful. But this is done deliberately and advisedly, and the reason of it is to be found in their opinion as to the mutual separation of science and faith. Thus in their books one finds some things which might well be approved by a Catholic, but on turning over the page one is confronted by other things which might well have been dictated by a rationalist. When they write history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when they are in the pulpit they profess it clearly; again, when they are dealing with history they take no account of the Fathers and the Councils, but when they catechize the people, they cite them respectfully. In the same way they draw their distinctions between exegesis which is theological and pastoral and exegesis which is scientific and historical. So, too, when they treat of philosophy, history, and criticism, acting on the principle that science in no way depends upon faith, they feel no especial horror in treading in the footsteps of Luther and are wont to display a manifold contempt for Catholic doctrines, for the Holy Fathers, for the Ecumenical Councils, for the ecclesiastical magisterium; and should they be taken to task for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their liberty. Lastly, maintaining the theory that faith must be subject to science, they continuously and openly rebuke the Church on the ground that she resolutely refuses to submit and accommodate her dogmas to the opinions of philosophy; while they, on their side, having for this purpose blotted out the old theology, endeavor to introduce a new theology which shall support the aberrations of philosophers. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
Samaritanus Bonus is, above all else, a typical double-minded product of the Modernist mind, and it would be intellectually dishonest for defenders of all things conciliar to ignore the poisonous nature of Samaritanus Bonus’s ultimate purpose as an apologia in defense of the “palliative care/hospice” agenda that has been funded and promoted by such anti-life forces as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Soros Foundation. In this regard, therefore, it should be remembered that several Soros allies serve on the so-called “Pontifical” Academy for Life.
In this regard, therefore, several passages will be highlighted to explain some of Modernist traps that are contained within Samaritanus Bonus despite language that resonates with Catholic truth at times but is later vitiated by the whole emphasis on “palliative care” and “hospice.”
Doctrinal Errors of Omission and Commission
Samaritanus Bonus contains a section describing human suffering as a participation in the suffering of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ without, however, labeling such suffering by its proper name, redemptive suffering. There is a reason for this, which I will explain after providing several passages on the subject of suffering as found in Samaratanus Bonus:
If the figure of the Good Samaritan throws new light on the provision of healthcare, the nearness of the God made man is manifest in the living experience of Christ’s suffering, of his agony on the Cross and his Resurrection: his experience of multiple forms of pain and anguish resonates with the sick and their families during the long days of infirmity that precede the end of life.
Not only do the words of the prophet Isaiah proclaim Christ as one familiar with suffering and pain (cf. Is 53), but, as we re-read the pages about his suffering, we also recognize the experience of incredulity and scorn, abandonment, and physical pain and anguish. Christ’s experience resonates with the sick who are often seen as a burden to society; their questions are not understood; they often undergo forms of affective desertion and the loss of connection with others.
Every sick person has the need not only to be heard, but to understand that their interlocutor “knows” what it means to feel alone, neglected, and tormented by the prospect of physical pain. Added to this is the suffering caused when society equates their value as persons to their quality of life and makes them feel like a burden to others. In this situation, to turn one’s gaze to Christ is to turn to him who experienced in his flesh the pain of the lashes and nails, the derision of those who scourged him, and the abandonment and the betrayal of those closest to him.
In the face of the challenge of illness and the emotional and spiritual difficulties associated with pain, one must necessarily know how to speak a word of comfort drawn from the compassion of Jesus on the Cross. It is full of hope - a sincere hope, like Christ’s on the Cross, capable of facing the moment of trial and the challenge of death. Ave crux, spes unica, we sing in the Good Friday liturgy. In the Cross of Christ are concentrated and recapitulated all the sickness and suffering of the world: all the physical suffering, of which the Cross, that instrument of an infamous and shameful death, is the symbol; all the psychological suffering, expressed in the death of Jesus in the darkest of solitude, abandonment and betrayal; all the moral suffering, manifested in the condemnation to death of one who is innocent; all the spiritual suffering, displayed in a desolation that seems like the very silence of God.
Christ is aware of the painful shock of his Mother and his disciples who “remain” under the Cross and who, though “remaining”, appear impotent and resigned, and yet provide the affective intimacy that allows the God made man to live through hours that seem meaningless.
Then there is the Cross: an instrument of torture and execution reserved only for the lowest, that symbolically looks just like those afflictions that nail us to a bed, that portend only death, and that render meaningless time and its flow. Still, those who “remain” near the sick not only betoken but also embody affections, connections, along with a profound readiness to love. In all this, the suffering person can discern the human gaze that lends meaning to the time of illness. For, in the experience of being loved, all of life finds its justification. During his passion Christ was always sustained by his confident trust in the Father’s love, so evident in the hours of the Cross, and also in his Mother’s love. The Love of God always makes itself known in the history of men and women, thanks to the love of the one who never deserts us, who “remains,” despite everything, at our side. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
There are several problems with this section no matter a general description of human suffering that appears to be perfectly orthodox, emphasis on appearance.
First, Samaritanus Bonus does not explain why Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ underwent His fearful Passion and Death on the Holy Cross to effect our Redemption. Bergoglio (and those who actually drafted the document for his approval) went out of the way to point out that Our Lord Jesus Christ offered Himself up to His Co-Equal, Co-Eternal God the Father on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins. Thus, Samaritanus Bonus does not explain that human suffering is the consequence of Original Sin and of Actual Sins in the world, including our own. Human suffering is a means for us all to expiate our own sins by accepting it with gratitude as an opportunity to pay back the temporal debt we owe for our own sins and to help do so for the souls of others, especially those in Purgatory.
Similarly, there is no mention of the simple fact that nothing we suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears is the equal of what Our Lord Himself suffered in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that which His Most Blessed Mother, our very own Co-Redemptrix, suffered in her soul as the Queen of Martyrs in perfect communion with Him throughout the entirely of His Passion and Death, including at the foot of the Holy Cross.
This brings us to the second problem with the section cited above, namely, that Samaritanus Bonus apes Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s repeated blasphemies against Our Lady by claiming that she was impotent and resigned as by the foot of her Divine Son’s Holy Cross on Good Friday when the truth is that she accepted the will of God in all things and understood perfectly that Our Divine Redeemer was paying back the price of our sins. Our Lady lamented the fact that her Divine Son was dying in vain for so many who would either reject the fact of His Sacred Divinity altogether and die outside the bosom of Holy Mother Church and for the Catholics who would reject the graces won for them as the Most Precious Blood of Jesus was poured out onto the ground until they died in a state of final impenitence.
Here is a reminder of how Bergoglio has blasphemed Our Lady during his seven and one-half years as the universal public face of apostasy:
The Mother of Jesus was the perfect icon of silence. From the proclamation of her exceptional maternity at Calvary. The Pope said he thinks about “how many times she remained quiet and how many times she did not say that which she felt in order to guard the mystery of her relationship with her Son,” up until the most raw silence “at the foot of the cross”.
“The Gospel does not tell us anything: if she spoke a word or not… She was silent, but in her heart, how many things told the Lord! ‘You, that day, this and the other that we read, you had told me that he would be great, you had told me that you would have given him the throne of David, his forefather, that he would have reigned forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’ John Paul II would say this, speaking about Our Lady in that moment. But she, with her silence, hid the mystery that she did not understand and with this silence allowed for this mystery to grow and blossom in hope.” (Ever Talkative Apostate: Silence guards one's relationship with God.)
First of all, a man who is never silent is the last person in the world to speak about the necessity of silence.
Secondly, there is only one word that can be used to describe Bergoglio, and it is the one chosen as the title of this brief commentary: Blasphemer.
Our Lady, the Queen of Martyrs, accepted the will of God the Father for His Co-Equal and Co-Eternal Son, her own sole begotten Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, without regret or complaint. She suffered, to be sure, as no human being had suffered before her or would suffer after her until the end of time. She suffered because she saw the unspeakable wretched effects that our sins, having transcended time, had on the very Body that she had given Our Lord in her Virginal and Immaculate Womb. Our Blessed Mother suffered in complete compassion with her Divine Son and was grieved greatly by the ingratitude of sinful men for whom He was shedding every single drop of His Most Precious Blood to redeem and who she would bring to spiritual rebirth in great agony as she stood so valiantly at the foot of His Holy Cross.
659. Also following the Lord in the multitude of common people (as the Evangelist St. Luke says in chapter XXIII [v. 27]) were many other women who lamented and wept bitterly. Most sweet Jesus, turning toward them, addressed them and said (Ib. 28-31): Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me; but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? By these mysterious words the Lord accredited the tears shed because of his most holy Passion, and in a certain manner approved of them, showing Himself as obliged by their compassion in order to teach us in these women the purpose which our tears must have in order to be well suited toward their proper end. At that time these compassionate disciples of the Lord were ignorant of this true purpose of such tears, weeping over his affronts and pains and not over the cause of his sufferings, and thus they merited to be instructed and admonished of the truth. It was as if the Savior had said to them: Weep over thy sins and the sins of thy children, and attribute what I suffer to those sins. I suffer not for my sins, for I am guilty of none, and it is not even possible that I be guilty of any. If I approve of thy compassion for Me as good and just, much more do I desire thee to weep over thy sins for which I suffer, for by this manner of weeping shall pass to thee and thy children the price of my blood and Redemption, ignored by this blind people. For there shall come days (which shall be those of universal judgment and chastisement) in which those shall be held as fortunate who have not begotten children, in which the foreknown shall call upon the mountains and the hills to shield them against my wrath. For if their sins, now only assumed by Me, have such effects upon Me, who am innocent, what horrible punishments will they draw upon those who are so dry and without any fruits of grace and merits? 660. As a reward for their tears and compassion these women were enlightened in order to understand this doctrine. In fulfillment of the petition of most holy Mary the Pharisees and ministers of the Passion were inspired with the resolve to engage some man to help Jesus our Savior in carrying the Cross to Calvary. At this juncture Simon of Cyrene, the father of the disciples Alexander and Rufus (Mk. 15:21), happened to come along. He was called by this name because he was a native of Cyrene, a city of Libya, and had come to Jerusalem. This Simon was now forced by the Jews to carry the Cross a part of the way, since they themselves were ashamed to come near it as being the instrument of punishment of one whom they held to be a notorious evildoer, expecting all the people to understand this by these formalities and precautions. The Cyrenian took hold of the Cross, and Jesus was made to follow between the two thieves so all might believe Him to be a criminal and evildoer like them. The Mother of Jesus our Savior walked very closely behind His Majesty as She had desired and asked of the eternal Father. To his divine will She so conformed Herself in all the labors and torments of the Passion of her Son that although participating and communicating in his torments so closely in all her senses, She never allowed any movement or gesture in her interior or exterior which could portray a recantation of her consent to the sufferings of her Son and God. Her charity and love of men, along with her grace and sanctity, were so great that She vanquished all these movements of her human nature. (The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God: Book 6: The Transfixionm Chatper XXI.)
"She never allowed any sentiment or wish to arise interiorly or exteriorly, which could be interpreted as a regret for the Sacrifice She had made in offering her Son for the death on the Cross and its sufferings. Her charity and love of men, and her grace and holiness, were so great, that She vanquished all these movements of her human nature."
So much for "Lies! I was deceived," Bergoglio. Blasphemer.
Our Lady was no less composed in the integrity of the interior movements of her soul as she stood at the foot of her Divine Son's Cross:
665. When the most prudent Mother perceived that now the mysteries of the Redemption were to be fulfilled and the executioners were about to strip the Lord of his clothes for crucifixion, She turned in spirit to the eternal Father and prayed as follows: “My Lord and eternal God, Thou art the Father of thy onlybegotten Son, who by eternal generation was born true God of true God, namely Thyself, and by human generation was born from my womb, where I gave Him the nature of man in which He now suffers. I have nursed and sustained Him at my own breast, and as the best of sons who could ever be born of any other creature I love Him as his true Mother; and as his Mother I have a natural right in the Person of his most holy humanity, and never shall thy providence deny a right to one who possesses it and to whom it belongs. I now offer Thee this right of a Mother and place it anew into thy hands, so thy and my Son may be sacrificed for the Redemption of man. Receive, my Lord, my acceptable offering and sacrifice, since this is greater than if I offered myself to suffer and be sacrificed, not only because my Son is true God of thy own substance, but because this sacrifice costs me a much greater sorrow and pain; for if the lots were exchanged and I would be permitted to die in order to preserve his most holy life, it would be for me it a great relief and the fulfillment of my desires.” The eternal Father received this prayer of the exalted Queen with ineffable pleasure and complacency. The patriarch Abraham was permitted to go no further than to prefigure and attempt the sacrifice of a son (Gen. 22:12), because the real execution of such a sacrifice God reserved to Himself and to his Onlybegotten. Nor was Sara, the mother of Isaac, informed of the mystical ceremony, this being prevented not only by the prompt obedience of Abraham, but also because he could not trust the maternal love of Sara, who perhaps might have tried to impede the command of the Lord, though she was a just and holy woman. But it was not so with most holy Mary, whom the eternal Father could trust without reserve to proportionately cooperate with his eternal will in the sacrifice of his Onlybegotten.
666. The invincible Mother finished her prayer and perceived that the pitiless executioners were preparing to give the Lord the drink of wine, myrrh and gall of which St. Matthew and St. Mark speak (Mt. 27:34; Mk. 15:23). In order to add this new torment to our Savior, the Jews took occasion of the custom in which those condemned to death were given a drink of strong and aromatic wine in order to raise their vital spirits and help them to bear their torments with greater fortitude, deriving this act of mercy from the words of Solomon written in the book of Proverbs (31:6): Give strong drink to those who are sad, and wine to those who suffer bitterness of heart. This custom they now perverted in order to augment the sufferings of the Savior. The drink which was intended to assist and strengthen other criminals was now mixed with gall* by the perfidy of the Jews so it would have no other effect than to torment his sense of taste by its bitterness. The divine Mother was aware of this inhuman cruelty, and with maternal compassion and tears She prayed to the Lord, beseeching Him not to drink it. His Majesty, condescending to the petition of his Mother, and without rejecting entirely this new suffering, tasted the mixture but would not drink it entirely (Mt. 27:34). (The New English Edition of The Mystical City of God: Book 6: The Transifixon, Chapter XXII.)
Similar testimony is provided to us by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori in Victories of the Martyrs as he drew upon the writings of various saints to describe Our Lady's disposition during her Divine Son's Passion and Death:
We have now to witness a new kind of martyrdom--a Mother condemned to see an innocent Son, and one whom she loves with the whole affection of her soul, cruelly tormented and put to death before her own eyes.
There stood by the cross of Jesus his Mother. St. John believed that in these words he had said enough of Mary's martyrdom. Consider her at the foot of the cross in the presence of her dying Son, and then see if there be a sorrow like unto her sorrow. Let us remain for awhile this day on Calvary, and consider the fifth sword which, in the death of Jesus, transfixed the heart of Mary.
As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached the Mount of Calvary, the executioners stripped him of his clothes, and piercing his hands and feet "not with sharp but with blunt nails," as St. Bernard says, to torment him more, they fastened him on the cross. Having crucified him, they planted the cross, and thus left him to die. The executioners left him; but not so Mary. She then drew nearer to the cross, to be present at his death; "I did not leave him (thus the Blessed Virgin revealed to St. Bridget), "but stood nearer to the cross."
"But what it avail thee, O Lady." says St. Bonaventure, "to go to Calvary, and see this Son expire? Shame should have prevented thee; for his disgrace was thine, since thou were his Mother. At least, horror of witnessing such a crime as the crucifixion of a God by his own creatures should have prevented thee from going there." But the same saint answers, "Ah, they heart did not then think of its own sorrows, but of the sufferings and death of thy dear Son,: and therefore thou wouldst thyself be present, at least to compassionate Him. "Ah, true Mother," says Abbot William, "most loving Mother, whom not even the fear of death could separate from thy beloved Son!"
But, O God, what a cruel sight was it there to behold this Son in agony on the cross, and at its foot this Mother in agony, suffering all the torments endured by her Son! Listen to the words in which Mary revealed to St. Bridget the sorrowful state in which she saw her dying Son on the Cross: "My dear Jesus was breathless, exhausted, and in his last agony on the cross; his eyes were sunk, half-closed, and lifeless; his lips hanging, and his mouth open; his cheeks hollow and drawn in; his face elongated, his nose sharp, his countenance sad; his head had fallen on his breast, his hair was black with blood, his stomach collapsed, his arms and legs stiff, and his whole body covered with wounds and blood."
All these sufferings of Jesus were also those of Mary; "Every torture inflicted on the body of Jesus," says St. Jerome, "was a wound in the heart of the Mother." "Whoever then was present on the Mount of Calvary," says St. John Chrysostom, "might see two altars, on which two great sacrifices were consummated; the one in the body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary." Nay, better still may we say with St. Bonaventure, "there was but one altar--that of the cross of the Son, on which, together with his divine Lamb, the victim, this Mother was also sacrificed;" therefore the saint asks this Mother, "O Lady, where art thou? near the cross? thyself with thy Son." St. Augustine assures us of the same thing: "The Cross and nails of the Son were also those of his Mother; with Christ crucified the Mother was also crucified." Yes; for, as St. Bernard says, "Love inflicted on the heart of Mary the tortures caused by nails in the body of Jesus." So much so, that, as St. Bernardine writes, "At the same time that the Son sacrificed his body, the Mother sacrificed her soul."
Mothers ordinarily fly from the presence of their dying children; but when a mother is obliged to witness such a scene, she procures all possible relief for her child; she arranges his bed, that he may be more at ease; she administers refreshments to him; and thus the poor mother soothes her own grief. Ah, most afflicted of all Mothers! O Mary, thou hast to witness the agony of thy dying Jesus; but thou canst administer him no relief. Mary heard her Son exclaim, I thirst, but she could not even give him a drop of water to refresh him in that great thirst. She could only say, as St. Vincent Ferrer remarks, "My Son, I have only the water of tears." She saw that on that bed of torture her Son, suspended by three nails, could find no repose; she would have clasped him in her arms to give him relief, or that at least he might there have expired; but she could not. "In vain," says St. Bernard, "did she extend her arms; they sank back empty on her breast." She beheld that poor Son, who in his sea of grief sought consolation, as it was foretold by the prophet, but in vain: I have trodden the winepress alone; I looked about and there was none to help; I sought, and there was none to give aid. But who amongst men would console him, since all were enemies? Even on the cross he was taunted and blasphemed on all sides: And they that passed by, blasphemed Him, wagging their heads. Some said to his face, If thou be the Son God, come down from the cross. Others, He saved others, Himself He cannot save. Again, If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross. Our Blessed Lady herself said to St. Bridget, "I heard some say that my Son was a thief; others that he was an impostor; others, that no one deserved death more than he did; and every word was a new sword of grief to my heart."
But that which the most increased the sorrows which Mary endured through compassion for her Son, was hearing him complain on the cross that even his Eternal Father had abandoned him: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Words which the divine Mother told the same St. Bridget could never, during her whole life, depart from her mind. So that the afflicted Mother saw her Jesus suffering on every side; she desired to comfort him, but could not.
That which grieved her the most was to see that she herself, by her presence and sorrow, increased the sufferings of her Son. "The grief," says St. Bernard, "which filled Mary's heart, as a torrent flowed into and embittered the heart of Jesus." "So much so," says the same saint, "that Jesus on the cross suffered more from compassion for his Mother than from his own torments." He thus speaks in the name of our Blessed Lady: "I stood with my eyes fixed on him, and his on me, and he grieved more for me than for himself." And then, speaking of Mary beside her dying Son, he says, "that she lived dying without being able to die." "Near the cross of Christ his Mother stood half-dead; she spoke not; dying she lived, and living she died; nor could she die, for death was her very life."
Passino writes that Jesus Christ himself one day, speaking to blessed Baptista Varani of Camerino, assured her that when on the cross, so great was his affliction at seeing his Mother at his feet in so bitter an anguish, that compassion for her caused him to die without consolation; so much so, that the Blessed Baptista, being supernaturally enlightened as to the greatness of this suffering of Jesus, exclaimed, "O Lord, tell me no more of this Thy sorrow, for I can no longer bear it."
"All," says Simon of Cassia, "who then saw this Mother silent, and not uttering a complaint in the midst of so great suffering, were filled with astonishment." But if Mary's lips were silent, her heart was not so, for she necessarily offered the life of her Son to the divine justice for our salvation. Therefore, we know that by the merits of her dolors she cooperated in our birth to the life of grace; and hence we are the children of her sorrows. "Christ," says Lanspergius, "was pleased that she, the cooperatress in our redemption, and whom he had determined to give us for our Mother, should be there present; for it was at the foot of the cross that she was to bring us, her children forth." If any consolation entered that sea of bitterness in the heart of Mary, the only one was this, that she knew that by her sorrows she was leading us to eternal salvation, as Jesus himself revealed to St. Bridget: "My Mother Mary, on account of her compassion and love, was made the Mother of all in heaven and on earth." And indeed these were the last words with which Jesus bid her farewell before his death: this was his last recommendation, leaving us to her for her children in the person of St. John: Woman, behold thy son. From that time Mary began to perform this good office of a mother for us; for St. Peter Damian attests, "that by the prayers of Mary, who stood between the cross of the good thief and that of her Son, the thief was converted and saved, and thereby she repaid a former service." For, as other authors also relate, this thief had been kind to Jesus and Mary on their journey into Egypt; and this same office the Blessed Virgin has ever continued, and still continues, to perform." (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, Victories of the Martyrs.)
Bergoglio was so bold seven years ago as to place sentiments in the mind of the Blessed Virgin Mary that deny the doctrinal effects of her Perfect Integrity and that ignore the plain witness provided us by saints and mystics. "Reality," for Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is whatever he conjures it up to be, and the Congregation for the Destruction and Deformation of the Holy Faith’s Samaritanus Bonus, which received Bergoglio’s antipapal imprimatur, is just following his lead in this regard.
Father Frederick William Faber explained Our Lady's disposition as she stood by the foot of the Holy Cross as follows:
Another peculiarity of the Crucifixion is the length of time during which the tide of suffering remained at its highest point without any sign of ebbing. The mysteries, which filled the three hours, seem too diversified for us to regard them, at least till we come to the Dereliction, as rising from less to greater in any graduated scale. They are rather separate elevations, of unequal height, standing linked together like a mountain-chain. But the lowest of them was so immensely high that it produced most immeasurable agony in her soul. The anguish of death is momentary. The length of some of the most terrific operations which can rack the human frame seldom exceeds a quarter of an hour. Pain pushed beyond a certain limit, as in medieval torture, is instantaneous death. In human punishments which are not meant to kill, the hand of science keeps watch on the pulse of the sufferer. But to Mary the Crucifixion was three hours, three long hours, of mortal agony, comprising hundreds of types and shapes of torture, each one of them intolerable in itself, each pushed beyond the limits of human endurance unless supported by miracle, and each of them kept at that superhuman pitch for all that length of time. When pain comes we wish to lie down unless madness and delirium come with it, or we are fain to run about, to writhe, gesticulate, and groan. Mary stood upright on her feet the whole while, leaning on no one, and not so much as an audible sigh accompanied her silent tears. It is difficult to take this thought in. We can only take it in by prayer, not by hearing or reading.
It was also a peculiarity of the Crucifixion that it was a heroic trial of her incomparable faith. Pretty nearly the faith of the whole world was in her when she stood, with John and Magdalen, at the foot of the Cross. There was hardly a particle of her belief which was not tried to the uttermost in that amazing scene. Naturally speaking, our Lord's Divinity was never so obscured. Supernaturally speaking, it was never so manifest. Could it be possible that the Incarnate Word should be subject to the excesses of such unparalleled indignities? Was the light within Him never to gleam out once? Was the Wisdom of the Father to be with blasphemous ridicule muffled in a white sack, and pulled about in absurd, undignified helplessness by the buffooning guards of an incestuous king? Was there not a point, or rather were there not many points, in the Passion, when the limit of what was venerable and fitting was overstepped? even in the reserved narrative of the Gospels, how many things there are which the mind cannot dwell on without being shocked and repulsed, as well as astonished! Even at this distance of time do they not try our faith by their very horror, make our blood run cold by their murderous atrocity, and tempt our devotion to withdraw, sick and fastidious, from the affectionate contemplation of the very prodigies of disgraceful cruelty, by which our own secret sins and shames were with such public shame most lovingly expiated? Is not devotion to the Passion to this day the touchstone of feeble faith, of lukewarm love, and of all self-indulgent penance? And Mary, more delicate and fastidious far than we, drank all these things with her eyes, and understood the horror of them in her soul, as we can never understand it. Think what faith was hers. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 259-262.)
Yes, Our Lady had Faith all throughout her immense sufferings as she watched her only-begotten Son suffer and die for our redemption. She felt the pangs of bitter agony as she suffered as on with her Divine Son. Never once, however, did she accuse God the Father of being a "deceiver, and never once did she have the thoughts attributed to her by the Congregation for the Destruction and Deformation of the Faith (CDF) in Samaritanus Bonus, which, in effect, continues to deny the doctrinal effects of Our Lady’s Perfect Integrity that is hers because of her Immaculate Conception.
This may seem like a minor point. However, it is far from minor as that which is blasphemous is hideous in the sight of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that which blasphemes His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the fairest flower of the human race, is especially odious to Him, Who will reserve a special place in hell for those who die without having repented of their blasphemies.
By omitting any reference to the cause of human suffering, sin, and the importance of redemptive suffering to make expiation for one’s sins and those of the whole world, the very foundation of Samaritanus Bonus is built upon theological quicksand.
Qualified Reiterations of Catholic Teaching
As noted earlier in this commentary, Samaritanus Bonus contains some aspects that reaffirm Catholic teaching in opposition to abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide and the starvation and dehydration of innocent beings, which is not subject to debate as the morality of an act is determined by its end, and the only end that result from withdrawing food and water, no matter how administered as hydration and nutrition are not “medical care” but the ordinary care of a human being, is certain death.
Additionally, Samaritanus Bonus includes a section how to minister to patients who request euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. The weak link in the section below is the use of the phrases “accompaniment” and “pastoral discernment” that provide enough leeway for a priest or presbyter to his own subjective judgment with the sick and the dying in exactly the same manner that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has encouraged with respect to Catholics who are in
“irregular” sinful relationships, whether natural or unnatural:
The pastoral accompaniment of those who expressly ask for euthanasia or assisted suicide today presents a singular moment when a reaffirmation of the teaching of the Church is necessary. With respect to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, the confessor must be assured of the presence of the true contrition necessary for the validity of absolution which consists in “sorrow of mind and a detestation for sin committed, with the purpose of not sinning for the future”. In this situation, we find ourselves before a person who, whatever their subjective dispositions may be, has decided upon a gravely immoral act and willingly persists in this decision. Such a state involves a manifest absence of the proper disposition for the reception of the Sacraments of Penance, with absolution, and Anointing, with Viaticum. Such a penitent can receive these sacraments only when the minister discerns his or her readiness to take concrete steps that indicate he or she has modified their decision in this regard. Thus a person who may be registered in an association to receive euthanasia or assisted suicide must manifest the intention of cancelling such a registration before receiving the sacraments. It must be recalled that the necessity to postpone absolution does not imply a judgment on the imputability of guilt, since personal responsibility could be diminished or non-existent. The priest could administer the sacraments to an unconscious person sub condicione if, on the basis of some signal given by the patient beforehand, he can presume his or her repentance.
The position of the Church here does not imply a non-acceptance of the sick person. It must be accompanied by a willingness to listen and to help, together with a deeper explanation of the nature of the sacrament, in order to provide the opportunity to desire and choose the sacrament up to the last moment. The Church is careful to look deeply for adequate signs of conversion, so that the faithful can reasonably ask for the reception of the sacraments. To delay absolution is a medicinal act of the Church, intended not to condemn, but to lead the sinner to conversion.
It is necessary to remain close to a person who may not be in the objective condition to receive the sacraments, for this nearness is an invitation to conversion, especially when euthanasia, requested or accepted, will not take place immediately or imminently. Here it remains possible to accompany the person whose hope may be revived and whose erroneous decision may be modified, thus opening the way to admission to the sacraments.
Nevertheless, those who spiritually assist these persons should avoid any gesture, such as remaining until the euthanasia is performed, that could be interpreted as approval of this action. Such a presence could imply complicity in this act. This principle applies in a particular way, but is not limited to, chaplains in the healthcare systems where euthanasia is practiced, for they must not give scandal by behaving in a manner that makes them complicit in the termination of human life. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
This is actually very good, leaving aside the fact that priests and presbyters within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have neither Holy Viaticum, and they most assuredly do not have the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to offer dying persons.
The problem in this section, however, rests in the word “accompaniment,” which is the same phrase that Jorge Mario Bergoglio used in Amoris Laetitia with respect to Catholics in the conciliar structures who are divorced and civilly remarried:
300. If we consider the immense variety of concrete situations such as those I have mentioned, it is understandable that neither the Synod nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases. What is possible is simply a renewed encouragement to undertake a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases, one which would recognize that, since “the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases”,335 the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same.336 Priests have the duty to “accompany [the divorced and remarried] in helping them to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop. Useful in this process is an examination of conscience through moments of reflection and repentance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves: how did they act towards their children when the conjugal union entered into crisis; whether or not they made attempts at reconciliation; what has become of the abandoned party; what consequences the new relationship has on the rest of the family and the community of the faithful; and what example is being set for young people who are preparing for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God which is not denied anyone”.337 What we are speaking of is a process of accompaniment and discernment which “guides the faithful to an awareness of their situation before God. Conversation with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and on what steps can foster it and make it grow. Given that gradualness is not in the law itself (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 34), this discernment can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church. For this discernment to happen, the following conditions must necessarily be present: humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it”.338 These attitudes are essential for avoiding the grave danger of misunderstandings, such as the notion that any priest can quickly grant “exceptions”, or that some people can obtain sacramental privileges in exchange for favours. When a responsible and tactful person, who does not presume to put his or her own desires ahead of the common good of the Church, meets with a pastor capable of acknowledging the seriousness of the matter before him, there can be no risk that a specific discernment may lead people to think that the Church maintains a double standard. (Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Amoris Laetita, March 19, 2016.)
Simply put, you see, “accompaniment” is, despite all protestations to the contrary, a subjective judgment that reaffirms those among the conciliar clergy in their refusal to do that which is still the official and pastoral policy within their false religious sect in the firm assurance that no sanction will ever be imposed upon them by their superiors within the conciliar structures. If anything, it is usually the case that the only priests and presbyters who do get suspended or have their wrists slapped are the ones who do take courageous stands against pro-abortion, pro-sodomite Catholics in public life, denounce sodomy for what it is as a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, and who dare to denounce the Marxist, pro-abortion, pro-perversity “movement” known as “Black Lives Matter” as the well-funded, well-organized instrument of violence against persons, destruction of property and hatred that it is. Nothing of any substance has ever occurred—nor will it ever occur—to priests and presbyters who give a wink and a nod to euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide.
Additionally, the language in the section from Samaritanus Bonus can be understood by some as meaning that Catholics who are acting at odds with the binding precepts of the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law must be dealt with in a manner that encourages them to change rather than to warning them of the consequences of their sins and how they offend God. Both are necessary, especially if the person in question is hardened and recalcitrant. However, the omission of any mention of offending God and avoiding the pains of hell are, at least on a practical level, anathema in the conciliar structures and, even more importantly, has been eliminated almost entirely in orations of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service.
The double-minded nature of Samaritanus Bonus, however, is most demonstrable in its section on the treatment of the sick and dying. It is nothing other than maddening for anyone trained in Thomistic philosophy to read a section condemning various utilitarian practices within the healthcare industry and then to read a section endorsing “palliative care,” which is based almost universally on the utilitarian principles that were condemned a few paragraphs before.
Here is the excerpt from Samaritanus Bonus that condemned utilitarianism:
Among the obstacles that diminish our sense of the profound intrinsic value of every human life, the first lies in the notion of “dignified death” as measured by the standard of the “quality of life,” which a utilitarian anthropological perspective sees in terms “primarily related to economic means, to ‘well-being,’ to the beauty and enjoyment of physical life, forgetting the other, more profound, interpersonal, spiritual and religious dimensions of existence”. In this perspective, life is viewed as worthwhile only if it has, in the judgment of the individual or of third parties, an acceptable degree of quality as measured by the possession or lack of particular psychological or physical functions, or sometimes simply by the presence of psychological discomfort. According to this view, a life whose quality seems poor does not deserve to continue. Human life is thus no longer recognized as a value in itself.
A second obstacle that obscures our recognition of the sacredness of human life is a false understanding of “compassion”. In the face of seemingly “unbearable” suffering, the termination of a patient’s life is justified in the name of “compassion”. This so-called “compassionate” euthanasia holds that it is better to die than to suffer, and that it would be compassionate to help a patient to die by means of euthanasia or assisted suicide. In reality, human compassion consists not in causing death, but in embracing the sick, in supporting them in their difficulties, in offering them affection, attention, and the means to alleviate the suffering.
A third factor that hinders the recognition of the value of one’s own life and the lives of others is a growing individualism within interpersonal relationships, where the other is viewed as a limitation or a threat to one’s freedom. At the root of this attitude is “a neo-pelagianism in which the individual, radically autonomous, presumes to save himself, without recognizing that, at the deepest level of being, he depends on God and others [...]. On the other hand, a certain neo-gnosticism, puts forward a model of salvation that is merely interior, closed off in its own subjectivism”, that wishes to free the person from the limitations of the body, especially when it is fragile and ill. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
One of the major problems with major conciliar documents is their seeming inability to admit reality as it exists.
For example, many have been the statements or the allocutions of the conciliar “popes” warning about the dangers of religious indifferentism and religious syncretism in ecumenical events and gathering even as they themselves have given every appearance of such indifferentism and subjectivism. Similarly, Karol Josef Wojtyla/John Paul II denounced “liturgical abuses” in no uncertain terms in the staging of the liturgical abuse par excellence, the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical abomination, in two different documents, Dominicae Cenae, February 24, 1980, and Ecclesia in Eucharistia, April 17, 2003, even though he participated in the most egregious and unparalleled sacrilegious events claiming to offerings of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is reminiscent of President Richard Milhous Nixon’s first Attorney General, John Mitchell, saying, “Watch what we do, not what we say” (Watch What We Do, Not What We Say) or John F. Kerry’s saying, “"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” (hKerry's Top Ten Flip-Flopsttps://www.cbsnews.com/news/kerrys-top-ten-flip-flops/.)
Palliative care and the implementation of it in hospice programs is utilitarianism. Palliative care and the implementation of it in hospice programs is based in the very utilitarian principles of the “quality of life” that are judged subjectively by the “team” that works collaboratively with the patient and/or his family to devise a “plan” that winds up expediting his death over a time span with which the patient and/or his family are “comfortable.” There few known exceptions to how “palliative care,” which has been incorporated into the entirety of medical education and practice throughout the world (Chronicling the Adversary's Global Takeover of the Healthcare Industry).
Moreover, the authors of Samaritanus Bonus know that this is the case and have attempted an insidious sleight of hand to deceive anyone reading this uncritically to believe that the conciliar Vatican’s “doctrinal enforcement arm,” the Congregation for the Deformation and Destruction of the Faith, is condemning what “palliative care” actually does as a matter of fact. Footnote 74, however, vitiates the entire section quoted just above by stating that it is permissible to use “palliative sedation” (the boilerplate “cocktail” of pills and intravenous solution) that result in a loss of consciousness as long as the patient gives his consent and does not intend euthanasia.
Footnote 74 conflates a gratuitous “cf” (confer) reference to an allocution given by Pope Pius XII before quoting Paragraph Number 155 of the New Charter for Health Care Workers, which was issued by the so-called “Pontifical Council for Assistance to Health Care Workers” in 2016:
“Moreover there is the possibility of painkillers and narcotics causing a loss of consciousness in the dying person. Such usage deserves particular consideration. In the presence of unbearable pain that is resistant to typical pain-management therapies, if the moment of death is near or if there are good reasons for anticipating a particular crisis at the moment of death, a serious clinical indication may involve, with the sick person’s consent, the administration of drugs that cause the loss of consciousness. This deep palliative sedation in the terminal phase, when clinically motivated, can be morally acceptable provided that it is done with the patient's consent, appropriate information is given to the family members, that any intention of euthanasia is ruled out, and that the patient has been able to perform his moral, familial and religious duties: ‘As they approach death people ought to be able to satisfy their moral and family duties, and above all they ought to be able to prepare in a fully conscious way for their definitive meeting with God’. Therefore,‘ it is not right to deprive the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason’”. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
Scratch away all the gratuitous references to what appears to be reaffirmations of Catholic moral teaching and a rejection of utilitarianism in the provision of health care and you will find a truly insidious piece of Modernist propaganda that is actually an endorsement of the entire “palliative care” agenda that has been funded by the Soros Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
This having been stated, it is necessary to “unpack,” as the saying goes these days, several critical errors contained in the New Charter for Health Care Workers that is buried in Footnote 74 of Samaritanus Bonus.
First, what is unbearable pain? This is a loaded term that masks the fact that nothing we suffer, including in terrible illnesses even to the very point of our deaths, is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Blessed and Saviour in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother, she who is our Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and our Advocate, to suffer unspeakable sorrows in the depths of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Pain may appear to be unbearable.
However, we only need to beg Our Lady for the graces won for us by her Divine Son are more than sufficient for every circumstance of our lives. While some means to alleviate pain are acceptable, it is not morally acceptable to escape pain altogether by the use of the “palliative care/hospice” cocktail that unfailing kills an innocent human being.
Second, a patient may not intend euthanasia. However, those who are administering the drugs know full well they are expediting the deaths of their
patients victims, and they can ever predict exactly how long it will take for those drugs to cause a patient’s death. The patient’s intention can never make an immoral act licit, and it is always illicit to deliberately cause or to expedite a person’s death. Although not labeled at such, this is nothing than other than the late Father Richard McCormick’s heretical principle of “proportionalism,” which teaches that an act that is inherently evil can be rendered moral, if not necessary, for a person is a preponderance of subjective circumstances are present to “vitiate” what can never be “vitiated”: the binding precepts of the moral law.
Third, the New Charter for Health Care Workers Paragraph Number 55’s assertion that it is “not right to deprive the dying person of consciousness without a serious reason” is nothing other than a smokescreen for the fact that “unbearable pain” is considered to be a “serious reason” even though the judgment of what is “unbearable” is completely subjective.
It is thus entirely implausible that the authors of Samaritanus Bonus meant to reaffirm Catholic teaching against euthanasia as they know full well that “palliative care” is the expediting of a person’s death, and it is relevant that a patient has made a “choice” to undergo “palliative care” as (a) moral truth does not depend upon human acceptance for its binding force and validity; and (b) many, if not most, those being treated with “palliative care” in hospices, hospitals or at home know the “palliative program” intends to do them: to make them “comfortable” as they are killed with the aforementioned pharmaceutical “cocktail.”
Yet it is that Samaritanus Bonus provides a full-throated endorsement to “palliative care,” thus once again providing what appears to be “Catholic” cover for the work of George Soros and those in the medical industry who are funded by his organizations:
Continuity of care is part of the enduring responsibility to appreciate the needs of the sick person: care needs, pain relief, and affective and spiritual needs. As demonstrated by vast clinical experience, palliative medicine constitutes a precious and crucial instrument in the care of patients during the most painful, agonizing, chronic and terminal stages of illness. Palliative care is an authentic expression of the human and Christian activity of providing care, the tangible symbol of the compassionate “remaining” at the side of the suffering person. Its goal is “to alleviate suffering in the final stages of illness and at the same time to ensure the patient appropriate human accompaniment” improving quality of life and overall well-being as much as possible and in a dignified manner. Experience teaches us that the employment of palliative care reduces considerably the number of persons who request euthanasia. To this end, a resolute commitment is desirable to extend palliative treatments to those who need them, within the limits of what is fiscally possible, and to assist them in the terminal stages of life, but as an integrated approach to the care of existing chronic or degenerative pathologies involving a complex prognosis that is unfavorable and painful for the patient and family. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
The very document that had condemned “quality of life” considerations in the provision of medical care in a section cited above uses the “quality of life” criterion as a means to endorse “palliative care,” which is why I am going to remind you of Paragraph 18 from Pascendi Dominci Gregis:
18. This will appear more clearly to anybody who studies the conduct of Modernists, which is in perfect harmony with their teachings. In their writings and addresses they seem not unfrequently to advocate doctrines which are contrary one to the other, so that one would be disposed to regard their attitude as double and doubtful. But this is done deliberately and advisedly, and the reason of it is to be found in their opinion as to the mutual separation of science and faith. Thus in their books one finds some things which might well be approved by a Catholic, but on turning over the page one is confronted by other things which might well have been dictated by a rationalist. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
For the sake of simplicity, here is the passage that denounced the “quality of life” standard earlier in the text of Samaritanus Bonus:
Among the obstacles that diminish our sense of the profound intrinsic value of every human life, the first lies in the notion of “dignified death” as measured by the standard of the “quality of life,” which a utilitarian anthropological perspective sees in terms “primarily related to economic means, to ‘well-being,’ to the beauty and enjoyment of physical life, forgetting the other, more profound, interpersonal, spiritual and religious dimensions of existence”. In this perspective, life is viewed as worthwhile only if it has, in the judgment of the individual or of third parties, an acceptable degree of quality as measured by the possession or lack of particular psychological or physical functions, or sometimes simply by the presence of psychological discomfort. According to this view, a life whose quality seems poor does not deserve to continue. Human life is thus no longer recognized as a value in itself. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
The authors of Samaritanus Bonus would have us believe that “palliative care” and “hospice” is not utilitarian when they are the very embodiments of utilitarianism. Samaritanus Bonus’s emphasis on “quality of life” in what is alleged to be—and may in fact be—a patient’s dying days (to alleviate suffering in the final stages of illness and at the same time to ensure the patient appropriate human accompaniment’ improving quality of life and overall well-being as much as possible and in a dignified manner”) is purely utilitarian and thus a contradiction of the document’s earlier condemnation of the same principle in general terms.
Moreover, to assert that “palliative care” and “hospice” reduce the demand for outright euthanasia is to intentionally ignore the fact that “palliative care” and “hospice” are part of the Third Path movement that accomplishes the same goals as euthanasia: deliberating causing the death of innocent human beings:
All roads lead to palliative care. The “third path” is totally committed to “upstreaming” or changing the American healthcare system so that palliative care is integrated with traditional care early on. See the table contrasting the present “old model” of end of life are with their expanded model. The traditional (old) view of palliative care was associated with volunteer hospice care for cancer patients. The current (new) view of palliative care is not only for cancer patients. See the diagram of Traditional and Current Views of Palliative Care. This diagram shows that the new view is to introduce palliative care at the time of diagnosis, and then increased the PROPORTION of symptom management “palliative” treatments to traditional “curative” treatments to the point of death. Note that palliative care includes a period of managed grief.
Eight Palliative Care Training Centers (PCLCs) are by Dr. Diane Meier’s Center to Advance Palliative Care. They are training people who work in all healthcare settings—hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, outpatient clinics, volunteer respite caregivers, volunteers at healthcare community centers, . . . The lists goes on.
2001 to 2004, the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, with the collaboration of four major care organizations and Partnership for Caring, develops an issues the National Consensus Project Guidelines.
In 2006, hospice and palliative medicine became an official medical subspeciality.
In 2007, the National Quality Forum established its National Framework and Preferred Practices for Palliative Care and Hospice Care. There are 38 Preferred Practices with 8 Domains. Here is one example:
Preferred Practice 22: Specialized palliative care and hospice care teams should include spiritual care professionals appropriately trained and certified in palliative care.
Put another way, they are educating your priests, ministers and rabbis. The Florida Clergy Ending-of-Life Education Enhancement Project is a model to educate the clergy about accepting hastened death.
For only four years—2008-2012—no palliative care fellowship is required for anyone to sit for the certification exam to become board certified.
Staring in 2013, only fellowship-trained palliative professionals are allowed to sit for the certification program. It is very significant that you can no longer be grandfathered in without official fellowship training!
In summary, they created the standards, got the specialty officially recognized, and now require that you complete one of their fellowships before you can even sit for the board exam—all in 12 years! (Institutionalizing Death by Palliative Care.)
In other words, utilitarianism is now “hard wired,” if you will, into the very fabric of the American healthcare industry. The Hippocratic Oath’s injunction to do no harm” has been replaced by an effort to carefully prepare an unsuspecting human being to accept a course of “treatment” that will conclude with his death. Such a course of “treatment,” of course, is offered by a “compassionate” “inter-disciplinary team” of “professionals” in white coats while clergymen of one sort or another assure them that “everything” is being done for them:
The palliative care team helps develop relationships. It is designed to promote and then help implement advance care planning. The team communicates risks and benefits of various "treatments" with an emphasis on “realistic” expectations, discusses the patient’s concerns—all with the objective of helping the patient develop goals of care. The underlying problem is that they emphasize supportive rather than “real” medical services, and they base their analysis on a quality of life index. The palliative care team will insert itself into the family dynamic and try to bring consensus that it is time to “let go”!
Under the direction of Dr. Diane Meier CAPC has become a well-oiled training and marketing machine. Among its projects was to develop a list of triggers for recommending palliative care consultation in the presence of a serious or chronic illness. This is an all-encompassing list that considers not only the medical state of the patient but the dynamic between the patient and the physician and also the family relationships. Several of those triggers indicate clearly how the new palliative care does not wait to enter at the end of life like it used to! The universe of hospitals and other care facilities presently under the influence of this new palliative care where a patient care team can be found, and the list of triggers for adult and pediatric patients to be referred for a palliative care consult is available at www.getpalliativecare.org. Practically everyone and their cousin will qualify. Here are a few examples of the triggers:
Declining ability to complete activities of daily living
Difficult to control physical or emotional symptoms related to serious medical illness
Patient, family or physician uncertainty regarding prognosis
Patient, family or physician uncertainty regarding goals of care
Patient or family requests for futile care
DNR order conflicts
Use of tube feeding in cognitively impaired or seriously ill patients
Limited social support and a serious illness (e.g., homeless, chronic mental illness
Patient, family or physician request for information regarding hospice appropriateness
Patient or family psychological or spiritual distress
These triggers will introduce the palliative care process into patient populations which may be declining but are not dying. Note especially that those with limited social support and/or declining abilities are identified as ripe for palliative care. (Institutionalizing Death by Palliative Care.)
These are facts. To ignore these facts is to make oneself and one’s relatives vulnerable to a highly-sophisticated program of mental and emotional manipulation whereby one becomes conditioned to accepting the word of the “experts” as to what is in their best interests. Patients and their relatives are accepted to sign on the dotted line upon the “recommendation” of the “professionals,” whose word must be taken at face value because the legal forms put in front of patients contain all manner of code words that enable them to be killed:
Not enough people signing living wills? Enter the POLST or MOLST, a living will with teeth. Once it is completed, all medical personnel must obey it. The Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment has been crafted to scare and intimidate patients from acute surgical or medical care using technical medical jargon and through persons trained to present the document or via video. Moreover, the creators of such forms nowhere include food and water under comfort care or any other level of care for that matter. They bend over backwards to make the form more clinical and sterile. In later iterations they prefer the wording Comfort-Focused Treatment over Comfort Care. Has caring become anathema? How voluntary is the from when a patient is being manipulated to sign it and nudged to check the boxes that they will hasten their death? The designers use words like natural death as a moving target placing them where they will best steer the patient toward refusing treatment.
Food and water provided in any manner provided in any manner are merely ordinary care but the POLST creators make it medical care to induce withholding of essential for life. They even propose a trial period! Why would anyone who can eat and drink suddenly stop because they surpassed the trial period on the form? There is no goal for the trial period and there are no parameters to continue it or discontinue it. (Institutionalizing Death by Palliative Care.)
This is entirely correct. Those who believe that the provision of food and water, no matter how they are administered, to a human being is somehow “extraordinary” “medical care” have permitted themselves to become duped by the propaganda that has been spread by the Soros and Robert Wood Johnson foundation axis of evil that has sought to make the natural and necessary seem to be unnatural and extraordinary.
To amplify this point, we know of several recent cases in which relatives have asked for their hospitalized loved ones to be permitted to have a drink of water only to be told by the "experts" that doing so would "prolong" the process. What process? The process of causing their death by means of starvation and dehydration and is aided by the use of heavy sedation designed to stop their hearts from beating when the pain of the hunger and thirst becomes intolerabe to bear.
Natural death means whatever the merchants of death want it to be any given time during the course of their “caring” for a patient and his relatives to help them “accept” what they have made inevitable and which they can justify legally by having secure “informed consent”:
These forms, when introduced and completed by other parties, create a wedge between patients and their doctors. These forms fail informed consent when all the variables surrounding a future medical condition are unknown. These forms lack a conscience clause for health care professionals who may have concerns about medical orders they are asked to fulfill. Many states don’t even require that the patient sign the form! In Oregon, it’s only recommended that the patient sign it. See the enclosed Oregon POLST. Later in some versions they dispensed with the word recommended altogether. (Institutionalizing Death by Palliative Care.).
The communitarian nature of the organized system of death that has been institutionalized into of American healthcare industry. This system of death was incorporated into the Robert Wood Foundation’s grant to Last Act, which is an organization that was created to organize a network of various healthcare “communities” into a “groupthink” ideology that was to become the sole basis of “palliative care.”
Samaritanus Bonus is thus nothing other than a vehicle to provide a slight “Catholic” gloss to the completely anti-life agenda of the “third path” movement” that has been embedded into the very framework of the global healthcare system from the time that a child is conceived until the time that a person is said to be suffering from a declining “quality of life.” The document is nothing other than an apologia in behalf of the “palliative care” and hospice to the extent that it would have us believe that no one could “accept” the approach of death before a well-trained team of “professionals” (physicians, psychologists/psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, chaplains of every religion under the sun, including Catholicism) was organized to provide a “community-based” means to “counsel” patients and their family members on the “stages of dying.”
This is nothing other than complete naturalism that would have Catholics close their eyes to the basic catechetical truth that we must always be ready to accept God’s Holy Will in every circumstance in which we find ourselves every day of our lives, including being ready to accept death serenely as coming from the hand of God and to be ready to make an accounting of the stewardship of our lives before Him at the moment of our Particular Judgment. It is the deprivation and/or corruption of the sensus Catholicus in the lives of Catholics, including many of those who reject the nonexistent legitimacy of the conciliar officials, that leads Catholics in the ready hands of the death-dealers who dispense “do-it-yourself” and “at home” “palliative care packs” (“comfort packs”) to kill people in the comfort of their familiar surroundings and who do so in their well-funded institutions.
Consider, for example, how Saint Teresa of Avila (Saint Teresa of Jesus) approached her death:
Next morning she got up, walked about the convent, heard Mass, received Holy Communion with great devotion, and took a severe discipline. Thus she went on, getting up and resting in turn, attending Mass each day, until the Feast of Saint Michael, September 29. Then, after Mass, she had a hemorrhage which left her so weak that she had to be helped back into bed in the infirmary. She had asked to be placed there so that she could look through a certain window and see the priest saying Mass in the chapel beyond.
All that summer the sisters at Alba had noticed strange lights shining in the choir, and sometimes at night heard something like a hushed but very distinct sigh passing through the corridors and cells. Now they began to understand the significance of all this. It was evident that Madre Teresa was going very soon to meet His Majesty face to face.
Sister Ana was with her continually, day and night. The Duchess of Alba was allowed in the cloister, and forgetting all those troubles which Teresa had come to assuage, fed her with her own ducal hands, and probably spoke futile words of consolation.
One day the great lady was announced at the door of the infirmary just after some medicine of a peculiarly vile odor had been spilled on the bed.
“Cubra, cubra!” moaned Teresa, “Don’t let the Duchess come in yet. It smells terrible, and she will be offended.”
Sister María de San Francisco told her not to worry. It smelled very good – indeed it was like agua de ángeles. The Duchess too, commented on the delightful smell, which she thought must be some rare perfume – yes, it was like agua de ángeles.
Teresa spent all of the first night of October in prayer, and at dawn asked to have Fray Antonio of Jesus hear her confession. The first friar of her Reform was evidently much moved as he went in to hear the last self-accusation of a pure and virginal soul. The word went around the house that Christ had told her she was about to die. Some sisters told her afterward they had heard Fray Antonio say he would ask our Lord not to take her yet. “Never mind about that,” said Teresa. “I am no longer needed in this world.” The nuns all gathered at the bedside of that day, and received her last counsels.
On October 3, the eve of Saint Francis, at about five o’clock, she asked for Viaticum. The nuns dressed her in her veil and white choir mantle, and lighted holy tapers in the infirmary. She was so weak that they had to turn her in the bed. While they waited for the priest, each holding a lighted candle, La Madre began to speak:
“Hijas mías y señoras mías, for the love of God I beg that you will take great care with the keeping of the Rule and Constitutions, and pay no attention to the bad example that this wicked nun has given you, and pardon me for it.” When the priest arrived with the Blessed Sacrament, and she became aware that her Lord was entering the room, she raised her body on the bed without any help, as though to throw herself on the floor. The nuns who held her down noticed that a change had come over her countenance: it was beautiful and illuminated beyond description, much younger than her age warranted. “And clasping her hands, full of joy,” says Ribera, “this swan of utter whiteness began to sing at the end of her life more sweetly than they had ever heard her sing, and spoke lofty things, amorous and sweet. Among others she said, ‘Oh my Lord and my Spouse, now the desired hour is come. Now it is time for us to go. Señor mío, now is the time to set forth, may it be very soon, and may Your most holy will be accomplished! Now the hour has come for me to leave this exile, and my soul rejoices at one with You for what I have so desired!’”
She gave many thanks for having been a daughter of the Church and for dying in it. Over and over she repeated it: “In short, Lord, I am a daughter of the Church. . . . I am a daughter of the Church.” She spoke again of pardon for her sins, asked the nuns to pray for her, and again begged them to keep her Rule. Several times she repeated the words, “Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies. Ne projicias me a facie tua, et Spiritum Sanctum tuum ne auferas a me. cor mundum crea in me, Deus.”
At nine o’clock that evening Teresa asked to be anointed. When Fray Antonio brought the holy oils, she joined in the psalms and prayers. He asked her then whether she wished to lie in Ávila or in Alba.
“Do I have anything of my own?” she answered, “Won’t they give me a bit of earth here?”
She was in great pain during the night, but from time to time could be heard praying and singing. The next morning, October 4, she turned suddenly on one side “like Mary Magdalen in the paintings,” and holding a crucifix tightly in her hand, remained perfectly still, as some of them had seen her in the prayer of union or in rapture; and thus she lay, motionless, ecstatic, until evening, except at one time when she made little signs as if speaking earnestly with someone. At nine o’clock in the evening she breathed forth her soul so gently that it was difficult to tell the precise moment; it was just as they had often seen her in the highest prayer. Her face was gloriously young and beautiful. The little sigh that escaped her lips was like the sound they had heard so many nights during the summer.
Many strange things occurred at her passing. A brilliant star had been noticed just over the church every evening between eight and nine. Crystal rays of colored light passed the window of the infirmary cell where she was to die. Shortly before she went, Blessed Ana de San Bartolomé saw our Lord at the foot of the bed in majesty and splendor, attended by myriad angels, and at the head, the Ten Thousand Martyrs who had promised Teresa, ina rapture years before, to come for her in the moment of death. When she sighed her last, one of the sisters saw something like a white dove pass from her mouth. And while Sister Catalina de la Conceptioón, who was very holy and had less than a year to live, was sitting by the low window opening on the cloister by La Madre’s cell, she heard a great noise as of a throng of joyful and hilarious people making merry, and then saw innumerable resplendent persons, all dressed in white, pass the cloister and into the room of the dying Saint, where the nuns gathered about her seemed but a handful in com parison; and then all advanced toward the bed. And this was the moment when Teresa died.
The medicos said, of course, that her death was caused by old age, fatigue, and hemorrhage. The mystics admitted that these played some part, but denied that they were the principal cause. Long ago Teresa had felt certain that if the joy of her prayer, or on one occasion a celestial song, lasted a moment longer her soul would leave her body. She certainly had all the appearances of death in many of her raptures. In the Moradas she said that she would die of an impetus of love. And this, in the opinion of Father Yepes and others, is just what happened.
Sister Catalina de Jesús, who, being very ill, was not informed that La Madre had died, knew it nevertheless, and told Father Gracián that the Saint had appeared to her in glory, and said she was going to the enjoyment of God, and had had a great impetus of love for Him, with which her soul had passed. Pope Gregory XV, in the bull of canonization, accepted and confirmed this view. The Roman Breviary likewise has it: “intolerabili divini amoris incendio potius quam vi morbi, Albae cum decumberet . . . purissimam animam Deo reddidisse.”
Skeptical materialists who reject the mind of the Church have some very embarrassing facts to explain. After all her illnesses, the body of this woman of sixty-seven remained as white and smooth as alabaster – like that of a child of three, says Ribera. All the wrinkles that had gathered since her illness of 1580 had vanished. A sweet smell which nobody could describe or identify came from the body and everything that had touched it – towels, garments, even Teresa’s fingerprints on a plate. It became so overpowering in the cell where she died that the windows had to be opened to prevent headache and faintness.
She was buried on the day after her death, October 5, with due solemnity, but without embalming, under an arch adjoining a wall of the lower choir of the convent. Clad in the habit she herself had made, she was carried there on a simple bier; and according to Ribera, the grave was piled with rocks, quicklime, and bricks, this at the instance of Doña Teresa de Layz, “who thought thus to make the body more secure.”
During the ensuing months the sisters often went there to pray. If they happened to fall asleep, a sudden noise would wake them, and sometimes they could smell the same sweet fragrance, especially on the days of saints to whom La Madre had had a particular devotion. This made them very curious to see the body, and when Father Gracián arrived in Alba nine months after her death – it was July 4, 1583 – they persuaded him to exhume it.
The casket was found broken and full of moist earth and “the smell of dampness,” for the grave had evidently been saturated by some underground spring close by. Yet when the body was undressed and cleansed of mud, it was discovered to be intact and incorrupt, just as on the day of burial; “for as our Lord in life protected her from all impurity with the most perfect virginity,” explains Ribera, “so after death He kept her from all corruption and would not allow worms to touch what the flames of lust had spared.”
The whole convent was filled with the sweet odor that came from the firm unrotted flesh when, clothed in a new habit, it was laid in an open coffin in the chapel. In 1585 it was taken secretly to Ávila, one arm being left at Alba for the consolation of the nuns there. There were many supernatural occurrences and miracles, and ailing persons were cured by touching the holy remains. Ribera saw them in 1588 and left a minute description of them. Small portions in time were sent as relics to various parts of the world – a finger to Paris, another to Brussels, a bit of flesh to Rome, another to the Carmelites of La Puebla, in Mexico. Ribera deplored the dismemberment of her body as a desecration by man of what God had left intact, and Father Silverio agrees. But whether in her relics, or more commonly in the prayers and sacrifices of her children, Teresa still preaches, teaches, and heals nearly four centuries after her death; her sound has indeed gone forth to the far corners of the earth. In 1586, after much controversy inspired by the local emulations of Alba and Ávila, the body itself was taken back to the former place, where it still reposes. The heart, too, in its closed reliquary, is there intact, save for the hole visible in the center, where Teresa felt the angel’s fiery dart of love.
If all this created a sensation in Carmelite circles in 1583, there was equal rejoicing throughout Spain three years later, when physicians and ecclesiastics made a public record of the condition of the remains. The miracles wrought through her intercession (and they have continued to our day) led Lope de Vega, Cervantes, and several European monarchs to swell the mighty ranks of those urging her cause, until Pope Paul V declared her blessed in 1614, and Pope Gregory XV canonized her in 1622. Great was the joy in Spain when Pope Urban VIII, at the request of King and Cortes, declared her patron of the country, after the Apostle Saint James. Of all the magnificent saints of that fervent land, she has always held the highest place in the hearts of the people. In 1922 the University of Salamanca conferred on her the degree of Doctor of Theology, honoris causa, while Queen Victoria placed an academic cap and insignia on her statue. Even greater distinctions have testified to her high rank among those “learned and holy men” for whom she had such respect. Although she has never been proclaimed a doctor of the Church, the Church commends her “celestial teaching” to the faithful in the Breviary and in the collect of her Mass, October 15; while Pope (St.) Pius X, in a letter to the General of the Discalced Carmelites in 1910, remarked that “what the Fathers of the Church taught without system and confusedly, this Virgin has reduced, with such mastery and elegance, to a body of doctrine.” (William Thomas Walsh, Teresa of Avila, published originally in 1943 by the Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rocford, Illinois, 1987, pp.577-583.)
Some might protest that Saint Teresa of Avila was a saint of extraordinary qualities.
Each of us is called to be holy, which means that we do not need naturalistic-based “support systems” to “accept” every circumstance in our lives and to be every for death whenever it shall occur. The cooperation of Catholics in the monstrous scheme called “palliative care” is the result of the loss of the Holy Faith caused in large measure by conciliarism, which has made more inclined than ever before to accept naturalistic “solutions” that are meant to be sterile substitutes for Catholicism.
Dr. Paul Byrne wrote about how the “palliative care” system has killed off numberless people during in the name of “treating” the Chinese/China/Wuhan/Covid-19/Coronavirus:
We are in the midst of a Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Early reports included multiple, now more than 40 deaths in a nursing home in the State of Washington. Twenty percent of the COVID-19 deaths in New York and New Jersey are residents of nursing homes. Many other nursing homes have increased deaths. Is this because the COVID-19 virus is so virulent or other factors?
“The Associated Press conducted its own survey in the U.S. and found there had been nearly 11,000 COVID-related nursing home deaths across the country as of April 24. However, just 23 states have been publicly reporting nursing home deaths.” https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-failure-covid-nursing-home-deaths.html (Accessed 4-28-20)
This is not surprising considering that patients in nursing homes are older and have co-morbidities and therefore, are more susceptible to succumb to an infection.
Most in nursing homes require assistance in living. A prerequisite for acceptance into most, if not all, nursing homes is an Advance Directive for Healthcare. It is common that the Advance Directive will include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order.
In addition some may have already unwittingly been put into Palliative care (PC). Most residents of nursing homes and their relatives do not have full and complete information about PC.
Triggers for PC are not limited to incurable diseases that are painful, but include declining ability to complete activities of daily living, weight loss, uncertainties regarding prognosis, limited social support and a serious illness (e.g., homeless, chronic mental illness), perceived psychological or spiritual distress of the patient or family. https://getpalliativecare.org/resources/clinicians/ (Accessed 4-28-20)
PC sets the stage for more deaths for the most vulnerable. How? PC focuses on alleged relief of symptom-burden, not necessarily treatment of the cause, i.e., the underlying medical conditions, treatment of which could alleviate the symptoms. For example, an elderly patient with cancer is noted to have a change in mental status. This could be a result of medication, a urinary tract infection, dehydration, or a myriad of other treatable conditions, not related to the cancer. Yet, in PC the symptom-focus response may be to give Valium-like drugs or narcotics to sedate the patient, omit evaluation and simple tests to diagnose the actual problem, and not provide common medications or interventions that could successfully treat the medical condition causing the symptom(s).
There are many concerns during this time of sheltering at home and social distancing. Separation of loved ones in nursing homes from family and visitors including clergy, done for their protection from COVID-19, was sudden and not predictable and raises other questions concerning care needs of these vulnerable persons.
Doctors and Death – Redefinitions and Participation
How did we get here? Medicine changed drastically and horrifically in 1968 with “brain death” when a Committee at Harvard published “A Definition of Irreversible Coma.” “Brain death” calls a person with a beating heart and circulation, “dead.” Everyone in coma is alive, nevertheless the Harvard Committee without any scientific or medical references, declared that someone unconscious in coma, on a ventilator without brainstem reflexes of the eye and ear, and unable to take a breath on their own, but many other signs of life including being warm with normal color, a beating heart, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen being taken in and carbon dioxide going out, can be considered “dead.” To call a person dead while there are many signs of life and then to participate in organ procurements by stopping the beating heart and removing it thereby making the person definitively dead was a major change in the direction of medicine. This change had and still has an impact on medical practice. Doctors were blinded to the most basic good of the presence of life itself and were now participating in causing deaths albeit with the intention of helping others live. Laws were passed to protect this new definition of death. In 1970 Kansas was the first state to pass a “brain death” statute. Judges and legislators from all 50 states became involved making it legal to call someone dead while the heart was beating with many other signs of life.
Advance Directives and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders
In 1990 Medicare and Medicaid were amended to require hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to inform patients of their rights to make decisions concerning their medical care and to periodically inquire as to whether a patient executed an Advance Directive and document the patient's wishes regarding their medical care. As a result, when entering any hospital or nursing home the patient and/or those who represent the patient are asked if the patient has a Living Will or Advance Directive. This is commonly done by an admission clerk, not a treating physician. If the patient does not have an Advance Directive, quite commonly a “sample” is provided for consideration.
Every state had a “brain death” statute before a Living Will statute. A Living Will is a written statement detailing a person's desires under some future, hypothetical, circumstances not to be treated. Decisions about non-treatment in the future violate two basic principles of medicine. The first is that a physician gathers all timely, relevant information about the patient before a diagnosis and plan of treatment are made. The second is that a doctor is expected to provide the most up-to-date treatments that can be most beneficial to the patient. Neither of these are available when a Living Will is executed.
Another form of Advance Directive is a Power of Attorney for Health Care. This allows one to designate someone to speak for him/her.
POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments) is a type of Advance Directive designed to have patients choose to get less treatment and care and once signed by a physician becomes a legal medical order binding future caregivers from providing the care refused. The future, including the onslaught of a coronavirus, cannot be known by the person completing an Advance Directive.
Once society and medicine has accepted 1) calling people “dead” who are really alive, participating in their deaths, 2) advance directives that aim at refusing or limiting treatments and care, it is an easy step to 3) palliative care principles that further limit treatments with their focus on symptoms, not cures.
Then enter coronavirus especially in nursing homes. Everything is in place for those with weak or absent immunity to acquire the virus. Those with underlying disease are more likely to get sicker. Almost everyone in a nursing home has an Advance Directive in place not to be treated and receive less care.
People with disabilities and the elderly are considered to be more likely to die from COVID-19 and therefore they may be denied life-saving or life-sustaining treatments to enable a person who is viewed as more likely to survive to receive treatment.
Nursing home residents, relatives and friends are affected by the involuntary mandated imposition of no visitors. If a person, labeled a “client,” in a nursing home has an acute illness, they are subject to whatever is provided. Their Advance Directive is in place for non-treatment, even for unspecified imaginable illnesses. Many are frail; they are without relatives; treatment depends on whatever personnel in the nursing home provide. Their Advance Directive indicates that the person has chosen not to receive some treatments; thus, it is so easy to translate this into no treatment.
The palliative care movement, preceded by “brain death” and Living Will statutes, is another related change in medical care in our country. Palliative care involves a palliative care team (which can include physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains) that helps the family determine when the patient’s care should be shifted away from cure and toward death. Palliative care is less treatment and no care and is a major part of the System of Death that exists in Medicine, the Law and the Church.
The person in the nursing home and their relatives did not appreciate this. This was done before COVID-19. Now, nursing home residents, relatives and friends are stuck with it.
Shortly after the onset of COVID-19, the anticipated need for ventilators started the push to make more ventilators. However, patients in nursing homes with a DNR order will not get a ventilator, even if it might be a temporary treatment that would allow recovery from the virus. Is the death rate among the elderly higher because of their age and co-morbidities alone or because they will not be offered a chance to survive whether that be on a ventilator or possibly due to other innovative care strategies that may have a reasonable chance for even greater effectiveness and improved survival? The Advance Directive may be the mechanism to the ending of their life even if unintended by the patient.
In general, many patients seem to have the idea that ventilator use would mean a comatose existence on a machine indefinitely. How many are informed that ventilator use can be temporary and a means to continued living? The use of ventilator guidelines is being questioned for COVID-19 patients. Are death rates from COVID-19 higher in nursing homes because in the face of advance directives that limit potentially curative therapy, treatments, whether with a life-saving ventilator or with other modalities, are being denied to the elderly?
Palliative Care proponents want opioids to relieve breathlessness and pain. Opioids do not relieve breathlessness per se but make a patient sedated and breathe less because they decrease respiratory rate and volume. The patient too sedated to take hydration or nutrition, dies. They may appear more comfortable but if they are too sedated to respond, one does not really know how they feel inside. They could be motionless and still have nausea, itching, pain, constipation, dysphoria, feel unable to handle their secretions, and other undesired side-effects.
While attention is drawn to their age and co-morbidities in discussing the increased death rates among nursing home residents and while these are valid considerations, what is not discussed is how healthcare has changed to a system of death that does not aim for protection and preservation of lives of those considered a drain on society’s resources.
First came “brain death” with the goal to eliminate persons who needed ventilators. Next, came Living Wills and Advance Directives to discourage life-saving treatments, including ventilators, assisted nutrition and hydration, and even antibiotics. Then most nursing home residents have a “DNR – Do Not Resuscitate” order, which often results in, decreased treatments and care even if not directly related to resuscitation.
Add taxpayer funds to the push for PC for all, even if not dying or in pain. Enter Coronavirus-19 with sudden, social isolation for all, even those not sick. It is no surprise that elderly persons are more vulnerable to disease, but are they getting the care that protects and preserves their life and health and gives them their best chance of recovery?
A ventilator may or may not preserve the life of a person, especially when the person is older with co-morbidities and COVID 19, but denial of a needed ventilator associated with DNR in PC can shorten life and hasten death. (Coronavirus (Covid-19 in Nursing Homes. Please send Dr. Byrne’s column to as many people as you can. Also see Dr. Pierre Kory's testimony on medical protocols to treat patients with legitimate cases of the coronavirus: Testimony of Dr. Pierre Kory to United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, May 6, 2020.)
There are several other observations to be made about the apologia for the “third path” that is Samaritanus Bonus before concluding this commentary.
First, as a product of the false religious sect that emerged from the “Second” Vatican Council that is the counterfeit ape of the Catholic Church even though most Catholics themselves do not realize that this is case, there are precisely five of ninety-nine footnotes that make any reference whatsoever to any document of the Catholic Church before the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958. Three of these five are gratuitous “confer” references to Pope Pius XII’s allocutions, one is to Saint Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, and the other is to the Council of Trent. The ninety-four other references are to the writings or allocutions of the conciliar “popes,” the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church, to publications of various Vatican dicasteries, and to the counterfeit church of conciliarism’s misnamed Roman Ritual.
Second, three of the five “confer (cfr) references made to Pope Pius XII’s allocutions are to his 1957 address to anesthesiologists, which is distorted the conciliar revolutionaries and misunderstood and misapplied by many believing Catholic clergy. For the sake of clarification, therefore, it is important to address Pope Pius XII’s address to make the necessary distinctions that the conciliar revolutionaries have no interested to make and that escape so many in the traditional Catholic world.
Our last true Roman Pontiff thus far before the eclipse that began nineteen days after his death on October 9, 1958, made a careful distinction between the removal of a ventilator under the moral principle of the double-fold effect (as outlined by the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas, in the Summa Theologica, and by Holy Mother Church’s magisterium subsequently, the principle of the double-fold effect that it is morally licit to undertake an action that is good in itself even though it may result in an unintended but foreseen evil consequence; in this instance, you see, the removal of a ventilator to aid the involuntary function of a person’s body permits the body to perform according to its natural abilities, something that could result in death, which is not directly intended but foreseen as a possibility) and the deliberate, direct effort to end human life:
1. Does the anesthesiologist have the right, or is he bound, in all cases of deep unconsciousness, even in those that are considered to be completely hopeless in the opinion of the competent doctor, to use modern artificial respiration apparatus, even against the will of the family?
In ordinary cases one will grant that the anesthesiologist has the right to act in this manner, but he is not bound to do so, unless this becomes the only way of fulfilling another certain moral duty.
The rights and duties of the doctor are correlative to those of the patient. The doctor, in fact, has no separate or independent right where the patient is concerned. In general he can take action only if the patient explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly, gives him permission. The technique of resuscitation which concerns us here does not contain anything immoral in itself. Therefore the patient, if he were capable of making a personal decision, could lawfully use it and, consequently, give the doctor permission to use it. On the other hand, since these forms of treatment go beyond the ordinary means to which one is bound, it cannot be held that there is an obligation to use them nor, consequently, that one is bound to give the doctor permission to use them.
The rights and duties of the family depend in general upon the presumed will of the unconscious patient if he is of age and sui jurist. Where the proper and independent duty of the family is concerned, they are usually bound only to the use of ordinary means.
Consequently, if it appears that the attempt at resuscitation constitutes in reality such a burden for the family that one cannot in all conscience impose it upon them, they can lawfully insist that the doctor should discontinue these attempts, and the doctor can lawfully comply. There is not involved here a case of direct disposal of the life of the patient, nor of euthanasia in any way: this would never be licit. Even when it causes the arrest of circulation, the interruption of attempts at resuscitation is never more than an indirect cause of the cessation of life, and one must apply in this case the principle of double effect and of "voluntarium in cause." (Pope Pius XII Address to Anesthesiologists.)
The aforementioned eminent neonatologist and uncompromising foe of the medical industry’s manufactured, profit-making myth of “brain death,” Dr. Paul Byrne, argues that the ventilator can no longer be considered as “extraordinary” means to sustain human life, noting that “God is more powerful than the machines.” There is no contradiction between Dr. Byrne’s judgment and the teaching of Pope Pius XII as the definition of what constitutes “burdensome” and “overzealous” treatment is subject to advances in medical technology. What was perhaps burdensome sixty years ago is no longer so in many cases. The principles enunciated by Pope Pius XII, which are completely Catholic, do not change, but the application of them in concrete circumstances according to the Catholic principle of Proportionality—which, as noted above, has nothing to do with "palliative care—and subject to factors that a Catholic physician with a rightly-formed conscience who desires to be faithful to moral truth must take into very careful consideration.
As noted earlier in this commentary, what is unchanging, both medically and morally, however, is the simple fact that food and water, no matter how they are provided, ordinary care of a human being. It is not medical treatment, and it is not “extraordinary” in any sense of that word. Human beings need the assistance of others to eat when they are newborn babies, and they may need assistance at other times in their lives after an accident or a stroke or some other catastrophic health problem. The death of an innocent human being is the one and only thing that can result from denying him food and water. No one can undertake any action whose only end can be the death of an innocent human being.
Third, Samaritanus Bonus includes a section entitled “avoiding aggressive treatment” that is premised upon the false concept of a “precarious or painful extensive of life”:
The Magisterium of the Church recalls that, when one approaches the end of earthly existence, the dignity of the human person entails the right to die with the greatest possible serenity and with one’s proper human and Christian dignity intact.To precipitate death or delay it through “aggressive medical treatments” deprives death of its due dignity. Medicine today can artificially delay death, often without real benefit to the patient. When death is imminent, and without interruption of the normal care the patient requires in such cases, it is lawful according to science and conscience to renounce treatments that provide only a precarious or painful extension of life. It is not lawful to suspend treatments that are required to maintain essential physiological functions, as long as the body can benefit from them (such as hydration, nutrition, thermoregulation, proportionate respiratory support, and the other types of assistance needed to maintain bodily homeostasis and manage systemic and organic pain). The suspension of futile treatments must not involve the withdrawal of therapeutic care. This clarification is now indispensable in light of the numerous court cases in recent years that have led to the withdrawal of care from – and to the early death of–critically but not terminally ill patients, for whom it was decided to suspend life-sustaining care which would not improve the quality of life. (Samaritanus Bonus, September 22, 2020.)
Dr. Paul Byrne noted in an email recently, the term “aggressive medical treatment” is “misleading” and the term “to precipitate death is fake philosophy and medicine; precipitate means rapid descent.” Dr. Byrne also noted that the phrase “precarious and painful extension of life allows for nontreatment of almost any disease that would be associated with ‘a precarious or painful extension of life.’ Precarious is according to the definition of another.”
In other words, Samaritanus Bonus is based upon the false belief that medicine is “prolonging death,” which thus serves as the moral justification for the misapplication of the Catholic principle of proportionality (that a preponderance of foreseen but unintended evil consequences can render an otherwise justifiable act immoral to pursue) to expedite death via “palliative care.”
There is another false phrase and thus emotional red herring in the text from Samaritanus Bonus quoted above: “dignified death.”
Any death that is accepted with a serene acceptance of the will of God and for which a person has been prepared throughout his life by trying to persevere in a state of Sanctifying Grace and by praying a perfect Act of Contrition to express sorrow for one’s sins because of his love for the Most Holy Trinity and, secondly, because of the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell is truly ennobled in light of eternity.
Obviously, readers of this site know full well that it is important to receive the Sacrament of Extreme Unction before one days but that there are so few true priests to administer this Sacrament, which fortifies the soul before death for his meeting with Christ the King at His Particular Judgment and even gives strength to the mind and body to be as recollect as possible for one who is fully conscious as he nears death. Numerous are the stories of people who have received the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and have recovered from their death bed or, perhaps even more importantly, have had a burst of enlightenment from the graces they receive to be fully alert before death as they pray Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary by themselves or with their family members and/or have the Holy Names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on their lips as they die.
Sadly, of course, many Catholics die today without benefit of the true Sacraments as the so-called “sacrament of the anointing of the sick” is as invalid and as worthless as the conciliar rites of episcopal consecration, priestly ordination, confirmation and exorcism, which the late Father Gabriel Amorth said was useless against the devil (see Father Amorth Says New Rite of Excorcism is Useless Against the Devil). This is why we must give out blessed Green Scapulars to our fellow Catholics who have as yet to come to realization that the see of Saint Peter has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958, and that, to call to mind the words of Dom Prosper Gueranger in his reflection on the Feast of Pope Saint Clement, November 23, who wrote that no one can oppose a pope without opposing God Himself. We must pray for all our fellow Catholics to come to this realization and also to accept the simple fact that the Holy Mother Church is the spotless, virginal, mystical spouse of her Divine Founder, Invisible Head and Mystical Bridegroom, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is ever to be be found, as Pope Gregory XVI noted in Singulari Nos, May 24, 1934, “found without even a light tarnish of error.” We must pray for those who do not accept this very simple truth and who believe that the true Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth is teaching “error” or has made pacts with figures of Antichrist such as George Soros. Everything because clearer to a person who can divest himself of the Gallicanist misinformation that we need to “correct” a true pope as a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter safeguards doctrinal orthodoxy infallibly by the very nature of the office that Our Lord bestowed upon Saint Peter. Speaking from experience now fourteen and one-half years after divesting myself of the indult and “resist while recognize” mentalities that are steeped in error and without any foundation in Catholic teaching whatsoever, one does not realize the extent to which he was blinded by one false argument after another until he regains access to the true Sacraments on a regular basis and avoids all liturgical contact with even true Masses that are offered “una cum” the arch-heretic at the Casa Santa Marta or the previous occupant of the conciliar seat of apostasy who lives a short distance away behind the walls of the Occupied Vatican on the West Bank of the Tiber River.
Samaritanus Bonus is the product of men who are apostates and have thus surrendered to the exigencies of naturalism in preparation for the coming of the Antichrist, making Samaritanus Bonus even more insidious than the patently heretical, One World Religion Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together that was critiqued on this site in Jorge Signs Off on the One World Ecumenical Religion.
Some Concluding Thoughts
The holy death of Saint Teresa of Avila was discussed earlier in this commentary to explain how the saint whose feast day occurs on October 15 annually stands in contrast to Samaritanus Bonus’s emphasis on the importance of a “dignified death” even though the only kind of death that the Catholic Church cares about is a good death, meaning the death of one who dies with the benefit of the true Sacraments or, minimally, of one who is in a state of Sanctifying Grace or, in the case of one who is not in such a state, makes a perfect Act of Contrition to restore him to it before death.
Death is a punishment for Original Sin, and we should welcome—indeed, embrace!—the sufferings that accompany our own deaths as these are the “last minute” means by which we can joyfully surrender ourselves to Christ the King as His consecrated slave through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in order to make as much reparation for our sins as we can before we meet Our King in the very Face at the Particular Judgment. Suffering is the path to Heaven, and believing Catholics have sought to flee from suffering that Our Lord sends them as they near death as they know that this is a sign that He is not “done” with them, that He is giving them more opportunities to avoid the flames of Purgatory or to limit their time there.
As Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, noted in The Delusions of Sinners, men tend to minimize their sins and/or tend to delude themselves into thinking that they are of little weight and will cost the little, if anything, in Purgatory:
The Devil brings sinners to hell by closing their eyes to the dangers of perdition. He first blinds them, and then leads them with himself to eternal torments. If, then, we wish to be saved, we must continually pray to God in the words of the blind man in the gospel of this day,” Lord, that I may see." Give me light: make me see the way in which I must walk in order to save my soul, and to escape the deceits of the enemy of salvation. I shall, brethren, this day place before your eyes the delusion by which the devil tempts men to sin and to persevere in sin, that you may know how to guard yourselves against his deceitful artifices.
2. To understand these delusions better, let us imagine the case of a young man who, seized by some passion, lives in sin, the slave of Satan, and never thinks of his eternal salvation. My son, I say to him, what sort of life do you lead? If you continue to live in this manner, how will you be able to save your soul? But, behold! the devil, on the other hand, says to him: Why should you be afraid of being lost? Indulge your passions for the present: you will afterwards confess your sins, and thus all shall be remedied. Behold the net by which the devil drags so many souls into hell. “Indulge your passions: you will hereafter make a good confession." But, in reply, I say, that in the meantime you lose your soul. Tell me: if you had a jewel worth a thousand pounds, would you throw it into a river with the hope of afterwards finding it again? What if all your efforts to find it were fruitless? God! you hold in your hand the invaluable jewel of your soul, which Jesus Christ has purchased with his own blood, and you cast it into hell! Yes; you cast it into hell; because according to the present order of providence, for every mortal sin you commit, your name is written among the number of the damned. But you say.” I hope to recover God’s grace by making a good confession." And if you should not recover it, what shall be the consequences? To make a good confession, a true sorrow for sin is necessary, and this sorrow is the gift of God: if he does not give it, will you not be lost for ever?
3. You rejoin:” I am young; God compassionates my youth; I will hereafter give myself to God." Behold another delusion! You are young; but do you not know that God counts, not the years, but the sins of each individual? You are young; but how many sins have you committed? Perhaps there are many persons of a very advanced age, who have not been guilty of the fourth part of the sins which you have committed. And do you not know that God has fixed for each of us the number of sins which he will pardon?” The Lord patiently expecteth, that, when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them in the fulness of their sins." (2 Mach. vi. 14.) God has patience, and waits for a while; but, when the measure of the sins which he has determined to pardon is tilled up, he pardons no more, but chastises the sinner, by suddenly depriving him of life in the miserable state of sin, or by abandoning him in his sin, and executing that threat which he made by the prophet Isaias “I shall take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted.” (Isa. v. 5.) If a person has cultivated land for many years, has encompassed it with a hedge for its protection, and expended a large sum of money on it, but finds that, after all, it produces no fruit, what will he do with it? He will pluck up the hedge, and abandon it to all men and beasts that may wish to enter. Tremble, then, lest God should treat you in a similar manner. If you do not give up sin, your remorse of conscience and your fear of divine chastisement shall daily increase. Behold the hedge taken away, and your soul abandoned by God a punishment worse than death itself.
4. You say:” I cannot at present resist this passion." Behold the third delusion of the devil, by which he makes you believe that at present you have not strength to overcome certain temptations. But St. Paul tells us that God is faithful, and that he never permits us to be tempted above our strength. "And God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that which you are able." (1 Cor. x. 13.) I ask, if you are not now able to resist the temptation, how can you expect to resist it hereafter? If you yield to it, the Devil will become stronger, and you shall become weaker; and if you be not now able to extinguish this flame of passion, how can you hope to be able to extinguish it when it shall have grown more violent? You say: "God will give me his aid." But this aid God is ready to give at present if you ask it. Why then do you not implore his assistance? Perhaps you expect that, without now taking the trouble of invoking his aid, you will receive from him increased helps and graces, after you shall have multiplied the number of your sins? Perhaps you doubt the veracity of God, who has promised to give whatever we ask of him?” Ask, “he says,” and it shall be given you." (Matt. vii. 7.) God cannot violate his promises.” God is not as man, that he should lie, nor as the son of man, that he should be changed. Hath he said, then, and will he not do ?" (Num. xxiii. 19.) Have recourse to him, and he will give you the strength necessary to resist the temptation. God commands you to resist it, and you say: “I have not strength." Does God, then, command impossibilities? No; the Council of Trent has declared that ” God does not command impossibilities; but, by his commands, he admonishes you to do what you can, and to ask what you cannot do; and he assists, that you may be able to do it." (Sess. 6. c. xiii.) When you see that you have not sufficient strength to resist temptation with the ordinary assistance of God, ask of him the additional help which you require, and he will give it to you; and thus you shall be able to conquer all temptations, however violent they may be.
5. But you will not pray; and you say that at present you will commit this sin, and will afterwards confess it. But, I ask, how do you know that God will give you time to confess it? You say: “I will go to confession before the lapse of a week." And who has promised you this week? Well, then you say:” I will go to confession tomorrow." And who promises you tomorrow? “Crastinum Deus non promisit," says St. Augustine, “fortasse dabit, et fortasse non dabit." God has not promised you tomorrow. Perhaps he will give it, and perhaps he will refuse it to you, as he has to so many others. How many have gone to bed in good health, and have been found dead in the morning! How many, in the very act of sin, has the Lord struck dead and sent to hell! Should this happen to you, how will you repair your eternal ruin?” Commit this sin, and confess it after wards." Behold the deceitful artifice by which the devil has brought so many thousands of Christians to hell. We scarcely ever find a Christian so sunk in despair as to intend to damn himself. All the wicked sin with the hope of afterwards going to confession. But, by this illusion, how many have brought themselves to perdition! For them there is now no time for confession, no remedy for their damnation.
6. “But God is merciful.” Behold another common delusion by which the devil encourages sinners to persevere in a life of sin! A certain author has said, that more souls have been sent to hell by the mercy of God than by his justice. This is indeed the case; for men are induced by the deceits of the devil to persevere in sin, through confidence in God’s mercy; and thus they are lost. "God is merciful." Who denies it? But, great as his mercy, how many does he every day send to hell? God is merciful, but he is also just, and is, there fore, obliged to punish those who offend him. “And his mercy,” says the divine mother,” to them that fear him." (Luke i. 50.) But with regard to those who abuse his mercy and despise him, he exercises justice. The Lord pardons sins, but he cannot pardon the determination to commit sin. St. Augustine says, that he who sins with the intention of repenting after his sins, is not a penitent but a scoffer.” Irrisor est non pœnitens." But the Apostle tells us that God will not be mocked.” Be not deceived; God is not mocked." (Gal. vi. 7.) It would be a mockery of God to insult him as often and as much as you pleased, and afterwards to expect eternal glory.
7. “But”; you say, “as God has shown me so many mercies hitherto, I hope he will continue to do so for the future.” Behold another delusion! Then, because God has not as yet chastised your sins, he will never punish them! On the contrary, the greater have been his mercies, the more you should tremble, lest, if you offend him again, he should pardon you no more, and should take vengeance on your sins. Behold the advice of the Holy Ghost:” Say not: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? for the Most High is a patient rewarder." (Eccles. v. 4.) Do not say: “I have sinned, and no chastisement has fallen upon me.” God bears for a time, but not for ever. He waits for a certain time; but when that arrives, he then chastises the sinner for all his past iniquities: and the longer he has waited for repentance, the more severe the chastisement. “Quos diutius expectat,” says St. Gregory.” “durius damnat.” Then, my brother, since you know that you have frequently offended God, and that he has not sent you to hell, you should exclaim:” The mercies of the Lord, that we are not consumed." (Thren. iii. 22.) Lord, I thank you for not having sent me to hell, which I have so often deserved. And therefore you ought to give yourself entirely to God, at least through gratitude, and should consider that, for less sins than you have committed, many are now in that pit of fire, without the smallest hope of being ever released from it. The patience of God in bearing with you, should teach you not to despise him still more, but to love and serve him with greater fervour, and to atone, by penitential austerities and by other holy works, for the insults you have offered to him. You know that he has shown mercies to you, which he has not shown to others.” He hath not done in like manner to every nation." (Ps. cxlvii. 20.) Hence you should tremble, lest, if you commit a single additional mortal sin, God should abandon you, and cast you into hell. (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, “The Delusions of Sinners,” Sermon for Quinquagesima Sunday.)
Samaritanus Bonus is a document that is filled with the delusions of the conciliar sect. Its emphasis on a “dignified death,” which is just a variation of the “death with dignity” condemned previously in its text, has nothing to do with Catholicism, and Catholicism is to be found in the official documents of the Catholic Church and the statements and teachings of her true popes.
Human beings must be conscious of their sins, and they must embrace the sufferings of their last agony and never to flee from them under any circumstances by having any recourse to the “palliative care” program that is practiced in hospitals, hospices and by in-home “health care” services that specialize in teaching patients and relatives to use the “comfort cocktail” in the privacy of their own surroundings.
Consider the way that King Philip II, the Catholic potentate who did so much to ward off Protestantism in Spain and who sent more ships and men to the Battle of Lepanto than any other Catholic prince, was mindful of his sins and the need to make reparation for them before he died:
Thus Philip came to his last miserable winter in Madrid. When spring returned, he was so weak that his doctors refused to hear of his returning to San Lorenzo. They considered the air at the monastery very bad for a man in his condition, and refused to answer for the consequences if he went.
Early in June he sent to San Lorenzo all the relics of saints that he had accumulated at Madrid, in reliquaries he had made by the best plateros in the capital. The collection included the head of Saint Jerome and the jawbone of Saint Inez. For some years past he had caused to be collected relics from all parts of Europe, especially from the Protestant districts, to save them from the bigotry which he foresaw the heretics would vent from time to time on the bones of men and women who had loved Christ enough to lay down their lives for Him. He regarded them as the proudest glory of San Lorenzo, a sort of history of the Church of Christ written in the very bones of her saints. There was a great festival, with a gorgeous procession, when the relics arrived at the monastery on June fourteenth. The King was too ill to be there.
By the end of the month he felt stronger, and notified his doctors that he meant to go to the Escorial to die, whether it pleased them or not. Moura knelt at his feet and implored him, with tears, not to go. But Philip was determined, as he said, to lay his bones in his own house. On the last day of June he was carried from the palace at Madrid in a litter. Journeying by slow stages, almost dying on the way, he reached San Lorenzo on July sixth, and was carried into his old room, looking down upon the high altar of the chapel.
A few days later he was having himself carried all about the palace and the gardens, eagerly looking for old sights and changes. This tired him so much that on the twenty-second, the feast of Saint Mary Magdalen, he had another relapse, and suffered from one of those high fevers that he had always been subject to after too much exercise. He demanded that the doctors tell him frankly whether he was likely to die. They believed he was, but concealed his condition from him for a few days, until his confessor, Fray Diego de Yepes, told them His Majesty wished to know the truth and to face it, and it was better they should tell him frankly. They admitted then that the case was hopeless. Fray Diego imparted this news to the King, on August first. Philip said, "Thanks be to God." He seemed genuinely pleased and cheerful. He instructed Fray Diego to examine him very strictly about his entire life, from early childhood to the present, and made a general confession that took three whole days.
By this time there were four fistulous sores on the index finger of his right hand, three others on the middle finger, and another on the great toe of his right foot. These burned with continual pain, and proved incurable. There was also, as the gout settled in his knee, a virulent abscess there so painful that the slightest movement caused excruciating agony. Philip was obliged to lie on his back with his shoulders pressed to the bed, as if he were nailed to it; and thus he remained for fifty-three days. The wounds became foul, and emitted a pestilent odor. His chaplain could think of nothing to compare them with but the ulcers of Egypt, which Moses called down upon the transgressors of God’s law, and the ones that burned the bones and consumed the flesh of stricken Job. His head and eyes ached. He was unable to sleep. His stomach was swollen with dropsy, the rest of him so wasted by sickness that he seemed almost a skeleton. The foot that had loved to dance was paralyzed. The hand that had penned so many thousands of anxious letters full of minute instructions was nothing but skin and bone and stinking sores. The face that had masked from curious eyes so many deep policies was ashy gray. The eyes that had seen everything in Europe except the heart of Elizabeth and the mind of Cecil were turned like a stricken animal's toward a crucifix on the wall.
On Saint Dominic's Day (August fourth) Philip commanded the prior to have his monks don vestments, and to bring to his bedside, in procession, the relics of various saints. Each monk was to say something appropriate. It was as though all the mighty dead of Christ's army who slept within those walls came to visit him on his deathbed, saying, "Think what we suffered: some of us were beheaded, some stabbed to death, some boiled alive in oil, some tortured with fiendish ingenuity day after day. They thought us fools, and now we are at peace, sharing the glory of Christ. Your sufferings are no worse." Philip kissed each relic. He especially liked the discourse of a monk who reminded him of the Good Thief on the Cross, who had obtained eternal life because he had comforted Christ while the Jews were mocking Him in His agony. So His Majesty could expect mercy, said the monk, for saving so many relics of Christ's friends from the fury and insults of the heretics.
By August sixth, the Feast of the Transfiguration, the abscess on his knee had become so large and painful that it was decided to lance it. When Doctor Onate commenced the operation the pain was so excruciating that Philip asked his confessor to read to him the sufferings of Christ, so that he might think less of his own. Fray Diego de Yepes knelt by the side of the bed and began reading in a loud voice the Passion from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.
The King nearly fainted from agony as the physician began pressing from the wound a great quantity of foul-smelling thick matter "like plaster of Paris," but he kept his eyes upon the face of Fray Diego, and listened intently.
"And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad. Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me.
And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Philip made a motion for the monk to stop. "Read that again."
Yepes repeated the passage. The King’s lips repeated the words, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." From that day on, as he looked at the crucifix, often with tears, he was heard often to murmur, 'Father, not my will but thine be done."
Yepes read on.
"But they, holding Jesus, led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled. And Peter followed him afar off, even to the court of the high priest. And going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end. . . And the high priest rising up, said to him, Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace . . . the high priest rent his garments . . . they answering said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others struck his face with the palms of their hands . . .
"And they brought him bound, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor . . . 'Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ?' . . . But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they shoidd ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away . . . 'What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ?'. . . They say all: Let him be crucified . . . Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out all the more, saying; Let him be crucified . . . His blood be upon us and upon our children. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified ..."
By the time Fray Diego had finished, Philip had almost swooned from pain. If they continued, he said, he would die. The doctors desisted, and the King, very weak, told them to give thanks to God. They all knelt on the floor—courtiers, monks, physicians—and prayed.
During the night the pain and fever increased. His condition was so grave that on the eighth he was given Viaticum. A few days later he received Extreme Unction. Never having seen this Sacrament administered, he had the ritual read to him, and insisted upon rehearsing beforehand, so that he might receive it with all reverence. He wished his children to be present, so that when they came to die, they would not be as ignorant as he was. Prince Philip came alone. His sister was ill with fever.
"Look at me," said the King to his son. "This is what the world and all kingdoms amount to in the end. Some day you will lie here where I lie."
It was indeed a terrible sight. Philip was now covered with discharging sores from head to foot. Since the opening of his knee, he had been unable to endure even the touch of a sheet against any of them. The lower part of his night-robe and the sheet had stuck to the abscess and to other wounds, so that the slightest effort to remove them caused him such pain that he would faint and seem to be dying. It was impossible to change the bedclothes or his own garment. Meanwhile a purge the doctors had given him had had daily effect, and Philip, lord of all the Spains, lay in the accumulating filth of his own excrements. It seems incredible, but all the accounts mention it. The monks could only attribute it to God's desire to prepare his servant for Heaven by afflicting the ultimate humiliation upon him. All his life he had been noted for his cleanliness and neatness. Nothing could try his proverbial patience like a streak on a wall or a spot on a floor. His own person had always been immaculate. And now to have to lie week after week—
The odor of the sickroom was indescribable. It speaks well for Spanish self-control that so many fine gentlemen of the court, so many prelates and monks, servants and friends, were able to visit the dying King without betraying their nausea and disgust. Doctor Alfaro became violently ill from the odor and had to go to bed. But the King accepted it all as part of his trial for eternity. Not a single complaint came from his lips during the fifty-three days. Toward the end he had so mastered himself that he was able to give thanks for his pains and humiliations. He would look tenderly at the crucifix and say, "Lord, I offer you my sufferings in atonement for my sins," and repeated, over and over, "Father, not my will, but thine —"
An insatiable thirst now completed the sum of his torments. The physicians were afraid to let him drink much water, on account of his dropsical condition. Hence they often rinsed out his mouth but seldom allowed his desire to be slaked. But thirst, Philip remembered, had been one of the great agonies of Christ on the Cross.
On the vigil of the Assumption, after he had asked the papal nuncio Caetano, who had brought him the Pope's blessing and many indulgences, to sing the high Mass for the feast of Our Lady next day, he began making plans and arrangements for his own funeral. He told two monks to go secretly to the jasper mausoleum, unlock the coffin of the Emperor, measure him, and note well how he was shrouded. A lead coffin was to be brought into the sickroom and set up on a bier where Philip could see it. It was to be well calked in every crack, so that no offensive odor could escape. As soon as he should have breathed his last,
a plain sheet was to be thrown around him, over his shirt, and tied with a cord, and a crucifix hung around his neck, and without further ado he was to be placed in the lead coffin, and sealed up. There was to be no embalming, no costly shroud. He was a vile sinner, and wished his body to return to the dust of which it was made as soon as possible. He was unwilling to have his nakedness exposed, even in death. Therefore no one should touch him but Moura, who must carry out his instructions to the letter.
The leaden coffin was to be placed within a wooden one, which His Majesty had already taken the precaution to have made from some timbers from a ship which had been drydocked at Lisbon and which of late years had been turned over to poor beggars to sleep in. The wood, called angelin, from the Indies, had been found to be so hard that it would not burn. It pleased Philip, who had spent so much of his life in conflict with God's enemies, to descend to the grave enclosed in the timber of the galleon, Cinco Chagas, or The Five Wounds, which had fought the Turks and the heretics until she could fight no more.
"His courage has never deserted him," wrote the Venetian ambassador to his government. "He has made himself most familiar, not only with the thought of death, but with the details and the discussions therefor, and with all that should be done after he is gone. He has arranged every detail of his funeral, and has ordered the purchase of a large quantity of black cloth to drape the chapel of the Escorial."
During the nights when he could not sleep, Philip had various priests come and read spiritual works to him He heard the Passion according to Saint John read over and over, never tired of listening to the fifteenth chapter of Saint Luke, and found perpetual consolation in the parable of the Prodigal Son, and the assurance of Christ that there was joy in heaven over the repentant sinner. He recited a long prayer from a pious book by Blosius, commencing, "O dulce Jesus! All the years of my life I have been ungrateful to thee, my most benignant Creator and Redeemer; I have offended thee gravely, painting new sins over my old ones ..."
One night, toward the end of his sickness, a friar inadvertently came, in reading, to a description of the details of physical death and decay, and of the mental and spiritual agonies through which the soul must pass on its way to God. The reader stopped, fearing to alarm the King; but Philip said, "Read on, Father." He had the passage repeated, so that his spirit should learn to shrink from nothing of what it had to face.
His bed was crawling with vermin when he summoned the Prince and the Infanta to hear his last farewell on August twenty-eighth. "He gave his blessing in words full of affection. He exhorted them to govern their subjects with love, to administer justice impartially, and to support and defend religion and the Catholic Faith with all their might . . . The Prince, through tenderness, shed a few tears, whereupon the King, to avoid the contagion, turned his face away and dismissed the Prince."
On the evening of the first of September he was anointed for the second time, after Confession and Communion. The Prince and all the grandees were present. The King seemed very happy and tranquil after the application of the oils.
The next day he transacted some business, gave many gifts and charities, appointed fees of 10,000 crowns for his doctors, and ordered the estates of the Duke of Villahermosa restored to his family. He remarked to his confessor that he had never in his life committed an injustice except when deceived or in ignorance. People would say now that these last acts of restitution proved him guilty of all the enormities attributed to him, but he was not going to let his cowardice be a cloak for his injustice. Asked whether he wanted the Prince to carry on the government for him during his illness, for everything was at a standstill, Philip shook his head. No; he remembered how bitterly his father, in his last frustrated and useless days at Yuste, had regretted having abdicated before he had done all he could do to rectify his errors.
He received Holy Communion for the last time on September eighth. A new peace and resignation were observed in him His confessor was convinced, thinking of the matter afterwards, that God had been pleased to grant the King's prayer that he might be free from pain and anxiety at the end, so that he might devote all his powers to the saving of his soul. Next day, Wednesday, Philip told Don Fernando de Toledo to get the little box that Juan Ruiz had noticed in his desk in Aragon, and have the crucifix of the Emperor and the candles from Monserrate ready. He spoke of them as if he had mentioned them only the day before. Ruiz brought them to the bedside. This was Wednesday. On Friday, the eleventh, he gave his final blessing to the Prince and the Infanta; begging the latter especially to govern the Low Countries well, and to increase the Catholic Faith there. The
Prince controlled his emotion with great difficulty. Isabel, who had wept daily since her father's illness began, bent over the foul bed and kissed the festering hand raised to bless her.
Philip was so quiet now, that at certain moments he was believed to be dead. On the evening of the twelfth, the doctors agreed that the end would be soon. He heard them, opened his eyes, and asked for his confessor. The Archbishop of Toledo spoke consoling words to him for about half an hour, and then, at Philip's request, read once more the Passion from Saint John. The room was full of lighted candles, of people tiptoeing about, of insufferable odors. The voice of the Archbishop rose and fell in the night.
"Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? . . .
"Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from hence. . . . Pilate took Jesus and scourged him . . . Ecce Homo!. . . And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar . . . Away with him, away with him; crucify him. Pilate said to them: Shall I crucify your king?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar! Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified . . . 'Woman, behold thy son' ... thirst' . . . Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: 'It is consummated.' And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost."
It was all happening there, in the silence of the Escorial, in the soul of the dying King. It was already midnight. The voices continued, some high, some low, reading holy words. Whenever they stopped, the King would whisper, "Padres, decidme mas."
About two o'clock Toledo opened the little box, and took out one of the blessed candles from Our Lady's altar. But the King said, "Aun no es tiempo."
An hour later Toledo again offered the candle, and Philip said, "Dad aca, queya es tiempo."
With Toledo's help he held the candle in one hand, and the small wooden crucifix of his Mother and Father in the other. He smiled joyfully. Men about his bed thought of the words of the psalm he had uttered so often during his illness:
"As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after thee, O God. My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?”
He seemed to become unconscious. They thought him dead; but when some one went to take away the candle and cover his face, he opened his eyes, with a sudden paroxysm, and fixed them, with intense longing and devotion, upon the crucifix, around which his fingers still closed. Thus he remained for some time. He remained fully intelligent after that for more than an hour.
It was five o'clock. In the chapel below there was a stirring of footsteps, a flicker of candles, and the murmuring of voices as priests and acolytes began, on the vigil of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, to say the Mass of Dawn, which they had always offered for the spiritual welfare of the King. Philip gave three little gasps, like a child's. His eyes, still on the crucifix, became stony. At that moment the sun arose over the eastern hill and flooded the white walls of San Lorenzo with the cheerful light of morning. (William Thomas Walsh, Philip II, published originally in 1937 by Sheed and Ward and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1987, pp. 719-226.)
That was a Catholic death!
King Philip II did not ask anyone to alleviate his suffering as he knew that he was sinner who had to suffer much for his sins. Anyone who thinks that he his doing himself or someone else some kind of “favor” by “calling in hospice” to alleviate sufferings that are Heaven-sent for the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of souls, starting with one’s own, not thinking as a Catholic but an empty sentimentalist who does not understand or accept that God never demands the impossible of us. Never. Suffering is a gift, and to reject it, especially at the moment of one’s death, makes a mockery of this gift sent that constitute some of the choicest mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with which one ever receive.
One would think that King Philip II must have won a very high place in Heaven after having endured such intense sufferings. According to an account given by Father Francis X. Schouppe, S.J., in Purgatory: Explained By the Lives and the Legends of the Saints, however, he did not:
Let us see how a holy religious of the Society of Jesus showed his gratitude, even after death, to the physician who attended him during his last illness. Francis Lacci, a Brother Coadjutor, died in the College of Naples in 1598. He was a man of God, full of charity, patience, and tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Some time after his death, Dr. Verdiano entered the church of the College to assist at Holy Mass before beginning his visits. It was the day on which were celebrated the obsequies for King Philip II, who had died four months previous. When, on leaving the church, he was about take holy water, a Religious approached and asked him why the catafalque had been prepared, and whose was the service about to be celebrated. “It is that of King Philip II,” he replied.
At the same time Verdiano, astonished that a Religious would ask such a question of a stranger, and not distinguishing the features of his interlocutor in the obscurity of the place where he stood, asked who he was. “I am,” he answered, “Brother Lacci, on whom you attended during my last illness.” The doctor looked at him attentively, and recognized perfectly the figures of Lacci. Stupefied with astonishment, he said, “But you died of that disease! Are you then suffering in Purgatory, and do you come to ask our suffrages? “Blessed be God, I am no longer in pain or sorrow. I need not your suffrages, I am in the joys of Paradise.” “And King Philip, is he also in Paradise?” “Yes, he is there, but placed as much below me as he was elevated above me on earth.” (Father Francis F. X. Schouppe, S.J., Purgatory: Explained By the Lives and the Legends of the Saints, published originally by Burns and Oates, Ltd., London, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1973.)
In other words, King Philip II barely saved his immortal soul even with all that he suffered for the final fifty-three days of his life.
One should think about this if one is advised by a priest or a presbyter to “call in hospice” for a “peaceful” death for oneself or another.
Hospice care as practiced today is simply euthanasia by another name and it is a means to send souls to God by depriving of the very means that could have won Heaven for them upon their death or reduced their time in Purgatory or that, in the case of so many others, have saved them from the fires of hell.
Today, Sunday, October 4, 2020, is the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of Saint Francis of Assisi, about whose life and virtues there is a brief republished reflection on this site.
This commentary, though, began to be written on Saturday, September 26, 2020, the Feast of the North American Martyrs and the Commemoration of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian. I deceived myself into thinking that I could make enough progress on its completion to have it ready for publication by Sunday, September 27, 2020, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Commemoration of Saints Cosmas and Damian, who were physicians as well as martyrs for the Holy Faith. (We have a friend who tells those who in the medical industry when asked who her “primary care physician is that, “Doctor, I have five physicians: Saint Luke, Saints Cosmas and Damian, Saint Pantaleon, and Saint Apollonia.”)
Given the subject of this commentary it is highly appropriate to provide the readers of this site Dom Prosper Gueranger’s reflection on Saints Cosmas and Damian, whose work as Catholic physicians stands even more in contrast to the work of contemporary medicine—and to the entire underlying framework Samaritanus Bonus’s text—today than it did at the time in the middle of the Nineteenth Century that the Abbot Guerager wrote his reflection:
Honor the physician for the need thou hast of him: for the most High hath created him. For all healing is from God, and he shall receive gifts of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head, and in the sight of great men he shall be praised. The most High hath created medicines out of the earth, and a wise man will not abhor them. Was not bitter water made sweet with wood? The virtue of these things is come to the knowledge of hem, and the most High hath given knowledge to men, that he may be honored in his wonders. By these he shall cure and shall allay their pains, and of these the apothecary shall make sweet confections, and shall make up ointments of health, and of his works there shall be no end. For the peace of God is over the face of the earth. My son, in thy sickness neglect not thyself, but pray to the Lord, and he shall heal thee. Turn away from sin and order thy hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all offense. Give a sweet savor, and a memorial of fine flour, and make a fat offering, and then give place to the physician. For the Lord created him: and let him not depart from thee, for his works are necessary. For there is a time when thou must fall into their hands: and they shall beseech the Lord, that he would prosper what they give for ease and remedy, for their conversation.
These words of the Wise Man are appropriate for this feast. The Church, obeying the inspired injunction, honors the medical profession in the persons of Cosmas and Damian, who not only, like many others (Dom A. M. Fournier, Notices sur les saints médecins), sanctified themselves in that career; but far beyond all others, demonstrated to the world how grand a part the physician may play in Christian society.
Cosmas and Damian had been Christians from their childhood. The study of Hippocrates and Galen developed their love of God, whose invisible perfections they admired reflected in the magnificences of creation, and especially in the human body his palace and his temple. To them, science was a hymn of praise to their Creator, and the exercise of their art a sacred ministry; they served God in his suffering members, and watched over his human sanctuary, to preserve it from injury or to repair its ruins. Such a life of religious charity was fittingly crowned by the perfect sacrifice of martyrdom.
East and West vied with each other in paying homage to the Anargyres, as our Saints were called on account of their receiving no fees for their services. Numerous churches were dedicated to them. The emperor Justinian embellished and fortified the obscure town of Cyrus out of reverence for their sacred relics there preserved; and about the same time, Pope Felix IV built a church in their honor in the Roman Forum, thus substituting the memory of the twin martyrs for that of the less happy brothers Romulus and Remus. Not long before this, St. Benedict had dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian his first monastery at Subiaco, now known as St. Scholastica’s. But Rome rendered the highest of all honors to the holy Arabian brethren, by placing their names, in preference to so many thousands of her own heroes, in the solemn litanies and on the sacred diptychs of the Mass.
In the middle ages, the physicians and surgeons banded together into confraternities, whose object was the sanctification of the members by common prayer, charity towards the destitute, and the accomplishment of all the duties of their important vocation for the greater glory of God and the greater good of suffering humanity. The Society of Sts. Luke, Cosmas and Damian has now undertaken in France the renewal of these happy traditions. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B. The Liturgical Year.)
This kind of spirit is almost impossible to find today, noting that there are some examples of Catholic physicians here and there who are aware of allopathic medicine’s anti-physical life and anti-eternal life “palliative care” program of operation. Saints Cosmas and Damian understood the purpose of human suffering as they tried to heal the sick and suffering without harming them.
The readings for Matins on the Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian provide us with an account of their lives:
Saint Joseph, lover of Poverty, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, friend of Saint Francis, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Fidelis Sigmaringen, O.F.M., Cap., pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, O.F.M., pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, O.F.M., pray for us.
Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, O.F.M., Cap., pray for us.
Padre Pio, O.F.M., Cap., pray for us.
Father Junipero Serra, O.F.M., pray for us.