Module 3 L7-FifthComm

Download Report

Transcript Module 3 L7-FifthComm

Life In Christ
The Fifth Commandment
Deacon Dan Gannon, J.D., M.A.
Tonight … 2258 - 2330
Life In Christ
Fifth Commandment
“You shall not kill.”
 Last time …
Fourth Commandments
 Tonight
35-40 minutes small groups until 7:50
Focus on … key themes
8pm – 9pm lecture (2258 - 2330)
Progression to Perfect Love
This is MY commandment…Love
one another as I have loved you.
 “You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, soul and mind …”
(Deut 6:5)
 “You shall love neighbor as yourself…” (Lv
… thou shalt not…
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 You shall not kill – Ex.
20:13; Deut 5:17
 Magisterium: you shall
not kill an innocent
human being. (2261)
 Life’s origins in the
very life of God…
“Then God said:
‘Let us make
man in our
image, after our
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
is Sacred
 The first murder …
… Cain slays Abel
"What have you done? The
voice of your brother's blood is
crying to me from the ground.”
(Gen 4:10)
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves
the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special
relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the
Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any
circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an
innocent human being.“ (2258); Donum Vitae
 "Do not slay the innocent
and the righteous."
(Ex 23:7)
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who
persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly
Father… if you love those who love you, what recompense will
you have? Do not the tax collectors* do the same? … So be
perfect,* just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt. 5:43)
Jesus’ Law of Love …
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
But I say to you, offer no resistance to
one who is evil. When someone strikes
you on (your) right cheek, turn the
other one to him as well. (Mt. 5:38)
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 Innocent Human Life -formal moral truth
in SS, clarified by Sacred Tradition and
constantly proclaimed by Magisterium:
**INFALLIBLE decree: “I confirm that the
direct and voluntary killing of an innocent
human being is always gravely immoral.”
(EV 57)
 Murder = Intentional homicide
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 JP II - notes the inviolability of life
flows from its sacredness as the
gift and creative activity of God.
(EV 5, 7)
“Life is always a GOOD”
(EV 31)
 “I came that they may have life
 “Love one another”
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 “Culture of Death” – JP II
 “… presents recourse to
contraception, sterilization,
abortion and even euthanasia as
a mark of progress and a victory
of freedom, while depicting as
enemies of freedom and progress
those positions which are
unreservedly pro-life.” (EV 17)
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 Absolute sense of “individual freedom”
are ROOTS of culture of death
“productivity” the criterion of man’s
“To claim the right to abortion,
infanticide and euthanasia, and to
recognize that right in law, means to
attribute to human freedom a perverse
and evil significance: that of an absolute
power over others and against others.
This is the death of true freedom…” EV
You Shall Not Kill – Human Life
Is Sacred
 The Precious Blood of Christ
… gives testimony to the
dignity of every human person.
(Cf. EV 25)
Abortion Is Murder
 Didache (late first century)
“You shall not kill and unborn child
or murder a newborn infant.. . the
way of death is this … they kill their
children and by abortion cause
God’s creatures to perish.”
 Tertullian (2nd c.)
 Councils, Popes
 St. Thomas
Abortion is Murder
 Infallible Decree of John Paul II
INFALLIBLE decree: “I declare
that direct abortion, that is,
abortion willed as an end or as
a means, always constitutes a
grave moral disorder.” (EV 62)
This teaching is “unchanged and
unchangeable” – Paul VI; (EV 62)
Abortion is Murder
“The human being is to be
respected and treated as a
person from the moment of
conception” (DV I, 1; EV 60)
CDF Declaration on Abortion: “from
time ovum is fertilized, a life is begun
which is neither that of the father nor
the mother; it is rather the life of a
new human being.” (n.12)
Abortion is Murder
Indirect” Abortion – “double effect” is
different case; e.g. removal of cancerous
uterus with unborn or ectopic pregnancy.
Intent is not for direct abortion. So this
has different moral object and really is
not abortion at all.
Direct purpose is the cure of “proportionately
serious pathological condition of a pregnant
woman are permitted when they cannot be
safely postponed until unborn child is viable,
even if they will result in the death of the
unborn child.” (NCCB Ethical and Religious
Directives, 1994, n. 47)
Legitimate Defense 2263-7
 Legitimate defense of innocent persons
is not an exception to murder…
Murder is intentional killing. It’s moral
object is to take innocent human life.
 Self-defense – (or of 3rd person)
Moral object is different from murder
… i.e. Protecting innocent life!
Preservation of innocent
life “not only a right but
a grave duty” (2265)
Legitimate Defense 2263-7
 Love toward oneself remains a
fundamental principle of morality.
 Therefore it is legitimate to insist
on respect for one's own right to
life. Someone who defends his life
is not guilty of murder even if he
is forced to deal his aggressor
a lethal blow
 Principle of “double effect”
Legitimate Defense 2263-7
Death Penalty
 Legitimate authority has right to
inflict proportionate punishment
 Traditional teaching of the Church
does not exclude recourse to the
death penalty, if this is the only
possible way of effectively
defending human lives against the
unjust aggressor. (2267)
Legitimate Defense 2263-7
Death Penalty – John Paul II
 …[the state] rendering one who has
committed an offense incapable of doing
harm - without definitively taking away from
him the possibility of redeeming himself…
 …the cases in which the execution of
the offender is an absolute necessity
"are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." (EV 56)
Legitimate Defense 2263-7
Death Penalty – John Paul II
 Quotes Genesis and God’s response to
Cain’s act of murder to illustrate the
Church’s mind on the death penalty:
“And yet God, who is always merciful even when
he punishes, "put a mark on Cain, lest any
who came upon him should kill him" (Gen
4:15). He thus gave him a distinctive sign, not
to condemn him to the hatred of others, but to
protect and defend him from those wishing to
kill him, even out of a desire to avenge Abel's
death. Not even a murderer loses his personal
dignity…” EV, 10
A Word on
Contraception …
 Roots of Abortion in Contraception
Contraception says “no” to human life
Treats persons as OBJECTS
Separation of life from love; truth from love
Abuse of freedom – viewed like abortion as
legitimate expression of individual freedom.
 Contraception is a portal for “Culture of
Abortion is the contraceptive mentality
brought to its logical end.
2276 - 2279
 No one can arbitrarily choose
whether to live or die; the
absolute master of such a decision
is the Creator alone. EV 47
“Human life finds itself most vulnerable when it enters
the world and when it leaves the realm of time to embark
upon eternity. The word of God frequently repeats the call
to show care and respect, above all where life is
undermined by sickness and old age.” n. 44
What is needed at end of life is love!
2276 - 2279
 The temptation grows to have recourse to
euthanasia, that is, to take control of death
and bring it about before its time, "gently"
ending one's own life or the life of others.
 In reality, what might seem logical and
humane, when looked at more closely is seen
to be senseless and inhumane.
Euthanasia in the strict sense is understood to
be an action or omission which of itself and
by intention causes death, with the purpose of
eliminating all suffering. EV 65
2276 - 2279
 Euthanasia arises from a “culture of death”,
using criteria of efficiency, productivity … to
judge the “value” of human life.
 Materialism, relativism – assumes no
absolute truth; one’s own subjective intent
“I confirm that euthanasia is a grave violation of the
law of God since it is the deliberate and morally
unacceptable killing of a human person.”
“Depending on the circumstances, this practice
involves the malice proper to suicide or murder.”
(EV 65)
Ordinary vs. Extraordinary
 Ordinary vs. Extraordinary Treatments:
calculated in relation to patient’s real
condition and actual circumstances.
Ordinary = “proportionate”.
Extraordinary = “optional”.
 ALL are morally obligated to use ordinary /
proportionate means of preserving life.
 Confusion tends to arise around omissions
and what is obligatory vs. optional.
Ordinary Care Obligatory
 Nutrition and Hydration
must be provided.
 Note: “ordinary care”
always includes food,
water, bed-rest, room
temperature and personal
“The administration of water and food, even
when provided by artificial means, always
represents a natural means of preserving
life, not a medical act.”
JP II – 2004
Ordinary Care: Nutrition &
 “Hydration and nutrition are not morally
obligatory when either:
they bring no comfort to a person who is
imminently dying or
they cannot be assimilated by a person's
body.” (aspiration, pneumonia, infections, etc.)
(ERD V, intro)
There should be a presumption in favor of providing
nutrition and hydration to all patients, including
patients who require medically assisted nutrition
and hydration, as long as this is of sufficient benefit to
outweigh the burdens involved to the patient.
ERD 58
Extraordinary Means
 Extraordinary means of preserving life are
optional and legitimate to refuse.
Ceased to benefit or become burdensome
 It needs to be determined whether the means of
treatment available are objectively proportionate
to the prospects for improvement.
Physician judges and patient decides
 To forego extraordinary or disproportionate
means is not the equivalent of suicide or
euthanasia; it rather expresses acceptance of the
human condition in the face of death. EV 65
CCC – Omissions of
 Discontinuing medical procedures that are
burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or
disproportionate to the expected outcome can
be legitimate; it is the refusal of "overzealous" treatment. CCC 2278
E.g. some cancer treatments, procedures
Here one does not will to cause death; one's
inability to impede it is merely accepted.
Omission of ordinary means is euthanasia;
but omission of extraordinary means is not
euthanasia. Cf. ERD 56
Ordinary Care
Persistent to End
 Even if death is thought imminent, the
ordinary care owed to a sick person
cannot be legitimately interrupted.
CCC 2279
In sum, we must care for basic, life sustaining
needs of food and water and not omit or do
anything that causes death. Ordinary care is
interrupted only to give way to natural death
caused by something other than lack of
nutrition and hydration.
Use of Pain Medication
 The use of painkillers to alleviate the
sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of
shortening their days, can be morally in
conformity with human dignity if death is
not willed as an end… but only foreseen
and tolerated as inevitable.
 However, Pius XII: "It is not right to deprive
the dying person of consciousness without a
serious reason.“
Careful to consider: Moral duties, family
obligations, anointing, etc.
Persistent “Vegetative” State
I reaffirm strongly that the intrinsic value and
personal dignity of every human being do not
change, no matter what the concrete
circumstances of his or her life. A person, even if
seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his
highest functions, is and always will be a person,
and he will never become a "vegetable" or an
JP II 2004
Persistent “Vegetative” State
 The evaluation of probabilities, founded on
waning hopes for recovery when the vegetative
state is prolonged… cannot ethically justify the
cessation or interruption of minimal care for the
patient, including nutrition and hydration.
 Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact,
the only possible outcome as a result of their
 In this sense it ends up becoming, if done
knowingly and willingly, true and proper
euthanasia by omission.
JP II 2004 n.4
Persistent Vegetative State
 No evaluation of costs can outweigh the
value of the fundamental good which we are
trying to protect, that of human life.
 “Quality of life” considerations reduce dignity
of person to external qualities and introduces
discriminatory and eugenic standards.
JP II 2004
The fact that someone is in a state of
unconsciousness and is not expected
to recover is not a reason for depriving
that person of food and water.
Catholic Health Care Directive
 What is a living will? Is it different from a CHCD?
Most living will forms will not be consistent with
Catholic teaching. Tends to be euthanasia
associated term.
Cannot easily “prognosticate” what you really
would or would not want – living will tends to do
Advance directive language ensures Catholic
teaching is observed – keep it general.
Catholic hospital will observe Church teaching
 Depending on age and condition: your desires and
“proportionate treatment” change!
Catholic Health Care Directive
 HCD’s are limited in their flexibility
 Durable Power of Attorney – your
chosen agent to make decisions.
Recommended because you
cannot anticipate the future
Should understand Catholic
teaching, survive you, and know
your moral beliefs.
 Keep your directives general and
not focused on specific medical
Practical Advice
 Whenever a recommendation
is made not to provide food
and water, one question to ask
is: “What will be the cause of
 Another question to ask is
whether the dying process has
begun. If death is imminent,
the provision of artificial
nutrition and hydration is often
not necessary. NCBC
Safeguarding Peace 2302 – 2317
 We are bound to avoid war as a last resort
 Anger is desire for revenge and must be
shunned. Hatred contrary to charity.
 However …
"as long as the danger of war persists …
governments cannot be denied the right
of lawful self-defense, once all peace
efforts have failed.“ (2308)
Conditions for Waging Just War
 Just purpose / cause and the damage
inflicted by the aggressor must be
lasting, grave, and certain
 All other means of putting an end to it must
have been shown to be impractical or
ineffective (i.e. last resort)
 There must be serious prospects of
 The use of arms must not produce evils
and disorders graver than the evil to be
eliminated. The power of modern means of
destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating
this condition. (2309)
Safeguarding Peace
“Blessed are the
Peacemakers, for they shall
be called sons of God”
(Mt. 5:9)
[email protected]
Suggested Reading …
 Servais Pinckaers, O.P. The Sources of
Christian Ethics (The Catholic University of
America Press, Washington, D.C.), 1995.
 Michael Dauphinais, Knowing the Love of
Christ (University of Notre Dame Press, Notre
Dame, Indiana), 2002.
 Dom Hubert Van Zeller, The Inner Search
(Sheed and Ward, New York), 1957.
 Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) – John
Paul II