Our Unsupportable Medical Utopia

medicare

I met an acquaintance of mine recently in one of local stores (of course, government run) that sells liquid cheer, to refresh the weary soul after a long Lent.  He was there to buy a blend of Canadian Rye Whiskey, voted last December by a connoisseur as the ‘best whiskey in the world’.  As a born Scotsman, I was skeptical then, and am skeptical now.  A Canadian Rye beating a single malt Scotch?  What has the world come to?  Perhaps I will visit said friend over the Easter season for a wee dram, or whatever it is one calls a sip or two of the mapley-Canadian stuff.

 

We also got talking about the economy, not at my urging, but his.  He is a local tradesman, and is realizing the pinch put upon the average Canadian by the unbelievable debt load we collectively carry.  An article by the level-headed Kelly McParland claims that the debt alone sucks $1 billion per month out of taxpayer’s pockets, or one million dollars per hour, if you prefer.  That’s a fast debt.  We are truly in uncharted and one might say deranged financial waters here.

 

One huge piece of this growing financial burden is our health care system, theoretically ‘free’, but of course, paid for by us all, and by our descendants in perpetuumThe Ontario Health Minister himself is warning that physicians are too ungoverned in their compensation. The average salary of a doctor is $360,000 per annum, with some, primarily specialists, pulling in several times this generous amount. I was surprised to learn that there is no limit to how much any physician can bill the government. To add to this, a recent article attests that physicians also receive compensation (in various forms) for prescribing drugs from big-pharma, although how much they will not say.

 

I am not sure what physicians should be paid, but, whatever one argues, the current system is unsupportable.  One would think that as a highly vocational career dedicated to the health and well-being of their fellow citizens, physicians (along with nurses, teachers, politicians and so on) should not be in it for the money.  To be fair, many of them have to pay office expenses out of their salary (my own father is a retired physician), but many are also moving away from that model, towards health-care consortia, run by striclty-controlled insurance programs, in which doctors can work as much, or as little, as they want.

 

Ponder:  With that annual salary as an average, quick math tells us that a doctor can work one-third of the time, and still make a very healthy middle-class income.  Add to this that in a few years most of our physicians will be female (they currently constitute about 58% of medical students and climbing).  Although I prefer a male medical man for my own fortunately-as-yet-rare medical needs, I have no problem in theory with physicians of the fairer sex.  But unless they choose to dedicate their lives to their chosen vocation, foregoing marriage and motherhood, there is not much likelihood that they will work full time.  This would not be so bad if the government did not strictly limit how many physicians can be educated and licensed each year. Add to this that the system allows, even incentivizes, would-be patients to visit physicians for expensive consultations for every ache-and-pain, real or imagined, physical or psychological, that ails them.  It is small wonder, therefore, that people have trouble ‘finding a doctor’, or getting an appointment with one even if they can.  I just heard on the radio that there can be up to a year’s wait to see a pediatric psychiatrist, In the midst of all this, hospitals, which unlike the government do have real budgets, are laying off nurses and staff, and cutting services left, right and centre, trying desperately to hold the line. I am sure that many of you have your own horror stories of our modern medical ‘utopia’.  Just try visiting an emergency ward anywhere near an urban centre.

 

We are a long way from the religious Sister-nurses who built and staffed most of the hospitals across this fair land, and the dedicated doctors who made middle-of-the-night house calls.  Now these same hospitals are funded by the (theoretically) all-you-can-eat buffet called ‘Medicare’ put in place in the heady and money-no-object Sixties, run by professional administrators, with parking lots full of Beemers, Mercs and Audis, oh my.  But how long that false idealism can survive is up in the air. Medicine is already the primary expense in Canada, draining a majority of our financial resources, most of that in impressive salaries, along with the ever-more expensive technologies to keep an ageing and ever-more sickly populace alive.  Surely there must a limit to all of this unrealistic largesse.  One need not have a vivid and conspiratorial imagination to wonder how much of the current enthusiasm for euthanasia is financially driven, to rid ourselves of costly patients (but more on that later).

 

All of this is part of a larger trend as we move under our two Liberal majority governments ever further towards full and unbridled socialism.  Not only is this fatal for the economy, for, violating subsidiarity, the government does most things far less efficiently than a local body can, with a vast waste of money and resources, but it is also, and more foundationally, bad for freedom, for the more things the government ‘takes over’, the more things it controls by public coercive law.  And one does not need a medical degree to realize that ever since the government has taken over health care, it has told us more and more what to do with our bodies.  From bike helmets, to smoking, drinking, exercising, risk-taking, choice of food and so on and on, the State will legislate more and more what we can, and cannot, do, all at our expense, of course. We are paying to become slaves of our governmental masters, while the very debt is limiting our, and our children’s children’s, economic freedom.  The Servile State is in full swing, as predicted by Belloc.

 

But the current debacle was foreseen even a hundred years before the acerbic English author, by the ever-insightful Alexis de Tocqueville in his tour of America way back in 1831:

 

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.

 

The return to fiscal sanity is going to be a long and difficult one, I fear, especially as we are all addicted to Trudeaupian Liberal largesse, now in its third generation.  But it is one we must tread, if our health care system, to say nothing of our society, is to survive.

 

In the meantime, a very joyous Easter to one and all!  Christus surrexit vere, alleluia!

Of Bombs, Budgets and Bombast

*Our prayers go out for all the victims and, yes, the perpetrators of yesterday’s attacks in Belgium.  We are up against a determined enemy, willing to kill, and to die, for their disordered cause.  Nothing so motivates a man as religious zeal, but we must recall that that does not make religion evil.  Corruptio optimi pessima, the corruption of the best is the worst:  It is only because religion is so good, that it can be so evil.

 

*As I have written before, everyone has a ‘religion’, that one thing which is ‘master of his affections’ as Saint Thomas puts it.  Many in our world, it seems, have a fickle religion, their own pleasure, the fleeting desires of the moment, an effervescent chasing after new experiences.  This is a puerile stuff, compared to which the Islam of the ‘Islamic State’ is cold, hard steel, through which it has and will continue to cut a swath of destruction, as they have already promised to do in Britain and America.

 

*Yet we continue to attenuate and eviscerate the very forces that might stand up to such a threat.  It is curious that on the very day of the attacks it was announced in America that the Marines, in many ways the world’s premier fighting force, will now be forced to undergo ‘sensitivity sessions’ to integrate women into their front-line forces.  They have already been forced to integrate homosexuals under the Clintonian regime.  One of the aspects in the new ‘sensitivity training’ will be to teach the men, and now the women, how to organize their sleeping arrangements out in the field without getting, shall we say, frisky or untoward.  Hmm.  I would posit they might figure that out for themselves, not always for the good of those involved.

 

*Most front-line Marines, reports and common sense tell us, are against this ill-advised integration, and rightly so.  Women should not be in front line combat, for a whole host of reasons.

 

*I am not sure of the stance of Donald Trump on this question, but, at least at a superficial level on other topics, he seems to cut through the miasma of similar vapid and irrational political correctness (but, alas, often with his own vapid and miasmic comments).

 

* Would that we had a leader of true moral, intellectual and spiritual integrity! To paraphrase Saint Augustine, however, we get the leaders we deserve, and I fear we may only regain sanity in our culture through a great deal of suffering that brings us back to our senses, and to our knees.

 

*And speaking of insanity, Trudeau’s recent ‘budget’, and I put that word in scare quotes since not much is ‘budgeted’, is a pure paradigm of Keynesian and socialist principles, ‘directing a fire hose of cash at pet Liberal causes’, as one commentator put it.  Whatever their misguided intentions (will an extra 8.4 billion dollars really help ‘Native causes’?), Canada seems headed for a looming default on its unmanageable debt, far bigger and far less fixable than the crisis in Greece.  Add another 30-odd billion.  What does it matter?  We are on our way to becoming a bankrupt third-world country.

 

*We may have to hit the wall in more ways than one for us to ‘get it’.  Of course, one could adopt the wisdom of the Church’s social teaching, applied in a rational manner to the concrete circumstances in which one finds oneself, and things would be much better.  But, alas, no. We have to learn the hard way, through the destructive policies of Trudeau and his fawning ministers, given all the air time they want on the meretricious bought-and-paid-for CBC.

 

*And, on a final note for today’s musings, I was surprised to learn that George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, was firmly and unavowedly against contraception, and in fact predicted that it would not only destroy true love and affection, but would become a nefarious tool used by a totalitarian State to enslave its populace (such a State vividly brought to life by his bleak dystopia 1984).  The article is well worth a read in First Things, but I will leave you with a sobering thought from the great author, which applies just as much to our times as to his own, which sums up my own far better than I could express:

 

It is in fact in moments of moral and spiritual struggle . . . that men and women come nearest to being real. If you do away with this struggle, and maintain that by tolerance, benevolence, inoffensiveness and a redistribution or increase of purchasing power, combined with a devotion, on the part of the elite, to Art, the world will be as good as anyone could require, then you must expect human beings to become more and more vapourous.

 

*So stay real, and stay true, for vaporous becomes us not.  A blessed Triduum to all!

The Beauty of Suffering: Salvifici Doloris

JP II SalvificiIn, 1984, Pope Saint John Paul II penned an Apostolic Letter on the mystery of human suffering, Salvifici Doloris (curiously, now looking back, the same year he made his first apostolic journey to Canada).  One priest in a talk I heard recently mentioned that it may be remembered as one of his most prophetic works, with which I concur.  I long ago included the Letter in my syllabus on Magisterial teaching, and now with the looming shadow of euthanasia about to inundate the world, John Paul’s words seem more a propos than ever.

 

Human suffering is a curious thing, not least since we live in community and in history:  We can recall our sufferings, and, with a certain amount of dread, look forward to future ones.  We write about our sufferings, and more commonly read of those of others, so  participating vicariously in what others have gone through, whether this gives us pleasure, or pain, or perhaps a tantalizing mixture of both.  I just read of a young family in Donegal, Ireland (where my father’s relatives are from, and where he and I took a cycling trip, again curiously, in 1984), father Sean McGrotty, 49, brothers Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, aunt Jodie Lee Daniels, 14, and grandmother Ruth Daniels, 59, along with a baby Rioghnach-Anne, who after dinner drove their jeep to look out over a scenic inlet, the aptly named ‘Lake of Shadows’.  Tragically, the vehicle somehow slipped on the moss-and-algae covered pier, plunging into the cold, dark water.  The waterlogged electronics  jammed the doors and windows shut, so their SUV, at first buoyant, slipped slowly down, filling with sea water.  A young man on shore, Davitt Walsh, witnessing this stripped to his boxers and courageously swam out, trying in vain to rescue them.  The father, Sean, managed to pass his infant daughter to the water-treading rescuer, I suppose through a window he managed to pry open or that was ajar:

 

The father just looked at me and said, ‘Save my baby,’” Walsh recalled in an interview with Raidio Teilifís Eireann, the public broadcaster in Ireland. “… I couldn’t do anything else. The car went down. The whole lot went down. It was so fast

 

I reflected on this story on this Good Friday morning, along with the tragedy of the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, the persecution and enslavement of Christians, the daily crimes against life, and all the other tragedies  of our world, as I re-read John Paul’s letter, an unsurpassed synthesis and summary of the Church’s teaching on the mystery of suffering.  We suffer, says the Pope, when we are in the presence of an ‘evil’.  But we should be clear that evil has no positive existence, but is rather a state in which a good is missing, which should normally be there.  The more desired is the missing good, the greater will be the experience of evil.

 

The Holy Father emphasizes the subjective dimension of evil, that the primary locus of evil is within the suffering subject, in what he terms the ‘world of evil’.  The exterior dimensions of evil, hunger, aloneness, war, pains of the body, only give us some glimpse into what is occurring within the person.  These so-called physical evils, wherein something objective is ‘missing’, are really only one of the  gateways, if you will, to ‘real’ evil, spiritual or moral evil, deep within the identity of the person, in their ‘soul’.

 

The Holy Father examines what really is the definitive evil that Man can experience.  Most might say ‘death’, the dissolution of the body, and this indeed is to many the ultimate evil, the very cessation of existence itself, or so they think.  As the Pope says, the evil which is death indeed has a “definitive and total character”  but is also “in a certain way…beyond all forms of suffering” .  It removes our experience of evil, but is also the worst evil.

 

Or is it?  That really is the question.  It is a revealed dogma of our Faith that Man is an immortal being, whose life and actions here and now in some mysterious way determine his eternal destiny.  At least somewhat mysterious:  Christ has made it clear that we will be ‘judged’ at the end of our lives on love.  Not some emotional, vaporous, self-indulgent love, seeking in subtle ways our own selfish good, but divine, real, sacrificial love, ‘willing the good of the other’, as Saint Thomas put it, or ‘loving our neighbour as ourselves’.  There is nothing that so evinces, and is so requisite to, love than the willingness to suffer for the other.

 

I am more or less convinced that at some level every person knows they will be judged on love, and the real evil is to reject this love, to live a life of hatred of others, subtle or not, closed in upon oneself in bitterness and anger.  To live in this state for eternity is what the Church means by ‘hell’, in the words of the Catechism, “the state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed”.   This is the real ‘evil’ from which Christ, become Man, willed to save us.

 

As John Paul sums up:

 

Man ‘perishes’ when he loses “eternal life”.  The opposite of salvation is not, therefore, only temporal suffering, any kind of suffering, but the definitive suffering: the loss of eternal life, being rejected by God, damnation.  The only-begotten Son was given to humanity primarily to protect man against this definitive evil and against this definitive suffering.

 

It is in this light that we should see the sufferings of this life, and why they are not only to be borne with patience, but, if one can by grace muster it, even accepted with joy.  As the first Pope told us, quoted by his 264th successor, “But rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13)

 

There is still a mystery here.  Why suffering as a means to holiness and final redemption?  The key to answering this mystery lies in the reality of sin, the primordial evil wherein Man rejects God, refuses to serve and obey, and exalts himself against his Creator and Father.  Without sin, there would be no need for suffering, for it is suffering, John Paul states, that allows us “to become particularly susceptible, particularly open to the working of the salvific powers of God, offered to humanity in Christ”.  Suffering allows us to see ourselves as we really are, by revealing to us in our “weakness and emptying of self”, that, at the end of the day, and at the end of our lives, we are totally and utterly dependent upon God.

 

Of course, Christ Himself did not ‘need’ to suffer, and Saint Thomas declares with logical clarity that He could have redeemed us some other way.  However, the Way He did choose was the most fitting, the most perfect, both to redeem all of our own ‘evils’ at their very root, and to offer us a way to follow that He Himself trod, in all the weakness of His humanity. Again Saint Peter:

 

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:21).

 

Further, Christ does not need our sufferings, but allows us to suffer so that we might participate in His redemptive work for our own sake, so that we become more conformed to Him, hence to God.  As John Paul puts it, “through suffering those surrounded by the mystery of Christ’s Redemption become mature enough to enter this Kingdom”.

 

One final note:  Just as Christ could suffer for others, while needing none himself, so too we can suffer for others, even if we need it not.  This is the mystery of our unity in the Mystical Body of Christ, and why innocents like Christ, our Lady, and, yes, saints and even little children can suffer, plunging unexpectedly to depths of the Irish sea on an early spring evening.  Such vicarious suffering can ‘make space’ in the sin-hardened and deadened-conscience souls of others for the redemptive grace of Christ, even if they refuse to ‘make space’ themselves.

 

Of course, this is nowhere near the modern, utilitarian mindset, which sees all things governed by blind chance, with life nothing but a protoplasmic accident waiting to return to the oblivion whence it arose.  To them, the Donegal family, the passengers waiting in the check-in line at the Brussels airport, those unlucky enough to still be stuck in Syria, were all in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

But to the Catholic mind, there is always a reason, and nothing really happens by ‘chance’, for all things, from the smallest to the greatest, are in God’s providence (CCC, #303).  To the victims of such manifest evils, such was their moment to enter eternity, their suffering ‘meaning something’ in the grand scheme of God’s will, a meaning to be revealed only at the end of time, when the whole creation will be brought to perfection.

 

Thus we reach the limits of our understanding of the mystery of salvific suffering, stretching out towards the eternity to which we are all called after this transitory existence.  Life here is only a ‘penultimate good’, as John Paul would later state in Evangelium Vitae, not the ultimate good, which is eternal life.  That is why he could declare that all the heinous crimes against life, abortion, genocide, terrorism, mutilation, murder “do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury” (par. 3).  We should always keep in mind, whatever may come our way, good, bad or in-between, especially when we face our own death, to conform ourselves to Christ, recalling “that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

 

A blessed Triduum and Easter to all…

Of Depravity and Bullying

saint joseph holy family*A blessed solemnity of Saint Joseph to one and all!

 

*To paraphrase the words of the great American Justice, Robert Bork ,we slouch each day closer to Gomorrah.  Louise Ciccone, the woman otherwise unfortunately known as ‘Madonna’, has crossed another threshold in her older-age depravity (she is now in her later fifties) by exposing the breast of a 17 year-old fan on stage.  The teen, apparently, was not troubled.  Far from it:

 

Speaking to Brisbane’s Courier Mail, Georgiou said after the incident, “Only I get to decide if I’m humiliated or not – why would people assume I am humiliated by my own breast, nipple or body? I didn’t realize my boob was such a big deal — it was nothing to me.”

 

Georgiou is not planning to sue Madonna for what she called “the best moment” of her life.

 

*Add to this yet-another movie from the ‘why was this made?’ department of Hollywood (there seem to be lots of such departments…and to think that I almost ironically typed Holy-wood, would I wish! about a foul-mouthed sexually-deviant female Olympian athlete.  I will not provide a hyper-link, nor even a title, for this pile of trash, since I could not even finish reading the review, and I warn you away from going anywhere near this.  In fact, I am not even sure why I am writing about it, except in retaliation against such nihilism, and continued degradation of the fairer sex.  But I do wonder where the audience who will shell out 10 bucks  for such films resides?  Or is Hollywood under contact to a malign influence? One does wonder.

 

*And speaking of censorship, Saskatoon has entered a new phase in our Canadian brave new world by intending to pass a ridiculous, but nonetheless evil and stultifying bullying by law.  Police, yes those individuals provided with lethal force and the power to ruin your life in perpetuum, will now be charged with enforcing such offences as “rumour-mongering, name-calling, taunting, mocking and ostracizing” which would be outlawed under this legislation.  Pardon me?  There goes my blog, if it is read in Saskatoon, and if the police there can catch me.  The law would apply to individuals as young as 12 years old, with fines from $300 to $2500.  So much for your pocket money and educational savings.

 

*I used to fear we are becoming unhinged in Canada, but now I know it.  How does a police officer possibly enforce the offence of ‘name-calling’ or ‘ostracizing’?  Not getting picked first for the pick-up baseball game?  A boy who refuses the advances of another, ahem, boy?  A gaggle of girls giggling, apparently at the awkwardness of the gangly ‘other’ who still has a crush on the lead singer of the Back Street Boys?  These laws will apply specifically at schools and playgrounds, so, yet again, the intrusive Nanny State enters into the most private lives of our children, who will grow up even more brainwashed, subservient, fearful and anxious than before.

 

*’Bullying’ used to be a means to grow in virtue, to stand up to the coward, who uses his apparent physical or psychological strength to dominate.  Just watch ‘My Bodyguard’ or the ‘Karate Kid’ or even the original ‘Footloose’, sure enough, dated 80’s movies, but with touching plots on how a young man stands up to the bully in his life, and grows in the process.  Unless there is true criminal intent involved (and there are already plenty of laws for that), let us deal with our own problems, under the principle of subsidiarity, and keep the police for what the police are for.

 

*I am sure Saint Joseph did not need the Roman Legionaries to stand up to those who threatened his foster Son and his wife, Mary.  May he intercede for this country and for our world.  Should we not aim, I ask, to produce more real men like him, rather than sniveling wards of the State who have the 911 Thought Police on speed dial?

 

Sancte Joseph, ora pro nobis!   

A Deadly First

euthanasia syringeWith the permission of a Superior Court Justice, Ontario had its first euthanasia case this morning, when an 81 year old man suffering from end-stage lymphoma was murdered quietly by his physician, with the ‘patient’s’ family surrounding his entrance into a dubious eternity (the patient’s lawyers name, ironically enough, was Andrew Faith).  There will be no need for a coroner, apparently, since the patient officially died of his disease.  So begins the totalitarian double-speak, and the perversion of the law even before euthanasia has become the law.

 

It is curious that they are keeping both the man and his doctor anonymous, a sign either of something very good or every evil.  ‘Let not your right hand know what your left is doing’, said the Lord in reference to almsgiving.  One need not ponder much that this is unlikely the case here.  Rather, the secrecy is one of deep evil.  At some level of their being, methinks, they knew what they were about, that they were involved in the deadly compromise, literally the ‘mutual promise’, of murder-suicide.  If not, then why not proclaim their just and noble deed to the world, as a prominent heart surgeon might in saving someone’s life?  No, the darkness and clouds are necessary to hide what really happened:  Our healers have now become harbingers of death.

 

The same, of course, has gone on for long time concerning abortion, the murder of the unborn in the womb.  No physician wants to be known as the ‘abortionist’, and in British Columbia, at least, they are referred to professionally only by code names.  Even if they do not recognize the full extent of the moral depravity of their ‘profession’, they consider it unpleasant and, well, awkward to discuss.  Like the dust and mites and lost quarters, keep it all under the carpet or couch.

 

I am reading a fascinating treatise by the great Thomist philosopher Joseph Pieper, on the ‘Concept of Sin’.  He examines what motivates the heart of a man who turns away from God.  Is such an aversio a Deo, as Saint Thomas put it, fully cognizant to the agent?  Do people in so-called ‘mortal sin’ sleep well at night?  Does their (our?) conscience plague them, gnaw away, rebuke and exhort them?

 

The greatest literary treatment of the effect of conscience is perhaps Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  The protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov, after brutally murdering two women, spends most of the book dialoguing with his own guilt, until he has to face the enormity of his crime head on.  Only the light of truth can bring repentance.

 

We can only hope that a conversion dawns upon our own country, and all who dwell herein, especially those who suffer at the end of their lives, who may be tempted to give up and accept that lethal syringe, insofar as we still have the choice, for now.

 

But tomorrow is the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the great protector of the Holy Family and the patron of Canada.  May he in his quiet and noble strength intercede for all of us, and for all of your intentions.

 

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, ora pro nobis.

A Sinister Bromance

Trudeau and ObamaSo begins the cozying up of Trudeau and Obama, birds of a feather, ‘liberals’ (or I would say ‘extremists’, to save the honorable and venerable term ‘liberal’ from further degradation) of the most extreme stamp, breathing forth all the bromides of the modern zeitgeist from their Vanity Fair facades.  Behind the glitz and glamour, Sophie as the new fashionista of Canada, Justin with his smug smile and intimate nose-to-nose hugs, viewing themselves as the new Kanadian Kennedys, wafted in from their Camelot on the Rideau, surrounded by fawning A-list actors, yes, behind this apparent goodness there is a deep well of vacuous evil, for I know other name for it.

 

One need only consider the disturbing truth that Both Trudeau and Obama are vehemently pro-choice, all the way through nine months of pregnancy, which means they consider that the life of an unborn child right up until birth hangs upon the whim of the mother, for she may destroy that child upon either a ‘deeply considered decision’, or out of caprice, the ‘choice’ is hers, the decision kept confidential between a woman and her doctor, all paid for by the benevolent State.

 

Behind also their Potemkin facades is an evangelical zeal for battling that elusive chimera of ‘climate change’.  Trudeau is quoted during his address yesterday as saying that the ‘science is settled, and debate is closed’, implying that dissent will not be tolerated, much like a Pontiff decreeing the immutability of the revelation of God Himself.  Who, pray tell, is this semi-educated former rafter-drama-snowboard instructor and general dilettante, to tell all and sundry what to think, especially on a topic as complex and controversial as climate change?  And why bring that up at a State dinner?

 

Obama’s Department of Justice has gone a step further, contemplating bringing forth criminal charges against those who deny the reality of climate change.   Here is the current Attorney-General of the U.S., Loretta Lynch:

 

loretta lynchThis matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on

 

They are trying to draw similarities between the denial of the harm of tobacco by the cigarette companies, and the denial of harm of carbon emissions.   Our own David Suzuki (no expert on climatology, but a would-be geneticist) is probably licking his chops, for he was ahead of the curve, proclaiming this inquisitorial goal way back in 2008, and now within sight even here in Canada:  Throw in jail all those who disagree with him and his own university-educated brainwashed disciples that the Earth is being destroyed by the carbon molecule.  Is this what ‘science’ has come to?

 

If you want a denier, I am still not one-hundred percent convinced that tobacco necessarily causes cancer.  Cigarettes, perhaps, with all the carcinogens they pack in there to make them addictive and hence highly profitable, but pure tobacco, I am not so sure.  Nothing wrong with a good pipe with some excellent leaves to stuff in there, along with a fine glass of port, all in moderation, of course.

 

On climate change, I am even more dubious.  As a premise, it is unfalsifiable, failing the first test of true science, according to the eminent Karl Popper (and every other sane scientist).  That is, a hypothesis or theory must able to be tested and refuted.  If not, then one holds it on faith.

 

How, pray tell, does one possibly refute the hypothesis of ‘climate change’, since the climate is always changing?  It use to be ‘global warming’, which could theoretically be disproved (and, to some extent, has been).  Should it not at least be extreme, radical, volcano-erupting, hurricane-inducing, end-of-the-world-around-the-corner climate change?  But we know the reliability of the track record of those who have predicted such cataclysms presaging the fin de monde.  As one chapter on the hypothetical method I give my own students declares, if there is one thing ubiquitous in induction and science in general, it is doubt.  That is how true science proceeds, and how dearly-held, but outmoded and false, theories are demolished.

 

No, it seems to me that climate change is a cover for a very effective way to control people, for what better fig leaf to cover the government legislating and limiting every aspect of our lives, than to monitor all of our ‘emissions’, our use of energy, where we go and how we get there.  What better story to justify limiting human growth, demography and population than to conjure up such apocalyptic scenarios, that there are too many people using too much carbon?  In fact, are not people made of carbon?

 

Both Obama and Trudeau, driven onward by their deeply-ingrained socialist principles instilled in them from youth, believe fervently in such universal government control, which they perceive as benevolence from their enlightened kingly consciences.  What is worse is that most of our sheep-like voting population, educated into a solidly-grounded vapid ignorance and dependency, agrees with just about all of their principles.

 

Perhaps some are just awed by the Camelot story, the scion of a ‘great’ Prime Minister, drawing the sword out of the heart of the hard-hearted rock of Harperian conservativism, now taking his rightful place upon the throne, Arthur and Guinevere redivivi, smiling benevolently upon their peons.

 

Everyone wants to believe in fairy tales and sunny ways, but the Trudeau version is a fake, and a rather sinister one at that.  We must have eyes to see and ears to hear the truth behind the veil of the illusion, before he and his new bro’ Obama make true on their not-too-veiled threats.

 

Ite ad Joseph: The Archbishop’s Novena

josephAs promised, I have attached below the novena prayer to Saint Joseph, which  the Archbishop of Ottawa, Terence Prendergast, has asked all Catholics in Canada to pray , along with some sacrifice and fasting (a propos already in this latter time of Lent), particularly against the great evil of medically-assisted murder-suicide.  The novena begins today, and ends on the vigil of Saint Josephs’ solemnity (the 19th of March).

 

Saint Joseph was proclaimed the patron of this country at its very origins, by none other than Samuel de Champlain himself, on March 19, 1624, a choice later ratified by Pope Urban VIII.  Although Canada has gone through many trials, and seems to heading for many more, like his guidance of the Holy Family, Saint Joseph will see us through, one way or the other.

 

It is a curious parallel in providence that the secondary patrons of this country, the Canadian Martyrs, were just beginning their apostolic missionary labours at this time, to be crowned by their glorious deaths in the 1640’s.

 

As Saint Thomas writes (I.q.103.a.6), God has willed that His providence be brought about by the creatures He has created, especially angels and men, as free causes, not because He needs us, but for our own perfection and growth in holiness.

 

So ite ad Joseph, and may he, Our Lady, his Immaculate Spouse, and all the Martyrs intercede for this land.

 

Novena to Saint Joseph (requested by the Archbishop;  to be said March 10 – 18)
Glorious St. Joseph, foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ! To you I raise my heart and my hands to implore your powerful intercession. Please obtain for me from the kind Heart of Jesus the help and the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare. I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death and the special favour I now implore.

 

[Mention your request here.]

 

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel animated with confidence that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

V. O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ, and for the glory of His Name.

R. Hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. Amen.

Of Euthanasia and Martyrdom

*I have an article just published this morning in Crisis magazine (crisismagazine.com), which you can find here.  I will post it here after a few days, for your perusal.  We are indeed entering dark days in this Dominion of Canada, and I am glad to see the Archbishop of Ottawa, Canada’s primatial See, has asked that those requesting ‘assisted dying’ be denied the last rites, and that a novena be begun to Saint Joseph, Canada’s patron, beginning on March 10, and ending on the vigil of his feast, March 18.  I will post some sample prayers.

 

*Cardinal Collins also seems to have drawn a line in the sand about Catholic hospitals and their non-participation in assisted death. Here’s hoping that line stands, and that there remain some hospitals where one can go, or where one can send one’s mother, and not fear being offed by some zealous ‘medical personnel’ with a twitchy syringe finger.

 

*And speaking of prayer, we here at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom are nearing the end of our application for accreditation, so please do keep that intention in your prayers also.

 

*The evil and insanity of ‘certain forms’ of Islam continue, and we can scarcely keep up:  The beheading of a toddler in Russia, the murder, and we may say martyrdom, of four Sisters of Charity in Yemen, along with twelve of their co-workers (a fate that may await more of us than we may now think), and an undetermined number killed today throughout the world in various bombings and shootings.  I will have more to say on the connection between a voluntaristic view of God, and the immoral tendencies inherent within religions that follow such a metaphysical principle.  Is God bound by His commandments?  Are we?  Or is it all just a capricious act of the will?

 

*On a different note, I was at a parish recently, packed to the gills, standing room only, but (or and?) the Mass was rather charismatic and haphazard, with applause for the choir, applause for the sermon, modern music and, well, I won’t talk about some of the artwork.  Yet people seemed to be religious, and, did I mention it was packed?  There is faith and devotion there, but the experience prompted me to ponder the nature of the Liturgy more deeply, and I will have more to write on this all-important topic.

 

*And, finally, this is the day that Saint Thomas Aquinas died, on his way to the Second Council of Lyons in 1274.  He fell ill en route, and went to the Lord peacefully, while reciting a commentary on the Song of Songs, at the Cistercian monastery of Fossanuova in Italy.  The story goes, perhaps apocryphal, that the priest who heard his confession claimed that he had just heard the sins ‘of a five year old’, testifying to Thomas’ innocence, if not so much to the sacramental seal.  The Church moved his feast out of Lent, to January 28 (when his relics were moved to a Dominican convent in Toulouse, where they rest to this day).  So may the Angelic Doctor pray for us, pray for clarity, pray for truth.

 

Peace to all,

 

Saints Perpetua and  Felicity,early Christian martyrs

 

 

Father Lombardi’s Quandry

father lombardiWell, you have likely heard that Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, has clarified that Pope Francis was indeed referring to contraception in his remarks on the flight back from Mexico.

 

Here is the relevant section in Italian, from an interview which Father Lombardi gave to Vatican Radio:

 

 L’esempio che ha fatto di Paolo VI e della autorizzazione all’uso della pillola per delle religiose che erano a rischio gravissimo e continuo di violenza da parte dei ribelli nel Congo, ai tempi delle tragedie della guerra del Congo, fa capire che non è che fosse una situazione normale in cui questo veniva preso in considerazione. E anche – ricordiamo per esempio – la discussione seguita ad un passo del libro intervista di Benedetto XVI “Luce del mondo”, in cui egli parlava a proposito dell’uso del condom in situazioni a rischio di contagio, per esempio, di Aids. Allora il contraccettivo o il preservativo, in casi di particolare emergenza e gravità, possono anche essere oggetto di un discernimento di coscienza serio. Questo dice il Papa. Mentre sull’aborto non ha dato spazio a delle considerazioni. 

 

Herein, the Jesuit spokesman more or less compares both the ‘situation’ of Paul VI and nuns in the Congo (a fable), as well as Benedict XVI’s answer to an academic question on condom use by homosexuals, to married couples using contraception as an ‘emergency’ measure in a serious case.

 

The trouble is, contraception is an intrinsic evil, as the Magisterium has declared, and can never be practised, for any reason, as I wrote in my last post.   Again, Humanae Vitae:

 

Nonetheless the Church, calling men back to the observance of the norms of the natural law, as interpreted by their constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marriage act (quilibet matrimonii usus) must remain open to the transmission of life.

 

 That teaching, often set forth by the magisterium, is founded upon the inseparable connection (nexu indissolubili), willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning.

 

Sadly, many will follow this advice or permission of the highest authority in the Church, to attempt such a ‘separation’, without knowing any better.  They will act in some degree of ignorance, which may well be invincible.  As Pope John Paul described this state, “an ignorance of which the subject is not aware and which he is unable to overcome by himself” (Veritatis Splendor, #62).  Hence, many will not be culpable, or fully culpable.

 

However, before we sit back complacent, John Paul immediately warns in the next paragraph of the encyclical that

 

It is possible that the evil done as the result of invincible ignorance or a non-culpable error of judgment may not be imputable to the agent; but even in this case it does not cease to be an evil, a disorder in relation to the truth about the good.

 

That is, couples who contracept will still be ‘harmed’ at various levels by the practice, which is the definition of an ‘intrinsic evil':  An act that of its very nature (i.e.,. intrinsically) cannot be ordered to our final end in God, nor to the good of man.

 

One need only consider the physical effects of the ‘Pill’, the synthetic progestin of which it is composed, and which acts as a poison in the body of the woman.  There are also the cascade of psychological, marital and spiritual effects of severing the marital act from its two-fold end, which are and must be joined ‘inseparably’ as Humanae Vitae declared, and which, like marriage itself, Man must not divide.

 

In this case, this apparent permission of the Pope must be un-permitted, and, yes, faced down and opposed.  This is not the solution to the Zika crisis, nor to any difficult case concerning pregnancy.  The only solution is to be found in God’s law, which includes at times abstinence, if necessary.

 

Pray for Peter, pray for Francis, pray for all those in these difficult situations, and the babies at risk.  And we pray, O Lord, to deliver us from every evil and temptation thereto.