Gavin Francis, writing in this week's London Review of Books (subscribers only link):
In New Problems in Medical Ethics (1956), Peter Flood, a Benedictine, stated that Christians in pain should accept suffering ‘as permitted by God for our betterment’. Pain was a ‘privilege, in union with the redemptive sufferings of Christ’. It was essential that a physician tell people they might be close to death, even if they weren’t sure, so that the patient’s opportunity for repentance wasn’t squandered and their admission to heaven put at risk. Pain relief might be administered in small doses, except to those such as lapsed Catholics—the fear being that even small doses might prevent them from returning to the religion of their baptism. In the same volume Eugene Tesson, a Jesuit, sanctioned physicians to administer pain relief only to the dying who had ‘made an act of submission to the Divine’ and those ‘in danger of falling into despair and blaspheming the goodness of God’.
These are the sort of religious, moralistic nutters who, in 2014, think assisted dying is against God's will.
And, lo, it came to pass that a child was born in lowly Paddington, to humble parents. And all of heaven did rejoice, and all the people in all the lands of the Earth did raise up their voices and sing, for it was a miracle child. For, in all the history of mankind, no woman did ever bear child before.
And the Earth did shake. And men did converse with wolves. And the great enemy of the south was thwarted. And Vanessa Hudgens did share bikini holiday snaps with her blonde pal. And horses did enter burger restaurants. And Big Pharma did mobilise patients in battle over drugs trials data.
And there was an end to war and pestilence. And peace fell across all the lands. And God saw, and said it was good.
According to my calculations, the Archangel Gabriel should be appearing to Princess Duchess Kate right about… NOW!
BBC: Vatican to make John Paul II a saint
(Two seconds later, he bit it in the head.)
If I thought receiving a sainthood was any indication of merit (as opposed to, in most cases, plain insanity), I could be very miffed.
BBC: Pope Francis I elected
So, this planet is now graced with two infallible men. But what if they disagree? Answer me that.
So, I've finally seen off the Pope. Time to focus all of my attention on Murdoch.
There can be only one winner.