Privilege

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.

A miracle child!

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.

Amen.

WHAT ABOUT GEORGE AND RINGO?!!!

BBC: Vatican to make John Paul II a saint

Pope and dove

(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.

Catzinger

BBC: Benedict XVI: 10 things about the Pope's retirement
6. Life in retirement Announcing his resignation, the Pope said he would spend his time praying for the Church. His elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, has also said Benedict would be happy to advise his successor, if required. Writing and studying also seems likely to be on the agenda - Benedict had a library of 20,000 books installed in the papal apartments when he was elected in 2005. He also enjoys playing the piano and watching old black-and-white comedies - and he loves cats. At least one, Contessina, is known to live at Mater Ecclesiae.

The Pope ‘loves cats’.

I rest my case.