... e Magisterium did not just define euthanasia as morally unacceptable, "as the deliberate killing of an innocent human person," (Evangelium vitae, n. 65. ) or as a "criminal offense," (Second Vatican Council, Gaudi um et spes, n. 27).
The condemnation of euthanasia expressed by the Evangelium Vitae reflects the impact of universal ethical reasoning based on natural law and the elementary premise of faith in God the Creator and protector of every human person. The approach to the gravely ill and the dying must therefore be inspired by the respect for the life and the dignity of the person. From the beginning, the living Tradition of the Church as shown by the Didache, the most ancient non-biblical Christian writing, "You shall not kill," more so in the case of weak and defenseless human beings, who find their ultimate defense against the arrogance and caprice of others only in the absolute binding force of God's commandment. Through the church, the Magisterium has spoken out with increasing frequency in defense of the sacredness and inviolability of human life. The Papal Magisterium, particularly insistent in this regard confirms that, "the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral...
As far as the right to life is concerned, every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others." This equality is the basis of all authentic social relationships, which can only be founded on truth and justice, recognizing and protecting every man and woman as a person and not as an object to be used. According to the Declaration of Euthanasia (pg 6. ), "Euthanasia in the strict sense is understood to be an action or omission, which of it and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating all suffering." Even when not motivated by a selfish refusal to be burdened with the life of someone suffering, indeed euthanasia must be called a disturbing perversion of false mercy. True compassion leads to sharing another's pain, it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear. Once the choice of euthanasia takes the form of a murder conveyed on people who have in no way requested or consented to it, euthanasia becomes much more serious. God alone has the power over life and death, "It is I who bring both death and life," (Dt 32: 39).
But God only exercises this power in accordance with a plan of wisdom and love. When man usurps this power, becoming enslaved by a foolish and selfish way of thinking, he inevitably uses it for injustice and death. Thus the life of the person who is weak is put into the hands of the one who is strong. In society the sense of justice is lost, and mutual trust.
Tthe basis of every authentic interpersonal relationship, is undermined at its root. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, "It is in the face of death that the riddle of human existence becomes most acute, and yet man rightly follows the intuition of his heart when he abhors and repudiates the absolute ruin and total disappearance of his own person. Man rebels against death because he bears in himself an eternal seed which cannot be reduced to mere matter." The Catholic understanding of the faith is likely to be distorted by the particular biases of our own culture. The only way to correct those distortions is by listening carefully to Christians who lived in situations very different from our own. It is what Vatican II calls the sensus fidelium, which is respecting the lived and expressed faith of every Christian. The sensus fideism literally means "The Sense of the Faithful." Just as the Spirit infallibly guides the magisterium so that it doesn't propose teachings that would lead the whole Church into error, the faithful, as a whole, have an instinct or sense about when a teaching is or is not in harmony with the true faith.
Believing that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church through the "Sense of the Faithful", we hope to listen too, rather than speak for, the people of God as prompted by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit not only acts in every living Christian who is in the state of grace, but has acted in all who have ever lived. Unfortunately, when you have people that are guided by the Holy Spirit, that intentional go against the sense of the faithful by participating in acts of euthanasia, they become perplexed in the meaning of true faith. Given that the magisterium is the official teaching authority of the church, and the laws within those doctrines should be followed in accord with Gods dogmas of the church.
Euthanasia is wrong regardless the reasoning behind it, for no person has the right to deny anyone life. The people who choose euthanasia whether religious or not, are neglecting to fulfill their purpose in life as a Christian. Jesus had taught over and over that death was never the winner and that death was not final. In order to understand how sensus fidelium should be applied to euthanasia, a person must first recognize that traveling through suffering will only bring them closer to understanding how Jesus suffered.
However, to take it upon yourself or have another individual decide when your point of death shall occur is not seeking to be faithful in Christ. For the glory of God is the life of the church and the salvation of your soul and shall be jeopardized. Often heard is the phrase, "no pain, no gain," signifying we all want to move from pain toward pleasure so what good, then, is pain? Pain lets you know that something is wrong and when you attend to your pain, you can decide to respond to it so that it will go away. However pain can multiply, transitioning into suffering.
The Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy puts it this way: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him" (30: 19-20). When you reach out to others despite your own pain, you are like Christ. For in the Gospel of John it states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (1: 1-5). Not only is Jesus attracted to the goodness in our words and deeds, but Jesus also comes our way even in our your darkest moments.
Therefore to be inclined in reasoning of hopefulness shall only diminish the ability to recognize that you have power over your life. You, too, will reflect that light in the darkness, the same darkness Jesus swallowed up by dying, and shattered by rising again. Finally, Listen to the wisdom of Proverbs 13: 20: "Walk with wise men and women and you will become wise, but the companion of fools will fare badly." Work to be in right relationship with God through prayer, worship, study and applying your Catholic Christian faith to everyday trials and tribulations. Remember, " Life is a gift of God and on the other hand is unavoidable; it is necessary, therefore, that we, without in any way hastening the hour of death, should be able to accept it with full responsibility and dignity," (Declaration of Euthanasia). Works Cities Bohr, David.
Catholic Moral Tradition. Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, (1999): 149- 55. , 309-18. "Catechism of the Catholic Church on Assisted-Suicide." 2276 - 79. , 2280-83 Edmund D. Pellegrino, Evangelium Vitae, "Euthanasia, and Physician Assisted Suicide." D.
C. : Georgetown University Press, (1997): 240." Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide." International Task Force. (c) 1996 - 2004 "Euthanasia." The Verbal Battle over Euthanasia." Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. (c) 1997 to 2001 web 'Connell, Timothy.
Principles For A Catholic Morality. New York: Harper Collins, (1990): 134-36." On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life." A papal encyclical dealing with life and death, also euthanasia. Rachel's, James. The End of Life: The Morality of Euthanasia.
New York: Oxford University Press, (1986) Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Declaration on Euthanasia. Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1990. The Bible (King James Version). Michigan: Zondervan, 2000.