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Dr Jack Kervorkian championed euthanasia. The Church champions Life. 'Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection..." Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)
ROYAL OAK, MI (Catholic Online) - Accompanied by his niece Avus Janus and his most recent lawyer, Mayor Morganroth, Dr. Jack Kevorkian died on Friday morning, June 3, 2011 in Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. His death was the result of a pulmonary thrombosis brought on by a blood clot in his leg. It appears that the clot broke free and ended up stopping his heart.
Much was made in Press reports about his dying while listening to classical music. That is no guarantee of peace at death. This man personally acknowledged his active participation in "assisting" in the suicide of 130 suffering human beings. He had been charged four times with murder. He was acquitted three times and the fourth effort ended in a mistrial.
Finally, as a result of his injecting Thomas Youk, 52, who had Lou Gehrig's disease, with deadly chemicals and videotaping himself doing so for showing on "60 Minutes", his career of causing death to others was short-circuited in 1998. He was convicted of second degree murder. He only served four years in jail. He then turned his experience into a platform for continued self promotion. He unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008 and had a television film starring Al Pacino made about him.
The proper response of a Christian to this death is best demonstrated in the Press release issued by my friend and Pro-Life champion, Fr Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life: "All of us at Priests for Life pray for the soul of Jack Kevorkian, as we do for all who have died. And we renew our commitment to proclaim that life is better than death.
"Every life has burdens. When we respond to the call to bear one another's burdens, then we close the door to despair. Those who promote the so-called 'right to die' are heralds of despair. We, on the other hand, are heralds of hope." I was happy that he added these words at the end, "And as for the 'right to die," I say, 'Don't worry - you won't miss out on it.' And, he is of course correct; "Dr Death" did not miss out on it."
It is more than ironic that the Catholic Bishops of the United States will begin deliberations on a document entitled "To Live Each day with Dignity" when they gather in Seattle this month at their Spring General Assembly. It will clearly and without equivocation reject the evil advocated by the late Dr Kervorkian and affirm the dignity of every human life at every age and stage.
Washington State is one of the States in the Union which has "legalized" the evil agenda advanced by the deceased Jack Kervorkian. I suggest that the timing of the meeting of the Bishops and its location is no accident. This document will be passed and will send a much needed signal of the contrast between the "Culture of death" championed by the late Doctor and the "Culture of Life", championed by the Catholic Church.
One of the clearest statements of the Catholic position is found in Blessed John Paul II's Encyclical letter entitled "The Gospel of Life" (Evangelium Vitae). The following quote is is taken from this encyclical letter of the late Pope:
"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that "we must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
"In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. "They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live" (Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: "the midwives feared God".
"It is precisely from obedience to God-to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty-that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for "the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10).
"In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to "take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it". (EV 73)
"Dr Death", Jack Kervorkian is dead but His deadly legacy continues and there is much work to be done to build a new culture of life and civilization of love.