I have never re-posted anyone else's work before, but the following two posts are so well done and are in keeping with the primary purpose of this blog (opposing the Third Path, the extension of euthanasia), that I wanted to highlight them in case any of my readers are not subscribers to Bishop Emeritus Gracida's blog and missed them. (You should be subscribers, by the way! Also, Bishop Gracida has a Facebook page and a Twitter account now. I do not know of anyone who follows this issue more closely than he does.)
By way of background, recently an individual by the name of Joe Kral (who I do not know), wrote a piece (Part I apparently) criticizing those of us that opposed SB 303. However, he did so in a fashion which criticized us for taking a position that none of us ever has. I have heard other SB 303 proponents argue this as well. This is not a new or unique take on things by him. Really, what this does more than anything is demonstrate that the proponents of SB 303 are not going to stop and they are gearing up for the 2015 legislative session. Nevertheless, it is important to know what is being argued and how to respond. (I described in detail what SB 303 would have done, what current law does, and what our position is in my very first post here and again here.)
As I have written in a comment on Bishop Gracida's blog to one of the posts responding to Kral's piece by Peter Amos:
Version 2.0 of SB 303 will likely reappear next session under some other number. We see evidence of that now as those that supported it (and claimed Church/Catholic theological support for it) are “training” others – incorrectly – on these vital pro-life issues. SB 303 had the unfortunate backing of the TCC and certain pro-life groups (like TAL, but some that are Catholic as well who take cover under the TCC’s endorsement, thereby compounding their error of supporting passive euthanasia with the error of clericalism). This is unfortunate.
But in my experience, we can reach many with an unwavering commitment to telling the truth even when it is unpopular and even when it means we are at odds with those who we wish we were not. When I encouraged others to read the text of the bill for themselves, they invariably found that it did not comport with the talking points of its supporters. When I encouraged others to read the Church documents (as opposed to USCCB documents or misquoted Church documents) on the issue, they invariably saw the light.
We are all, as you know, under a moral obligation to search for and find the truth for ourselves. Reliance upon others to tell us what to do and believe is simply insufficient. ...
The response to Kral by Mr. Amos is very spot on and very faithful to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter. It would serve everyone well to read the entire Encyclical that he cites (and that Kral misapplies), Evangelium Vitae. Always read these things for yourself. Read the original, not someone else's quote or paraphrase or interpretation.
The other response to Kral's piece was by the Good Bishop himself entitled: "How to Try to Win an Argument: Create a 'Straw Man' and Knock it Down." Bishop, as always, is clear and straight to the point. I summarize here, but please go and read the entire thing:
What is really involved in this dispute is that Kral and his sponsors approach end-of-life issues from the perspective of the health care industry while the rest of us approach end-of-life care issues from the perspective of the patient’s rights, above all the patient’s right to life and the avoidance, through the use of ordinary medical care, of passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia occurs when medical care is withheld or death is hastened by excessive use of pain killer drugs.
...We who oppose hastening the death of the patient by means of passive euthanasia, the so-called Third Path, oppose it because the patient has the right to reasonable care and if it cannot be found in one hospital or institution the patient has the right to a second opinion and/or treatment at another hospital or institution.
And my favorite quote:
Kral’s post is probably the opening shot being fired by the proponents of the Third Path in preparation for the next session of the Texas Legislature that begins on January 13, 2015. We are ready.
I thank Mr. Amos and Bishop Gracida for their writing in response to this latest attempt to justify SB 303, the anti-life philosophy behind it, and to muddy the waters so as to confuse well-meaning people about what the Church actually teaches on this issue.
Please, read what the Church teaches. I have often written in great detail about what the Church teaches with many links to the original sources, e.g., here. So has Bishop Gracida. If you are going to engage on this issue, do your homework. If you are going to engage in any issue, do your homework. You are morally obligated to do so.
Thanks for reading - and