Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cathechism and Ethics

The Catechism of the Catholic Church firmly rooted in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition provides clear and cogent guidelines for navigating the complex waters of medical ethics in the modern scientific world. These concepts from the Catechism form the basis for John Paul 2's Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life, which our pro-life group at my parish is currently studying.

Sanctity of Human Life

2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."56

2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous."61 The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.

2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill,"62 and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies.63 He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.64


2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.71

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.72

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.73

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law


2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.


2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.


Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

If only I had had such a comfort back in 1983 when my best friend, Alice, took her life. She'd been in mental anguish for some time that I really knew nothing about. When people you love start to give you "possessions" to keep "while they're away for a while," understand that they need help immediately! I wasn't aware of that sign, and just wasn't thinking along those lines, as I thought she was doing so much better.

I had to find out about her suicide while reading the paper and coming across her obit. We'd been best friends since 2nd grade. I was a born again Christian at the time, but went into such shock, and disbelief and then my own anquish about her soul wondering "was she or wasn't she saved?"

I knew that only Jesus knew...but I believed that by His grace, she was "with Him" and now at peace. I had some sort of peace when I would think that she was just "out of her mind" having also been on many meds that in the early 80's seemed to be messing up people's mental state sometimes more than just going through a depression would.

We don't know and can't possibly know definitively about anyone's soul. That's why I hate it when people talk about someone as saved or not saved. Being a Catholic now, I'm relieved to not think of others as "saved" or "not saved." That type of thinking is what used to cause me mental torment as I'd wonder about my relatives and friends who didn't share the same "Jesus experience." Then I'd get nervous about "how to witness to them" instead of just being 'me' and LIVING THE GOSPEL (without words)...or as I say now LIVING THE MASS. Sometimes words are necessary, but many times, as Our Lady knows, 'silence' and caring by deed might just speak more to certain hearts.

Thanks TJ for this post.


April 13, 2007 8:48 PM  

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