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, Already, About Third MillenniumEnough

It is hardly a surprise that the Netherlands has just become the first country to legalize euthanasia. (Washington State in the U.S. did so long ago.) In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the world is coming to an end.

The Vatican, however, seems taken aback by this development. Today, Reuters reported that in an editorial in L'Osservatore Romano the Vatican “blasted the Netherlands' decision to become the first country to legalize euthanasia, calling it abhorrent and criminal, and the doctors who perform it ‘butchers.’”

The Vatican editorialist was Father Gino Concetti, a kind of house theologian for OR. While it is certainly a good thing that the Vatican has condemned the new legislation, Concetti’s grounds for doing so are typical of post-conciliar moral pronouncements: “The Dutch law is worthy of condemnation and reprobation. Euthanasia is an abhorrent choice and killing a patient is a criminal gesture . . . It is hard to believe how a choice which is so macabre can be called 'civil' and 'humanitarian' ...” (my emphasis)

Now, what is all this about “choice”? Why not simply state the truth that euthanasia is an abomination which cries out to Heaven for vengeance; a mortal sin which contravenes the Fifth Commandment and will bring on the wrath of God? The very use of the word “choice” suggests that euthanasia is a permissible subject for legislative deliberations in the first place, when in truth it may not even be debated without committing a grave moral offense. Notice here the Vatican’s implicit acceptance that the process of debating euthanasia is not in question, but only the ultimate legislative choice in favor of it. This is what happens when the ideal of the Social Kingship of Christ and the Catholic confessional state are abandoned in favor of the reigning pluralism. The Church finds herself unable to say any longer — speaking with the authority of the voice of Christ on earth — that a nation offends God by even considering a violation of His law.

Concetti goes on to wonder: “Can it really be true that, at the dawn of the Third Millennium, there can be slaves to desperation and that one can give up the hope of life?” Oh please! What in Heaven’s name does “the dawn of the Third Millennium” have to do with anything? Why should the Dutch legislators, in their manifest depravity, behave any differently in view of January 1, 2001 —  a mere date on the calendar? Throughout the year 2000 we had to suffer through the Vatican’s public relations blitz about the marvelous results which would accrue to the world from the Jubilee celebrations, including the Jubilee of Young People, the Jubilee of the World of Entertainment and the Day of Pizza Makers. We were told to expect that at “the dawn of the Third Millennium” we would witness the first signs of the long-awaited “civilization of love” and “a new springtime of humanity.” Instead, we see a civilization of hatred and a fast-deepening winter of humanity.

One prays that someday soon the Vatican will free itself from the terminology of the Zeitgeist and begin speaking to the world of sin and damnation once again, instead of “abhorrent choices.” One prays that the Vatican will soon return to telling the world that men must do what is right for the love of God and to save their souls, not because it is “the dawn of the Third Millennium.” We have heard quite enough about the Third Millennium. Let the world hear about eternity for once.