Thursday, July 28, 2011

Faithful ... Even Unto Death!

Cardinal Burke Speaks at “Being Faithful, Even Unto Death” Conference
Cardinal Burke: Life Demands Greatest Respect And Care

Respect For the Dignity of Human Life Is the Foundation of Good Order In
Our Individual Lives and Our Society
Cardinal Burke Speaks at “Being Faithful, Even Unto Death” Conference

At a Kansas City conference on end-of-life care, Cardinal Raymond Burke said that suffering does not cause a person to have less meaning in his life, nor does it give
the government the right to decide if that person should live or die.

“No matter how much a life is diminished, no matter what suffering the
person is undergoing, that life demands the greatest respect and care,”
Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, told CNA.

“Its never right to snuff out a life because its in some way under heavy

Cardinal Burke spoke July 23 to a packed auditorium of over 350 people at
the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan. on the “mystery” of human suffering
and dying for his keynote address at the “Being Faithful, Even Unto Death”

The meeting, organized by the St. Gianna Physician’s Guild, addressed
medical issues surrounding those suffering and those at the end of their
lives. The event was the first initiative of its kind for the group.

In his speech on Saturday, Cardinal Burke said that human suffering can
only be understood in light of the “gift” and “dignity” of human life.

“Human life is a gift to be accorded the highest respect and care from its
beginning until natural death,” he emphasized. “We are not the creators of
human life and must respect the plan of the author of life for us and for
our world.”

The cardinal stressed the importance of Catholics giving end-of-life care
more attention, in light of cases involving vulnerable people such as Teri
Schindler Schiavo – a severely disabled Florida woman who was deprived of
nutrition and hydration by court order and her husbands request in 2005.

He underscored that nutrition and hydration are part of “basic human care”
and to deprive patients of such care is not in any way “compassionate.”

Rather, “deliberately taking the life of an innocent human person is
intrinsically evil and therefore, is never justified,” he said.

Along with the need for Catholics in general to be more informed on Church
teaching about euthanasia, Cardinal Burke put special emphasis on Catholic
students and seminarians being well versed on the topic.

All students, he said, should “pursue a certain number of courses of
philosophy, so that in whatever field they specialize in,” they will use a
logical, faith-filled approach to life issues.

Ultimately, he noted, “respect for the dignity of human life is the
foundation of good order in our individual lives and our society.”

Without this respect, “our personal lives become profoundly disordered and
society soon becomes a theater of violence and death.”

Cardinal Burke told CNA in comments following his talk that a Christian
worldview isnt necessary for people to agree that society does not have the
right to determine who lives or dies.

He said that “right reason” alone is enough for people from different
perspectives to enter into productive dialogue on the issue.

Also speaking at the event on Saturday was Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla who
discussed the spirituality, life and legacy of her mother, Saint Gianna
Beretta Molla.

Dr. Molla’s mother was declared a saint in 2004 by the Catholic Church and
is known for her heroism in choosing a risky operation to save her daughter
Gianna’s life when she was two months pregnant. The conference marks the
first visit to the U.S. for St. Gianna’s daughter.

Other speakers included geriatric specialist Dr. Austin Welsh, Thomas More
Society executive director Peter Breen, and Bobby Schindler and Suzanne
Vitadamo – both siblings of Teri Schiavo.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas
City-St. Joseph also attended the event.

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