Monday, November 23, 2020

The Corruption of Professions

I woke up the other morning in the wee hours thinking about all the stories I have read and heard about medical professionals isolating patients from the Sacraments, even going so far as to prevent priests from visiting the dying, ostensibly because of the coronavirus.  These stories include a first-hand account from a friend who had to baptize a dying relative himself when the staff of the “Catholic” hospital refused to allow a priest up to the room.  Fortunately, he accomplished the baptism before being himself chased out of the room.

First-hand, second-hand, fifth-hand or twentieth-hand, I am inclined to believe these stories. Two and a half years ago, long before the current moral panic, my lapsed Catholic father lay in the hospital in a coma from which he would never emerge.  I had to fight with the staff of this allegedly Catholic hospital about getting a priest in to give him Extreme Unction.  Their excuses for fighting me on this were, number one, I did not count as next of kin, and therefore could be brushed off; and number two, the nurse in charge of his care actually could see no reason why I would want to have a priest see my father when he had lapsed from the faith.  

Here was a nurse in a Catholic hospital, dealing with patients in the grips of life-threatening maladies, who had to be educated on the reality of eternal damnation and the need to take it seriously.  The nurse passed me off to the chaplaincy office, where, amazingly, I had to have a similar argument with the staff there.  Ultimately, a priest was found who, seeing a basis to give my father the benefit of the doubt, came in and gave him the Sacrament.

The lack of supernatural faith in the medical profession, including its members who staff “Catholic” hospitals, is clearly a problem that predates the present coronapanic, and in fact has prepared the way for this situation where the sick and the dying are openly and unashamedly being denied the ministrations of a priest.  Why has this happened?  

Maybe the cause lies in our quest as a society to do whatever we want without suffering any consequences, a quest to which it was necessary to recruit the medical profession.  To be able to divorce sex from procreation, we needed people with the expertise to provide us with contraceptives, sterilization procedures, and abortion.  Since old people and the disabled also interfere with our freedom to do whatever we want, we also needed the medical profession to provide us with the means of dealing with those problems.  And my own profession, by the way, is not off the hook in all this.  Contraceptives, abortion and euthanasia all used to be illegal, so lawyers were needed to clear away those roadblocks to what we are pleased to think of as “freedom.”  Thus we enshrined revolution into law.

But, as history demonstrates, revolutionaries are short-sighted, and fail to notice that, by overthrowing the social order, they are only preparing their own doom.  It’s unfortunate that so many of us no longer know history.  Many of the prime movers in the revolutions in France and Russia and Germany, for example, ended up suffering the same fates to which they had consigned those who opposed them.  And what of the religious revolutionaries?  One thinks of the accounts of the death of Martin Luther, who, at the end of his life, was surrounded by people who saw to it that he died reaffirming his errors.  Or the eyewitness accounts of the last days of Queen Elizabeth I, who, having driven all the Catholic priests into hiding or exile, realized she had no one left to give her absolution, and was plagued by visions of herself in hell.

The inevitable result of decades of indoctrination in the culture of death, and decades of court cases overturning laws that once held the culture of death at bay, is that doctors and nurses in this brave new world are expected to serve the cause of extinction.  Not all have bought into this ideology, but many of them have.  How many?  We are finding that out right now.  And how can we expect medical professionals who have bought into the culture of death to have any concern for eternal life, either for themselves or for their patients?  That is another thing we are finding out right now: they can’t, and don’t.  How terrible is the judgment that we bring upon ourselves, when, having revolted against the social order, we find ourselves, near to death, in the hands of those who have bought into our revolution.  

Now, more than ever, we need to pray for protection against sudden and unprovided death.

1 comment:

  1. For those who believe that this world is all that exists, there is a certain rationale, even if it is in error. But for those of us who who know Jesus and believe in eternal life with Him, this is all simply foolishness and cruelty.

    Fr. D+