[Editor's Note: In the case of the Belgian Brothers of Charity hospitals, it is the civil board, not the religious order itself, that is resisting the Church's teaching against euthanasia. As reported by Andrea Gagliarducci of the Catholic News Agency: “The hospitals are managed by a civil corporation named after the Brothers of Charity, though the board of trustees includes only 3 Brothers of Charity out of 15 members. This board made the decision to allow Catholic hospitals to permit acts of euthanasia, in certain limited circumstances. The Brothers of Charity protested this decision, appealed to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Vatican responded by requesting that the corporation stop allowing euthanasia in their hospitals. The board of trustees defied the Vatican request, and published a long statement in which they reiterated their view. ... Br. Stockman affirmed that the Brothers of Charity would remain faithful to the Church’s teaching, despite serious civil pressure to the contrary.”]
I remember laughing and guffawing over a character in one of those ridiculous Dan Brown novels that featured an albino monk assassin. An albino monk assassin?! Can you imagine? Oh, how I mocked this terrible slander of Catholics.
Ahem. My guffawing has met an abrupt end as I can only still say, "Dan Brown, there are no albino monk assassins. They're Belgian."
According to the Catholic News Agency, the board of the Belgian Brothers of Charity announced it will continue offering euthanasia to non-terminal patients in their psychiatric centers.
The Vatican specifically asked them to sign a joint letter confirming that they'll adhere to Catholic teaching and stop killing people. But get this, they're saying no. They said they're standing by their "vision statement" which affirms the awesomeness of euthanizing people who aren't dying. I guess once you start killing people, disobeying the pope isn't that big of a deal. I mean, if you're going to have to go to confession eventually anyway you might as well make a day of it.
But seriously, the pope is like "Stop killing people!" If you can imagine, Pope Francis didn't even tell them to stop killing people immediately. He gave them until the end of August to acclimate themselves to the idea of not killing people. And they still couldn't stop killing people! They said they'd rather stick with their "vision statement."
You know, God kinda' gave us his own vision statement which I happen to be looking at right now, and well would you look at this, killing people is, it turns out, a big no-no in the eyes of our benevolent all loving Creator. It's one of the "thou shall nots." It's not only just one of the Ten Commandments from God Almighty. It's in the top five. It's not even down there with all that coveting and bearing false witness business. I'm no theologian but I'm thinking it's a pretty important one.
So it turns out, Mr. Dan Brown, that sadly, we do have Catholic monks killing people so that part of your character wasn't slander. But I'd bet the albinos are still probably pretty ticked at you. So I'd watch your back. Mostly, in the night time.