(By Roberto de Mattei) All attention in Italy at the moment is focussed on the political crisis. Yet there is another much graver and vaster crisis, which constitutes the background for the political crisis: the religious and moral crisis of the West. The political crisis is visible; it enters our homes through the mass-media and even a distracted eye or ear perceives it. The religious and moral crisis can be perceived only by those who have a developed, spiritual sensitivity. Those immersed in the materialism of modern life, have a refined capacity in appreciating the pleasures of the senses, but are spiritually darkened, if not completely blinded. The religious and moral crisis is a crisis that happens when man loses sight of his ultimate end and the criteria that must guide his actions. A society that is immersed in agnosticism, dissolves and dies.
In Italy, for example, the government crisis has made us forget an important date. A hearing is scheduled for September 24th with the Constitutional Court, to judge the legitimacy of Article 580 of the Penal Code, which punishes the crime of instigating or aiding suicide. The highest juridical authority of the Italian State invited Parliament to promulgate a new law before this date, otherwise it will be the Court itself that will determine the route to take. But the Court has already affirmed that in certain cases, suicide may be permitted (and thus “assisted” on the medical and administrative level) given that: “the absolute prohibition of assisted suicide ends up, in limiting the sick person’s freedom of self-determination, in his choice of treatment, including that aimed at liberating him from suffering.” (Ordinance n.2017 of November 16th, 2019). The self-determination of the individual is the supreme rule of a society which ignores the existence of a moral law written in the heart of every man and to which men and societies must comply if they want to avoid self-destruction.
The political crisis underway appears to exclude the likelihood that Parliament will be able to tackle the subject of suicide before September and so it is probable the Constitutional Court will inflict another grave wound on the right to life, leading to the complete liberalisation of euthanasia. After the “living will”, a new step forward will be taken on the path of the culture of death which typifies modern society.
Assisted suicide is medical, psychological and bureaucratic assistance given to those who have decided to kill themselves. This represents a moral crime on par with euthanasia. The Natural and Divine law prohibits suicide given that man is not master of his own life, as he is neither in the lives of others. Suicide is a supreme act of rebellion against God, since, as traditional philosophy teaches, there can be no greater act of dominance than wanting to destroy something that does not belong to us. (Victor Cathrein S. J.,Philosophiamoralis, Roma, Herder 1959, p. 344).
The destiny of modern man, it seems, is being fulfilled in suicide, incapable as he is of rising above the wordly horizons of his own existence, a prisoner of his own immanence. Man self-destructs when he refuses the burden of being what each and everybody is called to bear, by existing.
Suicide can not only be committed by men, but also by nations, by civilizations and even by the Church, given the humanity of the men who comprise Her. The Church, for more than fifty years, has been on a suicidal course, described by Paul VI as “auto-demolition” (Discourse, Lombardo Seminary in Rome, December 7th, 1968). This auto-demolition today could be described as a true and actual “assisted suicide” of the Church; assisted because induced and favoured by those major world powers that have always fought the Church.
The preparatory document for the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, with the worship of Nature substituting that of the Most Holy Trinity, with the abolition of ecclesiastical celibacy and the negation of the sacramental and hierarchal nature of the Mystical Body of Christ, is the ultimate example of this assisted suicide brought about by the leaders of the Church and encouraged by Her enemies. The Instrumentum laboris on the Amazon, said Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, “charges the Synod of Bishops and ultimately the Pope with a grave violation of the “depositum fidei”, which signifies as a consequence, the self-destruction of the Church.”
The minimalist Catholics propose deep sedation as an alternative to assisted suicide, which leads to the death of the sick indirectly, but is just as inevitable. We do not belong to this set. We are not able by ourselves to heal the sick, because there is only one Physician Who can do that, at any time: He Who founded the Church; He Who guides Her and has promised that She will never perish. This Physician of souls and bodies, is Jesus Christ (Matthew, 8, 5-11). The Church and society belong to Him and no rebirth is possible outside a return to His Law. (Roberto de Mattei)
Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana