'MERCY KILLING' AND MORAL LAW
DOCTORS are discussing Euthanasia: the Euthanasia Society has once more drafted a Bill in readiness for Parliament: and again the question arises as to what extent a doctor is allowed to drug a dying patient suffering from severe pain.
Speaking to delegates to a congress of neuro-psycho-pharmacologists only a month before his death, Pope Pius XII said : "Euthanasia. that is the intention to bring about death, is obviously condemned by moral leaching.
"But, if a dying person agrees to it. the moderiete use of narcotics is allowed-narcotics. that is. which will alleviate his sufferings and yet also lead to a quicker death. If this is the situation, the death is not directly intended--it was inevitable, and well-weighed motives justify measures which will hasten the time of death."
In an address to surgeons and anaesthetists delivered in February, 1957, the late Pope dealt with the case of a person suffering from inoperable cancer or an incurable disease. He said:
if there exists no direct casual link, either through the will of interested parties or by the nature of things. between the induced unconsciousness and the shortening of life (as would be the case if the suppression of the pain could be obtained only by the shortening of life) and if. on the other hand, the actual administration of drugs brings about two distinct effects. the one the relief of pain, the other the shortening of life the action is lawful."
This latter address has been published by the Catholic Truth Society as a pamphlet entitled "The Relief of Pain" (DO 298. price 6d.). In this country, the introduction of legislation to permit euthanasia is the concern of the Euthanasia Society. However. since the defeat of the Voluntary Euthanasia (Legislation) BM by the House of Lords in December, 1936: the Society have been concentrating more upon educating nubile opinion before introducing further legislation.
But they have a draft Bill in readiness which they hope may be introduced into Parliament, perhaps within the next decade. The earliest date for this Bill to be proposed would be after the General Election, and, as it would almost inevitably have to be a private member's measure, its introduction would depend upon an M.P. sympathetic to the cause being lucky in the ballot.
The draft Bill would make it legal for people dying from an incurable and painful disease. being of sound mind. to ask for euthanasia. The necessary document would have to be signed not only by the patient's own doctoi but also by an independent doctor and countersigned by a legal person appointed for the purpose. The patient would be able to withdraw permission at any time until he or she found it too late .. •
£18,000 church for Wantage
A new church is to be built this year for the parish of Christ the King, Wantage, Berks. It will cost about £18,000, of which /6,009 has already been raised, and will have room for 300 people. The new church will have a tower (beneath which will be the baptistery) and two confessionals, An electronic organ has also been promised.
ARRIVING IN BIRMINGHAM PENNILESS
DURING the last year approxi
mately 100 girls had benefited by the generous donations of the Ladies of Charity towards the upkeep of the night shelter in Birmingham. said Mrs. I. M. McNeill. secretary of the Birmingham branch of the Ladies of Charity, at the annual general meeting recently.
The majority were girls who came to Birmingham in hopes of finding work hut who. being penniless, even if they found work. were not entitled to any payment until the end of the second week. "As the night shelter is well known to railway offirials and police, the girls are directed there knowing that they will receive help and advice," added Mrs. McNeill.
Bishop Bright, auxiliary of Birmingham, who chaired the meeting, appealed for young people of both sexes to help the Ladie.s in their many works. He emphasised that help was particularly needed in visiting the sick and aged in Birmingham.
Free retreat for girls
A free retreat from August 21 to 25 for girls aged between 14 and 25 who have a desire for the religious life is being offered by the Daughters of Our Lady of Providence, Anstey Manor. Alton, Hants. The girls will be asked to pay only their fare.
The Sisters are opening a Juniorate or apostolic school in September where young girls who feel that they may have a call to the religious life will receive a complete ed Lica ti on, including G.C.E. courses for those who are capable. Lack of financial means will in no way be an obstacle to admission.
P.O.W.s who became priests
Former students from the famous seminary behind barbed wire which Pope John XXIII, when as Archbishop Roncalli he was Nuncio in Paris. helped to set up near Chartres will take part in a pilgrimage to Rome of former German prisoners of war from the camp in July this year.
Thanks to the Pope's initiative, many seminarists whose studies had been interrupted by call-up were able to conclude their training for the priesthood while still behind barbed wire. The former P.O.W.s will thank the Pope for his action when he receives them in private audience during their pilgrimage to Rome.
Dutch and Swiss Capuchins are to exchange the mission areas allotted to them because of visa difficulties facing Dutch missionaries who wish to enter Indonesia. The Swiss friars will now take over the Capuchin missions in the former Dutch East Indies, while the Dutch will work in Swiss Capuchin missions in Africa. Stilt waiting for an official opening day is this modern-looking convent with chapel alongside at Doekhead. London. It is the rebuilt Convent of Our Lady of Mercy. 'the original convent, the first of the Congregation to be opened in England, was bombed during the last war. The new
ALL SAINTS' 'CAROUSEL' AT ECCLES
AS a "treat", hundreds of foot' ball pool collectors from several Manchester and Salford parishes were taken to "Carousel" staged by All Saints' Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, Barton (near Manchester), at Eccles, recently.
Tickets for the week-long show in a 2,200-seat cinema had gone well before the show opened. Half the cast of nearly 70 were Catholics.
The stars included Kathleen Lewis, who ,scored a big success in the Lourdes centenary festival last year. Her husband, Mr. John Judge, a draughtsman, is chairman of the society.
Other stars: Jack Rae, a steelworkei; Ivy Brown; Victor Garvin. who has often sung with the D'Oyly Carte; and 15-year-old Sandra Gill, who has just won a scholarship to a London ballet school. The producer was Harry Parsonage, whose Catholic wife has "retired" from acting.
The society's chaplain is Fr. George Dalston, parish priest, and the proceeds are to go towards the building fund. design by the architects Robert Sharp and Son, contrasts with the former building in monastic style by Pugin. Although the Congregation was founded only 132 years ago, it is now the second largest For women with 1,500 convents and more than 23,000 Sisters.
MISSION ERS STUDY FOOD PROBLEMS
REPRESENTATIVES of more than 20 missionary orders and congregations met in Rome recently with officials of theUnited Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to discuss food and crop problems in mission Binay R. Sen, FAO general director, welcomed the group, representing more than 180,000 missionaries. Also present was Archbishop Sigismondi, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. The meeting, one of a series of activities designed to familiarise. missionaries with FAO's work and encourage them to exchange information with it, was arranged by the Holy See's permanent observers at FAO: Mgr. Ligutti, director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in the U.S., and Dr. Emilio 13onomelli, who is in charge of the papal summer residence and farm at Castelgandolfo, After the meeting at FAO's Rome headquarters, the missionaries visited Castelgandolfa farm and gave a reception for Archbishop Sigismondi.