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Peter Rosengren: Catholics, act now to stop this travesty

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Image: Joshua Hoehn/Unsplash

To get into a car while inebriated and kill others, with or without intention, is morally wrong. It has always been wrong and it will always be wrong.

To walk into a bank or a retail outlet brandishing a weapon, robbing and killing the staff and customers is morally wrong and has always been morally wrong.

To steal an employer or an employee’s money from them and their families is morally wrong. It has always been morally wrong and it will always be morally wrong.

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To kidnap and brutalise an individual while seeking a huge ransom for their lives is always wrong and will always be wrong.

Persuading an individual to put on an explosive harness and blow up bystanders in a shopping centre is morally wrong and it will always be morally wrong.

Passing a law enabling doctors, members of the public service and family members to kill patients has always been morally wrong, is morally wrong and always will be.

Every scene listed above is a crime. All of them represent a collaboration or commissioning of evil against other human beings singly or collectively. Yet one of these actions is set to transition from being a crime and become – in the eyes of those bulldozing with recklessness, utter naivety and cavalier foolishness through our state parliament – a public virtue.

If they succeed, NSW will have reached a new low never seen before in our history.

So now is the time for Catholics everywhere in NSW – parish priests, members of parishes, Catholic school teachers, Catholic hospital workers, mothers, fathers, employees, tradies and business owners – in short the whole of the Catholic reality of this state – to shake off torpor and indifference and collectively register with the greatest force possible that we do not accept and will never accept the imposition of a crime as legal for our families, ourselves and the whole of our beautiful and magnificent state.

For too long in the euthanasia debate unfolding in NSW, the opposition to the imposition of crime as normality in our hospitals and nursing homes has been carried by too few individuals, who have shouldered the task of speaking out against the lie that is consuming our state.

A small group of courageous MPs across all parties have heroically led the effort to persuade their fellow MPs of the massive tragedy that would take place were euthanasia to be legalised – opening the way for the dispatch of the mentally ill, the depressed, the individuals who feel as if they are burdens to their families, the vulnerable, the abused and those of us who – unlike the privileged few – cannot afford the top-level health care that guarantees instant access to the Palliative Care necessary for us to live our illnesses and, if necessary, arrive at our own end.

Catholics have every right to take such a drastic action. In fact, Catholics have a duty to stand up and act now.

If the Catholics of NSW do not stand to oppose the madness of the legalised killing of patients when medical science has repeatedly demonstrated for decades through the branch of specialty known as Palliative Care that there is no possible need for euthanasia, then they should shut up about refugees, about climate change, about inclusiveness, about their achievements in education, their para-liturgies for reconciliation with the sun and the moon and the stars and everything else and stop the pretence that being a Catholic is relevant to anything at all.

If Catholics choose to be silent, they will have become as relevant to daily life and the rest of their state as about two percent of nothing and they will be good for nothing as well.

They will have become the thoroughly conventional bourgeois type that also did nothing in other times and in other places as evil threatened and eventually triumphed.

Instead, now is the time to insist, and to insist again and to keep insisting – a million times if necessary – until somewhere, the truth finally breaks through and dawns: killing patients is wrong. It is evil. Introducing this law opens the path to a thousand abuses of the kind already known about and experienced in those few places in the world where euthanasia has triumphed.

And we can act to support the courageous few in our state’s Parliament. Catholics make up somewhere around 20 per cent or more of the population of NSW, one fifth of the state’s population.

Every priest, every deacon in every parish should get up at the lectern before, during or after Mass and exhort their fellow Catholics with conviction to sign petitions and circulate them and write to their MPs.

Every Catholic of voting age should email their MP and give them one simple message: vote for this madness masquerading as legislation and I will find the candidate in the next election who is opposed to euthanasia – no matter what party they represent – and I will vote for that person until you are no longer in public life. The time for action is here.


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