In a recent Times, there is a front-page story entitled, "Murder Or Mercy?" It is, in part, a story of an ailing World War II veteran who commits suicide.
Before his death the 88-year-old man told his son, because of his terminal illness, that breathing was like waterboarding. In hospice care, he found no real pain relief and in his suicide note said, "Two more weeks of this is sheer torture."
The case is an example of a situation where pain medications are useless and the only relief for unbearable pain is assisted suicide.
In an interview with L.A. Diocese Head, Cardinal Benedict Baloney I ask him the Roman Catholic Church's position on the issue.
"So, before this unfortunate man dies, he has a glorious opportunity. His suffering, especially suffering during the last moments of his life, has a special place in God's loving plan for us; it is in fact a sharing in Christ's passion and union with the Holy Blood redeeming sacrifice which He offered in obedience to his Loving Father's will."
Baloney continued, "That his painkillers did not relieve his horrible agony could be a wonderful blessing, if he uses the opportunity to identify with the pain and suffering of Christ Crucified. Alleluia"
This reporter then asked the Cardinal if his opinion was widely shared among Catholic clergy. He responded that it was. "You can find it on Catholic sites all over the internet," he said.
"It's about the same thing as Medieval Monks beating themselves with ropes into a state of agony in order to get closer to our Loving Father. Of course, some of them had unintended orgasms when they did, but that was still very sinful," Baloney asserted.
When I asked Benedict Baloney if he was into intense sadomasochistic activity when he was a single man, before entering the priesthood. he smiled and asked, "How did you know?"