Skip to comments.Pope misses Mass, says suffering helps save souls (Pope forgets the lessons of the Inquisition)
Posted on 02/11/2005 11:43:24 AM PST by xm177e2
VATICAN CITY, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Pope John Paul, still convalescing after 10 days in hospital, told the world's sick on Friday that their suffering was "precious", but did not deliver his message in person at a special service for sick people.
The 84-year-old Pontiff returned to the Vatican on Thursday evening after doctors decided he had recovered from an acute breathing crisis brought on by a bout of influenza.
But Vatican officials are taking no risks with his frail health and the Pope missed Friday's commemorative Mass, held to mark the day the Roman Catholic Church dedicates each year to sick people.
Instead, a senior Cardinal read the Pope's speech, which made no reference to his time in hospital.
"Your suffering is never useless, dear sick people. Moreover, it's a precious thing," the speech said. "If you bring together your suffering and pain, you can be his (God's) privileged helpers in the salvation of souls".
Besides his recent breathing problems, the Pope suffers from Parkinson's disease and severe arthritis.
He no longer walks, has difficulty speaking and his urgent admission to hospital raised fresh questions over how long he can remain head of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.
In an apparent bid to allay fears about his health, John Paul was brought home from hospital in full public view, sitting in a brightly lit Popemobile for the five minute drive through Rome, which was broadcast live on Italian television.
To make the point that it was business as usual for the Vatican bureaucracy, the Holy See announced a flurry of appointments on Friday, including a successor to Paris Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger and posts in Mexico and Angola.
The Vatican has yet to say whether the Polish Pope will make his usual weekly blessing from his apartment windows on Sunday.
John Paul appeared at his hospital window last Sunday, speaking in a hoarse, barely audible voice that fuelled debate over whether he should resign.
Church law says a Pope can resign, but it is a rare event. The last Pope to resign willingly was Celestine V, who stepped down in 1294. Gregory XII reluctantly abdicated in 1415 when more than one Pope was reigning at the same time.
But the Pope's battle against illness and the weakness of the flesh is also seen as an inspiration by the faithful, even if the Pontiff cannot fully express himself verbally.
"The sick Pope is the icon of the suffering of humanity", Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told ANSA news agency.
"There is a profound meaning in this event. The Pope ... shows his spiritual strength," Bertone said, adding that his struggle took on more meaning "in a society that increasingly values youth".
According to Hitchens, the result of MT's views was basically torture in the hospices. Needles were re-used (even after their tips had blunted) because an increase in pain for patients might help to save their souls, or so the theory went. Painkillers were not used, because that would lessen the pain, and therefore lessen the chances of a person going to Heaven.
If I'm in a hospital, and I'm in serious pain, I'm goint to want painkillers. How would you feel if someone deliberately denied you or a family member painkillers while you/they were suffering, because of some religious conviction?
Mother Teresa has been favoured with huge sums of money during the past 30 years, but patients' illnesses have been wrongly diagnosed by unqualified sisters and volunteers unable to distinguish between the curable and incurable . Mother Teresa prefers providence to planning, and the very strictest economy is always enforced - much to the detriment of the patient's interests. It is interesting to note that, despite the enormous sums involved ($50 million remains in a cheque account in the Bronx), needles are used over and over again, and are rinsed under the cold water tap. The nuns' answer to "why are you not boiling water and sterilizing your needles?" was simple: "There's no point. There's no time." Perhaps the patients take too long to die, and hastening death saves money. Cynical as that may be, Mother Teresa's global income is more than enough to equip several first class clinics like some of the finest in the West that she herself has checked into. To a person in the last agonies of cancer, and suffering unbearable pain, she said with a smile: "You are suffering like Christ on the cross. So Jesus must be kissing you." A sign on the wall of the morgue of Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying reads "I am going to Heaven today".
Mary Loudon, a volunteer in Calcutta, was shocked by what she saw there. "It looked a bit like the photos of Belsen", she said. "All patients had shaved heads, there were old stretcher beds, no chairs, and not much medical care or painkillers". In another home, despite the existence of huge sums of money: "The sisters are rarely allowed to spend money on the poor they are trying to help. Instead they are forced to plead poverty, thus manipulating generous, credulous people into giving more goods, services and cash." So great wealth has no good effect on the lives of patients and volunteers. In a damp house heating remains off throughout winter and several sisters consequently got TB. This was stated by a woman who left the Missionaries of Charity for the same reason she joined it, "a love of her fellow humans".
Mother Teresa has a San Francisco hostel named The Gift of Love; it is for homeless men with HIV. They are not allowed to watch TV or smoke or drink or invite friends, not even when they are dying, and so, of course, they are exceptionally depressed. One man said how afraid he was of dying without morphine. It is hard to find anyone with a good word for The Gift of Love.
Is he just innocently telling sick people not to despair, or is upholding pain and suffering as good things?
If suffering is so beautiful, will Catholic hospitals prescribe the full amount of painkillers to patients, or will they withhold a little, just to make the place more holy? I thought the Catholic Church did away with its celebration of human suffering when it put the Inquisition to an end. Or did Mel Gibson bring all this ugly stuff back?
ping Thank you
When did that happen?
Perhaps your problem is that you either have not read, or have forgotten, the connection made between suffering and faith in the NT. Might I suggest a Lenten discipline of re-reading the New Testament, from start to finish?
Suffering, willingly, for the glory of God, is something very much part of Christianity and the Catholic tradition:
Here are a view verses to think on
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
1 Corinthians 1:5
For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church
but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10
Given the state of Christ's church in the West, a return of the Holy Inquisition in its entirety, not just some of its lessons, is very sorely needed.
You have serious problems and obviously don't understand what you are talking about.
I would definitely make a very clear distinction between willing and unwilling suffering.
And of course I don't include martyrs and such as suffering needlessly.
What I'm afraid of is not that Catholics will choose to suffer because the Pope makes this statement, but that some people will not be given the choice (as allegedly occurred in Mother Teresa's missions).
"xm177e2"you write"If suffering is so beautiful, will Catholic hospitals prescribe the full amount of painkillers to patients, or will they withhold a little, just to make the place more holy?"I will write "Holy Cross" this is total "suffering"Thank you
Please post examples of any Catholic health care professional or Catholic hospital witholding painkillers against a patient's will for any but a valid medical reason.
My wife is a Catholic physician working at a Catholic hospital, and as far as I'm concerned, you just slandered her.
Suffering gets no brownie points unless it's undertaken willingly...and if you want to believe Hitchens about Mother Teresa, well, that's your option.
Stopped reading right there. His outburst during the broadcast of her funeral was one of the most spiteful, unsupported little temper tantrums I've ever had the displeasure of hearing.
Love the Hitch.
Did he ever follow the money trail and find out where the money was going?
"brownie points" term was not used literally...it has to do with the transforming nature of letting God use your life experience, including pain and suffering, to make you more into the person you can be, and to santify all aspects of human life. FYI...
Is there any scripture that supports this? Or is this more RCBS?
Your post is akin to a big hunk of idiot-meat, sandwiched between the above two pieces of jackass bread.
If a true return could be achieved, it might help, but who would be capable of setting up the administration, what with all the corrupt bishops of today?
BTW, that's a pretty bold statement for you to make. Congratulations.
Our Example in Suffering!