Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(2) May 2016

The Joy Of Love (Amoris Laetitia):
Some Initial Thoughts

Dr Pravin Thevathasan

I am sure much will be said about this papal document in months to come. Here are my first thoughts. The only things that are magisterial in this document are those teachings that have been consistently taught by the Church. Examples include teachings on abortion, contraception and same sex relationships.

There have been no changes in doctrine for the simple reason that not even the Pope can do this. Pastoral adaptations are discussed and one may respectfully agree or disagree on these pastoral matters. Pastoral adaptations may fail. Doctrines do not.

It isn’t a child?

It isn't a child," said the council,
"No, it isn't a child," said the king,
"It's got two arms and it's got two legs,
But it's really only a thing.

"Its heart may appear to be beating,
It awakes with its mother at five
It stirs to the sound of her singing,
But the thing isn't really alive."

Archbishops and agony aunties,
Embryologist joined in the song,
"Remember our qualifications,
How dare you suggest we are wrong?"

"We all agree: we all agree,"
They chanted out in time,
"We've been to the court for a judgement:
To kill a thing isn't a crime."

"The professor of logic asserted,
The Assembly of nations, and all
The Press, and the College of Surgeons,
"Besides, it's remarkably small.

"It's got no cash, it's got no vote,
It's hardly anything.
If you'll just look away for a moment,
I promise it won't feel a thing."

And millions of people applauded
The millions of things torn apart,
But Mary Saluted her cousin,
And pondered each thing in her heart.

David Poole, Q.C., Chairman,
Association of Lawyers in defence of the unborn, May 1989

...Stop Press...Stop Press....
Pope Francis On Health
Care Workers' Duty OfConscientious

in "Amoris Laetitia" (his exhortation on the family, "The Joy of Love". Pope Francis strongly supported our duty to conscientiously object. He said:

Here I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being. The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last. Consequently, “those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty”.