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From a Catholic web site:

“Every pain we endure with love, every cross borne with resignation, benefits every man, woman, and child in the Mystical Body of Christ. Those who are chosen to bear a greater portion of suffering than others are called by God to heal the souls of many whose lives are bereft of the knowledge and love of God. Redemptive Suffering not only helps poor sinners directly by suffering for them but edifies and consoles good and holy souls as they journey through life striving for holiness. This dual role of Redemptive Suffering merits for those chosen by God for such a role, a glory and happiness in the Kingdom beyond our concepts or imagination. Like Jesus, their sufferings, united to His, rise to Heaven and obtain grace and repentance for those who are straying from God and His Love.”

Here’s what I take from this word salad: Pain is good for you, and helpful to all those sinners out there. So enjoy it.

The Catholic Church has weaponized this and applied it to a current political issue: Ten states in the US have adopted laws that allow an individual to request a lethal injection if they have a terminal illness that will cause their death within six months. Advocates call it “Death with Dignity.”  The Church calls it “Assisted Suicide,” and they are adamantly opposed to it.

Catholic owned hospitals do not allow the procedure, or the withholding of food, water, or even pain alleviating medications for a dying patient, even if that patient has executed instructions specifically requesting such measures. Doctors in Catholic hospitals are even forbidden to provide referrals to facilities that allow the procedures. The doctors are only allowed to counsel the patient to “appreciate the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering.”

“Redemptive suffering?” These self-righteous prigs (See Note at end of article) want to torture helpless people on their deathbeds, forcing them to atone for their sins, and the sins of others, even if they are not religious believers. That is despicable, medieval, and beyond any reasonable notion of civilized humanitarian measures.

When I referred to this above as “medieval,” I was thinking of the tortures that the Church inflicted on suspected heretics back in the Middle Ages. If you are not familiar with the atrocities that the Church committed during the Inquisition, you should inform yourself. It is horrifying. The Church was very ingenious in their invention of devices to maximize the agony of accused heretics. I wondered if those tortures were also intended to “redeem” the accused, but a search of the historical accounts seems to indicate that it was intended primarily to extract a confession. Many of those unfortunates probably confessed just to stop the agony. The Church, of course, used it as justification to execute or imprison them.

Modern Catholic apologists are understandably silent on this. It is a period in the history of their Church that is profoundly evil. Everything I was able to find on Catholic websites essentially said, “Oh well, we are all sinners, and those folks were misguided…and besides what about Protestant atrocities?” Whatabout Blah, blah, blah. Deflect, distract, and divert the discussion.

I await the dodging and weaving of the Catholic apologists we are inflicted with here. I won’t name them. We all know who they are.

Note: When I wrote this, the word I used here was slightly different from “prigs.” Coincidentally, the word I initially used started with the same three letters, “pri,” but the letters that followed were “cks” instead of “gs.”

Bert Bigelow is a trained engineer who pursued a career in software design. Now retired, he enjoys writing short essays on many subjects but mainly focuses on politics and religion and the intersection...

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