Euthanasia Brings End to Belgian Monarchy

SawingTreeLimbHeisSittingOn

There has been no coup, no abdication, no revolution. It is an event that has gone largely unnoticed. The media have hardly spoken about it. Yet it is a reality. The monarchy in Belgium is done with, over, kaput. The king of Belgium has turned himself out of his royal throne by signing a law on March 9 that permits child euthanasia. But some might say that this royal assent is not the end of the Belgian monarchy, but, on the contrary, assures its longevity. As the newspaper, La libre belgique has stated, the Belgian king “has fulfilled his constitutional role perfectly,” despite being pressured not to sign the law. Had he refused to sign it, he might have been forced to abdicate and the monarchy itself might have disappeared in Belgium, since it is already on shaky ground.

But when the monarchy is mainly representative (having to sign laws without any right to veto or change them, gives it de facto a representational role to play, even if the Belgian monarchy is called a constitutional one, where the King would typically nominate and dismiss ministers, and exercise some executive powers), then it’s main raison d’être is its moral role. It is supposed to be a moral guide in a confused world, independent of party politics and therefore less moved by the ideological winds that blow where they wish. When everyone else buckles under, when common sense, basic human decency and the most sacred moral laws have been thrown overboard, then the king should stand up and shine some light into this Babylonian darkness.

For all of these laws over the last half-century in Western countries—which have led to the killing of the unborn, of the sick and elderly and now to the murder of sick children—have been passed in the name of compassion. There is no greater or more brazen lie than this. Supporters may say they are motivated by love, they may for the most part be befuddled and believe they are averting unnecessary human suffering, but under their disguise lurks a barbarism just as real as the one we witnessed in the first half of the twentieth century. This “compassion” does not live up to its name, for it does not “suffer with”; it does not accompany the women in crisis pregnancies on their difficult path and offer them real options, but gives them an easy-way out, namely the killing of a child, leaving the woman often traumatized for life. (How often these women say later that they had “no choice,” thereby belying the “pro-choice” position its very name.) The message is conveyed to those gravely ill that there is no hope and that they are better off dead. This lie eventually leads to the killing of those who are not terminally ill—like the 45-year-old deaf twin brothers last year, who preferred to be euthanized rather than go blind (when they could, for example, have learned other communication techniques) or the depressed whose situation could be improved. It already occurs in hospitals against the will of patients and out of public sight. The floodgates are open and legalized euthanasia cannot be tamed with a few rules and regulations.

In the beginning of Macbeth, the witches call things by their opposite: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”  We do the same when we call killing an act of love. There are those who are called by their office, their profession and their talents to speak the truth in public places: priests, teachers, those in positions of moral authority like royalty. If a country will not listen to them, then the worse it is for that country. It is even more tragic, however, when public figures abandon their vocation and follow the crowd out of fear of not being heard. When the moral compass no longer points to the pole of truth, it has become useless, and needs to be discarded like salt that has lost its taste. If the king of Belgium will not stand up against the killing of children, what offence against morality will he oppose?

Philippe and father King Albert II in Brussels cathedral July 21, 2013 : ReutersBy recalling recent events, we can better judge the gravity of King Philippe’s decision. In 2002 Belgium legalized euthanasia for adults. In February of this year, Belgium’s parliament adopted a law that would extend euthanasia to children without an age-limit. The vote was pushed through quickly, despite the open letter of 200 pediatric doctors to the head of the chamber, André Flahaut, asking to postpone the vote and gather more feedback. Dr. Christiane Vermyle, a pediatric oncologist in Louvain, said that the palliative care given to children allows for an end of life that is gentle and without pain; the children can still enjoy special moments with their parents every day thanks to medical treatment at home; in her 30 years of professional experience, she had never been asked to euthanize a child and she didn’t believe it was necessary in terms of pain management. This law was proposed even though no parents in particular asked for the euthanasia law to apply to children. Instead, the socialist senator Philippe Mahoux, who wrote the law, is calling it “humanistic.”

Admittedly, the king of Belgium was in a difficult position. Yes, his uncle, King Baudouin, had abdicated for a day in 1990, in order not to sign a law legalizing abortion, thereby setting a courageous example. 210,000 signatures from 20 countries, collected by CitizenGo, were brought to King Philippe, encouraging him to make the right decision; a charming video of a little girl—whose sickness could in future years have meant her death-warrant, but who recovered through surgery—was addressed to him, begging him to desist. But King Philippe’s father, King Albert II, had signed the law permitting euthanasia in 2002, thereby making things more confusing for his son. Albert’s act was the death knell of the monarchy; his son’s signature is digging its grave. King Philippe was under much pressure and probably had a hard time discerning what to do, especially since he is a practicing Catholic and against euthanasia. He was in all likelihood afraid his refusal would bring about the end of the monarchy in Belgium and all the potential good it could still do (the king is deemed one of the key elements in holding the country together which is in constant tension between its Flemish and its Walloon populations). He is a young and inexperienced king who succeeded to the throne only in July 2013. Yet this offered an opportunity for him to redeem the monarchy, to stand up where his father had backed down. He missed his chance, which is a shame, for it comes with grave consequences.

King Philippe could also point to widespread public disagreement. Some thought there was no right choice, that even his abdication would be similar to Pontius Pilate washing his hands of Christ’s blood. What they failed to see is that Pontius Pilate’s refusal to intervene was not a refusal to participate in an evil act; he still ordered his soldiers to kill Jesus, but wrongly thought he could free himself from all guilt. King Philippe sanctioned an evil law by signing it, while his refusal to do so would have freed him from all responsibility and been an important witness to the world, even though the law was going to be implemented regardless of his decision. His refusal to sign would have been analogous to Pontius Pilate refusing to have Jesus executed. Both buckled under enormous pressure. But they failed to see that the political gain they sought was short-lived.

How will history judge King Philippe’s decision? How will his family view him in generations to come? Once Europe will wake up from its madness and see the horrors it has been perpetrating over half a century, it will look back with admiration at those who stood up. Bishop von Galen is held up as a shining example for his incredibly brave denunciation of Hitler’s euthanasia program. Consider another example: By seeking an early end to WWI by reaching out to Austria’s enemies, Blessed Karl von Habsburg was called a coward and traitor by his ally, Germany, who then marginalized him. His end was by worldly standards a sad one (he died on Madeira in 1922 from pneumonia due to the cold and humid conditions in which he was forced to live), but glorious by heavenly criteria. One day he will be widely acknowledged as a man of peace and a promoter of social reform in a time of warring nationalism and class conflict, challenging the ideologies of his day.

Perhaps King Philippe can make amends. He can still publicly declare his regret for having signed the law and pledge never to make the same mistake again. We can only hope he will admit his error.  The monarchy may yet continue as an institution for years to come, but in terms of its purpose and vocation it is surely dead. It has sawed off the branch on which it was sitting and has lost its moral credibility. Paradoxically, signing this law appears to have brought about precisely what King Philippe was trying to avoid.

Editor’s note: The photo in the text was taken in a Brussels cathedral on July 21, 2013, the day Prince Philippe (left) was to ascend to the throne of Belgium. Seated next to him is his father King Albert II. (Photo credit: Reuters.)

Marie Meaney

By

Marie Meaney received her doctorate and an M. Phil. in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. She is the author of Simone Weil’s Apologetic Use of Literature: Her Christological Interpretations of Classic Greek Texts (Oxford University Press, 2007). Her booklet Embracing the Cross of Infertility (HLI) has also appeared in Spanish, German, Hungarian and Croatian. Before the birth of her daughter, she was a teaching fellow at Villanova University.

  • ForChristAlone

    Won’t be visiting Belgium anytime soon…or ever.

  • Mack

    The King of the Belgians is the King of Europe, since Belgium is the ruler of Europe, but the King is the ruler of nothing. There are layers of irony and degradation in all that.

  • Sam Scot

    Many friends of mine believe that monarchy is a superior form of government, because the king is free to be the spiritual, as well as practical head of state. They cite this in contrast to the American system, which even in its true, original form, separates spiritual leadership from political authority at the highest level. (Under the Constitution as written, the States remain free to have an official religious denomination.) Many of my friends dislike the idea of the people electing their own representatives, since it brings crass, self-interested considerations to questions of governance—in contrast to a king, who is given his vocation by heredity and consecrated to God, and presumably serves for no other purpose than to be free to act on Divine principle.
    I like the idea of a Catholic king, of rooting government in the reality of the True Faith. But the situation in Belgium suggests that human governance is everywhere human, subject to the same opportunities for acts of great cowardice or courage. In the best interpretation of his act, Philippe was sufficiently influenced by politics that he feared even to make the symbolic protest that his uncle, King Baudouin, made in refusing to sign the Belgian law legalizing abortion. It reminds us that all Christian men are called to be priest, prophet, and king, and each will be subject to the same accounting when his day is done. May God have mercy on King Philippe.

    • Sid

      Very commendable post, Sam. We should look more favorably upon the monarchial form of government than we usually do.

      However, while all forms of human governance will, indeed, be flawed, that should not be the sole or primary lens through which we view and assess such matters.

      What is also important is what gives due respect and honor to Christ the King.

      • Objectivetruth

        And the bottom line is the only Kingdom we should really care about is not of this world……

        • dove1

          But it is coming soon to this one – every time we say the Our Father, it gets closer! Can’t wait, but have no choice but to witness what a world without God looks like. Must be punishment for original sin! Not that I haven’t heaped more upon myself and the world! Mercy!

        • Sid

          Untrue. It is the first, primary kingdom we should care about, but it is not the only one. Christ’s Kingship on earth is also an integral part of the faith and one we are to work toward.

          • musicacre

            That’s what I was trying to say in a different way; some kings had it right and I was using them as examples that there were actually a few that flourished because they put Christ first. I wasn’t saying (obviously) that all kings are good, how ridiculous…the examples being King Alfred the Great, (England), KIng St. Louis IX, King St. Edward the confessor, (England again). These are examples that we can surely look up to and study their lives.

    • TheAbaum

      “I like the idea of a Catholic king, of rooting government in the reality
      of the True Faith. But the situation in Belgium suggests that human
      governance is everywhere human, subject to the same opportunities for
      acts of great cowardice or courage.”

      This is the reality of a fallen world. Glad somebody is willing to see the world as it is, not as they would like it to be.

      • musicacre

        The world has always been fallen, since Adam and Eve, but there are great men in every age, regardless. Look at King St. Edward. I’m sure he was surrounded by his share of corrupt men and pressuring politics, yet look at his record. They say it is difficult and sometimes heroic to speak truth to power, but how about “being” power, and speaking truth? We can never be so cynical as to not still expect heroism of men.

        • TheAbaum

          I’m sure there are wonderful people who have worn crowns, but given the reality of sin (Libido Dominandi), the record of monarchies is also littered with Herods, Caligulas, Neros, Catherine “the Great”s and Henry Tudors.

          • Sid

            The reality of sin does not change the truth nor does it change what is inherently good, simply because it can be subject to sinful corruption.

            The reality of divorce does not mean marriage is not good, laudable and holy.

            So despite monarchal riff raff and despots, the Catholic monarchal form of government is a perfectly good and salutary form of governance, one that the Church has looked favorably upon during the course of its august history. One whose return should be seen, minimally, as a desirable option.

            And if we want to ponder the implications and possibilities of sin in civil authority, let us not overlook the beloved Americanist form of government, where power is wielded by a noxious brew of materialist ungodly coporate interests in conjunction with the perfunctory cooperation of the sinful, unwashed, unCatholic masses indulging in self absorbed de facto mob rule to the exclusion of the full sweep of the natural law, not to mention the divine law.

            • TheAbaum

              So despite monarchal riff raff and despots, the Catholic monarchal form of government is a perfectly good and salutary form of governance.

              Remove yourself from fantasy land.

  • John O’Neill

    Sad to note that Belgium was once a devout Catholic country which sent thousands of missionaries out to Africa and other countries. Now it has become the leader of the culture of death which is the religion of the rich and powerful in the West. Ireland once was a devout Catholic country and is following Belgium’s example, recently the Irish prime minister signed the abortion law for the Irish and he did it with relish and joy.

    • Don

      I agree John. What has happened to Europe? Was it the scars of war? Was it the sudden wealth? Something ate into their souls and changed them in a very dark way.

      • musicacre

        I think it was America exporting its (non) culture to the ends of the earth. (And all the stuff that went with it.) Of course that’s simplistic, but it has to be a big contributing factor.

        • Gail Finke

          If so, then why is Europe doing all these things first? Americans have long thought of corrupting influences coming FROM Europe, not the other way around. Lately it’s been about even, I’d say, but European corruption is not new.

          • musicacre

            I didn’t say America was doing things first, or worse. I used the word exporting, because America is good at projecting its image across the entire world. And since it’s a closed circle media generally (otherwise, why would we have to resort to this forum?) it doesn’t tend to project the healthy and good things about the culture.

        • Valentin

          That is not completely true (but in part true), My family is German and despite practically everyone having been baptized into the Church I am one of the few in my family who goes to the mass and most of the problem at least in Germany is that is so secularized that people seem to treat secular matters more important than religious matters. At least back in the 1600’s people cared enough about religion to fight for it. That’s one problem along with superstitious stuff like astrology.

      • John Uebersax

        Excellent question. But may I suggest that trying to diagnose this malady, and even more, constantly being alarmed at symptoms of it, are not what we need. We need a plan for re-evangelizing Europe. Who is talking about that?

  • poetcomic1

    Makes one think of another King who ordered the killing of innocent children.

    • dove1

      They ask God, “When will you avenge us?” God answers, “When the last soul to fill Heaven is saved, I will act.” Makes me wonder how near full Heaven must be by now – Come, Lord Jesus, come! He says, “Behold, I am at the door!”

  • msmischief

    why did we fight World War II when the side that wanted to kill the useless mouths and the lives unworthy of life has clearly won?

  • Charles_Martel

    Yes, his uncle was “brave” for abdicating for a day to allow abortion to be legalized. Brave enough to “take a stand” but not brave enough to put anything that mattered behind that stand. Uncle was a coward as is nephew.

    • cestusdei

      Actually he abdicated absolutely. It was the legislature that reinstated him. He said he was fine with it being permanent and did not ask to be reinstated. He was no coward.

      • bonaventure

        No, he (King Baudouin) was a coward.

        He knew EXACTLY what was being played, and he played the game.

        Besides, Belgium had become one of the most liberal nations in Europe during his long reign (1951 to 1993), which makes one wonder how many other anti-life and pro-culture of death laws he signed all these years?

        • cestusdei

          That is simply untrue. If you have actual evidence then present it. The man was virtuous and stated that he would abdicate absolutely and that he did not care if they reinstated him or not. If he was lying then prove it. His whole life shows that he was telling the truth. The point is that he did NOT sign such laws.

          • bonaventure

            Baudouin should never have abdicated in the first place. He shouldn’t have abdicated, nor signed the law. He WAS in a position to do this, regardless of the pressure, etc. Then one could say that he was, indeed, virtuous in this matter.

            • cestusdei

              He did not sign the law. He abdicated instead. He did his duty first as a Catholic and then as a monarch. You have no evidence for what you say and the facts contradict you. You will need to apologize to him when he is canonized.

  • Fred

    “6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.”

    And the king rejects Him as well.

  • Rick DeLano

    Excellent article, situating this Dark Age from the standpoint of what will succeed it. The King of Belgium has been weighed in the balance and found wanting….but then again, how many of us have also?

    • dove1

      Many. Me. That is why we say, “Lord, have mercy!” ever louder!

  • cestusdei

    King Baudin will likely be raised to the altars as a saint. The current king…is simply a quisling to the culture of death.

  • John Albertson

    This is an excellent, though sad, follow-up to Father Rutler’s “Recalling Euthanasia’s Legacy of Death” (Crisis, Feb 14, 2014) in which he speculated on the consequences of a Royal Assent, before it had happened. The silence of the media, especially the Catholic media, on the King’s action is indicting. – But here is the awkward fact: a Catholic monarch canonically is directly under the discipline of the reigning Pope. Yet Pope Francis has invoked no canonical censures and has said nothing. Pious souls who demand that local bishops excommunicate politicians for assenting to evil, will have to explain why they expect that these local bishops do more than the Holy Father seems willing to do himself.

  • uncle max

    I have an episcopalian friend who once remarked “Reform in the Catholic Church almost always comes from the bottom up.”

    • And that has exactly what to do with this article?

      • bonaventure

        Could it be that Uncle Max just unveil his true self?

        In fact, he just revealed the real face of liberalism in the Church.

        For while liberals claim that their demands (especially homosexual “marriage” and “ordination” of women) are a matter of “equality,” I wonder how much equality are they willing to give to the ill child whose death they advocate for their own comfort?

  • hombre111

    A sad story. But I feel compelled to ask Marie if she is pro-death penalty or pro-war.

    • bonaventure

      Why mix the issues? Euthanasia is always morally unacceptable. Not so with the death penalty. And war could be just, if it follow strict and specific guidelines.

      CCC 2267:
      “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been
      fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not
      exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way
      of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor”

      CCC 2309:
      “The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

      – the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

      – all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

      – there must be serious prospects of success;

      – the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

      These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

      The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

      • hombre111

        So…there are excuses for killing the innocent? As in a war, where so many children perish? As in executing a man who is not guilty? The difference gets pretty thin.

        • bonaventure

          No. A just war is a defensive war. It’s purpose is to actually PROTECT the innocent from an aggressor.

          Unless of course, you believe that a nation under attack should just let an aggressor come in, rapppe, murder, pillage, and deport.

          P.S.: Regarding your comment about “executing an innocent man.” And where, please, in the Catechism, does it say that the execution of an innocent man can ever be condoned? Did you even READ the quote from the CCC: “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined…”

          • hombre111

            Interesting that you took the name of a Franciscan. The Franciscans I know (except in Steubenville) might disagree with you. But anyway, did you support the war in Iraq? It broke most of the principles for a just war. Did you check that out, before voting for Bush the second time, after we knew that his war was based on lies and deception, and against the advice of the pope?

            • bonaventure

              Oh?
              so you KNOW, for sure, that I:
              (1) Supported the Iraq War?
              (2) Voted for Bush in 2000?
              (3) Voted for Bush “the second time” in 2004?
              Are you using a crystal baII, or a drug induced trance to get your information?
              You claim to be a Catholic priest.
              In reality, you’re just a troll.

              • hombre111

                I think my guess was as safe as wondering about whether or not a dog would eat a bone.

                • bonaventure

                  I wonder if you make such presumptuous assumptions about other people you meet in your supposed priestly ministry? In the confessional, maybe?

                  “Johnny? Is that you? Hold on, don’t say a thing. I bet that you sinned with ………….. and …………….. and ………………. . Okay, go now Johnny, poor inferior thing, I forgive you [or, do not forgive you] your sins.”

                  Troll.

                  • hombre111

                    Hearing confessions for fifty years has given me great sight into human nature. You are easy to read.

                    • bonaventure

                      Looks like it only taught you presumptuousness and arrogance.
                      What Would Pope Francis Say?

              • James E O’Leary

                What ever became of “in all things, charity?” Marie Meaney is an excellent writer. I would like to read more pieces by her. I most often don’t agree with her politics but she is ten times smarter than I am and a hundred times more holy. I am a very stubborn Catholic however even though I am unashamedly liberal. And unashamedly Democrat.

                • bonaventure

                  “Catholic” and “unashamedly liberal & unashamedly Democrat” today is as much a contradiction as saying “I am Catholic and unashamedly atheistic and unashamedly communist, or nihilist, or Nazi, etc.”

                  Sorry, but one contradicts the other, and the day will come when you will have to make a choice. Meanwhile, I wish that you truly enjoy that which is best (and still allowed) from Catholic culture, faith, and doctrine. Because the time may also come when you won’t be able to enjoy these anymore. More likely, that would be the time to choose.

                  Oh, and euthanasia (as well as abortion, homosexuality, homosexual “marriage,” and the other liberal sacred cows) do not belong to what is Catholic. Or they belong in the confessional, or in an excommunication buII.

            • White Pro-Lifer

              Did you know before apparently not voting for Bush that he was against the killing of the millions of innocent unborn children that occur yearly in this country and across the world ? What are you ? One of those countless co-called Catholic priests who vote unquestioningly for baby-killer candidates like Obama because it’s good for “social justice” i.e. your bottom line ? Yes I voted for Bush twice and not, I was never FOR the war. — sign me White Pro-Life Female Cradle Catholic — unimpressed by “priests” like YOU

      • dove1

        I simplified it for him – see my response.

      • John Uebersax

        My question is how do you *know* that euthanasia is always morally unacceptable? Do you know this directly from your own insight, as in the case of 2 + 2 = 4? Or is a necessary premise in your reasoning that “The infallible Magisterium of the Catholic Church has determined that euthanasia is always immoral, so it must be so…”?

        • Guest

          Right reason, Scripture, Tradition, logic, Magisterium, common sense, informed conscience, on and on.

          • John Uebersax

            Okay, thanks. Then apparently you do not ‘see’ the truth all at once, as in the case of 2 + 2 = 4, right? It is, rather, an inference made by combining evidence from several modalities. Here are contrary arguments:

            Right reason: argues for intellectual humility; “do not assert as absolutely certain what you do not know as absolutely certain”; be wary of ones own limitless capacity for wrong reason; avoid drawing unconditional inferences; every rule has an exception.

            Scripture: No passage of Scripture that absolutely and definitively proves the principle that euthanasia is always wrong. Therefore, to apply Scripture, some extra premise must be assumed. For example, the Bible says, “Thou shall not kill.” An additional premise must be assumed that relates this to euthanasia.

            Tradition: Many traditional societies practice euthanasia.

            Common Sense: common sense is so-named because everyone has it in common. To me it is common sense to be very, very cautious about euthanasia, lest a mistake be made; yet it is also common sense that a person be spared spending the rest of their ‘life’ in terrible pain. It also seems common sense to me that a person has the right to decide their own fate.

            I will end it here. My point is simply that the issue is more complex than Ms. Meaney allows. I stand by my earlier remark that the piece is reactionary. It certainly does nothing to help produce a meaningful and productive dialogue on the philosophical and moral issues involved in euthanasia.

            • Guest

              Murder is always wrong. This is self evident.

              You say every rule has an exception. Does that mean that rule has an exception in that there are no exceptions? I am sorry but I find your reasons all circular.

    • dove1

      No one in their right mind is pro-war or pro-death penalty! War and death penalty are just only in defense. hombre, someone breaks into your house and puts a knife to you child’s throat are you saying stopping him with lethal force, if necessary, is somehow beneath you? My, what an advanced person you think yourself, feeling compelled as you do – but I am glad I am not your child or your countryman.

      • hombre111

        But too many people who claim to be in their right mind give war and the death penalty the benefit of the doubt. For instance, did you support Mr. Bush’s decision–against the plea of the Vatican–to go to war in Iraq?

        • dove1

          No, I didn’t. I answered truthfully. So, would you defend your wife or daughter with deadly force from a deadly assailant? Your turn!

          • hombre111

            When I was in South America, a drugged out maniac went after our night watchman, and the only I thought I could save his life was by killing his assailant. I gave it a good try. So, yes, I would kill to defend an innocent life. But that is not the issue. Modern wars are brutal, killing far more civilians than soldiers. They should never, ever get the benefit of the doubt. As Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan should have taught us, wars are easy to start and hard to end. The Third World is no longer scared of us, and we need to learn how to use other means to push our way around.
            As for fighting? Jesus did say turn the other cheek. And the death penalty? It is mostly a matter of revenge. In the moment of their crime, most criminals are either drugged out or feel infallible. Fear of the death penalty does little to stop what they are about to do.

            • dove1

              I have some observations and hope you can take them to your education and benefit for real growth, which has been bereft for some time. Here goes: Your answers seem good to you – not much related to the teachings of the church, the revelation of God, but, hey, maybe they all got it wrong. Glad we have you! Looks to me like you are your own god – GL with that. I read a number of your comments to get a feel for to whom I am speaking. Very selective in your own world-view and liberalism in what you accept and that you reject. Factually wrong often, or vastly magnifying you own opinions wherever you can get a speck of support. You are all answers for all people in all places and for all time – hope you have one for God! Maybe you can explain to Him what He really meant or should have! Where is any speck of humility? Arrogant error! The worst kind! Same thing your liberal icons had – like FDR – who prolonged the depression 3-4X what it needed to be – like pbo is doing. (voted for him, eh? twice? call yourself “Catholic”? I’d bet money on all – and to the real detriment to the faith.) I won’t respond to you again (that rebuke, shun thing), but suggest you look into the truth from a less convicted perspective – you may be surprised. Happy Easter.

  • Frater Ninian Allan Doohan

    It should be noted that King Boudewijn did not actually abdicate his throne. He asked the government to find a juridical solution to his inability to sign the abortion Bill into Law. Article 82 (now article 93) of the Belgian Constitution allowed the Council of Ministers to regard the King as unable to reign because of an “impossible situation” (in this matter, his conscience prohibited him signing the abortion bill into law) and assembled both Houses of Parliament to decide on the manner of governing the Kingdom during this time. After the ultimate passing of the abortion Bill into Law the King informed the Premier that he considered the “impossible situation” had now ceased to exist. The Council of Ministers assembled both Chambers of Parliament again and voted to confirm that an end had come to the situation of the “impossibility to rule”. This situation lasted 36 hours. It sounds less glamorous this way – there was no abdication – only Parliamentary votes regarding the beginning and end of a situation which made it impossible for the King to reign (much like as if he fell into a coma). I regard King Boudewijn as a saint awaiting canonisation, and I am sadly disappointed his brother and nephew did not follow his example.

  • Brian O’Leary

    “I would rather be tied to the soil as a serf than be King of all these dead.” – Achilles in Homer’s Odyssey.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Is the king Catholic? Then all the responsibility falls on the bishop for not excommunicating him…..end of story….cowards for Bishops = spineless Catholics.

    • bonaventure

      Excellent point.

      Same should be said about the majority of bishops in the so-called western world. Beginning with the U.S. Bishops. History will not be kind to them. And neither will God.

      “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops”
      — St. John Chrysostom

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Reigning sovereigns are not subject to the jurisdiction of the local bishop, but of the Holy See

      • Maggie Sullivan

        Bummer, that means silence….after all we should not “obsess” about mass murder or “judge” anyone even if they abuse children.

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  • schmenz

    “It is an event that has gone largely unnoticed.” It went unnoticed, too, by the one man in the world who should have climbed his pulpit and denounced this outrage: Pope Francis.

    A Pope who remains silent in the face of such horrors is a Pope who will one day have to answer to God for his inaction.

    • I hope there isn’t something prophetic in that- but I fear yes, that’s where the Jesuit method of tolerating sin leads.

    • dove1

      How very sad! How must the Blessed Virgin Mary lament her lost children – those for whom her Son died! Jesus saw this during His passion! Almighty God, have mercy on us! Amen. Love Mary, console her – be faithful children, be good in a lost world, my dear friends.

  • kmk

    Euthanasia is just another political issue to further denigrate Catholicism. If someone really wants to die because of suffering, they can easily off themself.

  • Florian

    Hello everybody, my name is Florian and I’m Belgian. Having lived in the States and reading all you comments, I’m both laughing and angry. I haven’t red all the comments but when I read “The responsibility falls on the bishop for not excommunicating him” I feel really sad. Are you guys catholic? Do you really know what is going on in Belgium? Because I’m sorry but this article is to be compare to a physician trying to make a comment on Shakespeare. It is totally not accurate and Marie Meaney has wrote it not having the right information. If you guys give a chance I’d explain you why.

  • Really?

    Good article. We the people of Belgium should be taking the blame and should have done more to stop these things and more so for those who were in a position to do so. The King can not be blamed. He would have signed against his conscience. Europe has lost its foundation and moral compass in the last 30 years. Wealth and commerce/business took over. Having said this there are many, many good people around who fight for what is right. Somehow we need to bring ourselves together.

  • John Uebersax

    Another reactionary article involving a hot-button issue. Another opportunity to evade the real, deeper cultural and social issues that confront American and Western European culture.

  • John Uebersax

    I would also like to know by what divine revelation Ms. Meaney has determined with such certainty that euthanasia is against the natural moral order of the universe. Inasmuch as she appears to have some familiarity with Greek philosophy, may I suggest she consider the meaning of Socrates’ words “If I am wise, it is in knowing how much I don’t know.”

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  • Marcello1099

    Belgium has degenerated into another Eurotrash state of demonic secularism and barbarism. Who really won WWII? Is there is any real difference between Nazi eugenics and what is gong on in the rest of the Continent? Seems like the Thousand-year Reich lives. Der Fuehrer would be proud.

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