Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Valerie Schmalz's blockbuster series continues in Catholic San Francisco

Valerie Schmalz's must-read series describing the attack by homosexual activists on the Church continues in the September 19 issue of Catholic San Francisco. The digital version of the paper is already up. It's been on the paper's front page both last week and this week, and quickly reached #1 on the website's "Most popular news stories" list. This week's installment begins:

Faith the latest battleground for gay rights advocates
Faithful America targeting of Archbishop Cordileone showcases tactic

Don’t be surprised if same-sex partnered families are front and center in news coverage of the 2015 Catholic World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia – whether or not Pope Francis shows up.

A coalition of four dissident Catholic groups, calling itself Equally Blessed, is recruiting for what it calls a pilgrimage to “speak out for the holiness of LGBT families” at the World Meeting of Families, to which Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput has invited Pope Francis.

The Equally Blessed coalition received a $200,000 grant in March from Michigan self-identified gay billionaire Jon Stryker’s Arcus Foundation. That brings Arcus funding of Equally Blessed since 2010 to $770,000.

In a press release, Arcus said the 2014 grant was to support “a coalition of pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender) Catholic advocacy agencies which will amplify pro-LGBT voices within the Catholic Church in preparation for significant international gatherings planned by Catholic bishops and the Vatican.”

The Arcus Foundation’s grant-making is part of a strategy by a handful of nonprofit and private foundations to use the language of faith to challenge traditional sexual morality by directly attacking individual faith leaders, including Catholic bishops but also Protestants and Jews.

They fund dissidents in the Catholic Church, as well as other Christians and Jews who share their worldview opposing marriage as only between one man and woman. The financial grants help amplify the voices of dissident Catholics with the intention of making it appear as if the dissidents constitute a vigorous, loud, and committed contingent within ordinary Catholic parishes...."

It's a long and well-researched article, and, as noted, a must-read. You can read the whole thing here. 

Here is her chart of the foundations funding the faux-Catholic groups. Click the image for a larger version.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Holy Name of Mary

Today is the optional feastday of the Holy Name of Mary, our Blessed Mother. From Wikipedia:

"Before the Battle of Vienna in 1683, John III Sobieski had placed his troops under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the following year, to celebrate the victory, Pope Innocent XI added the feast to the General Roman Calendar, assigning to it the Sunday within the octave of the Nativity of Mary.

The reform of Pope Pius X in 1911 restored to prominence the celebration of Sundays in their own right, after they had been often replaced by celebrations of the saints. The celebration of the Holy Name of Mary was therefore moved to 12 September. Later in the same century, the feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 in the reform of the Calendar by Pope Paul VI, as something of a duplication of the 8 September feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,but it did not cease to be a recognized feast of the Roman Rite, being mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 12 September. In 2002 Pope John Paul II restored the celebration to the General Roman Calendar.

And La Wik contains this interesting fact to mull over the next time you are having a Continental breakfast:

The day was commemorated in Vienna by creating a new kind of pastry, known now as the croissant, shaping it in the form of a half-moon from the crest on the Turkish flag. It was eaten along with coffee which was part of the booty from the Turks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Important: SF Archdiocese Exposes LGBT 'Catholic' Groups

This week's Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has an important and comprehensive expose of the motivations and funding of 'Catholic' homosexualist groups seeking to undermine the Church. The article begins:

Gay rights money funds archbishop’s critics
Faithful America part of national progressive advocacy network

September 10th, 2014
By Valerie Schmalz 

"Many Catholics in the San Francisco Bay Area were surprised by the strong negative reaction to Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone’s decision to give a talk about traditional marriage at a June 19 Washington, D.C., rally organized to support marriage.

A national online petition from Faithful America and a nationally publicized June 10 letter from 78 politicians and others urged the archbishop to withdraw from the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. The letter and petition citing “hate” speech by the National Organization for Marriage and the labeling participant Family Research Council as a “hate group” created a media storm and disturbed many local Catholics and pastors.

Most are used to attacks on the archbishop for his strong advocacy of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and family, but the reaction seemed disproportionate to the event – which was a talk at a rally by a Catholic Church leader who has given many talks in support of marriage and family across the country and in the media.

 The cause for surprise among Catholics may be they assumed the powerful reaction was spontaneous. Now there is abundant evidence the reaction was both well planned and financed by Faithful America, an organization that is supported directly and indirectly by politically powerful and wealthy men and by grant-making foundations who have devoted millions of dollars to promoting acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior...."

Flowchart showing funding behind the "Open Letter" to Archbishop Cordileone.
Courtesy Catholic San Francisco.

The article is part one of a three-part special report. It is very heartening to see this in an Archdiocesan newspaper. Not only that, the Archdiocese has a number of its ministries involved in the special report. Ms. Schmalz's article quotes Jesuit Father John Piderit, the Archdiocese's new moderator of the curia and vicar for administration. Fr. Piderit says:

“Similar to other groups, Faithful America is a well-funded pressure group that espouses a variety of viewpoints contrary to Catholic teaching. Informed Catholics are aware that such groups regularly promote their viewpoints in the media.... Catholics should treat these people with dignity, but Catholics also should be aware of their agenda and their tactics." 

Fr. Piderit adds:“The message is part of a larger strategy, and the appearance of open letters and demonstrators is planned, not spontaneous.”

In addition to Ms. Schmalz's expose, the paper also contains two related pieces by Mr. Ed Hopfner, the director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Archdiocese. His first piece articulates the Church's teaching on marriage--what it is and what it isn't:

"The marriage vows reflect the love of God shown us in the person of Jesus Christ – freely given, faithfully and completely given, and fruitful (life-giving). Furthermore, through his life, death and resurrection, Christ has elevated marriage to a sacrament, which gives us the grace to overcome our lust – our disordered desire, our tendency to use others, even our spouse, instead of love them – and love our spouse in the way they deserve.

No other kind of 'love relationship' (parent-child, sibling, friendship, same-sex couple, polygamous ... ) has these features – thus no other kind can be a marriage in our understanding. While many states have legalized same-sex marriage, the church cannot recognize them as such. Pope Francis, while reminding us that we cannot judge the heart, only actions, with his famous 'Who am I to judge?' quote, has reiterated the church’s teaching on the unique character of ‘traditional’ marriage, calling same-sex legal marriage a 'destructive attack on God’s plan,' since it omits a key element of marriage, openness to new life."

Mr. Hopfner's second contribution articulates the Church's teaching on conscience:

"The Catholic Church does teach the primacy of individual conscience. It’s like a compass God has given us, to make moral decisions. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that we must always obey our consciences.

However it also tells us we have an obligation of proper formation of conscience, since we are all 'tempted by sin to prefer … (our) own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.' Just like a compass can point in the wrong direction if a magnet is nearby, so our conscience can be pulled in the wrong direction, and make errors in judgment. The catechism tells us this is particularly true when we are subject to 'bad example by others ... (by) a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, (or) rejection of the church’s authority and her teaching.'”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Msgr. Pope nails it on St. Pat's Parade--and other things as well

Via Rorate, we share the commonsensical observations of the great Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington. Apparently, that Archdiocese pulled his post from their website. 

I can't see any good reason why they would do this. Since they did do it, though, they must have a bad reason. I hope Cardinal Dolan reconsiders his foolish decision to participate in the New York parade.

Time to End the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner?
By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The time for happy-clappy, lighthearted engagement of our culture may be nearing an end. Sometimes it takes a while to understand that what used to work no longer works. Let me get more specific.

Decades ago the “Al Smith Dinner” was a time for Republicans and Democrats to bury the hatchet (even if only temporarily) and come together to raise money for the poor and to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us. But in the old days the death of 50 million infants was not what divided us. We were divided about lesser things such as how much of the budget should go to defense and how much to social spending. Reasonable men might differ over that.

But now we are being asked to raise toasts and to enjoy a night of frivolity with those who think it is acceptable to abort children by the millions each year, with those who think anal sex is to be celebrated as an expression of love and that LGBTQIA… (I=intersexual, A= Asexual) is actually a form of sanity to which we should tip our hat, and with those who stand four-square against us over religious liberty.

Now the St. Patrick’s Parade is becoming of parade of disorder, chaos, and fake unity. Let’s be honest: St. Patrick’s Day nationally has become a disgraceful display of drunkenness and foolishness in the middle of Lent that more often embarrasses the memory of Patrick than honors it.

In New York City in particular, the “parade” is devolving into a farcical and hateful ridicule of the faith that St. Patrick preached.

It’s time to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Al Smith Dinner and all the other “Catholic” traditions that have been hijacked by the world. Better for Catholics to enter their churches and get down on their knees on St. Patrick’s Day to pray in reparation for the foolishness, and to pray for this confused world to return to its senses. Let’s do adoration and pray the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet unceasingly for this poor old world.

But don’t go to the parade; stay away from the Al Smith Dinner and all that “old school” stuff that hangs on in a darkened world. And as for St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to stop wearin’ the green and instead take up the purple of Lent and mean it. Enough of the celebration of stupidity, frivolity, and drunkenness that St Paddy’s day has become. We need penance now, not foolishness. We don’t need parades and dinner with people who scoff at our teachings, insist we compromise, use us for publicity, and make money off of us. We’re being played for (and are?) fools.

End the St Patrick’s parade. End the Al Smith Dinner and all other such compromised events. Enough now, back to Church! Wear the purple of Lent and if there is going to be a procession, let it be Eucharistic and penitential for the sins of this age.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

How say you?

Friday, August 22, 2014

California forces Catholic Colleges to pay for abortion

The Democrats, the party of death, in action. Jerry Brown, a "Catholic", in action. Let it never be forgotten: the picture at left shows Brown with political ally and mass murderer (909 people killed at Jonestown) Jim Jones.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has reversed an earlier decision to allow two Catholic universities to eliminate coverage of most abortions for employees, saying state law requires health insurance plans to cover all abortions.

The state had previously allowed insurance companies to offer plans to Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities that denied coverage for "elective" abortions, and allowed it only for abortions needed to save a woman's life or prevent serious health damage. Loyola Marymount, in Los Angeles, implemented its policy in January, while Santa Clara's was due to take effect next year.

Urged by abortion-rights groups and university employees to reconsider the issue, Brown's Department of Managed Health Care, in letters to be sent Friday to insurers for both universities, said the exclusions violate a 1975 state law that requires group health plans to cover all basic services - defined, by the law, as those that are "medically necessary."

"Abortion is a basic health care service," the department's director, Michelle Rouillard, said in the letter.
In addition, she said, "the California Constitution prohibits health plans from discriminating against women who choose to terminate a pregnancy. Thus, all health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally."

Rouillard told the insurance companies to review all health plans, including those the department had previously approved, to make sure they comply with the law.

Wesley Smith writes: "What starts in California doesn’t stay in California. Forced abortion coverage will be the next front in the war against religious freedom."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Knights of Columbus Promise Matching Funds for People of Iraq!

Displaced Christians in Iraq.
Photo/Khalid Mohammad/AP.
God bless the Knights! From Catholic News Agency:

"New Haven, Conn., Aug 12, 2014 / 02:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus have established a matching fund to assist Christians and other religious minorities facing severe persecution or displacement in Iraq and nearby countries.

“The unprovoked and systematic persecution and violent elimination of Middle East Christians, as well as other minority groups, especially in Iraq, has created an enormous humanitarian crisis,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said Aug. 12.

“It has shocked the conscience of the world that people are systematically being purged from the region where their families have lived for millennia – simply for their faith,” Anderson continued.

“It is imperative that we stand in solidarity with them in defense of the freedom of conscience, and provide them with whatever relief we can.”

In addition to an initial pledge of $500,000, the Catholic fraternal organization will match another $500,000 in donations from the public.

Militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL or ISIS, have seized large areas of Iraqi territory. They took the country’s largest Christian city, Qaraqosh, on the night of Aug. 6, forcing tens of thousands to flee.

The militants have ordered Christians and other minorities to convert, pay a tax known as a jizya, or be killed.

Anderson cited Pope Francis’ request that the world pray and support those affected by the “terrible persecution.”

“We are asking our members, and all people of good will, to pray for those persecuted and support efforts to assist them by donating to this fund,” the head of the Knights of Columbus said.

Donations may be made through the webpage www.kofc.org/Iraq or via check or money orders sent to K of C Christian Refugee Relief, Knights of Columbus Charities, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966.

The Knights of Columbus said that 100 percent of all donations will be used for humanitarian assistance.

Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Second SF Demonstration for Iraqi Christians: Press Shows Up

Today, American Assyrian Christians and their supporters marched in solidarity with the Christians and other abused minorities in Iraq and Syria. The demonstration began at 11AM at San Francisco's UN Plaza, followed by a march to the Federal Building.

This time the press covered the event, something they did not do (except for an article we wrote, published by the good people at California Catholic Daily) at Saturday's larger demonstration. The San Francisco Chronicle covered the event, and Mark Matthews from NBC Bay Area was there too. That will probably appear on this evenings newscast. Here are some pictures from the event:

Mark Matthews of NBC Bay Area intervieing His Excellency Bishop Royel.

The people are very passionate--many have relatives there.

An older lady with family in Iraq. She was mad at the UN, the Pope, and President Obama for not doing enough. It's easy to understand her anger.

More protesters arrive at the plaza.

The demonstrators were of all ages.

The crowd grew--I'd say about 300 people, a lot smaller than last Saturday's demonstration. It's easier to get people on the weekend, of course.

Sr. Ignatius, RSHM, with some young women from USF.

Another shot of His Excellency Bishop Royel.

Ron Konopaski, the leader of San Francisco's 40 Days for Life campaign.

More media. Not sure who they were.

Preparing to march to the Federal Building.

A reminder from Our Lord.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Photos from the SF Rally for Iraqi Christians

On Saturday, August 2, at least 2,000 people gathered in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza as part of the worldwide day of solidarity with the persecuted Christians in Iraq. Many of those gathered were Assyrian Christians, with family still living back there. A number of Assyrian bishops and clergy were at the rally, as well as Congressman Jeff Denham, who represents California's 10th District in Washington DC.

Here are some pictures I took with my smart phone--clicking on a picture will give you the larger version. The rally was scheduled for 10AM, but people were still arriving right up until after 11.

His Grace Bishop Mar Awa Royel, the California bishop of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, gave the invocation. That's him in the yellow circle in the photo below.

His Grace was followed by Congressman Jeff Denham, who pleaded for Democrats and Republicans in Washington to put aside their differences, and to help the people of Iraq. The congressman i9s in the yellow circle in the photo below.

Below is another eastern Bishop who was at the rally--I did not get his name.

There were lots of very moving signs:


Latin Rite Catholics were there to show support for their Assyrian brothers and sisters:

That's Sr. Ignatius, and Mr. Franco Reguzzoni, a teacher from De La Salle High School in Concord holding the flag with the "We Are N" symbol attached. A shining example for his students!

And the Catholic Military families were there, too!

After the rally, our shepherds took the lead in the March to Union Square

The demonstration more than filled Union Square.

There will be another demonstration supporting the Assyrian Christians this Friday at San Francisco's United Nations Plaza. It will begin at 11:00 AM. You can find more details here:


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Solidarity with Iraqi Christians THIS Saturday in San Francisco

On Saturday, August 2, at 10AM in Justin Herman Plaza, Bay Area residents will join people around the world in demonstrations of solidarity with the suffering Christians in Iraq.

Iraqi Christians have been given an ultimatum by the ISIS terrorists: convert to Islam, leave Iraq, or die. (They had originally been “offered” the alternative of paying the jizya, a tax levied on non-Muslims, but that was later withdrawn.). Many are fleeing the place that has been there home for 2000 years. Men are being killed, women raped, churches far older than the United States are being destroyed. Last Saturday, ISIS blew up the Church of the Virgin Mary in Mosul:

They have also destroyed the tomb of the prophet Jonah, and even blown up mosques belonging to members of the Shia sect of Islam, with whom they disagree.  The U.S. Bishop have urged our government to take action to help our brothers and sisters in Christ: 

“The Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq, leaving a trail of destruction, burning and looting ancient churches and mosques, homes and businesses...Thousands have fled with little more than the clothes on their backs, often being robbed of their few personal possessions as they ran.” -Bishop Richard E. Pates, the U.S. bishops’ chairman of International Justice and Peace, letter to U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, July 25.

The worldwide protest includes London, New York, Los Angeles, Australia, many places. In San Francisco, the demonstration of solidarity will take place at 10AM, this Saturday, August 2, at Justin Herman Plaza. —here is our chance to show our support. Details may be found here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Planned Parenthood 'waging a less-than-truthful PR campaign''

An edited version of this article appears in today's California Catholic Daily.

'A less-than-truthful PR campaign’
SF’s Planned Parenthood claims ‘harassment’—but where’s the evidence?

On Sunday July 27, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on complaints from the proprietors of San Francisco’s largest abortion business. The Chronicle’s article “Planned Parenthood gripes about S.F. Protestors” covered the latest fallout from the Supreme Court’s McCullen v. Coakley ruling, which defended the First Amendment rights of pro-life activists. The article began:

“Planned Parenthood executives say San Francisco police and the city attorney aren't doing enough to protect patients and staff from ‘harassment and intimidation’ at the organization's health center on Valencia Street.

‘Each week, as the harassment and intimidation escalate ... the city's ordinances are violated ever more flagrantly,’ Planned Parenthood's Bay Area chapter leader, Heather Saunders Estes, wrote in a July 22 letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

And when center staffers call police, they are told that ‘there is nothing they can do,’ Saunders Estes wrote.

The latest protest rift was brought on by last month's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Massachusetts' 35-foot no-protest zone around clinics.

The protesters now ignore San Francisco's 25-foot buffer zone as they pass out literature, and film staffers and patients entering the building, clinic reps complain.

While other California cities ‘have come out in strong defense of their ordinances,’ Saunders Estes told Herrera, ‘your office continues to dither.’

In response, Herrera said his office shares ‘some of the understandable bitterness and disappointment’ over the Supreme Court ruling and is working with legal experts elsewhere to figure out how to respond.

The real fear, according to insiders, is that defending San Francisco's 25-foot zone could invite a suit by antiabortion activists - which could leave the city on the hook for big legal expenses if they win.”

The Chronicle also reported that San Francisco’s Supervisor David Campos is weighing in. Campos made national news in January on another free speech issue: he introduced a resolution officially opposing banners carrying the “Abortion Hurts Women” message of the Walk for Life West Coast. The banners were hung along the City’s Market Street in preparation for the Walk. Although Campos’ resolution passed—a foregone conclusion with the SF Board of Supervisors-- it was opposed by editorials in both the liberal San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, KGO TV.

The Chronicle reported that “Supervisor and Assembly candidate David Campos - who showed up at the clinic Thursday to see the situation firsthand - said police are awaiting a city ‘policy decision on how to proceed.’

‘I hope we stick as close to the (existing) ordinance as possible, because I think the only way to protect women's access to the clinic is to continue to enforce a buffer zone," Campos said. ‘Even if there are legal risks involved.’ ”

An obvious point was made in the comments section to the article: that if harassment really was occurring, it would not be difficult to prove. One commenter wrote: “Get the cameras rolling. As soon as one of them commits obvious battery, show it to the da/cops. If they STILL drag ass, make a citizens arrest.”

To which another commenter responded: “Trust me, they are. The cameras are rolling constantly, by both sides, at abortion clinics. The fact that you aren't seeing damning videos posted, by either side, shows that whoever is crying to the press is waging a less-than-truthful PR campaign.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Archbishop Cordileone: "At the heart of marriage is the spiritual-sexual relationship between husband and wife"


The following is an excerpt from His Excellency's speech given at the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, in Hanceville Alabama, July 8-11, 2014.

You can listen to his full speech here.

Marriage as the Key to the New Evangelization 

The virtue of chastity is absolutely necessary for persevering in any vocation, no matter what your vocation may be, because it is necessary in order to arrive at true love, in which one makes a gift of oneself to the other, and so attains the true happiness that God created us for; this is living the way God designed it to work.

For married couples, this is lived out by the spirituality of responsible parenthood, the complete, unreserved gift of each one to the other, in conformity to God's design for marriage, all the way to the most intimate dimension of the marital relationship. The point of all this, though, is not only for the good of the couple themselves; it goes far beyond that.

How does an individual grow into a person capable of this great of love? The obvious answer, as challenging as it is in the times in which we're living, is chastity. Today's world sees this as a negative, as a deprivation, as a suppression of the sexual appetite. Chastity, though, essentially means living according to the personalistic norm in our relationships.

If you think about it, the formula is quite simple and clear: healthy societies are built on healthy, united families; healthy, united families are based on healthy, happy, harmonious marriages; and at the heart of marriage is the spiritual-sexual relationship between husband and wife. It all really comes down to that. The whole point is the plan of God for our happiness: it is clear that in the plan of God marriage is meant to be a faithful, fruitful, life-long union between a man and a woman.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dutch euthanasia supporter now says he "was ‘wrong – terribly wrong, in fact’"

Gee, who could have foreseen this?

From the Daily Mail:

"Don't make our mistake"

"A former euthanasia supporter warned of a surge in deaths if Parliament allowed doctors to give deadly drugs to their patients.

‘Don’t do it Britain,’ said Theo Boer, a veteran European watchdog in assisted suicide cases. ‘Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely ever to go back in again.’

His native Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, has seen deaths double in just six years and this year’s total may reach a record 6,000.

Professor Boer’s intervention comes as peers prepare to debate the Assisted Dying Bill, promoted by Lord Falconer, a Labour former Lord Chancellor. 
The bill, which has its second reading next week, would allow doctors to prescribe poison to terminally ill and mentally alert people who wish to kill themselves.

Professor Boer, who is an academic in the field of ethics, had argued seven years ago that a ‘good euthanasia law’ would produce relatively low numbers of deaths....But, speaking in a personal capacity yesterday, he said he now believed that the very existence of a euthanasia law turns assisted suicide from a last resort into a normal procedure...

Euthanasia is now becoming so prevalent in the Netherlands, Professor Boer said, that it is ‘on the way to becoming a default mode of dying for cancer patients’. He said assisted deaths have increased by about 15 per cent every year since 2008 and the number could hit a record 6,000 this year.

Professor Boer admitted he was ‘wrong – terribly wrong, in fact’ to have believed regulated euthanasia would work. ‘I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a very different view.

(In about 12 years I expect to see supporters of counterfeit "marriage" saying the same thing.)

Whereas in the first years after 2002 hardly any patients with psychiatric illnesses or dementia appear in reports, these numbers are now sharply on the rise.

‘Cases have been reported in which a large part of the suffering of those given euthanasia or assisted suicide consisted in being aged, lonely or bereaved.

‘Some of these patients could have lived for years or decades. Pressure on doctors to conform to patients’ – or in some cases relatives’ – wishes can be intense.

‘Pressure from relatives, in combination with a patient’s concern for their wellbeing, is in some cases an important factor behind a euthanasia request. Not even the review committees, despite hard and conscientious work, have been able to halt these developments.’

The latest euthanasia figures for the Netherlands show that nearly one in seven deaths are at the hands of doctors.