The Glamour of Suicide

The Devil wasn’t going to let Lady Day (March 25) go by without having a swipe at the Culture of Life that day so gloriously celebrates. The Age ran a front page story called “Angie’s choice: a death with dignity”, glorifying a suicide as a “death with dignity”. (See also:Angie’s choice and Police investigate Angie’s lonely death, as well as letters to the editor here and here).

This is nothing new for The Age. A google search of “euthanasia” on www.theage.com.au will turn up 1,020 articles. Compare this to a google search on The Herald Sun’s website (which turns up only 256) and it is hard not to get the impression that this is a subject the Editors at The Age are especially interested in. In fact, the Herald Sun seems happy to carry a different line from one of their most popular columnists (Andrew Bolt, Philip Nitschke ‘leaves trail of lonely dead’).

The fact is that The Age certainly knew that this illegal suicide (suicide is illegal, you know – it is just very hard to prosecute!) was going to take place.

Senior-Sergeant Allen said Ms Belecciu, who told her story to The Age last week in an effort to stir debate about euthanasia, had been found by a motel worker who reported her death to police on Tuesday.

In the light of Senior-Sergeant Allen’s comment, I don’t think it would be inaccurate to call the story (not the actual death) of Ms Belecciu either a “protest action” or a “media stunt” (depending on your point of view) jointly carried out by Ms Belecciu and The Age.

The letters to the editor the next day included this:

A PALLIATIVE care nurse takes her own life rather than enjoy the benefits of palliative care. This, surely, destroys the myth, created with support of the Catholic Church, that palliative care is a humane solution to the immense suffering that some people have to endure. If only our elected representatives had the courage to stand up to unelected lobby groups and do the right thing — legalise euthanasia.
Evert de Graauw, Wantirna

That reminds me of when I was a kid. If I complained of a sickness or a pain that wouldn’t go away, my mum would sometimes joke “We’ll just bong you on the head – that’ll fix it.”

Anyway, now to the reason why I am blogging on this a few days after the event. The Archdiocese has released a public response to this sorry episode. Here it is:

MEDIA RELEASE – 27 MARCH 2009

BISHOP REJECTS GLAMORISATION OF SUICIDE

Bishop Christopher Prowse, Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, said today that he was deeply distressed by the suffering and death of Angie Belecciu (The Age 25 March 2009).

The Bishop said however that he does not abide ‘glamorising’ story telling about her particular circumstances. “Nor do I condone efforts taken by some to assist people in Angie Belecciu’s situation to take their own lives,” he said.

“I wish more could have been done to ease her suffering. My prayers and sympathy are with her family at this time,” he said. “I see nothing ennobling, no validation of human dignity, in suicide. We must do all we can to make the benefits of palliative care accessible.”

The Bishop said that palliative care gives tremendous comfort and support to the terminally ill.

Mr Larkins, Chief Executive Officer of Palliative Care Victoria, told The Age recently that feedback from loved ones of palliative care patients showed a 98% to 99% satisfaction with treatment.

Bishop Prowse said, “Further resources from Government and elsewhere are required to further advance palliative care in Australia. For Christians, life is a gift from God. It is not ours to dispose of.”

The Bishop said the Catholic Church, and many others in the community, regrets any bias towards a euthanasia option that Australian society has long condemned. “May it continue to outlaw euthanasia in all its insidious expressions. Euthanasia is never to be a choice for a healthy society that protects life from beginning to end.”

“Our prayers go out to Angie Belecciu. May she rest in peace. May her family be comforted at this time of sadness,” the Bishop said.

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91 Responses to The Glamour of Suicide

  1. Joshua says:

    SJ – I do wish you could be polite in your comments. To call what someone writes “rubbish” is cruel and mean.

    I wrote all that because I believe it with all my heart, mind and soul, and cannot do otherwise than assent to this truth.

    I suppose in a sense it is “my job” because as a Catholic Christian I am instructed by St Peter in his first Epistle to do so: “Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do so with gentleness and fear…” (iii, 15f)

    If you wish to read any more about me, feel free to visit my blog; but of your charity refrain from unpleasant and hurtful comments, which I detest.

  2. Louise says:

    Why did you spend all that time writing that rubbish Joshua? Is it your job?

    It is Joshua’s job to give a reason for the hope he has in him at all times. And it is lso my job and the job of every Christian to do this.

    Don’t like it? Go away. Easy.

  3. Schütz says:

    Frank: I think that it’s better to think of the Patriarchs and St Joseph as Catholics don’t you?

    Wrong category, Frank. Prior to Pentecost we are dealing with the old dispensation, under which not only the Patriarchs, but all faithful Jews were saved through their faith in the promise. Cf. Gal 3:

    “6 Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 7 So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.”

    Interestingly, Paul’s concern was less whether someone was “Catholic” or not and more as to whether they were “Sons of Abraham”. While the Church to which Paul belonged (the only Church there was) was certainly the Catholic Church, Paul himself did not have a concept of “Catholic Church” over against any other kind of Church. The claim in his day was the Jewish claim that only “sons of Abraham” could be saved. Paul sought to demonstrate that by faith all who believed in Christ were “sons of Abraham”.

    Of course, those who were “sons of Abraham” by faith were members of the Catholic Church, but it is perhaps anachronistic to work the argument backwards and say that all true and faithful “sons of Abraham” were “Catholics” since the new dispensation of the Age of the Church had not yet begun.

    Note that this encompasses not only Abraham, the Patriarchs, and the faithful of Israel in the Old Testament, but also St John the Baptist, St Joseph, and the Thief upon the Cross. Even though the last three actually came to see Christ himself and thus to live upon the dawn of the new dispensation, yet they did not see its fulfillment in the resurrection, in the outpouring of the Spirit, in the Church and in Baptism.

    BTW, that is why the salvation of the thief on the cross really has nothing to do with a “baptism of desire” (which I understand is an orthodox idea but it can only really be called a “baptism” by analogy, sort of like when we talk about the “baptism” of the Spirit). The thief did not require Christian baptism since he lived before its institution.

    One more BTW: I will not tolerate anti-Semitism on this blog. You are warned.

  4. Schütz says:

    It is interesting that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not actually refer to a “baptism of desire” although it does recognise a “baptism of blood” and that Catechumens who die while preparing for baptism are assured of salvation because of their desire. cf. below.

    This rather supports my claim that we can really only speak of a “baptism of desire” by analogy. But this term has a strong tradition in the Church, and can hardly be labelled “heresy”.

    1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.
    1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

  5. frdamian says:

    David,

    Is not the reference in CCC 1258 to “desire for Baptism” itself an explicit reference to what is often called “baptism of desire.”

  6. Siddha Jacky says:

    Point taken Joshua, but you have to do your bit too. When I am confronted by tendentious verbiage, I get irritable and tend to lash out. I know I shouldn’t, and I have given myself a severe penance for yesterday’s outburst, but like I say, you have to do your bit as well.

    Louise, stop hoping and start doing.

  7. Joshua says:

    Thanks, SJ – yes, I am an offender as well, often getting all steamed up when I read something and then writing down angry thoughts… at least we realize and try and do better; and any opportunity to grow in charity and compassion is indeed a blessing.

  8. Frank says:

    “One more BTW: I will not tolerate anti-Semitism on this blog. You are warned.”

    I think you may be referring to me here. And I think thats unfair because I don’t belive I have posted any anti-semite remarks. I can understand how some Europeans are a little too touchy on the antisemite business but that was NOT my intention. I am very pleased that Pope Benedict has reintroduced the prayer for the conversion of the Jews as this is the Catholic Faith. Do you think it is “antisemitical” to pray for the conversion of ther Jews and actively seek the same so that they can go to Heaven?

  9. Frank says:

    Joshua unlike SJ you have the inestimable advantage of being a Catholic. Let’s offer up a 15 decade Rosary for that end.

  10. Joshua says:

    Frank, I think David was referring to another commenter, who had the hide to mention conspiracy theories involving “Jews and Freemasons” – which is highly offensive and intolerable madness of the most vile and repugnant kind.

    I would say that the term “deicide” which you – correct me if I’m wrong – used of the Jews is also rather offensive to say the least. Jewish people today and in all ages are not guilty of Christ’s death – it was a minority of Jewish leaders back in AD 33 who connived at it, and as the Apostle said, if they had known Who Christ was, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory: all this was permitted by God, that great good might be brought out of evil (the Acts of the Apostles says as much).

    As the Catechism of the Council of Trent rightly put it, it is sinners who are guilty of Christ’s death, and Christian sinners worst of all, since they know the truth, and yet by their sins recrucify the Son of God.

    As many commentators have said, the cry of the crowd “His blood be upon us” does not signify any imagined drawing down of collective punishment (how could such words of a minority of all have such a dread effect?), but rather, given what we know of God’s mercy, it may be considered to have been answered by the flood of grace after Christ’s Sacrifice, whereby many thousands of Jews in Jerusalem and surrounds became Christians, thus truly washed in the Blood of the Lamb; estimates have it that 40% of all Jews in the Roman Empire ended up becoming Christian in the first few centuries.

    Quite understandably, given the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, Jews are very frightened and upset by any words that seem to imply a resurgence of anti-Semitism.

    Christians need to realize that this gratuitous giving of scandal will not help convert anyone to Christianity: no one is converted by Christians who rave with anger and condemnation, as should be obvious to anyone.

  11. Joshua says:

    I haven’t even started on Lauds, and you want that I should say a fifteen decade Rosary?

    I’m having a nice quiet lazy Sunday!

  12. Siddha Jacky says:

    Joshua, which statistician provided that 40% figure?

  13. Frank says:

    Joshua, I hope compacting Offices as that may lead to spiritual indifferentism. And your comment on a lazy Sunday, does this mean to put it in the words of a lot of modernists you got Mass out of the way last night?

  14. Carlo says:

    Fr Damian, of course I accept the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on BoD. What I was referring to as heresy was the modernist interpretation that would have us believe that virtually anyone – pagan, Mohammedan, Hindu, atheist, Lutheran, Jew – can go to heaven. So why would anyone bother to submit to the disciplines of the Catholic faith?

  15. Carlo says:

    Those who glorify suicide and encourage those poor suffering people to place their immortal souls in peril should take heed of this cautionary tale from the great St Alphonsus:

    “In the year 1611, in the celebrated sanctuary of Mary in Montevergine, it happened that on the vigil of Pentecost the people who thronged there profaned that feast with balls, excesses, and immodest conduct, when a fire was suddenly discovered bursting forth from the house of entertainment where they were feasting, so that in less than an hour and a half it was consumed, and more than one thousand five hundred persons were killed. Five persons who remained alive affirmed upon oath, that they had seen the mother of God herself, with two lighted torches set fire to the inn.” (The Glories of Mary, p. 659.)

  16. Frank says:

    Now that’s the Our Lady we were taught to believe in! I still believe She was the first fully fledged Catholic! Mater Dei de Montevergine Ora Pro Nobis!

  17. Siddha Jacky says:

    Far be it from me to support Frank, whose views on religious matters I find as repugnant as any I have seen on this blog.

    But David, aren’t you exposing yourself to a charge of outrageous hypocrisy with this warning to Frank: “One more BTW: I will not tolerate anti-Semitism on this blog” when in a previous post, you have been arguing for the rehabilitation of Luther, the man responsible for the following:

    “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

    “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly (and I myself was unaware of it) will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know….” and so on ad nauseam.

    Are we supposed to presume he was only joking?

  18. Frank says:

    Are you sure this was wqritten by Luther? It reads like Gobbels or one of the Nazis, I was very aware of the heretic Luther’s violent temperament and anti Catholic stance but this shows us how extreme he was. My question is this; can pure water ever flow from such a fetid stream? Luther stands condemned and no amount of justifying him will reinstate him to Catholicism. he died unrepentant “married” to a nun and in a state of mortal sin. That much is absolutely clear.

  19. Joshua says:

    Frank,

    Pray that I be delivered from spiritual indolence! I certainly am a sinner in need of prayers.

    However, do not ever compare me to a modernist – I find that highly offensive. (As an Ethiopian monk of the early centuries said, criticise me howsoever you like, but never call me a heretic, for if I were I would be cut off from the Lord.) Have you perchance visited my blog? I don’t think you’ll find much modernism there, thank you very much!

    Normally, I go to the 7.30 am Sunday Mass at the local Carmelite chapel, since it has the most acceptable and bearable Novus Ordo; but – being tired from a busy week – I had a good sleep-in and will instead hear an evening Mass tonight.

    I must admit, the idea of having to attend this evening Mass, which may well feature banal antics, fills me with repugnance; but I must fulfil my duty of attendance at Divine worship. It is very hard, having had the luxury in Perth, W.A., of going to the Latin Mass every Sunday and on weekdays too, to have to bear the inanities of the (very) Ordinary Form. (Yes, I know Our Lord is truly made present, offered up, and received; if I didn’t have the eyes of faith I’d never go, however.) At least next Sunday I will drive down to Hobart for the monthly Latin Mass there…

  20. Frank says:

    Joshua,

    May I ask are you a convert? I would also add that the vast bulk of Ethipians throughout history are outside the Church and persist in their Monophysitism. I have not seen your blog, please link me to it. I take it that in Perth you did not attend the sedevacantist chapel or the SSPX conventicle. Pardon me for my directness but I think you would have done better by getting up earlier offering it up and hearing the Mass of all time. Indolence affects even the best of us, at times. Slackness vis a vis the Sacraments; never. God bless,

    Frank

  21. Schütz says:

    Yes, Jacky, that was Luther…

    He wasn’t a saint. I wasn’t arguing for that. He had some views that were heretical – eg. the bondage of the will. He had other views that were pretty abominable – eg. his views on the Jews. He had political views that are hard to understand from this vantage point – eg. the aforementioned call to the authorities to put down rebels during the 1525 Peasant rebelliion. And I might add that he had ideas about the Pope that I certainly would never endorse!

    All these things are very unpleasant and one would not want to endorse them in any way what so ever. Luther was a 16th Century German. He had some views that should remain firmly in the 16th Century and never be let out again. But then he had these views in common with a lot of others of his age, so a bit of historical perspective goes a little way towards understanding (but not excusing) them.

  22. patrick55 says:

    Siddha Jacky a cynical arrogant”enlightened” person ,from the postings I have seen elsewhere,if you find the people’s views here repugnant ,then just hit delete;however if you get close to blasphemy,just remember the blog host perhaps can exercise his right and block your comments

  23. Joshua says:

    Frank,

    You certainly are not backward in being forward! Do you normally offer reams of unsolicited advice to all whom you meet; and what is the response you generally get?

    I am indeed a convert (I converted aged 12); I have a degree in theology; and I would identify myself as a Traditionalist Catholic, if any such terms be needed; I have no truck whatsoever with modernism.

    I had thought you would react adversely to the tale of that Ethiopian who, living as he did in the days of the Desert Fathers, hopefully was a Catholic not a heretic; the story comes from Fr Jurgens’ three volume “The Faith of the Fathers”, a massive collection of patristic quotations gracing a bookshelf near me in my study (I keep all my theology books here, on five bookcases – with the overflow running along the shelf above the blocked-up fireplace).

    Hopefully you would realize that clicking on the icon next to my comments would lead you to my blog, but here is the url:

    http://psallitesapienter.blogspot.com/

    What do you take me for? When in Perth I attended the Latin Mass offered by Fr Michael Rowe and other priests in good standing in that archdiocese; I could not in conscience attend an SSPX chapel, let alone a sedevacantist one – the latter deny the Pope himself!

    The Mass at Carmel is also Novus Ordo, just rather more reverently done (the dear nuns sing the Kyrie, Sanctus, etc. in Latin; they read the first two readings behind the screen, etc.). I found the evening Mass I perforce attended a bit drab, but consoled myself by catching up on today’s Office – I use the 1962 Breviary, by the way. Only Compline to go!

    Frank, I think it really rather rude for you to presume to lecture me as to when I should arise from slumber. Do you wish me to critique your every move also? Send me a list of your actions and works, and I will pick at them so as to be a pest.

    God bless, but please, lighten up. It’s sort of unpleasant to read comments of yours that appear so sanctimonious. Belloc said that Catholics should be humorous, not purse-lipped.

  24. Siddha Jacky says:

    Patrick555, you can call me cynical and arrogant if you want to get in touch with your inner bastard, but I draw the line at being called enlightened, even in inverted commas. The cheek of it!

    Now that we’ve got that little bit of unpleasantness out of the way, perhaps you could tell me how I can delete comments I don’t like, and show me some examples of where I have blasphemed. Really, I’m interested.

  25. Frank says:

    I’m very sorry Josh if my comments offended you. I didn’t expect you to set me up with that Ethipian tale but I suppose I had angered you. You converted at 12 that’s marvellous and I wonder if you’ve ever considered a vocation to the Priesthood or the Religious Life. A man with your understanding of Theology and the Mass would have an advantage if he chose that life. Now you can critique me too Joshua as I sometimes nod off before I finish a decade or sometimes my mind wanders during the Sermon. I’ve been told I’m many things but never sanctimonious, I guess the older Catholics who had their catechism training before Vatican II are just more direct.

    God bless

  26. Siddha Jacky says:

    Given that Luther had so many deeply unpleasant opinions David, not to mention his personal conduct and character, I’m confused about why you think his legacy needs to be re-evaluated in a positive light, and I suppose I also have to confess to a certain puzzlement as to how someone who seems to hold him in high regard gets so agitated over some comparatively mild and oblique anti-Semitic comments from Frank. After all, what Frank has to say is not far removed from centuries of church teaching and practice, much of which has never been emphatically repudiated.

  27. Vicci says:

    SJ,
    the point of ‘de-criminalising’ Luther is not for Luther’s sake. It’s all about Catholic ‘concience’.

    As for the writings ascribed to Luther: folk can think of, and judge them as they will.
    But Lutheranism isn’t based on the word, or life or morality or table-manners of Luther.
    So he can he ‘condemned’ by all and sundry. It’s the Truth of what he pointed out about the disgusting practices of the Pope and ‘church’ of the day which stand up.
    How he was able to be used to try and redirect the Church back to it’s calling.
    Amazing co-incidence that Gutenburg enabled the first mass circulation of the written word right at the time the Word became freely available to the people through Luther’s (excellent) translation.

    This is the distinctive:
    The catholic church MUST believe in the ‘chain’ of papal authority.
    It MUST believe in the Papal infallibility.

    Then folk (on here and elsewhere) try to explain away the flood of inconsistencies.
    The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

    But keep attacking Luther, et al.
    At least it’s a diversion.

  28. Siddha Jacky says:

    A diversion from what?

  29. Joshua says:

    God bless, Frank, and good night.

    SJ – well, Luther certainly wrote dreadful things; I suppose Lutherans overlook the awful bits, and enjoy his more palatable writings. Clearly he must’ve had good points else no one would ever have followed him!

    David, your ol’ pal Luther certainly looks impossible to rehabilitate given the horrors he wrote about the Jews – as Frank says, he sounds like a Nazi.

    It’s curious, is it not, that the Pope got attacked over his withdrawal of the excommunication against the SSPX bishops given that one of them denied the full magnitude of the Holocaust (though it must be said he did state that at least several hundred thousand had been killed – and surely as a Catholic and a bishop he deplored any such mass-murder, hence I think it possibly unfair to condemn Williamson as a Holocaust denier) – and yet Lutherans to this day venerate their founder, a man who wrote such things against the Jews that surely any Jew today, learning of such filth, would be filled with outrage and vehemently denounce Lutheranism for perpetuating the name of such a man! Note, I’m not saying Lutherans follow Luther on this point: but compare and contrast his wicked writings against the Jews with the fact that the Popes sheltered the Jews in Rome down the centuries, and that St Bernard for instance preached against Christians who attacked Jews.

    David, are you not hoist with your own petard for vaunting Luther, whose anti-Semitic outbursts are of such a serious nature as to have borne evil fruit ultimately in the Holocaust?

  30. Siddha Jacky says:

    Vicci, are you saying contemporary Catholics have an unacknowledged guilt about the legitimate issues Luther raised, and still can’t admit the church’s culpability in the matter?

  31. Siddha Jacky says:

    Agree with some of that Joshua, but surely you aren’t suggesting Luther’s anti-Semitism contributed more to the Holocaust than the long and dishonourable tradition of papal anti-Semitism?

    Also, you are quite wrong about Williamson. His anti-Semitism is no less virulent than Luther’s if you have a look at some of his writings and speeches. It is tempered by 21st-century sensibilities, but I have no doubt the hatred is there.

  32. Joshua says:

    Yes, I am, SJ.

    The Popes were and are not anti-Semitic at all; the worst I can recall is that Jews in Rome had to listen to sermons (ohhh, nasty!), and that in the nineteenth century, the child of a Jewish family in the Papal States was baptized by their servant – to guard against this being done, which was against the parents’ will, Jews weren’t supposed to have Christian servants lest the Christian servants commit such a sin as to disobey and baptize – and the Pope had to have the now Christian child removed and raised as a Christian; the child grew up, had the chance to do whatever he wished – he became a priest. During WWII, Pope Pius XII (don’t believe the crap against him, the State of Israel counts him as a Righteous Gentile for his saving Jews) had thousands of Jews sheltered in Rome and Italy.

    Now, Luther’s vicious anti-Semitism I do think fed into the stream of German anti-Semitism that led to Hitler and the Holocaust. Historians say as much.

    After all, where did anti-Semitism reach its peak?

  33. Joshua says:

    Oh, and SJ – Williamson is clearly off his head: you’d think Lefebvre could’ve chosen a less loony man to be an SSPX bishop. I do hope he doesn’t hate Jews: I don’t know much about his statements, but over the years I understand he’s shown himself to be a believer in all manner of cracked conspiracy theories.

    My favourite Williamson story: one day he told his followers, Destroy your TV, that satanic fountain of filth! – and the next day he said to them, Did you see that interesting documentary on TV last night, I hope so, I recommend it!

    Mad as a hatter.

  34. Siddha Jacky says:

    Some say anti-Semitism reached its peak in Catholic Austria, and neo-Nazism remains much stronger there than it is in Germany. I could debate the issue of papal anti-Semitism long into the night, but I’m too buggered.

  35. Siddha Jacky says:

    The worrying thing is that Williamson is not alone in his views, either within the SSPX or in the Catholic Church proper.

  36. Joshua says:

    Well, at least since Vatican II and its declaration on this subject, anti-Semitism has been ruled out of court; any Catholics indulging in this are bad Catholics, going astray.

  37. matthias says:

    Actually Joshua,there is an interesting book written by an American jewish author which details the story about the young boy being removed from his family.The author does give a link between Luther’s anti semitism and that of the Nazis.
    When you mention Pope Pius ,Joshua it reminds me that it was Pope John when as a cardinal ,who saved many jewish children ,whilst he was in Instanbul. However Mark Aarons in his book “The secret war agsinst the Jews” is less than flattering about Pope Paul

  38. matthias says:

    And Siddha jacky, if you read any of the late great Chaim Potock’s books ,especially ‘MY NAME IS ASHER LEV’ he has one of the characters-a Russian Jew -say “Vienna,where even now ( the sory set in the 1960s’) they still hate Jews”.Asher Lev grows up to be a hasid and a artist and is moved to tears by one of Michaelangelo’s sculptures of Mary holding the dead body of Christ.Others more artistic than me may know its name .
    By the way there is an article in the age about palliative care pain relief being effective,as follow on from the article that is the source of this combox

  39. matthias says:

    And it should be story not “sory”. apologies. As Omar Khayaam said the ” The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it “
    and he was a Sufi

  40. Siddha Jacky says:

    A scientific Sufi?

  41. matthias says:

    Well he was in the medieval era so probably as scientific as they could then be. as Wikepedia says
    “He has also become established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period.”
    He was also mates with the founder of the Assassins sect.

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