Wednesday 18th July 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

The Fourth Commandment And The Next Holocaust

December 5, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By GEORGE A. KENDALL

The Fourth Commandment is central to the order of every society, because the continuity of life from generation to generation is central — how younger generations deal with older ones, how the young treat the old, is crucial.
I like to think of the Fourth Commandment as the binding of the book which is the Decalogue. The first three Commandments have to do with our relationship with God; the last six with our relationship to our neighbor. The fourth ties together piety toward God with piety toward our past, toward our origins, which binds together the social order in all of time, including the present, and hence concerns our relationship to our neighbor. If we don’t respect the past and don’t respect our ancestors, we are certainly not going to respect either God or neighbor, and the whole Decalogue goes down the tubes.
So, when it comes to the relationship of the generations, how are we doing? Not very well.
First of all, there is a demographic problem, one resulting largely from bad human choices. After World War II, men came back from the war eager to make up for lost time, especially when it came to starting families. Many had large families, as a result. Having suffered through both the war and the Depression, they were anxious to give their children all the things they had gone without and went overboard, spoiling the little brats rotten. The result was a new and very large generation of self-centered people who, unlike their parents, had very small families, not being willing to sacrifice for the next generation.
Now that that generation is getting old, how to care for them in old age has become a huge problem, because care has to be provided by younger generations, who are far less numerous than their predecessors. That means there are not enough younger people working and paying taxes to cover Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
But the problem is not just money; it is people. In nursing homes, for instance, you need nurses and nurse’s aides to provide care to the elderly, and we are already getting to the point where there are not enough of them. So the ones who are available are often expected to work double shifts — something that can lead to their being chronically exhausted, with a high risk of their making dangerous mistakes. The result is that many people will not take these jobs, and many others, after working at them for a while, decide to quit. This leads to high turnover and a loss of continuity of care. It also means that a very high percentage of workers at any given time are inexperienced. It is a vicious circle.
A very large number of the elderly now end up in nursing homes, because more and more of them become old enough and sick enough to need 24-hour care, which often is not feasible in the home, a problem aggravated by the small size of most families today and the fact that both spouses generally work outside the home. The cost of long-term nursing care is so high that people who are not wealthy are not able to pay for it. That part of the problem is being dealt with at this time through Medicaid. The overwhelming cost of nursing care is such that it needs to be financed collectively rather than by individuals or families. The way Medicaid works is that you pay for your own care until your money runs out, then Medicaid kicks in. At this point, any income you have goes to the cost of your care, except for a small amount you get to keep for personal expenses.
Basically, the system requires people to pauperize themselves in order to get the care they need in old age. This has its biggest impact on the middle class, since the poor are already paupers (by definition), and the rich can pay their own way. I would argue that the requirement that the elderly pauperize themselves is an attack on human dignity and thus, applied to the elderly, is a fundamental violation of the Fourth Commandment. It is demeaning and disrespectful to the elderly (and hence fails to honor them), and it comes close to making them non-citizens, non-persons who have been sidelined and forgotten by the rest of the world — not honored and respected elders. This substantially weakens the psychological barriers which, if in place, would prevent people from neglecting or abusing them. It makes them vulnerable. The relationship between the generations is definitely distorted in this situation. And it is almost certain to get worse.
The math of the situation indicates that before long there will be a general recognition that we have a huge problem with large numbers of old people and not enough money to support them in or out of a nursing home and with an insufficient number of people to care for them.
One obvious answer to the first problem is to raise taxes to cover the costs of elder care, but devoting funds to this purpose is something that becomes less popular the more self-absorbed people become.
An answer to the second problem would be to bring in immigrants to provide care. But the widespread anti-immigrant sentiment in our country today, along with the other accompanying problems, would make this difficult. It would require a certain amount of wisdom on the part of our leaders, a commodity not much in evidence among members of that class.
I am afraid that another answer might tempt us. While the demographic situation unfolds, respect for the sanctity of human life is in rapid decline, as is evidenced by the increasing acceptance of euthanasia, justified, in many people’s minds, as “mercy.”
It is already legal in a number of states, and it is probably only a matter of time until it is legal throughout the nation. Once that happens and euthanasia becomes widely accepted, it is likely to become commonplace. It would be much cheaper than the other possible solutions, and it would avoid the social problems that might be attendant on bringing in large numbers of immigrants to care for the elderly, let alone the political problems involved with tax increases.
The obvious way to carry it out, at least at first, would not be to directly force euthanasia on people, but for programs like Medicare and Medicaid to simply adopt a policy that they will no longer pay for nursing care but will be happy to pay for lethal injections, at least for those persons whose lives the bureaucrats judge not to be worth living (but maybe later for everyone). The advantage to this is that if we put people out on the curb in their wheelchairs and leave them to die, the whole thing happens in plain sight and would no doubt upset many. This way it would be kept out of sight — Hitler’s strategy.
Also, I imagine we would start by applying this solution to the worse cases, such as people with extremely advanced dementia. It is all too easy for people to convince themselves that surely these unfortunate people deserve the “mercy” of a lethal injection. And there you have it: A Final Solution to the problem of too many old people. And that will be the next Holocaust.
Before it comes to that, I expect a great increase in the incidence of neglect and abuse in nursing homes, as well as “mercy killings” done by nursing home staff on their own initiative, followed, in many cases, by their acquittal in our courts. Much of this would be due to the shortage of employees and the need to hire people who are incompetent and/or of questionable character. When you have to hire anyone you can get to take care of the elderly, the likelihood that they will be treated humanely diminishes markedly.
This will tend to create an atmosphere in which euthanasia will be seen as a solution. After all, people will say, these people are suffering so much, and “putting them down,” like sick dogs and cats, would be an act of mercy.
When I predict things like this, I generally get a reaction along the lines of “that can’t happen in America.” But when respect for life is gone, people are very self-centered, there is a huge number of old people whose support and care are very expensive, and solutions consistent with the moral law are very difficult, it can happen anywhere, because it is the path of least resistance. (Note that, some years back, many Germans thought things like this couldn’t happen in Germany.)
A professor of mine argued, many years ago, that the only real sociological law is one that says, “Most people, most of the time, follow the path of least resistance.” The converging developments cited above certainly make euthanasia the path of least resistance.
In spite of all this, I hope and pray that we will find in ourselves the faith, hope, and charity that will enable us to go against the path of least resistance, but I am not optimistic. The precedent given us by 50-60 million abortions done in America since 1973, is not encouraging. Yet, let us hope and pray — and work.
(© 2017 George A. Kendall)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

(Vatican.news) Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic … Old And New Tyrannies Borne Of Lust

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solzhenitsyn Remembered

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Congdon, Lee. Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West. DeKalb, Ill.: NIV Press, 2017; 163 pp. This book is descriptive of the prophetic voice of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), who was convinced that the West has set out on a road similar to that which “led Russia into the abyss.” Solzhenitsyn…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Sheep Without A Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 23:1-6 Eph. 2:13-18 Mark 6:30-34 In the first reading today, God speaks a word of woe through the Prophet Jeremiah to the shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock entrusted to their care. God says that these shepherds scattered the flock and drove them away and did not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What can one say to a teenage daughter or granddaughter who wears skimpy bathing suits? I know that is the “style” these days, but it seems wrong for many reasons. — M.M., Virginia. A. When our five daughters were teens, my wife and I ruled out the wearing of skimpy bathing suits, as well as skin-tight jeans or shorts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading