But besides being patronizing, the Vatican’s statement is a gross distortion of the situation. It portrays the Gards as acting alongside the doctors, but subject to outside manipulation. The Gards are resisting the doctors. The Gards are not facing “their decisions.” They are facing authorities that have overridden them. The good bishop writes that the Gards “must be heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation.” The people “helping” them to understand are speaking in the euphemisms of “death with dignity.”
I’m not surprised, really. The Vatican has lately found itself assimilating to the bourgeois morality that makes European life spiritually desolate. The Church has trouble denouncing respectable sins and lately finds moral heroism unseemly or suspicious. The Vatican has recently added a pro-choice Anglican to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a move praised by the Pope’s apologists as a welcome sign of loosening up. The Pope now rents out the Sistine Chapel to the likes of Porsche for private fundraising events. The Church has even found a way of blessing people in second marriages they used to call out as public adultery. That the Vatican’s men would serve as apologists for the erosion of parental authority by a state anxious to override the family in its quest to give us “death with dignity” follows from the rest.