Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek: Mixed Messages from the Vatican and Bishops

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October 14, 2020
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*Image: The Sleeping Bishop (or The Dozing Archbishop) by Fernando Botero Angulo, 1957

By Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, The Catholic Thing, Oct. 14, 2020

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek, STD has been a priest of the Diocese of Austin since 1985 and is currently pastor of Assumption parish in the city of West. His studies were in Dogmatics with a focus on Ecclesiology, Apostolic Ministry, Newman, and Ecumenism.


Fr. Timothy V. VaverekWith the pope’s approval, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has issued a letter entitled The Good Samaritan devoted to the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life. Those hoping to renew Christian moral awareness in response to the needs of our time will welcome its many affirmations of the Gospel and its critique of harmful cultural treads. Unfortunately, those contributions are undermined by the radically different approach to morality found in other statements coming from the Vatican and many bishops on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and remarriage after divorce. This conflict is evident in their divergent understandings of moral acts, cooperation, conscience, and pastoral accompaniment.

The CDF’s letter affirms the human and evangelical truth that euthanasia and assisted suicide are intrinsically evil acts, that is, they are always violations of human life and the Gospel. The document denies that any consideration of other “goods or values” can alter the fundamental reality: the moral object chosen in euthanasia is “an act or omission which of itself or by intention causes death” to an innocent person (i.e., it is murder).  …