Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today's liturgy in italian art: the Temptations of Christ

Beato Angelico. (click on the image for higher res. Thanks to the great Museum Syndicate website)

Bookmark and Share

Wondering about the Wordless Days

I'd like to refresh the habit of the wordless day, when I post just an image, as many other fellow bloggers do. But I started with a "Wordless Saturday" without checking if such thing existed at all.

That's why I made a little inquiry, google-ing (in blog search) "Worldless Monday" and so on, for each day of the week. It resulted that, apart from the overwhelming Wordless Wednesday (249,870 entries), all the others were much lower, spanning from 1213 entries (Thursday) to 158 (Saturday). Here's the situation:

Now, I'd like to know: why Wednesday?

Is it for the assonance of the initial "W"?

Is there a story about a special Wednesday that I never heard of?

Hints, anyone?

What should be the ideal Wordless Day of the week, in your opinion? and why?

Until I get to know a good reason to join the WW club, I'll keep posting Wordless Saturdays, thus reinforcing its poor statistics. :o)

Enough words for today.

Bookmark and Share
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A ten year old can understand it

I'm "stealing" this from the blog Our Lady's Little Scribe. Thank you Ouida!

"When Life Begins" from COME WHAT MAY movie from George Escobar on Vimeo.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, February 9, 2009

Eluana has died

Breaking: Italy's "Terri Schiavo" Dies Suddenly ( - By Matthew Cullinan Hofman - ROME, February 9, 2009 - Eluana Englaro, Italy's "Terri Schiavo," has died only four days after doctors began a "gradual" reduction in her food and water intake with the intent to cause her death.

The announcement was made by Italy's Health Minister on the floor of the Italian Senate, which was debating a bill that would have saved Englaro's life.

Although no cause of death has been announced, earlier news reports indicated that Englaro's intake of nutrients was being replaced with a heavy dose of sedatives. Palliative medication in high doses can cause a patient to die prematurely.

The news follows public statements by Englaro's physician that she has enjoyed almost perfect physical health during the 16 years following her car accident in 1992, which left her bedridden and in a minimal state of consciousness. She was 38 years old.

Although euthanasia is illegal in Italy and Englaro's body functions were not dependent on machines, her father received a decision from Italy's final appeals court in 2008 allowing him to remove hydration and nutrition in order to kill her. The ruling was based on the notion that food and water constitute “medical treatment,” which can be withheld at the patient's discretion.

Englaro's father claims that his daughter would not have wanted to live as a "vegetable."

The decision to allow Englaro's dehydration death was met with protests throughout Italy during the weekend, and over the past few weeks. The Italian government under Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attempted to pass emergency legislation through the Italian Parliament to save Englaro's life after an earlier attempt was blocked by the country's president, a former communist. However, the legislation was still in process when Englaro's death was announced.

Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schindler, commented to about Eluana’s death saying, "I’m very sad to hear about Eluana. Our family grieves for her." He added that he was "surprised at how quickly she has passed away."

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International denounced Englaro's killing and expressed puzzlement at her quick death.

"To intentionally dehydrate a person to death dehumanizes them because it denies them the basic care due to a human person. We turn them into an object," he told LifeSiteNews. "Everybody deserves basic care, which includes food, fluid, and warmth as long as it is necessary to sustain life. This is not extraordinary treatment."

"We ask the question, how did she actually die? She wouldn’t have died in just a few days of dehydration," he added.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eluana's last days

Eluana Transferred Late Tuesday Night to Clinic for Death by Dehydration -By Hilary White - ROME, February 3, 2009 ( – Eluana Englaro, who is often referred to as “Italy’s Terri Schiavo,” was transferred late Tuesday night to a hospital that has agreed to participate in her killing by removal of her food and hydration tube. Television news coverage showed a group of pro-life activists gathered outside the clinic in Eluana’s home town of Lecco at about 1:30am, as an ambulance took her away, some shouting “Eluana, wake up!” and “Don’t kill her!”

Eluana Englaro, 38, suffered brain damage in a car accident in 1992 and has since been in a state of diminished consciousness. Eluana’s father, Beppino Englaro, who has been petitioning the courts for over a decade to euthanize his daughter, said her transfer to the new facility is “the first step... towards the liberation of my daughter. It seems we have finally succeeded.”

Beppino Englaro’s lawyer told media that La Quiete, a private clinic in the north eastern town of Undine, had agree to participate in her killing. Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the government is searching for a new way to prevent her death. The removal of Eluana’s food and hydration tube is set to be carried out in three days.

Death by dehydration has been described by medical authorities as “horrible” and “agonizing.” It was a common form of torture used by totalitarian states, including in well-documented cases by the Nazis in their death camps.

In cases of severe dehydration, toxins build up in the body and the body's chemical balances are disrupted. This disrupts the electrical system that triggers the action of muscles, including the heart. The tongue and lips crack and bleed. The eyes recede into their orbits. The skin becomes so sensitive it peels off upon firm contact. The lining of the nose can crack and bleed. Dried brain cells can cause convulsions. The mouth becomes dry and saliva thick, and there is cracking of the mucous membranes of the mouth and lips. The blood thickens, increasing the risk of stroke. As fluid decreases in the body, blood pressure drops and the heart rate increases, possibly causing shock and heart attack.

The move to kill Eluana has roused the ire of many in Italy, including Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, said on Tuesday, “Stop this murder!”

“To stop giving food and liquids to Eluana is equivalent to abominable murder and the Church will not cease to proclaim this loud and clear.” Interviewed by the Rome daily La Repubblica, the cardinal said that Eluana’s court-mandated death by dehydration “will represent a defeat for the respect of human life.” His comments come after Pope Benedict XVI spoke on Sunday against euthanasia, saying it is a false answer to suffering.

The consequences, both legal and moral, should Eluana Englaro be euthanized in a Catholic Country, will be dire, pro-life advocates have warned. Carlo Caffara, the archbishop of Bologna, said at Mass last weekend, “In the body of this woman, and in her fate, there is an image of the fate of the West.”

Eluana has become a “‘sign of contradiction’ between a culture of death and a culture of life,” he said. “Her martyred body has become the question addressed to every conscience that reflects on man's destiny: To whom does man belong? Who has dominion over man's life and death? Who owns man?”

“The spiritual event of the West has come to the end of the line: If the life of man does not belong to man but to God, no one has control over it for any reason, [but] if the life of man belongs to man, it is consistent to hypothesize circumstances in which everyone can do what he wants with his life or ask others to put an end to it,” Cardinal Caffara continued.

The killing of Eluana, said Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, the director of the Rome office of Human Life International, is going to be disastrous for others in similar situations in Italy. Msgr. Barreiro said, “It would create a precedent whereby judges, against the law, can decide it's right to kill patients. We are not fighting for Eluana's life because she has limited signs of consciousness but because of her dignity as a human being.”

Pro-life legal experts have been especially concerned that should Eluana be “legally” killed by dehydration, it would create a “back door” through which euthanasia could be legalized. The government is considering legislation that would allow the creation of “living wills” that could specify the removal of food and hydration.

In November, health and welfare minister, Maurizio Sacconi, issued a statement that in Italy it is “illegal” to remove the food and hydration of helpless disabled patients with the purpose of ending their lives. Secretary of Welfare, Eugenia Roccella, also said that there is “no obligation” for government-funded health care facilities to implement the court’s decision that patients can be dehydrated to death.

In January, two pro-life advocates launched a legal challenge to the appeals court in Milan, arguing that the decision to allow Eluana’s killing had been made without sufficient medical examination to determine her condition. At that time, more than 700 Italian doctors had signed an open letter opposing the killing of Eluana, saying that such an action is an attack against the “basic rules of good medical practice as established in the declaration of Helsinki.”

3000 Whitehaven Street, NW - Washington, DC 20008
Tel (202) 612-4400 - Fax (202) 518-2154
Press and Public Affairs Office
Tel (202) 612-4444
Fax (202) 518-2154

Embassy of Italy in Ottawa
275 Slater Street, 21st Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H9
Tel +1.613.232.2401 - Fax +1.613.233.1484
Press and Information
Tel: +1-613-232-2401
Fax: +1-613-233-1484

14, Three Kings Yard
London W1K 4EH
Tel.: +44 (0)20 73122200
Fax: +44 (0)20 73122230
Gianluca Grandi, First Counsellor
Domestic Politics, EBRD

Other Italian Embassies:

Read related coverage:

700 Italian Doctors ask that Eluana’s Life be Spared

It is “Illegal” to Stop Food and Hydration of Vulnerable Patients: Top Italian Minister

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts with Thumbnails