Fr. Richard McBrien poses an interesting and legitimate question in his latest column. He writes about the lack of canonical provision for a Pope that has become incapacitated. Leaving aside the obvious wishful thinking aspect of McBrien’s concern, the topic is legitimate. Illegitimate however Fr. McBrien’s view on the value of a life.
Posing the question, Fr. McBrien writes:
“In this new age of advanced medical technology, it is a fact that people can be kept alive long past the time when they can function in any meaningfully human manner.”
Meaningful administrative manner, okay. Meaningful exercise of the Office of the Papacy, sure. Meaningfully human? No way. These are words that should never come out of the mouth of anyone charged with the promotion of the Culture of Life that is the Catholic faith.
Even Fr. McBrien, although long bereft of the ability to think in any meaningful manner, should know that every human life is meaningful. That meaning is intrinsic, given by God. This means that unborn babies have it. This means that the elderly and infirm have it. This means that asinine liberal theology professors have it. And yes, even Popes that Fr. McBrien wish would just die already have it.
Speaking of necessary canonical provisions, I am sure there are some on the books for dealing with Priests that regularly teach and promote concepts contrary to the faith. They seem to be more critical right now.