Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis is a freelance writer and former religion editor at the National Post.

Over the past few weeks I’ve heard wonderful homilies about Advent. Each was about preparation for the coming of the Christ Child through prayer, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
I have two groups I associate with socially: One group consists mainly of secular friends, many I’ve known for decades during my career in journalism; the other group is Catholic, the people I’m involved with in various pro-life causes or RCIA or those I see each week at Mass.
I’ve been fortunate to take part in several RCIA programs — the first time when I was preparing to enter the Church and subsequently when helping a friend who ran a parish program for potential converts.
In the pro-life battle it’s imperative to gather ammunition that comes from outside the movement. If we are ever going to change the minds of the great mass of Canadians, we need to bring in information free of any political or social agenda — in other words, scientific research that could care less about our cause or our faith.

During the summer I decided to take a break from speaking about euthanasia. There were several reasons. First, it was getting more and more difficult to find groups that were interested in hearing the anti-euthanasia message. Then when something was arranged only a handful of people would show up.

It would be grand to believe the CBC is for everyone. It is, after all, a national broadcaster that we all support with our tax dollars, whether we want to or not.

I want to focus on a single word, one that is loaded with enough meaning to sway life or death decisions.

A few weeks ago the Sunday New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy feature about a Vancouver Island man who had chosen to die by euthanasia. John Shields, a former priest who later married, was suffering from a rare disease that caused proteins to build up in his heart and painful nerve damage in his arms and legs, the Times story said.

As I write this, I’m fixated on a photo of eight-year-old Saffie Rose, the youngest victim of the Manchester bombing. Her picture is part of a newspaper photo array of the young victims of that awful night.

In mid-April The Globe & Mail gave two days of coverage to the suicide of Adam Maier-Clayton, just 27 years old. He lived for years with a variety of psychiatric disorders and unremitting pain. There is no doubt he knew suffering.

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