Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fr. Aldo Trento on Eluana's death


Missionary Rejects Award in Protest of Italy's Euthanasia Ruling


ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay, FEB. 16, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Father Aldo Trento has been caring for patients like Eluana Englaro for years, so when Italy refused to protect her life, he protested by returning one of Italy's highest honors.

Since 1989 Father Trento has been one of the best-known missionaries of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo in Paraguay. He is 62 years old and is the head of a clinic for the terminally ill in Asunción.

On June 2, the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, conferred the title "Knight of the Order of the Star of Solidarity" on Father Trento.

Last Wednesday, the priest returned the honor to Napolitano in the wake of the latter's refusal to sign the special decree that would have saved the life of Eluana Englaro, who had been in a coma since 1992, and whose father had succeeded in a legal bid to have her feeding tube removed.

The priest asserted, "How can I, an Italian citizen, receive such an honor from you, who, with your action, permitted the death of Eluana in the name of the Italian Republic?"

"I have more than one case like Eluana Englaro," Father Trento told the Italian newspaper Il Foglio.

He continued: "I think of little Victor, a child in a coma, who clenches his fists. All we do is feed him through a tube. Faced with these situations, how can I react to the case of Eluana?

"Yesterday they brought me a girl who was naked, a prostitute, in a coma, who had been dumped in front of a hospital. Her name is Patricia and she is 19. We washed her. Yesterday she started to move her eyes.

"Celeste is 11; she suffers from a very grave form of leukemia; she was never taken care of and they brought her to me just to bury. Today she is walking. And she laughs."

The missionary said: "I have taken more than 600 of these sick people to the cemetery. How can we accept something like what happened to Eluana?

"Cristina is a little girl who was left in a garbage dump, she is blind, deaf, she trembles when I kiss her, she lives with a feeding tube like Eluana. She does not respond except for the trembling but little by little she will regain her faculties.

"I am the godfather for many of these sick people. I'm not bothered by their decaying bodies. If you could see with what humility my doctors care for them."

Father Trento says that he feels "immense sorrow" for Englaro: "It is as if you were to say to me: 'We're going to take away your sick children now.'"

For the missionary, "man cannot be reduced to chemicals."

He added: "How can the president of the republic offer me a Star of Solidarity? I took it and returned it to the Italian embassy in Paraguay."

1 comment:

the booklady said...

May God reward him for his faithful witness to the truth!

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."