‘Suffering’ Category Archives



by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Death, Ethics, Health, Suffering

In 50 years of practising medicine, including in the third world, often with no palliative care practitioner or any other doctor available to discuss near-death care, I only ever had one serious request for euthanasia.
This patient did, in fact, find another doctor to consult. I never heard the outcome.
I think Australia’s media cover the euthanasia issue badly.
They imply that without legal euthanasia, patients will be left in artificially-prolonged suffering when already irretrievably in the process of dying.
This falsifies what opponents of euthanasia are saying.
I think the truth is best summed this way:
“An act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator….
“Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of ‘over-zealous’ treatment. Here one does not will death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted….”
(quote from Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2277-2278)

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WHITE RIBBON DAY: not just pure emotivism one hopes?

by Arnold Jago in Family, Justice, Lifestyle, Suffering, Women

White Ribbon Day?

The day we’re told yet again that domestic violence is bad and that men shouldn’t hit women.

Which is true enough.

But why no mention of female-inflicted violence and cruelty?

If a man is slapped, belittled, spat upon, given the silence treatment, lied about — where can he turn?

No bruises, lacerations etc. to show.

If he suicides, the statistic won’t be acknowledged as caused by female domestic abuse.

As a doctor, I have come across this only too often.

If you have doubts, ask your own GP.



A JOBS-BASED RECOVERY? what kind of Jobs?

by Arnold Jago in Ethics, Politics, Suffering

Every political party seems to say the same things:

“We’re the party of change.”

“We’re the party for small business.”

“We’re the party to create more jobs.”

Hang on a minute…. Are more jobs good? Always?

Does the local baby want mummy gone to a job (a job not looking after local baby)?

More jobs – spelt as above – are a two-edged sword.

What we do need is more Jobs (spelt with a capital “J”).

As per the Bible. Read the Book of Job. You’ll seldom find a better story.

It’s about re-considering our grievances re God permitting suffering — in the context of God’s almighty goodness.

Also how the only ethics that can change the world are the ethics of Virtue.

Virtues including Faith, Hope, Love, Fortitude, Temperance and Justice. Plus — last-but-not-least — Prudence.

The Prophet Job had these virtues.

We need more Jobs — more people like Job.

Soon, before everybody is blown up or beheaded.

Or falls asleep in front of the TV.




CHILD ABUSE: the Pope makes a definitive move

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Justice, Modern Church, Suffering, Youth

Last week, Pope Francis warned Catholic clergy never to try to cover up sexual abuse.

“Families need to know,” he said, “that the Church is making every effort to protect their children….

“Consequently, priority must not be given to any other kind of concern, whatever its nature — such as the desire to avoid scandal — since there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.”

A new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is to be led by America’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley plus priests and lay people from many countries, including two victims of paedophile priests.

Last November, a former altar boy, now 25, wrote to Francis saying he had been molested by priests in Spain from the age of 7 to 18.

The pope called him back personally and told him to go straight to his bishop, to whom Francis wrote with orders to open an investigation.

And he has written reminding all bishops that they must ensure that Vatican instructions on how to handle sexual abuse cases are implemented.

“Pastors and those in charge of religious communities should be available to meet with victims and their loved ones: such meetings are valuable opportunities for listening to those who have greatly suffered and for asking their forgiveness,” he said.

I was very happy to hear this news.



DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ROYAL COMMISSION: not just window-dressing, one hopes

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Common Sense, Family, Suffering

The Victorian government plans a Royal Commission seeking “the most effective ways to prevent family violence”.

Sounds good, but….

The Commission’s report probably won’t mention that:

(i) in a country aborting 200 unborn babies per day, the habit of resorting to fatal violence to deal with frustrations is deeply entrenched.

(ii) a common form of “violence” is humiliating others and destroying reputations. Unlike most physical bruises, the effects don’t go away. Perhaps mental violence inflicted by women against their menfolk explains Australia’s high young male suicide rate?

(iii) reducing accessibility of alcohol would slash violence rates — ask any policeman, paramedic or doctor.

So isn’t the “social problem” of violence really a spiritual problem?

Nothing will improve unless people’s inner motivations re-direct towards personally living (with God’s help) in a more virtuous fashion.

That means all of us.



NOT ALL RELIGIONS ARE EQUAL: but how to fight false religion without descending to a similar mentality?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Forgiving, Modern Church, Suffering, Truth

What it feels like to be a Christian in the Middle East:

“Dear all,
We continue to share our daily struggle with you, hoping that our cry will reach the world. We are like the blind man of Jericho (Mark 10: 46-52), who had nothing to express himself, but his voice, asking Jesus for mercy. Although some people ignored his voice, others listened, and helped him. We count on people, who will listen!

We entered the third week of displacement. Things are moving very slowly in terms of providing shelter, food, and necessities for the people. There are still people living in the streets. There are still no organized camps outside of schools that are used as refugee centres. An unfinished, three story building has also been used as a refugee centre. For privacy reasons, families have made rooms using UNHCR plastic sheets in these unfinished buildings. These places look like stables. We all wonder, is there any end in sight? We appreciate all efforts that have been made to provide aid to the displaced people. However, please note, that providing food and shelter is not the only essential thing we need. Our case is much bigger. We are speaking about two minorities (Christian and Yezedians), who lost their land, their homes, their belongings, their jobs, their money, some have been separated from their families and loved ones, and all are persecuted because of their religion.

Our church leaders are doing their best to solve the issue. They have been meeting with political leaders, with the President of Iraq and Kurdistan, but initiatives and actions of these political leaders are really slow and modest. Actually, all political meetings have led to nothing. Until now, there has been no decision made about the current situation of the displaced minorities. For this reason, trust in the political leaders has diminished, if it exists, at all. People cannot tolerate it anymore. It is too heavy a burden. Yesterday, a young man expressed that he would rather die than live, without dignity. People feel that their dignity has been stripped from them. We are being persecuted because of our religion. None of us ever thought we would live in refugee camps because of that . . . .

. . . the struggle is not only in the camps, with the displaced people. What has happened in our Christian towns that have been evacuated is even worse. The IS forced out of their homes those who did not leave their towns up to the night of August 6th. Yesterday, seventy-two people were driven out of Karakosh. However, not all of them arrived; those who arrived last night were in miserable condition. They had to cross Al-Khazi River (a tributary to the Great Zab) on foot because the bridge had been destroyed. There are still quite few on the side of the riverbank. We do not know when they will make it to Erbil. It depends on the situation and negotiations between the Peshmerga and the IS. There are some people who went to fetch the elderly and the unable to walk. One of our sisters went to bring her parents, and told her story. Another woman, said that she was separated from her husband and children, and she knows nothing about them; they are probably among the others who are on the other bank, or they might be among the hostages taken by the IS. Also, a three-year old daughter was taken from her mother’s lap, and she also knows nothing about her. We do not know why the IS are sending people out of Karakosh, but we have been hearing from those who just arrived, that IS are bringing barrels into Karakosh and the contents are unknown . . . there is no way to negotiate with the IS.
As for our community, we know that our convent in Tel Kaif is being used as an IS headquarters. Also, we know that they had entered our convent in Karakosh. Those that recently arrived have stated that all the holy pictures, icons, and statutes are being destroyed. Crosses have been taken from the top of churches and they have been replaced with the IS flags.

In Baqofa, one of our sisters heard the situation was calm, so she went back with few people, to get her medicine. She found the convent had been searched; everything was open and strewn across the rooms. The minute they entered the convent, three bombs hit the town. They left immediately.

Apart from what is happening to the Christians, yesterday, Friday the 22nd, a Shi’ite suicide bomber and gunmen attacked Sunni mosque of Abou Mussab in village under Iraqi government control in Diyala province leaving 68 dead. It is heartbreaking to hear about people get killed while praying. In terms of the media, this massacre overshadowed what is happening to the Christians in Nineveh Plain. We are afraid that our struggle will become only our own affair, and it will not have impact on the world anymore.

At last, we have to say that people are losing their patience. They miss everything in their hometowns: churches, church bells, streets, and neighbourhood. It is heartbreaking for them to hear that their homes have been robbed. Although they love their towns, most people are now thinking of leaving the country so they can live in dignity and have a future for their children. It is heard to have hope in Iraq, or to trust the leadership of the country.

Please, keep us in your prayers.
Sister Maria Hanna OP
Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena-Iraq

P.S. Please share the letter with other people. Let the world hear the cry of the poor and the innocent.

(24 August 2014)