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The Pope and Living Wills

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posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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So what would happen if the pope were to slip into a permanent vegetative state?

Given his prior statements on these matters


"The sick person in a 'vegetative state', awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery".


it is doubtfull that he has a DNR (do not resussitate) provision in his health care folder.

What then? Will he resign? Can he resign?


It has long been rumored — and denied officially by the Vatican — that the pontiff wrote a secret letter, a kind of living will, that provides for his abdication in case of severe mental incapacitation.


Weather such a letter would even be in accordance with canonical law is untested.

An interesting quandary.




posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 12:56 PM
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I find it very unlikely that any pope, and especially this one, would've created such a document. He views his being given the papacy as something of a divine gift and oppurtunity, and you don't re-gift on god. Also, he's noted that suffering is a good thing for the soul, so I don't see him doing the above.

Even a mentally incompetent pope can still perform the real duties, that of resolving theological dilemmas by acting as a mouthpeice for god. Surely, a divine god can make a comatose pope speak, or even get thru mental incompetence and dementia. Indeed, the church would have to assume that that is happening even if he goes stark raving mad.



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Even a mentally incompetent pope can still perform the real duties, that of resolving theological dilemmas by acting as a mouthpeice for god. Surely, a divine god can make a comatose pope speak, or even get thru mental incompetence and dementia. Indeed, the church would have to assume that that is happening even if he goes stark raving mad.


No, I’m talking about a comatose, vegetative state.

If the only thing keeping him alive is a ventilator and a feeding tube, then where is God in that equitation? His life would be prolonged through an act of choice by a man.



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoark
His life would be prolonged through an act of choice by a man.

You and I know that, but the church can't very well say 'oh, he's comatose, therefore god can't act thru him because god isn't strong enough to do that'. Heck, jesus revives lazarus from the dead, so god can manipulate an unconsiousguy so he can speak, even if there are feeding tubes in his mouth.

I don't think a pope has ever been taken out of power, surely there were times where a pope was sick or too infrim to perform his duties in the past.



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 03:42 PM
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The church's Code of Canon Law allows a pope to retire, but its wording is complicated. The pontiff must make the decision "freely" with a sound mind and with a proper witness.

What if he is not of sound mind? The law does not establish procedures for the mental or sudden physical incapacitation of the pope.

It has long been rumored — and denied officially by the Vatican — that the pontiff wrote a secret letter, a kind of living will, that provides for his abdication in case of severe mental incapacitation. Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, made similar provisions, though his letter never had to be consulted.

If John Paul has written such a letter, its secrecy will call into question its validity: When was it written? Who witnessed it? What was the pope's state of mind at the time of the writing?

The last pope to willingly step aside was Celestine V in 1294. He decided he wasn't up to the job after five months in office. His controversial decision is said to have earned him a place in Dante's Inferno.

In 1415, Gregory XII was forced to step down to end a schism created by the existence of a rival pope. John Paul worries that a living, retired pope would similarly trigger divided loyalties among the faithful.
from the link above

One possible scenario. If the pope becomes too sick or incapacitatied, a “living will” is executed that effects his retirement. This would not, however include any DNR instructions. Thus, he could stay true to his convictions, yet allow the church to move forward if necessary.

The key issue would be this: What would be the conditions for the execution of the living will, and who will decide when those conditions are met?



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 08:12 PM
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Interesting. It looks like the only time a pope was forced out then was this rival period, I assume this might be the "babylonian" captivity? Regardless, it is an intereting question. I would think that the conclave of cardinals would have to make the decision, and that they would do so with the same secrecy as when electing a pope. I can't think that there'd be any schism within the church resulting from it, at least not amoung the preists.



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoarkit is doubtfull that he has a DNR (do not resussitate) provision in his health care folder.
I actually cannot fathom why he would not have a DNR, if he truly believes his life is God's will, then leave it up to God.


It has long been rumored — and denied officially by the Vatican — that the pontiff wrote a secret letter, a kind of living will, that provides for his abdication in case of severe mental incapacitation.
I do not doubt this, nor do I imagine it is not practiced within the See. There was at least one Pope who abdicated while being sound of mind, and to write a will in the event the pontiff cannot continue his duties if infirmed makes sense and would undoubtedly be recognized. It is said that Peter passed the position over to James while he was alive, hence the precedence.



posted on Feb, 25 2005 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by SomewhereinBetween

Originally posted by HowardRoarkit is doubtfull that he has a DNR (do not resussitate) provision in his health care folder.
I actually cannot fathom why he would not have a DNR, if he truly believes his life is God's will, then leave it up to God.




I probably did not attribute it very well in the first post, but the following was written by the pope:

"The sick person in a 'vegetative state', awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery".

Pope John Paul II, March 20, 2004


This is pretty clear in terms of a "feeding tube" but it is less clear if this includes ventilation.



posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by HowardRoarkI probably did not attribute it very well in the first post, but the following was written by the pope:

"The sick person in a 'vegetative state', awaiting recovery or a natural end, still has the right to basic health care (nutrition, hydration, cleanliness, warmth, etc.), and to the prevention of complications related to his confinement to bed. He also has the right to appropriate rehabilitative care and to be monitored for clinical signs of eventual recovery".

Pope John Paul II, March 20, 2004
I do not know Italian laws, but I can tell you with absolute certainty here in Canada, when it comes to a DNR, it is off the list of requirements to revive the deceased by all means necessary. In other words, at the authorization of the family or a power of attorney, the medical staff is obliged only to exercise medical discipline to keep a living person alive that does not involve the use of machines overriding natural biological functions. Once the person loses that heartbeat or goes brain dead, DNR is enacted. Perhaps this is what you mean by basic health care.

I would not be surprised to learn that JPII passed away on 3/13; 3/25 or 3/27.



posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 11:28 PM
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deleted! inapropriate forum ### lol

[edit on 122828p://450212 by info_junkee]



posted on Feb, 26 2005 @ 11:43 PM
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Well Info-Junkie,


I hope that you resolve your anger issues one day. I also hope that you will eventually realize that it's not really smart to attack an old man because of some vague conspiracy stuff you read on a message board where no one gives their real name.

And I also hope that, when you are a sick old man, your kids don't have the same attitudes that you currently do.



posted on Feb, 27 2005 @ 12:07 AM
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u take me too serious u wasnt suposed to take it to heart..

and i wasnt angry at all sory if u drew thre wrong conclusion i was kinda havin a joke with myself!

dont diss conspiracy theorys or where i get info from cause it sure wasnt this site, ive never even joind a forum b4. this site is awesome, the best 1 and no i dont wana argue with people.

so i deleted the msg cause it wasnt apropriate here.

peace....

[edit on 012828p://21021 by info_junkee]



posted on Feb, 27 2005 @ 12:10 AM
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yeah an my name is Brian thanks, not that id be sane to put my surname anywhere on this internet.

lol.

[edit on 122828p://480212 by info_junkee]




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