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May 2000



"Shipman was protected by mask of respectability", rang out the headline on a special letters page devoted to comments on the conviction of serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman [Daily Mail, 8/2/00]. It captured the mood of letter writers who were venting their disgust and dismay at the perceived deferential treatment afforded to Shipman by medical, police and social service bodies as the respected family doctor went about his killing of 15 mostly aged women by injection with diamorphine.

Whatever the merits of the opinions voiced, the parallels between the public perception of the mishandling of this physically murderous affair and the ongoing, episcopally sanctioned spiritual massacre of Catholic souls were striking. Striking, that is, to those who, despite the corrupting neo-paganism which envelopes us and the Modernist air we passively inhale, have retained a truly supernatural perspective of faith and life; who still take Christ at His word when He said: "there is no need to fear those who kill the body, but have no means of killing the soul; fear him more, who has the power to ruin body and soul in hell...him you must fear indeed" [Matt.10:28-29; Lk.12:4-6].

Many commentators pointed to the Government's obvious hypocrisy in condemning Dr. Shipman while turning a blind eye to the unlawful killing of patients in health service hospitals, through its collusion with the British Medical Association (BMA) in advising doctors to dehydrate vulnerable patients to death in NHS hospitals - even if they are not dying. This reminds a thinking Catholic of those bishops who blithely condemn relativism and the 'pick and choose' degeneracy it has unleashed, while giving free rein to the most public lampooners of the Faith and colluding with promoters of Modernist sex-ed and catechetics to send yet another generation of hapless souls into the relativist pit.

Others called for the reintroduction of the Hippocratic Oath. "The best protection for patients," said Dr. Tony Cole of the Medical Ethics Alliance (which thankfully represents over 6,000 medics), "is the care of doctors who have publicly taken an oath never to harm or kill their patients and who have based their professional lives upon it. Such an oath has long been abandoned by most medical schools." A Catholic mind immediately turns to the The Oath Against Modernism. Drawn up and published by St. Pius X on 1 September 1910, to eliminate the possibility of Modernist error spreading through the clergy, it was to be sworn to by all priests, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries. If discarding the Hippocratic Oath has desensitised British doctors to the intrinsic value of human life, so dispensing with The Oath Against Modernism (and spare usage of its replacement: The Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity) has allowed many clergy "to harm or kill" souls in their charge with a clear conscience.

It was also acknowledged that neither the law nor "pathetic" BMA self-regulation can adequately protect people from a Harold Shipman. And what of Church Law? In practice, as a means of protecting the laity from those Modernists routinely engaged in "killing the soul", Canon Law, too, is not worth a carrot in the hands of Shepherds whose efforts to protect the Faith are not so much "pathetic" as non-existent.

But perhaps the most chilling parallel of all was the apparently pervasive deference to "professional people" who, a former policeman opined, "for some medieval British reason are treated with kid gloves." This allegedly enabled Dr. Shipman to continue his killing. Similarly, failing to distinguish between respect due to the episcopal 'office' as opposed to the 'office holder', the deference and kid glove treatment the Catholic laity afford the episcopate merely enables the bishops to persist in their sins of omission and commission against the souls entrusted by God to their care. Yet behind the episcopal mask of respectability, popularity and smiles lie unwitting clerical agents of the one who "has the means of killing the soul... the power to ruin body and soul in hell". Isn't it time we tore away that Modernist mask, looked reality in the face and demanded an end to episcopal complicity in the murder of souls?

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