National "Pro-Life" Banner of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church
THE THEOLOGICAL AND PASTORAL PRINCIPLES AND TEACHINGS
OF THE OLD ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
REGARDING THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
The North American Old Roman Catholic Church is firmly committed to the protection and preservation of all human life from conception to natural death. The Old Roman Catholic Communion believing in the Sanctity of Human Life, teaches that all life comes from God and is a gift from Him. The Scripture tells us that man was formed in the very image of God and thus it is sacred and must be honored, respected and protected, and that each and every individual must be treated with the respect due to them as an inherent result of their creation by God and are thus worthy of all human dignity.
The human dignity of man is violated, infringed and transgressed by acts of racism, unjust or prejudicial treatment of men and women, genocide, the many forms of sexual exploitation, domestic violence, child abuse, rape, theft or destruction of legitimately owned property, deceptions and deceit, environmental plunder and other such manipulative behaviors.
The Old Roman Catholic Communion teaches and maintains that marriage is the only morally and spiritually appropriate context for sexual relations. In teaching this, the Church considers all other forms of sexual activity such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, pornography, all forms of prostitution, and similar forms of behavior, to be demeaning of the dignity God bestowed upon man and the gift of life He has given to man. In this context the Old Roman Catholic Church teaches and maintains that Marriage, which confers a new and special spiritual life upon the bride and groom who sacrifice their individual lives to create an even greater single life as husband and wife, can only be contracted between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages are both a contradiction in terms and a violation and demeaning of the sanctity and dignity of human life and love. Thus the Old Roman Catholic Church does not permit same-sex marriages.
From its inception the Church has condemned the act of abortion and classified it as a form of murder. Those who procure an abortion, those who perform, assist or advise women to secure an abortion are prohibited from receiving Holy Communion until they have demonstrated true remorse, have made a sincere confession, and received Absolution.
The Old Roman Catholic Church teaches and maintains that no one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God's love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and, therefore, without committing a crime of the utmost gravity. Today it is very important to protect, at the moment of death, both the dignity of the human person and the Christian concept of person against a technological attitude that threatens to become an abuse. . . . The use of therapeutic means can sometimes cause problems.
The Old Roman Catholic Church in its defense of human life also teaches and maintains that everybody has the duty to employ what is necessary to the conservation of his own life and health, to avoid what is harmful to them, and to use what can restore the health. St. Thomas Aquinas (commentary on the 2nd epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, lect. II, n. 77): “A man has the obligation to sustain his body, otherwise he would be a killer of himself; by precept therefore, he is bound to nourish his body and likewise we are bound to all the other items without which the body cannot live.”
The Old Roman Catholic Church also teaches and maintain that everybody has the duty to conserve his own life and health by ordinary means. This principle is just a consequence of the precedent. The ordinary means are the means that are commonly used by men to preserve their own life, and which can be procured by ordinary diligence, such as: blood transfusion; intravenous feeding; ordinary surgery, etc.
The Old Roman Catholic Church, in union with the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also teaches and maintains that, “If there are no sufficient remedies, it is permitted, with the patient's consent, to have recourse to the means provided by the most advanced medical techniques, even if these means are still at the experimental stage and are not without certain risk” (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , May 5, 1980). These means, provided by the most advanced medical techniques, are called extraordinary means. The characteristics of an extraordinary means depends on: the common estimation; the price of the surgery; the danger of death; the personal repulsion for this means; the pains of the surgery; the proportion of this means and the hope of success; the length of the treatment.
In union with the Roman Catholic Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Old Roman Catholic Church teaches and maintains that: “It is also permissible to make do with the normal means that medicine can offer. Therefore one cannot impose on anyone the obligation to have recourse to a technique which is already in use but which carries a risk or is burdensome. Such a refusal is not the equivalent of suicide; on the contrary, it should be considered as the acceptance of the human condition, or a wish to avoid the application of a medical procedure disproportionate to the results that can be expected, or a desire not to impose excessive expense on the family or on the community” (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).
Sometimes there is an obligation for employing the extraordinary means: when the life or the health of the sick is necessary to the common good of a family or the society.
When inevitable death is imminent in spite of the means used, it is permitted in conscience to take the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life, so long as the normal care due to the sick person in similar cases is not interrupted. In such circumstance the doctor has no reason to reproach himself with failing to help the person in danger.
“It is also permitted , with the patient's consent, to interrupt these means, where the results fall short of expectations. But for such a decision to be made, account will have to be made of the reasonable wishes of the patient and the patient's family, as also of the advise of the doctors who are specially competent on the matter. The latter may in particular judge that the investment in instruments and personnel is disproportionate to the results foreseen; they may also judge that the techniques applied impose on the patient strain or suffering out of proportion with the benefits which he or she may gain from such techniques” (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).