While recently visiting Montreal, I came upon a small church in the center of the old city close to the river The church has an interesting exhibit regarding the Irish immigrants who fled to Canada at the time of the potato famine, which claimed the life of thousands of their brethren back home.
I can only imagine how terrible the journey would have been for these starved and sick Irish people. But also what joy would have been theirs to receive the kind compassion that was being administered through the churches in Montreal.
Because of the vast number of immigrants who were seeking refuge and in need of medical care (as they were dying from small pox, typhus and influenza), a port was established on Grosse Ilse, in the St. Lawrence River up to receive those needing refuge and medical attention.
Many Canadians today owe the lives of their ancestral families to the compassion that was shown to them in Quebec. Thousands succumbed to these afflictions at Grosse Ilse and they were treated with dignity and cared for until death. And because of the sacrifice and compassion of the Quebecers, many lived.
I find this history of particular interest in light of recent provincial governmental decisions in Quebec. On Wednesday, June 12, The Provincial Health Minister, Ms Véronique Hivon, introduced Bill 52 on end-of-life care (euthanasia).
The language contained in Bill 52 is all about ‘compassion’.
What a stark difference this ‘compassion’ is today as compared to the true compassion that was shown to many of those who were incurably ill on Grosse Ilse not 200 years ago.
Would Grosse Ilse today look like a sophisticated euthanasia clinic?
Mrs Carine Brochier, from the European Institute of Bioethics, has fought against euthanasia in her native Belgium (where euthanasia is legal and commonplace). She spoke words of warning to Canadian reporters and the people of Quebec in a recent interview,
In response to the question, “…. would you have a message to give to the Quebecois who are about to debate that question?”(Euthanasia)
She replied: “Don’t open the door, don’t open the door (…) What we need to try to learn again is how to become the best with palliative care and not the best with euthanasia.”
“Learn again”. It’s when I read these words that my recent visit to Montreal reminded me about Canada’s debt to Quebec and for the compassion they showed many of our nations fore fathers people. In light of the recent political news this contrast came flooding into my mind.
This is the real heritage of Quebec, a people of true compassion. The enemy always tries to make a counterfeit. This counterfeit ‘compassion’ that is being proposed is not what Quebec is built on and will not lead to a more caring society but only death.
Euthanasia robs us of our heart to develop in compassion. 90% of Down syndrome babies are aborted, a convenience killing, and in doing so we lose out on all that God wants to do in our own hearts in developing His heart and compassion for those that need our care and love.
The church of Canada must now stand and call Quebec back to its spiritual roots, back to the “Father of compassion”. 2 Cor 1:3
We are fast approaching June 30th, Government Prayer Sunday, a day when thousands of Christians around the nation take time out of their Sunday service to “pray for those in authority over you” 1Tim 2.
As part of the prayer points to guide prayer this year we are going to include prayer for Quebec specifically, something we have never done before and this issue in particular.
Please help get the word out for the need to cover Quebec in prayer, that Euthanasia will not gain a foothold in the nation and thank you for participating in Government Prayer Sunday.