Those who opt for the “intrinsically evil” act of euthanasia cannot receive the sacraments or be accompanied by a priest at the moment of their death, the Vatican has said.
Doctrine, compassion, vengeance and money are combining to create the perfect storm for a row over euthanasia in Belgian hospitals.
The Belgian Brothers of Charity are staying defiant after the Vatican stripped 15 psychiatric hospitals of theirs of the ‘Catholic’ label over those clinics’ practice of euthanasia.
The Church is at war over assisted suicide, with a Dutch cardinal contradicting a Vatican official who himself disavowed Swiss Bishops’ guidelines on euthanasia.
“To accompany, to hold the hand of someone who is dying, is something that every faithful must promote as they must promote a culture that opposes assisted suicide”, a Vatican archbishop has declared.
The Bishops of Switzerland have instructed priests and pastoral workers not to be physically present at the moment of an assisted suicide.
91% of Catholics in the Netherlands have said they are in favour of euthanasia under certain circumstances.
The Vatican and the Italian Bishops’ Conference have warned of the “spread of the culture of death” after Italy’s Constitutional Court ruled that helping someone to die is not always a crime.
Euthanasia may be appear to be freedom but in fact it is utilitarianism, the reduction of the sick person to a thing, the Pope said.
The Pontifical Academy for Life – the flagship Vatican institute for the “defence and promotion of the value of human life and the dignity of the person”, as per its statutes – has rescinded the appointment of a Portuguese doctor who wants a referendum on euthanasia in the country.