The Holy See to the Brothers of Charity: stop euthanasia

he Holy See to the Brothers of Charity: stop euthanasia

The Holy See to the Brothers of Charity: stop euthanasia

By Iacopo Scaramuzzi/

The Superior made an appeal to Rome after the decision taken by the Board of directors to introduce it in its 15 hospitals in Belgium: “We have an absolute respect for life”.

The Holy See has summoned a religious congregation handling 15 mental hospitals in Belgium, the Brothers of Charity, to give up the possibility of euthanasia recently introduced by its Board of directors but questioned by the general superior of the Brothers, René Stockman, who made an appeal to Rome.

“The Brothers of Charity are against euthanasia” remarked Brother Stockman to the French agency France Presse. “We have the most absolute respect for life”.

Everything started in Spring, when the Boards of directors, whose members are three Brothers and several lay people, approved a new set of rules which allows the physicians of the 15 hospitals to practice euthanasia, considering it a “medical procedure”. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002. The second country in the world after Holland. In 2015 it has been applied 2,021 times. In 2014, the possibilty of an assisted death has been granted also to minors suffering from incurable desease, if they have the capacity to take a rational decisions about their life.

The Superior, who lives in Rome, has first tried to persuade the three Brothers sitting in the Board of directors who are in favour of euthanasia, then he turned to the Belgian Episcopal Conference, who has confirmed its contrary position to this kind of practice, and at the end, he required a series of meetings in the Vatican City, explaining that this issue had reached the Poipe as well. “I have been forced to inform the Vatican, which in reality knew already about the problem”, said Brother Stockman. The support to his position has been assured by the Holy See together with the request to the three Brothers to retrace their steps by the end of August. The Superior will have to convince soon afterwards the other members of the Boards of directors.

In a brief notice written in Flemish, the Brothers of Charity informed they had “taken note”of Brother Stockman’s letter with the decision of the Vatican, underlining that the message from Rome “will be further analyzed by the organs of the Congregation and the Board of directors who approved the procedure” of euthanasia.

The Congregation of the Brothers of Charity, who operates in more than 20 countries, has been founded in Belgium in 1807. More than 5,000 patients have been recovered in its hospitals, but the role of the Congregation in its structures is less and less visible.

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 15:17
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