Pope: Euthanasia is not a sign of civilization

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Pope: Euthanasia is not a sign of civilization

By Iacopo Scaramuzzi/ lastampa.it

Pope Francis receives the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which, among other things, is about to conclude a study on the ethical implications “in the economic-financial field”.

The “growing demand for euthanasia” resulting from the “process of secularization” has “also led to consider the voluntary interruption of human existence as a choice of “civilization”. The Pope denounced this during the audience reserved this morning for the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stating that “wherever life is valued not for its dignity, but for its efficiency and productivity, all this becomes possible”. The Latin American Pontiff, who stressed that the mission of the Department has “an eminently pastoral face”, noted with satisfaction that it is “carrying out” studies on “the ethical implications of an adequate anthropology also in the economic-financial field”.

During the Plenary Session, the Department led by Jesuit Luis Francisco Ladaria a few months ago, discussed “delicate questions concerning the accompaniment of the terminally ill.” In this regard - the Pope said - the process of secularization, absolutizing the concepts of self-determination and autonomy, has stirred in many countries a growing demand for euthanasia “as an ideological affirmation of the will of power of man over life.” This has also led us to consider the voluntary interruption of human existence as a sign of “civilization”. It is clear that “wherever life is valued not for its dignity, but for its efficiency and productivity, all this becomes possible”. In this scenario “it is necessary to repeat that human life, from conception to its natural end, possesses a dignity that renders it untouchable.”

“Pain, suffering, the meaning of life and death are realities that contemporary mentality struggles to face with a gaze of hope. Yet, without a “trusting hope” that can help them to face pain and death, humanity can’t manage to live well and maintain a confident perspective towards the future. This is one of the services that the Church is called to render to the men and women of today”.

Francis then thanked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its commitment to “all the various issues that today require important pastoral discernment, such as the examination of cases relating to graviora delicta and requests for the marriage dissolution in favorem fidei”, a task that is all the more essential today as humanity “no longer knows who she or he is and, therefore, struggles to recognize how to act well. In this sense, the task of your Congregation is decisive in recalling the transcendent vocation of human and the inseparable connection of their reason with truth and goodness, to which faith in Jesus Christ introduces”. “As a consequence, I appreciate”, the Pope said, “the studies you have undertaken on some aspects of Christian salvation, in order to reaffirm the meaning of redemption, in reference to today’s neo-pelagian and neo-gnostic tendencies. These tendencies are expressions of an individualism that relies on its own strength to save itself”.

The Argentine Pontiff then mentioned “the studies that you are completing about the ethical implications of an adequate anthropology in the economic-financial field. Only a vision of man as a person, i. e. as an essentially relational subject and characterized by a peculiar and broad rationality, is capable of acting in conformity with the objective order of morality. The Magisterium of the Church has always clearly confirmed, in this regard, that “economic activity must be conducted according to the laws and methods proper to the economy, but within the moral order”, “the Pope said citing from the “Gaudium et Spes”

The mission of the former Holy Office, the Pope concluded, “takes on an eminently pastoral face. Authentic pastors are those who do not abandon men and women to themselves, nor leave them prey of their disorientation and mistakes, but with truth and mercy, they bring them back to rediscover their authentic face in goodness. Therefore, every action aimed at taking man and women by the hand is truly pastoral, when they lost the sense of their own dignity and destiny, in order to lead them with confidence to rediscover the loving fatherhood of God, his good destiny and the ways to build a more human world. This is the great task that awaits your Congregation and any other pastoral institution in the Church”.

Sat, 01/27/2018 - 11:28
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