The Conference of Bishops of Portugal (CEP) reaffirmed, at the opening of its Plenary Assembly, its principled opposition to assisted suicide, recalling the teaching of the Church in this matter.
On November 11, 2019, at the opening session of the Plenary Assembly of Bishops in Fatima, the Patriarch of Lisbon and President of the Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, declared: “In the current social and political context, the legislator and the citizens cannot ignore the unanimous position we have taken.”
The high prelate mentioned the various demonstrations that took place on October 26 in several Portuguese cities, bringing together several thousand people in the name of “safeguarding and promoting life.”
The Portuguese Patriarch also relied on the joint declaration signed in September 2016 by five former Presidents of the Council of the Medical Council, denouncing euthanasia as “a grave and unacceptable violation of medical ethics,” as well as on the position of the World Association of Physicians, saying that “no practitioner should be forced to collaborate in any with an assisted suicide.”
The issue of euthanasia has been recurrent in Portugal for several years. In May 2018, Parliament narrowly rejected, by 115 votes to 110, a proposal by the socialist government to decriminalize assisted suicide.
Since then, a new victory in the parliamentary elections of October 6, 2019 has brought the Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa back to power. And many in the ranks of the leftist deputies, have called for a “health reform” aligned with the culture of death that the secularized West is now championing.