Vatican’s Concern Over Luxembourg Euthanasia Bill

Source: FSSPX News


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Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has stated that the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg could count on the “support” and the “kinship” of “all Christians” in the wake of his refusal to sign the bill legalizing euthanasia in his country. He went on, “the Grand Duke is a committed Catholic who has no wish to sign an anti-life law.” At the beginning of December, Grand Duke Henri, who has ruled Luxembourg since 2000, relinquished his neutral position by informing parliamentary leaders that he would not sign a recently voted law on euthanasia, for reasons “of conscience.” Immediately the Prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker indicated that his country would change its constitution in order that the Grand Duke would no longer need to ratify a text for it to be promulgated. Several days before the vote, Mgr. Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, spoke in the following terms to parliament: “concerning a vote on the law for the decriminalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide”: “No one may assume the right to place himself in the place of the Creator. Life and death belong to Him alone.”

Furthermore, Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See Press Office, responding to a question from a journalist, referred to the Vatican’s choice of not supporting the French project for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality at the UN. “Of course, he said, the Church is in favor of the decriminalization of homosexuality, she does not want to recognise penal laws which consider homosexuality a crime”. “At the same time, she considers that all sexual orientations should not be placed on the same level”. As far as the French text was concerned, Fr. Lombardi also noted that it still was a “mysterious thing”.

On December 18, Benedict XVI received the accrediting letters from the new ambassadors to the Holy See, including those of Paul Dühr, ambassador of Luxembourg. The pope spoke to him of “his very grave concerns on the subject of the text of the euthanasia and assisted suicide, currently being debated in Parliament”. Benedict XVI pointed out that this text, which explicitly legitimises the possibility of putting an end to human life, was “accompanied, in a contradictory manner” by another proposal which contains positive legislative clauses for the development of palliative care in order to render the final stages of an illness more bearable and to favor an appropriate human accompaniment”. “Political leaders, whose grave duty it is to be at the service of mankind, just as doctors and families are, must remember that “the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent being of his life, is always bad from the moral viewpoint and can never be licit”, he said, citing the encyclical Evangelium Vitae (1995)

The pope also condemned “a vain and dangerous race for profit,” in the face of temptation to liberalize Sunday work and stressed the responsibility of prosperous countries in times of economic crises. The respect for Sunday, the pope pointed out, “beyond its religious significance” reminds “every citizen of his great dignity and (the fact) that his work is not servile. This day is given to everyone so that he not be reduced to a mere work machine or a consumer, but that he may rest and dedicate his time to the highest realities of human life: family life, free encounters with others, spiritual activities and the worship of God”. “The prosperity which your nation has the good fortune to enjoy,” Benedict XVI told the Ambassador of Luxembourg, “demands of it the duty to set a good example.”

(Sources: apic /imedia / AFP / VIS / )