October 28, 2019


"We oppose any form of euthanasia - that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life - as well as physician-assisted suicide - that is the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide - because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions."

This is an excerpt from the joint declaration on "Matters Concerning the End of Life" signed by representatives of the great "Abrahamic Monotheistic" religions that met under auspices of the Vatican Pontifical Academy for Life. The initiative was apparently that of Israeli Rabbi Avraham Steinberg who proposed the project to Pope Francis. The Holy Father, in turn entrusted the effort to the Pontifical Academy and the work and the meeting was organized. Some thirty scholars and representatives of the respective religious affiliations gathered to finalize the draft document and then sign it. The group that included Cardinals, Rabbis and Imams and other officials met with Pope Francis afterward.

They explained why euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is morally and religiously wrong and they clearly condemned any pressure that is put on chronically ill and dying patients to end their lives by active and deliberate actions. However, they strongly supported palliative care as the appropriate way of respectfully caring for the dying.

They wrote, "Care for the dying, is both part of our stewardship of the Divine gift of life when a cure is no longer possible, as well as our human and ethical responsibility toward the dying (and often) suffering patient." "Holistic and respectful care of the person," they said, "must recognize the uniquely human, spiritual and religious dimension of dying as a fundamental objective."

They recognized that proper care for the ill and dying requires dedication and some sacrifice. "Even when efforts to continue staving off death seems unreasonably burdensome," they wrote, "we are morally and religiously duty-bound to provide comfort, effective pain and symptoms relief, companionship, care and spiritual assistance to the dying patient and to her/his family."

This echoes the words found in the Catechism, Christ, Our Pascha 900, "Children ought to care for their parents in their illnesses and provide them material and moral support in their old age. "My child, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his mind fails, be patient with him; because you have all your faculties do not despise him... Whoever forsakes his father is like a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord" (Sir 3:12-13, 16). Children ought to remember that respect and love for one's parents carries an obligation to look after them for the duration of their lives. No one can ever be relieved of this duty."

Read the full text of the Position Paper [HERE]

(source - article by Robin Gomes,

Video summary by Rome Reports...

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