Nuncio to Britain: Church Must Make Her Voice Heard in Opposing Assisted Suicide

Archbishop Mennini Warns Public Can Be Easily Manipulated by ‘Emotional’ Arguments

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The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain has said the Church must “make its voice heard” in opposing a proposed change to law that, if passed, would legalise assisted suicide in the UK.

The new law, which will first be debated in the House of Lords, would allow doctors to administer lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients, The Catholic Herald reports. The Government will permit a free vote on the issue.

Addressing a plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales earlier this week, Archbishop Antonio Mennini said: “I cannot fail to express concern about the Assisted Dying Bill which will be discussed in the next few months in the House of Lords. This is a very sensitive issue, which required a serious commitment from us to protect and defend human life as a gift from God.

“As Pope Francis said in his message to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales on the occasion of the Day for Life celebrated last year: ‘Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect’.”

The Nuncio went on to praise the work of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship which, he said, is “trying to clarify the ‘sense and nonsense’ on ‘assisted dying’”.

He said that unfortunately «we know from experience how easily public opinion can be manipulated, especially using ‘emotional’ arguments that try to move compassionate sentiments. But once we open this ‘Pandora’s box’ we know as well the horrible consequences that follow.»

“We have seen that even here, among us, regarding abortion, and the last news about ‘selective abortion’. But also elsewhere, in other European countries which recently have made change in their laws moving from a limited concept of ‘euthanasia’ to a wider spectre, also including children, as in Belgium.

«We, as the Catholic Church, have to make our voice heard in this regard as you have already done successfully in other fields.”


On the Web

Full text of the archbishop’s speech – The Catholic Herald

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