Valentina di Giorgio
(ZENIT News / Rome, 04.24.2023).- In the context of the International Journalism Festival, held in Perugia, Italy, Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, made some contrasting statements with the doctrine of the Church regarding euthanasia. The statements were made during a round-table debate (you can listen to what Bishop Paglia said unequivocally here).
Talking about the Law of Assisted Suicide, in order to clarify the Bishop’s conflictive statement, here is what he said textually:
“It cannot be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that permits assisted suicide in the conditions specified by the 242/2019 Ruling of the Constitutional Court: the person, affected by an irreversible pathology, source of physical and psychic sufferings, which he/she considers intolerable, but who is fully able to make free and conscious decisions, ‘must be kept alive through vital support treatment.’ The Draft Law approved by the Chamber of Deputies (but not by the Senate) went basically in this direction. Personally, I would not practice assisted suicide, but I understand that the legal mediation can be the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves” (literal translation of the Italian original, which can be read fully here).
In a press release on Monday, April 24, the Pontifical Academy for Life stated:
“In regard to the address given by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on Wednesday, April 10, during the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, and to the erroneous interpretations of Monsignor Paglia’s thought, the Press Office of the Pontifical Academy for Life wishes to clarify the following:
Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, reiterates his “no” to euthanasia and to assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium.
In his speech, in which he addressed the whole subject of the end of life, Monsignor Paglia mentioned at the end, without developing it, the 242/2019 Ruling of the Italian Constitutional Court, and the specific Italian situation. The Constitutional Court confirms assisted suicide as a crime. Then he enumerates four specific and particular conditions in which the crime is decriminalized. In this precise and specific context, Monsignor Paglia explained that, in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ is possible (but certainly not moral) in the direction indicated by the Ruling, maintaining the crime and the conditions in which it is decriminalized, given that the Constitutional Court itself has requested Parliament to legislate. For Monsignor Paglia, it’s important that the Ruling state that the crime is maintained as such and is not suppressed. Any other consideration is deceitful. On the scientific and cultural plane, Monsignor Paglia has always supported the need for accompaniment of the sick in the terminal phase of life, based on Palliative Care and closeness, so that no one remains alone in face of sickness and suffering, in the difficult decisions that these entail.”