Pope condemns right to die, anti-life ethos

Pope Francis denounced the right to die movement on Saturday, saying that euthanasia is a sin against God and creation.

The Latin American pontiff said it was a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity.

He classified as equally false the belief that abortion helps women.

Rather, the image of true compassion is in the figure of the Good Samaritan, who sees a man suffering, has mercy on him, goes close and offers concrete help.

Pope Francis also condemned in vitro fertilisation, describing it as “the scientific production of a child”.

He added that embryonic stem cell research can be seen as “using human beings as laboratory experiments to presumably save others”.

His remarks were made to the 4000 Catholic doctors on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors.

Pope Francis said “playing with life” in ways like abortion and euthanasia is sinful.

“Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator.”

He stressed that each human life, no matter what the condition, is sacred.

The Pope did not specifically mention the case of terminally ill young American Brittany Maynard, who died recently by assisted suicide.

Francis recalled that many times in his years as a priest he heard people object to the Church’s position on life issues, specifically asking why the Church is against abortion.

He would explain that the Church is not against abortion because it is simply a religious or philosophical issue.

It is because “there is a human life and it’s not lawful to take a human life to solve a problem”.

Addressing the advances in modern medicine, the Pope said the possibility of physical healing has drastically increased.

However, the ability to truly care for the person has almost gone in the opposite direction, he said.

Some aspects of medical science “seem to diminish the ability to ‘take care’ of the person, especially when they are suffering, fragile and defenceless”, he said.

The Pope said advancements in science and medicine can only enhance human life if they maintain their ethical roots.


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