Spanish bishop urges support for those tempted to suicide

bishop urges suicide support

A bishop in Spain has urged that no effort be spared in addressing the suicide crisis confronting the country.

Bishop Juan Carlos Elizalde Espinal of Vitoria gave his reflection “taking a stand for life” during Solemn Vespers in honour of Our Lady of the Snows on Aug 4.

“There are many people, youths and adults, who decide to put an end to their existence. Don’t do it. Life is worth living. In face of the darkness, Christ is the Light,” Bishop Elizalde stressed.

The bishop called on “everyone, public institutions, companies, schools, families and the Church,” to join together to provide the necessary help to the person contemplating suicide. That person “needs to know that God has a plan for him and there’s a new beginning.”

“I ask that we spare no effort to address this problem of the first order, taking a stand for life. From the first moment of conception to its natural end, alleviating pain, also taking care of the caregiver and always ensuring the dignity of all,” he continued.

According to official data, “on average, more than 10 people die from suicide every day in Spain. The Spanish suicide rate is more than twice the traffic accident rate. Suicide is one of the biggest public health problems in Europe. The estimated rate of suicide is 13.9 per 100,000 inhabitants per year.”

Bishop Elizalde also pointed to one of the leading causes of suicide in Spain, bullying.

“Bullying is an evil that we must eradicate from schools and workplaces. We have no right to ruin anyone’s life. Bullying in schools causes serious problems”. This can even lead to “the young person ending his own life. There are many people, youths and adults, who decide to end their existence,” he said.

The Bishop of Vitoria also recalled the millions of Christians who are persecuted because of their faith, “who bear witness to the Truth”. He noted that in Spain, “there are also those who intend to eliminate the millenary presence of our faith.”

“It’s nothing new, but I want to alert you to the growing intolerance towards faith in Christ in our society,” he said.

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