- Aug 3, 2020
Fears are growing that the Central African Republic could experience an upsurge of violence has it prepares for presidential elections later this year. The conflict in the country has led to an increase in mental health problems, especially among the young.
Belgium’s Brothers of Charity have cut ties with their 15 homes for psychiatric patients after the Vatican stripped the institutions of their Catholic status because euthanasia was permitted on their premises.
The Brothers of Charity in Belgium are trying to find a way to keep euthanasia from happening at the hospitals they sponsor, but the hospitals’ board who is made up mostly of laity has issued a defense of their decision to offer euthanasia that a Belgian lawyer claims will have “far-reaching” consequences.
The head of the Brothers of Charity said the order may withdraw its sponsorship of 15 hospitals in Belgium after the board voted to ignore a Vatican demand not to perform euthanasia at the facilities. Brother René Stockman said the Brothers of Charity would remain faithful to the Church’s teaching, despite serious civil pressure to the contrary.
In a September 12 statement, the board of the Belgian Brothers of Charity defied a Vatican request to end euthanizing patients, and said it “continues to stand by its vision statement on euthanasia for mental suffering in a non-terminal situation.” The Brothers of Charity in Belgium run 15 psychiatric hospitals with 5,000 patients.
Herman Van Rompuy, who has formerly served as the President of the European Council and Prime Minister of Belgium, has tweeted a message implying Pope Francis cannot tell a Belgian religious order to stop performing euthanasia at its medical clinics. Van Rompuy serves on the board of the Brothers of Charity Group.