- Dec 9, 2019
Medical assistance in dying has been legalized since 2016 in Canada, but Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield, an outspoken critic of the new law, refuses to accept what he claims to be just plain euthanasia. Simard expresses concern for what the future holds and claims the law to be a “threat to the foundations of our society.”
“Whether we are Christians or not, an act of violence such as that experienced at the Great Mosque of Quebec touches us all,” Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec City said Monday from Rome. “Hatred is the darkest expression of our humanity.”
In the wake of the shooting at the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec that left six dead and many wounded, Pope Francis expressed “his deep sympathy to the wounded and their families, and to all those who have contributed to their aid, asking the Lord to bring comfort and consolation to the trial.”
Small acts of kindness, Campaign Life Coalition President Jim Hughes said, like visiting the sick in nursing homes, taking a shut-in to a ballgame, making a phone call or sending a card to a lonely elderly person, can help prevent euthanasia.
In a pastoral letter addressing medical aid in dying, the Atlantic Episcopal Assembly wrote that “in the pastoral care of those who are contemplating medical assistance in dying, we must remember that the purpose of pastoral care is to communicate the compassion of Christ, his healing love and his mercy.”
What can the U.S. Church do faced with the drive to assisted suicide in so many states? The first thing is to look north of the border, where the experience in Quebec holds important lessons. Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, shares some of them with Crux contributor Chris White.