Speaking before a conference of physicians in Rome today, Pope Francis clarified his beliefs on euthanasia, calling it a “sin against God,” Economic Times is reporting.
The Pontiff made the anti-euthanasia comments while discussing other biomedical issues, such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research (which he called “using human beings as laboratory experiments to presumably save others”), in-vitro fertilization (“the scientific production of a child”), and abortion, while addressing the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors, according to WUSA out of Washington, D.C.
“This is playing with life. Beware, because this is a sin against the creator, against God the creator.”
The anti-euthanasia remarks come in the wake of the suicide of Brittany Maynard, a terminally-ill young woman who made headlines earlier this month by choosing to end her life rather than face a protracted and agonizing death from an inoperable form of brain cancer. Although the Pontiff did not mention her case specifically, a senior Vatican bio-ethicist earlier this month condemned her assisted suicide as a “reprehensible act,” according to this Inquisitr report.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has made waves throughout the Catholic Church for his fresh approach to the Papacy, in stark contrast to his solemn, dour, and traditionalist predecessor, Benedict XVI. He personally inspected the Vatican’s fleet of luxury Jaguars and BMWs, and encouraged his subordinates to take on more modest forms of transportation, and use the money to feed the poor (when he was a bishop in Buenos Aires, he was known to take public transportation or putter around town in a beat-up Renault); he’s been known to sneak out of the Vatican in the middle of the night to feed the homeless – much to the annoyance of the Swiss Guard; and has directed his Almoner (the Vatican official in charge of giving alms to the poor) to install showers for the homeless under the colonnades at Saint Peter’s Basilica.
But as regards “sanctity of life” issues such as euthanasia and abortion, Pope Francis has consistently held to the traditional Vatican line, branding the assisted-suicide movement as a symptom of a larger cultural shortcoming that considers the sick and the elderly as “useless drains on society.”
[Image courtesy of CTV News]