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‘We shall prevail,’ Canadian bioethicists assured

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Cardinal encourages Canadians to reverse legalized euthanasia
By Michael Swan
Photo caption: Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Catholic Church’s theological watchdog-agency, delivers the keynote address to a Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute conference at St. Michael’s Cathedral May 15. (Photo by Michael Swan)
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, Parliament has legislated, and provinces have set up new systems. For most Canadians the assisted suicide debate is last year’s news story. 
But Cardinal Gerhard Müller, head of the Catholic Church’s theological watchdog-agency, begs to differ.
“We shall prevail,” Cardinal Müller told an audience of bioethicists, theologians, doctors, and nurses at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral May 15.
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called Canada’s turn to legalized euthanasia “tragic.”
“Euthanasia not only constitutes a grave wrong in itself, but its legalization creates toxic and deadly social pathologies that disproportionately afflict the weakest members of society,” Cardinal Müller said.
The cardinal was in Toronto to deliver the keynote address at a Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute conference dedicated to the conscience rights of health-care professionals. Muller urged members of the institute “to persuade Canadian citizens to take the necessary steps to reverse the dangerous legal error of your Supreme Court and Parliament, and in the meantime, to protect the rights of conscience of health-care providers who refuse to take the lives of those that they have sworn to treat and comfort.”
Father Leo Walsh, who heads up the CCBI branch at Assumption University in Windsor, Ont., called the cardinal’s address “dramatically important.”
While those opposing physician-assisted death have lost the debate up to this point and the law is unlikely to change soon, that doesn’t mean the discussion is over, Father Walsh said. 
“We don’t give up,” he said. “We have to keep pushing it” and inviting politicians and assisted suicide advocates to the debate.
In a recent book-length interview, the cardinal argues for a brand of theology that isn’t satisfied with merely internal Church arguments. Cardinal Müller believes Catholics have something to say and must say it publicly, whether it’s popular or not.
“Amid so much irrationality and frivolity, we must seek out the enemy – nihilism, agnosticism and skepticism so widespread in our society because of its loss of realism and humanity – and, with the help of the riches of the magisterium of the Church, fight it systematically,” Cardinal Müller said in The Cardinal Müller Report, a 2016 volume from the American Catholic publisher Ignatius Press. 
“Everything is reinvented, anything goes. In society, we can only expect the wind that blows us this way and that. In society, we can only seek the comfort of being always on the side of the majority and not that of the brave witness we bear by swimming against the current when we must.”
The next step for Canadians who oppose medicalized killing must be to legally protect the conscience rights of doctors who refuse to refer their patients on to medical aid in dying (MAID) assessments, Cardinal Müller said.
“No one who trains and takes an oath to care for the sick should be pressed into ending the lives of the very people that they have promised to serve,” Cardinal Müller told about 200 people who had gathered at St. Michael’s Cathedral for evening prayer, followed by the cardinal’s address.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:17  

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