Pro Life - Loved Ones at The End of Their Earthly Pilgrimage

posted Aug 11, 2011, 9:19 AM by St. Joseph Cheyenne   [ updated Aug 11, 2011, 10:23 AM ]
Called to prophetic deeds in society, the Church defends life from its dawn to its conclusion in 
death. It is especially for this final stage, which often lasts for months and years and creates many serious problems, that I appeal today to the sensitivity of families, asking them to accompany their loved ones, to the end of their earthly pilgrimage. How can we not recall the tender words of Scripture: “O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as he lives; even if his is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all your strength do not despise him. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, and ... in the day of your affliction it will be remembered in your favour” (Sir 3:12-15). The respect that we owe the elderly compels me once again to raise my voice against all those practices of shortening life known as euthanasia. In the presence of a secularized mentality that does not respect life, especially when it is weak, we must emphasize that it is a gift of God which are all obliged to protect. This duty particularly concerns health-care workers, whose specific mission is to become “ministers of life” in all its stages, especially in those marked by weakness and illness. “The temptation ... of euthanasia” appears as “one of the more alarming symptoms of the 'culture of death' which is advancing above all in prosperous societies” (cf. Evangelium vitae, n. 64). Euthanasia is an attack on life that no human authority can justify, because the life of an innocent person is an indispensable good. – From Pope John Paul II’s talk on October 31, 1998 at an international conference on the elderly, ―No Authority Can Justify Euthanasia.