Rorate Caeli

The Great Division: End-of-Life measures, French-style -- “L’Osservatore Romano” in favor of France's "camouflaged Euthanasia"

Now, even regarding such a delicate (and yet clear-cut) issue as euthanasia, lack of clarity leads to division, even in Rome itself. Regarding the new French euthanasia bill, the Italian Bishops' Conference daily, Avvenire, says one thing (condemning it), and the official paper of the Holy See, L'Osservatore Romano, says another.

From Sandro Magister's Italian-only blog:

"Taking care does not mean killing": anti-euthanasia protest by pro-life activists in Paris

The End of Life, French-Style: “Avvenire” votes against it. “L’Osservatore Romano”, in favor.
Sandro Magister
Settimo Cielo*
March 19, 2015

“A balanced response” . With this title. in large bold letters, “L’Osservatore Romano” [edition] of March 19th positively acknowledged the approval by the French National Assembly (with 436 votes against 34) of the bill on the end of life, which took the name of the two senators who presented it: Jean Leonetti and Alain Claeys.

“We are very far from a vision of euthanasia – the Pope’s newspaper explained (Ferdinando Cancelli) – and the controversies that have arisen recently appear therefore decidedly counterproductive and often superficial.”

What controversy? And from whom? In point of fact “Avvenire” , the Italian Episcopal Conference’s daily newspaper, gave the French law an opposite assessment to the “L’Osservatore”'s.

The End of Life, French-Style” was the title of a full- page article by its Paris correspondent, Daniele Zappalà, who didn’t omit emphasizing “a large chorus of voices from society who for some time have shown skepticism or who are totally opposed to the law in question” , including the French Episcopal Conference, as well as Jewish and Islamic representatives.

“I share the fears of those who are talking about camouflaged euthanasia” declared Professor Denys Pellerin, in an interview from the same “Avvenire” piece. The professor, a luminary of international fame, former president of the National Academy of Surgery and the National Academy of Medicine (the “parliament” of doctors of France [lit. "beyond the Alps"]) “has always been extremely vigilant on bioethical questions and professional deontology (ethics).”

However for “L’Osservatore Romano”, that is not the case. “The French legislators looked at reality with lucidity and courage and, after careful reflection, drew up a text that doesn’t distort the spirit of one of the most developed laws on the end of life argument .” Now the law “must be known and applied. Polemics are of little use regarding all this.”

In fact, to come into force, the law must still obtain the approval of the Senate. Yet the Pope’s newspaper has already given it a favorable vote. And for the title of its statement on the vote, it recopied the exact same opinion expressed on the law by the French Premier Manuel Valls: “Balanced.”

All serious Catholic organizations in France are adamantly opposed to a bill that opens the gates for euthanasia - even worse, for a euthanasia that dares not say its name. How is it possible that the Pope's own newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, supports it in the name of "avoiding controversy"?...

As Cécile Edel, president of Choisir la Vie [Choosing Life], a major pro-life organization in France, declared yesterday:

A wind of death has blown in the past few days in the National Assembly...

On Tuesday, the Claeys-Leonetti bill was adopted, creating thus the right to a 'deep and continuous sedation up unto death', that is, a right to an euthanasia that dares not say its name. Only 24 deputies voted against this text.

This night at 2 AM [March 19], behind closed doors, this same Assembly has decided to suppress the delay for reflection before abortion...

And now, serious Catholics in France who fought bravely against this camouflaged euthanasia bill are abandoned by the Vatican. What is there to say?... At this moment, desperate action by pro-life movements will attempt to have the French Senate modify the bill to make explicit that any kind of hidden euthanasia on purpose with the use of sedatives (which the current text approved by the lower National Assembly allows) be removed - but with even the Vatican paper trying to avoid "controversy", they will have a hard time defending life...

[*A Rorate Translation by Contributor Francesca Romana]