Pope Denounces Euthanasia as ‘sin against God’

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The pontiff says he finds the hype that is increasingly surrounding him "offensive." In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Francis said he doesn't appreciate the myth-making that has seen him depicted as a "Superpope" who sneaks out at night to feed the poor. On Wednesday, a new Italian weekly hit newsstands — a gossip magazine devoted entirely to the pope. Francis said: "The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person." (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
In this file photo taken on March 13, 2013, Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the day of his election. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

 

 

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis denounced the right to die movement Saturday, saying it’s a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when in fact it’s a sin against God and creation.

Francis made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors.

Earlier this month, the Vatican’s top bioethics official condemned as “reprehensible” the assisted suicide of an American woman, Brittany Maynard, who was suffering terminal brain cancer and said she wanted to die with dignity.

Francis didn’t refer to the Maynard case specifically.

While denouncing euthanasia in general, he also condemned abortion, in vitro fertilization (or “the scientific production of a child”) and embryonic stem cell research (or “using human beings as laboratory experiments to presumably save others.”)

“This is playing with life,” he said. “Beware, because this is a sin against the creator, against God the creator.”

While shying away from hot-button, culture war issues such as abortion, Francis has spoken out frequently about euthanasia. He considers the assisted suicide movement as a symptom of today’s “throw-away culture” that views the sick and elderly as useless drains on society.

Francis urged doctors to take “courageous and against-the-grain” decisions to uphold church teaching on the dignity of life, even if it requires resorting to conscientious objection.
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