Pope Francis warns that if we find excuses for killing, we'll just end up "killing more and more"
While the French government has begun work on the legalization of euthanasia, Pope Francis has urged a debate “in truth” on the end of life in France. He received in audience some 40 French elected officials from the Diocese of Cambrai on October 21, 2022, at the Vatican. The politicians were accompanied by Archbishop Vincent Dollmann.
The Pope advocated “welcome and care,” asking for special attention for the elderly and everyone at the end of life. “I dare to hope that on such essential issues, the debate can be made in truth to accompany life until its natural end,” said the 85-year-old pontiff, who pleaded for “the development of palliative care.”
“Caregivers, by nature, have the vocation to provide care and relief, because they cannot always cure; but we cannot ask caregivers to kill their patients!” said Pope Francis.
He recalled his statement at a press conference on his return from Kazakhstan on September 15: “If we kill with justifications, we will end up killing more and more.”
This week, the Pope will be visited by French President Emmanuel Macron, who will be at the Vatican on October 24. The end of life could be one of the topics discussed during this private meeting, as confirmed by a source at the Elysée.
Inclusion of people with disabilities
The Pope also advocated for the reception of the most disadvantaged, including migrants. He called for “inclusive provisions” for people with disabilities, so that they have “a place in the world of work.”
The Argentine pontiff urged elected officials to emphasize the cultural field, “an important factor of unity” as “the fruit of a common past.”
In this northern region, once “rich in coal mines, strong metallurgy and famous textile factories” but impoverished since their closure, it is “on these grounds of social and cultural action that you can find yourselves, regardless of your political affiliation,” he added.
More broadly, the Pope recommended that local elected officials put forward “the essential needs” of their constituents, “too often neglected in favor of fashionable topics less related to their daily lives.” It is, he said, “to bring to the highest authorities the aspirations and real needs of the people of your territory, far from any ideology or media pressure.”
During the five-day trip to the Eternal City, the French representatives met with Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Philippe Bordeyne, President of the Pontifical Theological Institute John Paul II for the Sciences of Marriage and Family, and Sister Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops.