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Pope Francis against euthanasia: We must accompany others to death, not provoke it

Pope Francis spoke about the Christian understanding of death in his general audience, and said to avoid two extremes: pushing away death with continuous treatment, and prematurely ending the lives of those who are ill with no cure.

We must accompany them to death, but not cause death or aid any form of assisted suicide. Life is a right, not death, which must be welcomed, not administered. And this ethical principle concerns everyone, not just Christians or believers.

The Pope referred to the the figure of St. Joseph as the patron of “happy death,” and an example of the Christian perspective on eternal life.

“Only through faith in the resurrection can we face the abyss of death without being overwhelmed by fear. Not only that, but we can give death a positive role. In fact, thinking about death, illuminated by the mystery of Christ, helps us to look at the whole of life with new eyes.”

Pope Francis suggests meditating on death as a way for each person to cultivate a deeper meaning in their lives.

“What is the point of arguing with a brother, a sister, a friend, a relative or a brother or sister in faith, if we are going to die one day? What is the point of getting angry with others?In the face of death, so many issues are resized. It is good to die reconciled, leaving no grudges and no regrets.”

The Pope then ended his audience by asking that every sick person receive the medical and spiritual care they need.

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