The following is an open letter written by the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family in response to President of the Pontifical Academy for Life Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia’s recent comments in favor of legalizing assisted suicide.
An Open Letter
‘Qui tacet consentire videtur.’
‘He who is silent is taken to agree.’
St. Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor of England, 1 July 1535.
The Most Reverend Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life,
and Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life,
“Personally I would not practice assisted suicide, but I understand that legal mediation can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves,” Archbishop Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, 19 April 2023 in a speech to the International Festival of Journalism in Perugia, Italy. (Emphasis added)
“I think that law 194 is now a pillar of our social life,” (Law 194/1978 legalized procured abortion in Italy)… in a subsequent question the interviewer asked Archbishop Paglia whether he intended to question this law, he replied: “No, absolutely, absolutely!” (Emphasis added) [1, 2]
“It was an attempt, and certainly not a perfect one, to accept the invitation contained in Veritatis Gaudium (par. 3) for a radical paradigm shift in theological reflection.” (Emphasis added) Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia in an interview on the book Theological Ethics of Life. Scripture, tradition, practical challenges. [3, 4]
Archbishop Paglia asserts that he understands “that legal mediation [regarding assisted suicide] can constitute the greatest common good concretely possible in the conditions in which we find ourselves.” It can never be in the greatest common good to legalize a mechanism for a doctor to provide a patient with a poison with which to kill himself. There is no moral difference between this and the doctor or the nurse giving someone an overdose of morphine himself or herself. Your Excellency, Thou shalt not kill applies equally to both situations. Moreover so-called “legal mediation” of assisted suicide is simply a tactical step in the process of facilitating the legalization of euthanasia. In practice, assisted suicide will be seen by doctors to be the moral hypocrisy that it is and open them to the practice of direct euthanasia.
The Statement published by the press office of the PAV on 24 April 2023 following on the legitimate public outrage at his position is in itself misleading in proclaiming that “The President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in full conformity with the Church’s Magisterium, reaffirms his “No” to euthanasia and assisted suicide”  whilst reiterating his support for a “legislative initiative” that would specify the conditions in which the crime is de-penalized.
In order to avoid complicity and in the light of the above absence of an unequivocal correction and apology for this scandalous betrayal of vulnerable patients the remaining pro-life members of the PAV must ask Pope Francis to dismiss Archbishop Paglia, replacing him with a President who, with courage, unequivocally proclaims the perennial teachings of the Church and Saint John Paul both on life and on its legal protection.
Failing this these pro-life members should themselves resign from this discredited Vatican institution.
Republished from LifeSite News
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