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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, April 03, 2006


The Bishops Conference of England and Wales have just been strongly urging as many Catholics to oppose moves to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide by supporting the Care Not Killing Alliance. Launched in January, this brings together medical groups, disability rights groups along with faith communities and others opposed to any change in the law on euthanasia. Telephone 020 7633 0770 or go to

On 12 May 2006 a Bill to legalise assisted suicide for the Terminally Ill will be debated in the House of Lords. This Private Member’s Bill is being promoted by Lord Joffe. It marks the next step in a concerted and highly organised campaign to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in England and Wales.

“We need Catholics to go to their MPs and say we do not want this law,” said Archbishop Peter Smith, who made the call on behalf of the Bishops. We are encouraging as many Catholics as possible to support the work of Care Not Killing in whatever way they can.”

He wrote the following words on death, in Evangelium Vitae, having jut powerfully rejected Euthanasia. They are also an appropriate for the upcoming Holy Week.

Quite different from this is the way of love and true mercy, which our common humanity calls for, and upon which faith in Christ the Redeemer, who died and rose again, sheds ever new light. The request which arises from the human heart in the supreme confrontation with suffering and death, especially when faced with the temptation to give up in utter desperation, is above all a request for companionship, sympathy and support in the time of trial. It is a plea for help to keep on hoping when all human hopes fail.

As the Second Vatican Council reminds us: "It is in the face of death that the riddle of human existence becomes most acute" and yet "man rightly follows the intuition of his heart when he abhors and repudiates the absolute ruin and total disappearance of his own person. Man rebels against death because he bears in himself an eternal seed which cannot be reduced to mere matter".This natural aversion to death and this incipient hope of immortality are illumined and brought to fulfilment by Christian faith, which both promises and offers a share in the victory of the Risen Christ. (para. 61)

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:27 am