TORONTO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Gerhard Müller was in Toronto Monday to help fight euthanasia.
The Vatican's doctrinal watchdog was the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, a group of physicians, lawyers and ethicists dedicated to fostering Catholic principles in the field of bioethics. Monday evening, the cardinal told some 200 people gathered at St. Michael's Cathedral that in spite of Canada's recent legalization of assisted suicide, "We shall prevail."
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith observed that Canada's pro-death laws foster a culture of death. "Euthanasia not only constitutes a grave wrong in itself, but its legalization creates toxic and deadly social pathologies that disproportionately afflict the weakest members of society."
In 2015, Canada's Supreme Court decriminalized physician-assisted suicide (PAS) with its ruling of Carter v. Canada. It gave Parliament one year to pass legislation that would regulate such practice. Parliament responded in 2016 with Bill C-14, which stipulates that adults may request PAS if their natural death is "reasonably foreseeable," owing to an "incurable illness" and who are experiencing "physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them." Canada is considering whether to extend this lethal option to mentally ill patients.
Canadians must now focus on protecting the conscience rights of doctors, who refuse to kill their patients, declared Cdl. Müller. "No one who trains and takes an oath to care for the sick should be pressed into ending the lives of the very people that they have promised to serve."
"Refusal to engage in euthanasia represents basic fidelity to the very medical art that the physician professes," he continued. "To compel a doctor to participate in any manner in euthanasia is to force him to cease being a doctor and to betray the very profession to which he has given his life. ... Any law that forces a physician to act against what he knows to be the most basic good of the patient — the preservation of his very life — either directly or indirectly, is unjust."
Present for Cdl. Müller's address was the archbishop of Toronto, Cdl. Thomas Collins, who proffered the hope-filled proverb, "Reality always bats last." Cardinal Collins contrasted "true compassion" of caring for those who are suffering with "false compassion," which sees death as a solution to human suffering.
Cardinal Müller finished his address by encouraging those present to keep fighting amidst great opposition assuring them of ultimate victory:
[W]e should take heart in the fact that the enduring wisdom of the Catholic Church, intelligible to all people of good will, is truer, and better and more beautiful than any alternative. Share it lovingly and with the serene confidence that through the Risen Christ and the intercession of His Blessed Mother, all things are possible, and we shall prevail.