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Bishops’ reminder on sanctity of life

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Victoria’s Catholic bishops have reminded the Victorian Catholic community that the new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD), which passed into law this month, brings “a new and deeply troubling chapter of health care in Victoria”.

In a letter to the faithful, the four Victorian bishops including the Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, insisted that no animosity was held for “those with whom we disagree”. The bishops invited people to take Christ as their model who said “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.

The letter recalls for Catholics that Pope Francis has encouraged them to resist euthanasia and to protect the old, the young and the vulnerable from being cast aside in a “throw-away culture”.

The concept of conscientious objection is linked in the letter to the courageous acts of two 20th century saints who were “called by the Lord to witness to the dignity of human life despite great personal cost”.

Catholic hospitals and residential care organisations have committed to resist calls to be involved in VAD.

Pro-life supporters held a candlelight vigil outside Victoria’s Parliament House the night before the euthanasia scheme became legal on June 19.

To read the letter and the related document We Care, visit www.melbournecatholic.org.au

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