11/15/2014, 00.00
VATICAN

Pope: Abortion, euthanasia and test tube children are false compassion, life is always sacred

Addressing the Catholic Doctors Association, Francis describes healthcare as "a real lay apostolate." "The Gospel - the Pope said - goes beyond the Hippocratic Oath: love life at all times, especially when it requires special care and attention. Fidelity to the Gospel of life and respect for it as a gift from God sometimes requires brave choices".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a "false compassion", that which retains that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to "produce" a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome". This was Pope Francis' message to the Italian Catholic Doctors Association, marking their  70th anniversary. In his speech, the Pope told the doctors present "the Hippocratic Oath commits you to always be servants of life, the Gospel pushes you further: to love it no matter what, especially when it is in need of special care and attention ".

There is no doubt, says Francis, "that, in our time, due to scientific and technical advancements, the possibilities for physical healing have significantly increased; and yet, in some respects it seems the ability to "take care" of the person has decreased, especially when he is sick, frail and helpless. In fact, the achievements of science and of medicine can contribute to the improvement of human life to the extent that they are not distanced from the ethical root of these disciplines. For this reason, you Catholic doctors are committed to live your profession as a human and spiritual mission, as a real lay apostolate".

An apostolate in which healthcare professionals should feel the closeness and the deep involvement of the Church. "Attention to human life, especially that in greatest difficulty, that is, to the sick, the elderly, children, deeply involves the mission of the Church." The Church itself, says Francis, "also feels called to participate in the debate that relates to human life, presenting its proposal based on the Gospel".  A much needed proposal given that "in many places, the quality of life is related primarily to economic means, to "well-being", to the beauty and enjoyment of the physical, forgetting other more profound dimensions of existence - interpersonal, spiritual and religious".

In fact, the Pope says, "in the light of faith and right reason, human life is always sacred and always "of quality". There is no human life that is more sacred than another, as there is no human life qualitatively more significant than another, only by virtue of resources, rights, great social and economic opportunities". This is why for Catholic doctors if the Hippocratic Oath commits you to always be servants of life, the Gospel pushes you further: to love it no matter what, especially when it is in need of special care and attention".

The dominant thought, warns Francis, "sometimes suggests a "false compassion", that which retains that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to "produce" a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs presumably to save others. Instead, the compassion of the Gospel is that which accompanies in times of need, that is, the compassion of the Good Samaritan, who "sees", "has compassion", approaches and provides concrete help".

Your mission as doctors, he concludes, "puts you in daily contact with many forms of suffering. I encourage you to take them on as "Good Samaritans", caring in a special way for the elderly, the infirm and the disabled. Fidelity to the Gospel of life and respect for life as a gift from God sometimes require choices that are courageous and go against the current, which in particular circumstances, may become points of conscientious objection".

 

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