Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is "unacceptable" for the Catholic Church to compromise "even slightly" on the subject of euthanasia. The idea of "sweet death", in reality "strikes at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the dignity of human life and if the Church’s teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner. Hence the call today by Benedict XVI to the bishops to "continually call the faithful to complete fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium."
The duty of pastors to underline Catholic teaching on respect for life was addressed by the Pope during a meeting held with the Scottish bishops, at the end of their visit ad Limina. "Recent developments - he explained - in medical ethics and some of the practices advocated in the field of embryology give cause for great concern. If the Church’s teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner”.
Benedict XVI also recommended the bishops to “support and defend the Church's right the Church’s right to live freely in society according to her beliefs”. Even so, he added: "All too often the Church’s doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed towards the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us."
In this context, a final recommendation was devoted to Catholic teachers, by "encouraging", with "special emphasis on the quality and depth of religious education, so as to prepare an articulate and well-informed Catholic laity, able and willing to carry out its mission".