Holy See expresses ‘sorrow’, offers prayers for the death of Vincent Lambert

In a tweet yesterday Pope Francis called for respect of life. For the Pontifical Academy for life, Lambert’s death is "a defeat for our humanity".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The death of Vincent Lambert is a source of “sorrow”, said the Vatican spokesman today. For the Pontifical Academy for Life, it represents a "defeat for our humanity".

Lambert died this morning at a hospital in Reims, France. Since 2008, when he was involved in a car accident, he was in a condition defined by some as vegetative whilst others said he had minimal consciousness.

He died of hunger and thirst, but was not near death and did not need machines to support his vital functions. But his doctors and wife decided he had to die.

The legal battle undertaken by his parents proved fruitless as did the appeal by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. His case was one of euthanasia.

“We have received with sorrow the news of the death of Vincent Lambert,” said interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti. “We pray that the Lord receive him in His home and express closeness to his loved ones and to those who, up to the end, were committed to assisting him with love and devotion.

“We recall and reiterate the words of the Holy Father in relation to this painful matter: God is the only master of life from its beginning to its natural end, and it is our duty to protect it always, and not to give in to throwaway culture”.

Yesterday, Pope Francis referred to what was happening in France in a tweet. "We pray for the sick who are abandoned and left to die. A society is human if it protects life, every life, from its beginning to its natural end, without choosing who is worthy to live or who is not. Doctors should serve life, not take it away.”

Also on Twitter, the Pontifical Academy for Life wrote this morning: “Mgr Paglia and @PontAcadLife pray for the #VincentLambert family, for the doctors and for all the people involved in this case. The death of #VincentLambert and his story are a defeat for our humanity (translated from the French).”