Archbishop Paul-André Durocher

COLF launches palliative care campaign

By 
  • October 10, 2014

OTTAWA - The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) launched its national palliative care campaign Oct. 3 with the support of Canada’s Catholic bishops. 

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Archbishop Paul-André Durocher said the bishops were happy to support COLF’s National Campaign for Palliative and Home Care: Against Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. The campaign’s theme is “Live- Giving Love.” 

The campaign includes a web site (www.lifegivinglove.com) that includes a downloadable brochure, links to COLF, the bishops’ conference, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and other resources. 

“Our modern world is so focused on well-being, on personal flourishing, that we no longer know what to do with suffering, sickness, disease, old age and death,” says Durocher on the web site’s introductory page, which also includes a video. 

Societal changes that include a tendency to “hide from suffering and hide from death itself ” have increased the call to “legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide,” the archbishop said. 

“Until recently our legislators, who were formed in the Judeo-Christian tradition, resisted this call,” he said. “But the recent adoption of Bill-52 on end-of-life care in Quebec created an important breach in this resistance, a breach that could engulf the rest of Canada in a kind of tidal wave if it is not resisted.” 

The law, using the euphemism “medical aid in dying,” represents a “crucial moment for all of Canada, a Kairos, a time of decision, a time of choice, where our future is at play,” he said. 

The campaign’s goals include informing Christians about euthanasia, assisted suicide and palliative care, introducing them to the Catholic Church’s teachings on these matters and preparing lay people to take political action to create “a legislative environment more hospitable to life.” 

Action items suggested in the campaign include gaining a better understanding of the issues, visiting vulnerable people who may be “lonely, depressed, elderly, ill, dying,” financially supporting groups promoting palliative care or opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, contacting one’s federal and provincial political representatives, signing petitions and writing letters to the editor or phoning call-in programs on the radio or television. 

The web site also offers a downloadable resource on Church teaching regarding euthanasia, suicide and the Christian meaning of suffering. The document links to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican documents and other sources. It includes suggested prayers and material that could be used in homilies. 

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This will no doubt seem distasteful to many but, it is to be hoped that one takes into consideration the compassion of the Sisters of Providence who. at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; insisted that victims be treated at St. Paul's;...

This will no doubt seem distasteful to many but, it is to be hoped that one takes into consideration the compassion of the Sisters of Providence who. at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; insisted that victims be treated at St. Paul's; including palliative care.

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