Dutch priest refuses euthanasia funeral
The small Dutch town of Liempde is at the centre of an outcry after a Catholic priest refused to say a funeral Mass for a man who had opted for euthanasia.
Father Norbert van der Sluis said on Tuesday that he was also not willing to arrange for a colleague to take over the funeral service. The family of the deceased man had to arrange for the service to be held in another parish.
"When it comes to euthanasia, my answer has to be no", said the priest. "As a matter of conscience I cannot allow a fellow priest to say the funeral Mass in my church."
The priest’s decision has already prompted local protest and halted a fundraising campaign to raise money for the church organ.
The clergyman says he was only acting on the rules agreed upon by the Dutch bishops, which state that anyone who opts for euthanasia is not entitled to a church funeral.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide