Expatica news

Archbishop hits out against euthanasia in Easter sermon

25 March 2008

MADRID – The archbishop of Pamplona has been heavily criticised for speaking out against euthanasia in his Easter sermon, where he claimed that Jesus died a "dignified" death despite a "lack of palliative care."

Speaking to an assembled crowd of thousands in Valladolid on Friday, Archbishop Fernando Sebastián Aguilar explained the way in which Christians should face death. "Jesus Christ looked death square in the face, with confidence, and he accepted it with love…" He then went on to express regret that "some people" confuse a dignified death with the fear of pain.

"Grotesque" comments

However, the archbishop drew criticism from the president of the Association for the Right to a Dignified Death, Salvador Pániker, who described the comments as "grotesque and anachronistic." Speaking on Saturday, Pániker said that Aguilar’s statements "go against the very doctrine of the Catholic Church, which has finally admitted that pure suffering makes no sense whatsoever."

The theologian Enrique Miret Magdalena also pointed out on Saturday that Pope Pius XII defended palliative care to achieve a dignified death.

[Copyright El Pais 2008]