VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Growing acceptance of euthanasia does not indicate increased compassion, but highlights the rise of a selfish “throwaway culture” that casts aside the sick, the dying and those who do not satisfy the perceived requirements of a healthy life, Pope Francis said.
In a culture that is increasingly “technological and individualistic,” some tend to “hide behind alleged compassion to justify killing a patient,” the pope told health professionals from Spain and Latin America June 9.
“True compassion does not marginalize, humiliate or exclude, much less celebrate a patient passing away,” the pope said. “You know well that would mean the triumph of selfishness, of that ‘throwaway culture’ that rejects and despises people who do not meet certain standards of health, beauty or usefulness.”
Thanking doctors who care for “those who suffer in body and spirit,” Pope Francis insisted physicians’ identity as doctors does not depend solely on their knowledge or competence, but mainly on their compassion and mercy toward the sick.
“Compassion does not mean pity, it means ‘suffering with,'” the pope said. When physicians share in the suffering of their patients, he added, the “sacred value of the life of the patient does not disappear or become obscured.”
Pope Francis reminded the medical professionals of the biblical tradition of health care, citing the example of the good Samaritan “who does not pass by the injured person at the roadside, but rather moved by compassion, cures and attends to him.”
“The Christian medical tradition has always been inspired by the parable of the Good Samaritan, the pope said. It is about identifying with the love of the son of God, who ‘went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.'”
However, he said, care for the sick requires patience, and doctors must not give in to “the functionalist temptation” of applying quick solutions that are motivated by “false compassion” or cost-efficiency.
“The dignity of human life is at stake; the dignity of the medical vocation is at stake,” the pope said. “Nothing must prevent you from ‘putting more heart into your hands.'”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Pope elevates memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to feast day
NEXT: Pope offers prayers for Orlando victims of ‘absurd violence’
Will not a law permitting a seriously or terminally ill person to request to be put to death cre ate a “climate” where such people will feel that they should end their life – even though deep down they don’t want to die? They may feel that they are being selfish by spending down their estate to the detriment of their children’s inheritance. We should be further improving palliative care, not death dealing treatments.