As Pope Francis was with the president of France over the weekend and that country nears legalizing assisted suicide, the Holy Father reiterated his defense of human life, both in the womb, and for the elderly and disabled.
The Pope spoke about euthanasia on the plane ride home from Marseille, France, when a journalist asked him if he’d discussed the issue again with Emmanuel Macron.
Francis said that he didn’t bring up the topic on this brief visit, but that in Macron’s recent trip to the Vatican, “I spoke clearly … and spoke my opinion clearly.”
“Life is not to be played with, neither at the beginning nor at the end. We cannot play around,” the Pontiff said.
He went on to warn against a “humanistic euthanasia” or a “policy of ‘no pain.'”
On this point, I want to cite a book again. Please read it. It’s from 1907. It’s a novel called Lord of the World, written by [Robert Hugh] Benson. It’s an apocalyptic novel that shows how things will be in the end. All differences are taken away, including all pain. Euthanasia is one of these things – a gentle death; [as well] selection before birth. It shows us how this author had foreseen some of the current conflicts.
Pope Francis referred to the push for euthanasia as an “ideological colonization,” a term he uses to refer to certain social trends that are pushed on developing countries by wealthier ones. It is a term he often uses in the context of gender ideology.
Today we should be careful with ideological colonizations that ruin human life and go against human life. Today, for example, the lives of grandparents are erased … ‘They are old so are of no use.’ We cannot play with life.
And in his brief answer to the journalist, the Pope also reiterated a point he’s often made before: That life issues aren’t “religious” issues.
I’m not saying it’s an issue of faith. It’s a human issue, a human issue. There exists an ‘ugly compassion.’ Science has come to turn some painful diseases into less painful events, accompanying them with many medicines. But life must not be played with.