Canadian Catholics Speak Out Against Supreme Court Decision

Canadian Catholics Speak Out Against Supreme Court Decision


St. Joseph, patron of Canada, patron of departing souls, pray for us. 

Here are some notable responses to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling, which opened the door to assisted suicide. 

Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

'Helping someone commit suicide... is neither an act of justice or mercy, nor is it part of palliative care. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada today does not change Catholic teaching. "[A]n act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, our Creator." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2277).' (Full text here)

Bishop Durocher also discussed the disappointment of the bishops on Vatican Radio

Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary

"The right to life is not a matter for Christians only. It is a human right. To formally cooperate in the killing of the disabled, frail, sick or suffering, even if motivated by a misplaced compassion, requires a prior judgment that such lives are not worth living. No life lacks value. No life should be unprotected by the law. No one forfeits the right to life because of illness or disability." (Full text here

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton

“We believe the current provisions in the Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia have served Canadians well, by protecting all persons, including those who are most vulnerable in our society. The law can only respect the inherent dignity of each Canadian life if it acknowledges that no one has the right to take action that would intentionally end another’s life." (Full text here)

Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver

"At the root of the desire for assisted suicide is the fact that adequate palliative care is often unavailable, which can lead to thoughts of suicide. In order to provide hope for those who suffer, we call on all levels of government, the healing professions, and hospitals and care facilities to ensure truly equal and inclusive access to such care. We have the technology to control pain, and we have the ability to overcome loneliness and despair.

"We call upon the federal government to enact legislation which will provide all possible legal safeguards for those who are vulnerable to suicide.” (Full text here)

Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon

“The Catholic Church stands firm in its defense of the human dignity of every person. That dignity is not lost because of aging or illness, suffering or disability. The person who fears pain needs to be reassured and to know that it is possible to receive good medical care, including pain management. We need to eliminate the pain, rather than eliminating the patient.” (article here

Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto

"We all need to reach out compassionately to anyone contemplating suicide, and to offer whatever help we can to alleviate their pain, be it physical or psychological, so they can appreciate the value of their life, and know they are loved. But for anyone actually to assist them not to escape but to commit suicide is wrong. It is a perversion of the vocation of physicians to have them engaged in helping people to kill themselves. Physicians are called to be servants of healing, not agents of death." (Full text here)

For a great blog/homily on the topic, read what Msgr. Greg Smith of Christ the Redeemer Parish in Vancouver has to say.

And here are some tweets on the topic:

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