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Cardinal Bagnasco leery of Italian living-will proposal

March 22, 2017

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference has criticized a legislative proposal to introduce living wills, saying that the bill reflects an “individualistic” approach to end-of-life decisions.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said that the living-will legislation should be amended to ensure that patients are not encouraged to think of themselves as “the absolute masters of a life that they have not given themselves,” and doctors do not become mere “notaries” in the process.

Cardinal Bagnasco’s attitude toward the proposal contrasts with that of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who expressed approval of the bill and said that he hopes for “the broadest possible agreement in parliament” in support of the measure.

In an address to a meeting of the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Bagnasco also said that Europe must recover its identity, including its Christian heritage, rather than hoping to bind nations together on the basis of “mediocre compromises.”

 
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