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Canadian cardinal will not deny anointing, funeral in assisted-suicide cases

October 03, 2016

A Canadian cardinal has announced that he will not the last rites or church funerals to Catholics who plan a physician-assisted suicide.

“I don’t plan specific directives aimed at refusing this support or refusing access to the anointing of the sick and the celebration of funerals,” said Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec City. “The Catholic Church accompanies people in every step of their life.”

Cardinal Lacroix was reacting to directives issued by the bishops of the provinces of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, who had taught that priests cannot administer the Sacrament of the Sick to those who plan an assisted suicide, and in such cases it may also be inappropriate to have a funeral Mass.


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  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 04, 2016 9:47 AM ET USA

    As I watch my brother-in-law (a long term fallen away Catholic) dying a very slow and painful death, and finally receiving Last Rites - I take exception to the Cardinal's definition of accompanying. Without meaning to sound callous, isn't going through these extreme circumstances what Jesus meant by "taking up your cross"?

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 03, 2016 7:01 PM ET USA

    Ah! At least one Cardinal is listening to the Holy Father. Christ's Church is not here on Earth to punish the faithful. It is here to show God's love and mercy.