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‘De-ideologize’ end-of-life issues and accompany the dying, Archbishop Paglia urges

May 16, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, emphasized the importance of personal accompaniment of the dying. The prelate made his remarks as he prepares to take part in a Canadian symposium on palliative care.

“We should urge the churches to rediscover the importance of accompaniment for an effective ‘good death,’ which for us believers is the passage to life with Jesus,” he said. “We should also help all other religions or men of good will, because at that final moment, each of us needs to physically feel closeness.”

“Here, in this sense, it seems important to me that the reflection is not just ‘euthanasia yes [or] euthanasia no’: it is too dry, too frigid,” he continued. “The problem is how to accompany, how to make this transition as painless as possible and, at the same time, less desperate.”

“The Church’s task is to try to ‘de-ideologize’ these topics, which are often contaminated precisely by ideologies and not by actual accompaniment,” he added. “It would only take a little reason to understand that each death is different from the other and should therefore be accompanied in a personal manner.”

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