The Catholic Weekly 25 July 2021

$2 Our sick and our elderly are already experiencing increased isolation ... a pro suicide message is not what they need to hear.” Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP Write to your MP! AsNSWfaces thepossibilityof state-sanctionedkilling, Archbishop calls on all to signpetition for life ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues DURING THE lockdown char- ities such as Maronites on Mis- sion Australia are determined to continue to reach out to Syd- ney’s rough sleepers and other people needing a little help to get by. Each Thursday night this month, when the charity’s dis- tinctive van pulls into Martin Place ladenwith freshly cooked hot meals, the concourse, usu- ally bustling with late night shoppers and office-workers is mostly deserted. GeorgeNasr, adirector at the charity, says that while the cur- rent lockdown has forced it to pare back some of its projects, its food services across the city continue inaCOVID-safeway – although meal preparations at St Charbel’s Church in Punch- bowl stopped last week as it is located in one of the areas of heightened concern. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues Lockdown can’t stop the love 25, July, 2021 TRY A LITTLE FAITH ONLINE P4 Be a Neighbour to those in need Become a Regular Giver Today Call Caritas Australia on 1800 024 413 or visit caritas.org.au/neighbours ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY Fisher OP has blasted draft assisted suicide laws in NSW parliament as “the last thing we need” while the state bat- tles a COVID outbreak follow- ingmonths of strain due to the pandemic. In a 20 July statement the archbishop wrote that there is “never a good time to intro- duce laws that sanction the killing of vulnerable human beings such as the terminally ill, elderly, frail and suffer- ing ... But to introduce such a bill in the middle of a pan- demic and amidst lockdowns adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions seems especially insensitive,” he added. A month into lock- down the sick andelderlywere suffering increased isolation, jobs and businesses being lost, families under pressure and depression rates increas- ing, the archbishop said. “The last thing we need to hear from our leaders in this situation is a pro-suicide mes- sage or any suggestion that the elderly and dying no longer deserve the resources or pro- tections given to the rest of us.” Independent MP Alex Greenwich announced the release of his NSW Voluntary Assisted Dy- ing Bill 2021 last Monday. The legislation is expected to be debated in parliament in September. ArchbishopFisher has thrownhis support behind a petition launched by Hope, an anti-euthanasia and assist- ed suicide advocacy group. He has also encour- aged Catholics and oth- er like-minded people to write to their local member of parliament asking them to oppose the introduc- tion of the dangerous laws. The Director of Hope, Branka van der Linden, said that major concerns with the NSW Bill include its provision BELOVED SYDNEY SON FAREWELLED P5 for health care workers to sug- gest euthanasia and assisted suicide to a patient, and the consulting or coordinating doctor need not be a spe- cialist in the person’s illness. Mental illness, including a diagnosis of clinical depres- sion, does not disqualify a person from accessing the schemewiththetimebetween the first and final request being as little as five days. CONTINUED P7

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