The Catholic Weekly 10 October 2021

$2 10, October, 2021 BISHOP BARRON DOWN UNDER P4 ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY Fisher OP has appealed to NSW MPs to block proposed euthanasia laws expected to be introduced to parlia- ment next week, saying the laws effectively amount to state-sanctioned killing in the state. Archbishop Fisher was speaking on the popular pod- cast, This Catholic Life , in an episode which will be aired fromThursday 14 October. Under the proposed bill, expected to be introduced into parliament by Independ- ent MP Alex Greenwich on 12 October, doctors would be allowed to suggest euthana- sia to their patients, as long as information about treatment options and palliative care is also provided. Mental illness - including a diagnosis of clinical depres- sion - would not prevent a person from accessing eutha- nasia or assisted suicide. Faith-based aged care fa- cilities that object to euthana- sia would still need to allow doctors and nurses on to their premises for every stage of the euthanasia process, including allowing them to enter and kill a patient on site. Archbishop Fisher has told This Catholic Life the pro- posed laws would place doc- tors in a fundamentally com- promised position. “This is about homicide. It’s about killing someone and let’s not pretend it’s some- thing else”, he explained to podcast host and University of Notre Dame Australia aca- demic, Peter Holmes. “I think it’s appalling that under the Greenwich bill, doctors will be required once someone has been killed by them or someone else, or by their own hand with the help the doctor gave them- to fal- sify the death certificate. They won’t be allowed to state that they died by assisted suicide”. “We know this amounts to killing and it’s effectively abandoning someone rather than healing them. Healing is after all what medicine has Plea to NSW MPs Archbishop calls on politicians to step back from the ethical disaster of enabling doctors to kill patients ¾ Michael Kenny A Mother to watch over a Plenary OUR LADY Help of Chris- tians would certainly in- tercede for the Church in Australia as it continued to work its way through the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, Archbishop An- thony Fisher OP said this week. HIS COMMENT came as he preached at a Mass for the Plenary livestreamed ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues on Wednesday this week. Along with our other national patron, St Mary MacKillop, the archbish- op said he was certain Our Lady would help all of the councillors to continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and each other in order to dis- cern what God is asking of the Church in this country at this time. Perth Archbishop Tim- othy Costelloe SDB, Presi- dent of the Plenary Coun- cil, officially opened the week-long first assembly with a livestreamed Mass last Sunday, after which daily Mass, sessions and small group discussions were scheduled each day for the 280 members. The program was held primarily online due to COVID-19 restrictions across the country. REPORTS P2 been about until now”. The newly-elected Premier Dom- inic Perrotet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns have both indicated they will oppose the bill. Archbishop Fisher said his own battle in overcoming a life threatening illness, Guil- lain-Barre Syndrome, had left him with a stronger apprecia- tion of the sanctity of human life and why euthanasia must be opposed under all circum- stances. “I’ve been very sick and close to death myself and had to endure a lot of per- sonal pain. But I don’t think that real compassion and real mercy is the same as giving people whatever they say they want or dealing with suffering by getting rid of the suffering person”, he told This Catholic Life . “I think that real compas- sion, the hard love, is when we stand by the cross along- side the dying person- like Simon of Cyrene- who tried to bear some of the weight of Je- sus’ cross or likeMother Mary, who stood by her son’s cross,” he said. “We talk to the person, we pray with them, we weep with them and do our best to help and keep them comfortable and give them love andmean- ing. But what is unthinkable to us would be to deal with suf- fering by killing the suffering person”. Archbishop Fisher said that overseas experience has also shown that euthana- sia laws, while initially aimed at only terminally ill adults, are likely to be amended over time to cover children or new- born babies. “The Greenwich bill says it will have to be entirely volun- tary and that it’s only aimed at people who have legal ca- pacity over the age of 18. But we know that everywhere euthanasia has been intro- duced, before too long, some people will start arguing that it should be extended to the un- conscious, to those under the age of 18 and even to babies. So while we may begin with a bill for the terminally ill, we can’t presume that’s where it’s going to end”. This Catholic Life podcast, “Euthanasia” with Archbish- op Fisher as the guest will go live from Thursday 14 Octo- ber online here: https://www. gory/podcasts/ Archbishop Fisher has urged Catholics to write di- rectly to their local NSW State MPs, urging them to vote against the proposed laws. Read more here from the anti euthanasia lobby group, HOPE: https://www. tion_2108_ocp_nsw Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has appealed to NSW MPs to block proposed laws which would enable doctors to ending human lives in this state. PHOTO: STOCK PHOTO Honouring her: Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP lays a bouquet of flowers at the feet of a statue of Our Lady Help of Christians in St Mary’s Cathedral during Mass celebrated for the intentions of the Plenary Council which has met online this week. PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI GET TO KNOW SAINT JOSEPH P10