Dear friends and parishioners,
Bishop Sherrington, our lead Bishop for Life Issues, has written an open letter inviting Catholics to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill. Here are some extracts:
In the next weeks, we face an unprecedented attack on the sanctity of life with Baroness Meacher’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ due its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords with full debate on Friday 22 October. The term ‘Assisted Dying’ is euphemistic, the truth is that this bill seeks to introduce Assisted Suicide. If legalised, this Bill would allow a terminally ill adult with less than 6 months to live to be assisted in committing suicide. Catholic teaching opposes assisting suicide, since life is a gift to be cared for and preserved until its natural death. The Church is clear that we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it.
First, I ask you to pray that the Bill will be defeated.
Second, I ask you to write to the Peers from your personal experience and share stories which will argue the reasons for opposing the Bill as well as narrate the importance of precious time during the final stages of life. The testimony of healthcare and legal professionals will also be important. This needs to be done before the Second Reading on 22 October.
Third, l ask you to engage and share stories and reasons against the Bill on social media. Briefing papers will be available on the bishops’ conference website to assist you as this work develops.