The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life used powerful words Wednesday to condemn the culture of death, calling modern practices such as abortion and euthanasia “evils” from which the world must “flee in horror.”
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia issued an unprecedented joint declaration Tuesday together with Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the prefect of the Vatican Office for Laity, Family, and Life, in which the two prelates denounced efforts to euthanize Vincent Lambert, a Frenchman who was gravely injured in a traffic accident in 2008.
“Nutrition and hydration constitute a form of essential care, always proportionate to life support,” the prelates stated, adding that “to nourish a sick person never constitutes a form of unreasonable therapeutic obstinacy, as long as the person is able to receive nutrition and hydration, provided this does not cause intolerable suffering or prove damaging to the patient.”
“The suspension of such care represents, rather, a form of abandonment of the patient, based on a pitiless judgment of the quality of life,” they said, “expression of a throwaway culture that selects the most fragile and helpless people, without recognizing their uniqueness and immense value. The continuity of assistance is an inescapable duty.”
On Wednesday, Archbishop Paglia tweeted out a link to the declaration from his private Twitter account, along with his own compact summary of the modern evils of a reigning culture of death.
Link to a joint declaration supporting the continuation of nutrition and hydration for Vincent Lambert. Close to him and his family in prayer, the Church begs the whole world to flee in horror from the evils of euthanasia, assisted suicide and abortion. https://t.co/iKBhuJEamz
— Archbishop Paglia (@PagliaAbp) May 22, 2019
In the past, Archbishop Paglia has been criticized by conservative Catholics for allegedly being soft on the life issues he is meant to defend, with a coalition of Italian pro-life and pro-family groups going so far as to launch a petition asking the archbishop to resign from his post.
With his recent statements, however, Paglia seems to have found his voice as an advocate for those threatened by abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.