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Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocesan Chancellor Patrick McArdle and Archbishop Christopher Prowse outside the ACT Legislative Assembly yesterday (Catholic Voice)

Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse has encouraged Catholics to become more informed on the euthanasia debate occurring in the ACT. Source: Catholic Voice.

Archbishop Prowse represented the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese at a public hearing of the Select Committee into the ACT Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation at the ACT Legislative Assembly on Monday. 

Writing in the Catholic Voice, Archbishop Prowse reiterated the main points he made to the committee. 

“All of us are concerned regarding our care for the vulnerable and terminally ill people of our region. It is a topic many feel uncomfortable to discuss,” Archbishop Prowse said.

“Extraordinarily, what is proposed in this Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation (euthanasia) is to insist that the health and healing professions are to, under certain circumstances, offer our most vulnerable loved ones poison leading to their death rather than healing. This is always wrong. It is never right.”

Archbishop Prowse urged the committee to focus on palliative care as “the best and most comprehensive and compassionate way of responding to the vulnerable and terminally ill in our region”.

“All other alternatives, in my mind, arise from a mistaken compassion. Yet palliative care is underfunded despite the ACT Legislative Assemblies promises to boost funding, especially to rural areas,” he said.

“The issue of conscientious objection, mentioned in the draft legislation, is a very narrow understanding from our Catholic viewpoint regarding this important matter. Whereas the draft legislation does protect institutions that are opposed to VAD legislation, there is a criminal penalty if such institutions do not refer the petitioner to others that will provide euthanasia alternatives. 

“I made it very clear to the Select Committee that the Church has a far broader understanding of conscientious objection and will not involve itself, either directly or indirectly, in any cooperation with VAD.”

Archbishop Prowse said these points “need to be understood by us all in the important weeks ahead”.

“I do encourage you to become more informed regarding this debate and respond accordingly to your local political representatives.”


Mistaken Compassion (Catholic Voice)


A push for properly funded palliative care in light of ACT’s proposed VAD legislation (Catholic Voice