23 September 2020, The Tablet

Christopher Lamb discusses the new CDF letter on euthanasia

Christopher Lamb discusses the new CDF letter on euthanasia

Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer during the presentation of the letter 'Samaritanus bonus' on euthanasia
Alessia Giuliani/CPP/IPA MilestoneMedia/PA Images

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The strongly-worded text of the new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Samaritanus bonus” or The Good Samaritan, describes euthanasia and assisted dying as “homicide” while adding that the sacraments should be withheld from those planning to end their lives. While the document understandably reiterates Church teaching, and has some rich passages on accompanying the sick and the dying, the language it uses is of the culture-warrior variety. The euthanasia document came a few days after the congregation sent a letter to the German bishops warning that proposals in the 2019 ecumenical document, “Together at the Lord’s Table”, to allow Catholics and Protestants to share communion, are unacceptable. And over the summer the CDF ruled that baptisms performed using the incorrect form of words are invalid. The Tablet's Rome correspondent Christopher Lamb looks behind the scenes at what is going on at the CDF.

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