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People who break rules need ministry of mercy from church

The Editor: I am in agreement with Cardinal Collins and Archbishop Prendergast that assisted dying is a serious issue that requires much thought and reflection. There are many discussions  and government papers dealing with that. 

However, I am in disagreement with Prendergast’s mention that those who choose to have assisted dying be excluded from the healing rites, communion and  funerals in the church. Are we back to a patriarchical rule-bound church that tosses into the garbage of broken rules those who do not conform to rigid rules?

Where is the church of mercy Pope Francis desires for all of us? Who are we to judge?

Clergy and pastoral care workers have the ministry of Jesus at their core. How often Jesus mingled with the broken, rejected, rule breakers  without judgment but  with a listening presence, compassion and inclusion. We as People of God are called to be that presence especially in a medical world that often forces us to live and does not allow us to die with all kinds of drugs and research to prolong life. 

Palliative care, healing presence and listening are the gifts we all need in  accompanying those who are dying. But what if the pain is  not alleviated and endless? — Helena Robb, Orleans, Ont.