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Letters to the Editor

01/04/2017

A priest’s view on ministry to assisted suicide

The Editor: With regard to the challenge that is being presented these days to priests and bishops who are called upon to minister to dying persons who have requested their physician to help them bring on the inevitable, I offer them my empathy.

However, after more than 56 years of active parish ministry I would also dare to share my experience.

In this and similar difficult cases I take a few moments to meditate on the words of Our Lord on the cross when he said: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23: 34). Secondly, in case the minister is inclined to take direction in such cases from canon law, some serious thought might be given to canon # 1752: “In cases of transfer of priests (in serious trouble with the bishop), the provisions of can. 1747 are to be applied, always observing canonical equity and keeping in mind the salvation of souls, which in the church must always be the supreme law.” — Rev. Art Seaman, Gimli, Camp Morton, Man.