The Pontifical Academy for Life releases the following statement to “La nuova Bussola Quotidiana” online newspaper for your consideration for publication.
Vatican City, February 14th 2018.
The Press Office of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in relation to mistakes contained in the article “In the name of dialogue, PAV opens on abortion (In nome del dialogo la PAV apre all'aborto)” written by Benedetta Frigerio, on Feb. 14, 2018, and published on the site “La Bussola Quotidiana”, advises that the following clarification was sent to the Editor of the online newspaper this afternoon.
I’m writing to you about some mistakes contained in the article “In the name of dialogue, Pav opens on abortion,” by Benedetta Frigerio, which appeared Feb. 14, 2018, the site “La Bussola Quotidiana”. The article was presented as an “editorial” and therefore intended to express the official position of your online newspaper.
It is very important and necessary to specify the following:
Rabbi Szlajen has published an article in the Argentine newspaper “Infobae” to make clear his position as a member belonging to the Jewish religion and clearly against abortion. At the end of a long argument on the Jewish thesis according to which the fetus is a human being and therefore abortion is a crime, the Rabbi noted that the Jewish Law provides for the possibility of abortion in this exceptional case: when it’s necessary to address the imminent danger to the woman’s life due to the fetus.
Reporting only this final note and not the real context of the Rabbi’s whole article is tendentious and does not give justice to the entire article, even less to the position of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
I inform you that Rabbi Szlajen contacted the Catholic Herald - the English newspaper responsible for the first and serious deformation of his thought - asking and obtaining a full correction.
As a result of the article that appeared in your newspaper, I am now asking you to publish the same correction.
In fact and moreover:
The writer’s attempt in her article to associate euthanasia with palliative care is obviously done in bad faith. As clearly highlighted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as in Pope Benedict’s teaching, palliative care has nothing to do with euthanasia. To disregard this is first of all pure ignorance and a sudden attempt to bewilder and scandalize readers.
The Pontifical Academy for Life did not organize a meeting on euthanasia last November, but it organized a meeting focused on “the end of life” with this exact title: “Meeting of End-of Life Questions” which received a long and important message from Pope Francis. The meeting was held in collaboration with the World Medical Association whose directives commit its members to reject euthanasia.
Euthanasia is a medical procedure for voluntarily and prematurely putting an end to human life. Palliative care accompanies the patient in the last phase of his life, alleviating his suffering with proper pain therapy, and promoting significant relationships and conditions of care corresponding to the patient’s inviolable dignity. As the CCC states, palliative care is “a privileged form of disinterested charity” (n. 2279).
Confusing palliative care with euthanasia is a very serious mistake.
Knowing that all religions care about the accompaniment and care of the dying person is very good news and certainly not “a dangerous and alarming religious humanism”.
For this reason at the meeting on palliative care from Feb. 28 to March 1 there will be the participation of the world’s top experts in this field. The Pontifical Academy for Life has provided a specific session during which exponents of various religions will dialogue, exchanging their respective experiences.
I request the correction and the full publication of this text pursuant to Italian Law, warning that in future, the Academy will use all legal avenues to defend the truth of its statements. warning that otherwise, and also in the future, the Academy will rely on all the legal instruments available to defend the truth of its statements.
I hope that in future articles with legitimate debate on various issues, the accurate positions of all parties will be reported.
Pontifical Academy for Life Press Office
Vatican City, February,14th 2018.