End-of-Life. Statement of the Pontifical Academy for Life
With respect to the presentation that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life gave on Wednesday, April nineteenth, during the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, and regarding incorrect interpretations of the thought of Archbishop Paglia, the Press Office of the Pontifical Academy for Life states as follows.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in full conformity with the Church’s Magisterium, reaffirms his “No” to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
In his presentation, in which he dealt extensively with the subject of the end-of-life, Archbishop Paglia mentioned, without full development, Decision 242/2019 of the Italian Constitutional Court and its specific Italian context. The Court held that assisting a suicide is a crime. It then enumerated four specific and particular conditions in which the crime carries no penalty. In this precise and specific context, Archbishop Paglia explained that in his view a “legislative initiative" (certainly not a moral one) could be possible which would be consistent with the Decision and which preserves both the criminality of the act and the conditions in which the crime carries no penalty, as the Court requested Parliament to legislate.
For Archbishop Paglia, it is important that the Decision holds that the criminality of the act remains and is not overruled. Any further elaboration is uncalled for. On the scientific and cultural level, Archbishop Paglia has always supported the need for accompaniment of the sick in the final phase of life, using palliative care and loving personal attention, to ensure that no one is left to face alone the illness and suffering, and difficult decisions, that the end of life brings on.
Vatican City, April 24, 2023