Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bravo, Your Grace!

A proud moment for Anglicans today--there are few of them, but they happen.

The Lord Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has waded into the debate on assisted dying, whacking with crozier the Director of Public Prosecutions' attempt to dodge the will of Parliament, and decriminalise assisted suicide.

In a Telegraph column, His Grace puts it this way:

As a country we need to appreciate the sanctity of the human person and their uniqueness. Christians believe that their lives are given by God and that everyone has an important role to play in society. We do not believe that we own our individual lives and therefore we believe we should not choose to end them deliberately. I understand that others, especially those with terminal diseases, may take an alternative view, but I remain opposed to any move to legalise assisted suicide.

A truly caring society would not devalue or pressurise its most vulnerable and frailest members.

His Grace (like Dr. Swift) is a long-time supporter of hospice care. He sums up the argument in a Times column, this way:

The way forward for our society is to value how much can be done for the seriously ill and the dying. We need to learn to value both one another and ourselves, not for our economic output, our worth to society, but as those created in the image of God and deeply loved, by Him and by others.

In the words of the headline, "to choose death, rather than love and care, is a terrible mistake."

What he said.

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