Euthanasia for children in Belgium‏

Dear Homiletic & Pastoral Review,

It is with great distress that as an American living in Texas, I recently learned of the 86-44 vote by Belgium House of Representatives to allow euthanasia for children.

As a Christian I couldn’t help to think, “where is the Church in the advocacy that has opposed this as a legitimate topic for consideration, let alone for an approved vote (in a country that houses the EU)?”  I find the Lord nowhere in this decision and it makes me afraid that other countries with liberal followers will follow behind such a radical and heinous decision in the name of “furthering child rights.”

It is also of importance to note that this law is in alignment with Hitler’s Kinder-Euthanasia program conducted in Nazi Germany -  http://ncronline.org/news/global/belgium-passes-law-allow-euthanasia-small-children

I write this to you as someone whose work history has been focused on protecting the right of the child. However, I am of the opinion that in not protecting the boundaries of a child’s capabilities that progress throughout a child’s development, a child can be placed in situations that require that child to be more than they are physically and mentally capable of being. Enabling a child to decide if they should live or die is such a scenario, as is enabling a child to be a child soldier. Parents are needed, and where effective parental guidance is missing, the extended family and community (which includes the church) are required to step up to fill this gap.

With the influence of the church throughout Europe, I pray that it will take a strong stand against this decision by Belgium.  I am going to pray that the power of the Holy Spirit is witnessed in the role of the church on this topic, and that John 16:33 will be fulfilled with Christ victorious!

Thank you for your consideration and time.

With kind regards,

Suzanne

Suzanne Lee
Austin, Texas

Editor’s Note: See under the column, “Bishops’ Corner” the latest message by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy for Life on the care of the elderly, sick, and dying.

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Fr. David Meconi, S.J. is professor of patristic theology at St. Louis University and editor of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review (HPR). Fr. Meconi would like you to know that he offers Mass each month for readers of HPR; please be assured of his prayers for you.

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