Archive image of Pope Francis: Daniel Ibanez/ Catholic News Agency
Archive image of Pope Francis: Daniel Ibanez/ Catholic News Agency

Pope “very sad” over “law to kill”

Pontiff evokes Apparitions in Fátima to criticise Portugal’s euthanasia law

Pope Francis used yesterday’s celebrations in Fátima of the May 13  ‘Apparitions of Our Lady’ to “violently criticise” Portugal’s legalisation of euthanasia.

As the Farewell Procession took place in Fátima, involving more than 200,000 pilgrims, 1,792 kms away in the Vatican, Pope Francis “did not hold back”, say reports.

Today I am very sad because a law to kill has been enacted in the country where Our Lady appeared. One more step in the long list of countries that have approved euthanasia,” he said, addressing hundreds of representatives of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, where he referred specifically of the celebrations May 13 celebrations, recalling “the day on which the apparitions of the Virgin Mother to the little shepherds of Fatima are celebrated.”

“Thinking of the Virgin, let us look to Mary as a model of woman par excellence, who lives in fullness a gift and a task: the gift of maternity and the task of caring for her children in the Church,” he said.

The Pope, due to be in Portugal for World Youth Day in August, and scheduled to visit the Shrine of Fatima, stressed that Mary “teaches to generate life and to always protect it”.

On Friday, however, parliament finally confirmed the decree on medically-assisted death (after a number of failed attempts), with a total of 129 votes in favour.

President Marcelo was not fully ‘on-board’ with the text, but he recognised that the law had to be promulgated whether parliament listened to the alterations he wanted, or not.

Explains Lusa, according to the constitution, when faced with a (presidential) veto, parliament can confirm the text (of a new law) by an absolute majority of the seats in full exercise of their functions, 116 out of 230 – in which case the president has to promulgate.

Marcelo said on Friday: “I swore to the Constitution. The Constitution obliges the president to promulgate a law that he vetoed, and that was confirmed by the parliament (…) it is my constitutional duty”.

PSD leader Luís Montenegro lamented the law’s passing in the way it has, saying he believes the whole issue should have been put to the people in a referendum.

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