2009-02-10 10:16:49

Vatican Sadness at news of Eluana Englaro’s Death, Urges Prayers and Forgiveness

''The death of Eluana can only leave a shadow of sadness given the circumstances that surround it. But physical death never has the last word for Christians. Even in Eluana’s name, therefore, we will continue to search for the most effective ways to serve life”.
That is how Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican Spokesman and Director of Vatican Radio, greeted the news of the death of Eluana Englaro, the 38 year old Italian women who for the past 17 years had lived in a vegetative state.
Ms Englaro died yesterday evening at 20.10, four days after all feeding and hydration was stopped according to a sentence passed down by the Italian High Court, and sought by the woman’s father.
''Now Eluana is at peace – continued Fr. Lombardi - , we hope that her case, in the wake of so much discussion, becomes a motive for us all to responsibly search for better ways to care for the weakest people in society, with full respect for the right to life. For those people – as the Pope recalled in this Sunday’s Angelus – who cannot be left in any way to care for themselves, for those people who are totally dependent on the care of others”.
The ruling, which involved the interruption of all feeding and hydration of the woman and the administration of sedatives to “accompany her towards death”, had pushed the Italian government to present a decree banning the interruption of nourishment for the terminally ill and disabled, not considered to be “invasive treatment” but a basic need bound to the right to life. The Italian President Giorgio Napolitano refused to sign the decree alluding to reasons linked to the constitutional process. The government then attempted to race a bill through parliament on the same issue. In the very middle of the Senate debate, news of Eluana’s death arrived.
Card. Lozano Barragan, of the Pontifical council for Healthcare, also underlined that what matters now is that we “entrust Eluana to the Lord, so that he open the gates of heaven to her, after her suffering her on earth”. He added: ''I pray that the Lord ….forgive those who brought this about. And I invite everyone to pray in the spirit of forgiveness”.

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