In a recent interview, Pope Francis condemned a movement to legalize euthanasia across Europe, calling it the sign of a broader “throwaway culture” that treats the elderly and unborn children as “disposable.”
“What is (deemed) useless is discarded. Old people are disposable material; they are a nuisance. Not all of them, but of course, in the collective subconscious of the throwaway culture, the old, the terminally ill, and unwanted children, too; they are returned to the sender before they are born,” Francis told COPE, a radio station owned by the Spanish bishops’ conference.
Spain passed a law allowing euthanasia and assisted suicide in March. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg also allow doctor-assisted suicide.
To the consternation of Vatican officials, a petition movement in Italy recently triggered a voter referendum next year to do the same, and polls show 90 percent of Italians in support of it.