.- Archbishop Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona,Vice President of the Bishops Conference of Spain, said during his Ad limina visit this week that Pope John Paul II is facing illness and eventual death with greatness, in contrast with the attitude promoted by the Spanish film, “The Sea Inside,” with its message of euthanasia. The Spanish prelate said the attitude with which John Paul II bears his sufferings is “worthy of respect” and “fruitful.” He is demonstrating that even in the midst of great pain and physical deterioration, human beings have value, he noted.
“There are many ways to face illness and eventual death,” the archbishop said. The way in which the Pope is facing it “is to me more respectable, grandiose, humanly speaking, than what is presented in the film with its message of euthanasia,” he added, referring to the film by Alejandro Amenabar, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Archbishop Sebastián underscored the courageous attitude of John Paul II in recent days in contrast to the “the propaganda in favor of euthanasia in Spain” and he pointed out that the strength of the Pope “is another way, I believe a more humanly grandiose way, of dealing with death.”
“The Pope is showing how a person can find meaning in illness, pain and suffering,” the archbishop noted. Moreover, he said he believed the Pope is “spiritually” overpowering this moment of suffering.
Archbishop Sebastian revealed he was able to visit the Pope this Monday at the Gemelli Hospital “to bring a message of love, communion, prayer and hope to the Holy Father. We pray for him every day, and the faithful anxiously await news about the health of the Pope,” he stated.