.- Speaking before thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square
for the Angelus prayer today, Pope Benedict XVI rejected euthanasia as
a “false solution” to suffering.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading for this Sunday, the Holy Father recalled a singular characteristic of the of the Gospel of Mark, the so-called “Messianic Secret,” that is, Jesus’ command to his followers not to reveal to others that he is the Messiah.
Pope Benedict explained: “Jesus insists on this ‘secret’ because the success of his mission, our salvation, depends on it. He knows that to free man from the power of sin, he must be sacrificed on the cross as the true Paschal Lamb.”
“Jesus,” he said, “suffered and died on the cross out of love. In this way, viewed properly, he gave meaning to our suffering, a meaning that men and women of every age have understood and made their own, experiencing profound serenity even in the bitterness of harsh physical and moral trials.
“’This power of life in suffering’ is the theme that the Italian bishops have chosen for their annual message on the occasion of today’s Day for Life,” he continued, “Euthanasia is a false solution to the drama of suffering, a solution that is not worthy of man. The real answer cannot be, in fact, to give death, as 'gentle' as this may be, but to testify to the love that helps us to face pain and agony in a humane way.”
“We can be certain of this: no tear, neither of those who suffer, nor of those close to them, will be lost before God," he added.
After the Marian prayer, Pope Benedict recalled the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, which the Church celebrates tomorrow.
“My beloved predecessor John Paul II wished that this anniversary, on which many consecrated persons make or renew their vows, be celebrated as the Day of Consecrated Life,” he said. “Tomorrow afternoon, in St. Peter’s Basilica, after the Holy Mass presided over by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life, I will meet with consecrated men and women present in Rome. I invite all to thank the Lord for the precious gift of these brothers and sisters, and to ask him, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, for many new vocations, in the variety of charisms in which the Church is rich.”