The first one is that "a person can receive the sacraments only when he is in a good disposition, and this is not the case when a person wants to oppose the order of creation, violating the intrinsic value of his life."
The second reason is that the person "who receives the sacraments puts his life in the merciful hands of God. However, who wants to personally end his life wants to take his life in his hands."
The third reason is that "if the priest administers the sacraments or plans a funeral in these cases, the priest is guilty of a scandal, since his actions might suggest that suicide or euthanasia are permitted in certain circumstances."
Eijk also explained that a priest can celebrate the funeral of a person who died by assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia in only some circumstances, though suicide is always illicit.
"Since ancient times, the priests accepted to celebrate funerals of people who committed suicide or asked for euthanasia in cases of depression of any other psychiatric diseases. In these cases, because of their disease, the freedom of the people is diminished, and so ending the life cannot be considered a mortal sin," Cardinal Eijk sais.
He adds that the priest must "prudently judge whether he is in front of a case of diminished freedom. If so, he can celebrate the funeral."
To combat the pro-euthanasia trend, the Church must "announce that God made the human being in his image in his totality, soul, and body. The Second Vatican Council constitution Gaudium et Spes described the human being as 'a unity of soul and body.' This means that the body is an essential dimension of the human being and is part of the intrinsic value of the human being. So, it is not licit to sacrifice human life to end the pain."
The cardinal also added that palliative care is a positive response, and the Church often recommends to ask for palliative care, while "there are many Christian or religious groups that provide palliative care in specialized centers."
Eijk also said that to combat the West's pro-euthanasia trend, the Church "must do something against loneliness. The parishes are often welcoming communities where people has social bonds and take care the one with the other. In the hyper-individualistic contemporary society, human beings are often alone. There is a huge solitude in our Western society."
The Church "spurs to form communities not to leave people alone. A person who lives in solitude, lacking the attention and the care from the others, is less able to bear the pain," the cardinal said.
Eijk added that the Church "announces a Christian spirituality and a lived faith. This implies that you can also join to the suffering Christ and bear the pain with him. So, we are never alone."
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