Los Angeles, Calif., Apr 3, 2007 / 06:05 am America/Denver (CNA).Cardinal Roger Mahony is urging Catholics to fight a proposed bill that would legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill in California.
"Assisted suicide is totally unnecessary — not only is it against God's law, God's plan, we simply don't need something like that," said Cardinal Mahony during a noontime Mass on Monday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, reported The Associated Press.
The Cardinal-archbishop of Los Angeles said Catholics must put pressure on legislators to vote against “this attack on life."
Cardinal Mahoney also fiercely criticized the Legislature's most prominent Democrat, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. The Catholic politician recently met with the Cardinal to discuss the proposal.
Nunez, he said, “somehow has not understood and grasped the culture of life but has allowed himself to get swept into this other direction, the culture of death.”
In a statement, spokesman Steve Maviglio said while the Nunez respects the Cardinal's opinion "this is another issue of individual choice where the overwhelming majority of Catholics have a different perspective than the official position of the church.”
An Assembly committee last week approved the bill, which would allow patients, found by two physicians to have no more than six months to live, to request a drug to end their lives when they choose. The patient would have to administer the drug, which he or she would have to request in writing and orally. A physician could require the patient to have counseling before receiving the drug.
This is the fourth attempt to get the bill through the Legislature.
In a letter last month, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco asked Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, to withdraw her support from the bill.
"Legalization of assisted suicide ... victimizes our poorest, weakest and most vulnerable members of society," Archbishop Niederauer wrote.