Toledo cardinal weighs in on euthanasia controversy in Spain

.- Cardinal Antonio Cañizares of Spain has weighed in again on the controversial request of a Spanish woman who is seeking euthanasia, saying relativism and breakdown of morals are underlying her case.

In an article published by the Spanish daily “La Razon,” the Cardinal said “relativism,” the “perversion of language,” and “moral breakdown” are symptoms of a “society on the verge of losing its morals.”  The case of Inmaculada Echevarria, who suffers from muscular dystrophy and wants to have her artificial respirator disconnected, is an example of euthanasia and thus constitutes an attack on life, the Cardinal stated.

“I am saddened by her physical and spiritual suffering, and I pray for her,” Cardinal Cañizares said.  “But no matter what they say, this is a case of euthanasia.  According to the medical information I have, a respirator is an ordinary means for keeping these individuals alive,” he stated.  “Moral norms forbid the removal of ordinary means of nourishment and respiration from a sick person, even if the illness is terminal.  The omission of these ordinary means constitutes an act of euthanasia,” the Cardinal said.

“With his action of taking away the respirator,” he continued, “this simple and without a doubt good woman, who is exhausted, will die.  An attack against life will have been carried out.  And, moreover, with all of the blessings and authorization, to even greater shame, of the Hospital of San Rafael, the same one that was practically founded by St. John of God and is administered by his spiritual sons.”

In his article, the cardinal noted the paradox that on the one hand, officials are allowing the voluntary suicide of Echevarria, and yet on the other, are calling for “humanitarian treatment” of Basque terrorist Ignacio de Juana, who is carrying out a hunger strike, in order to save his life.  “While efforts are made to keep DeJuana alive, at the same time in Andalusia, in my beloved Granada, the removal of an ordinary means to stay alive, even though she is requesting it, is being officially allowed,” he said.

“The ‘controlled’ fast during the last 100 days of this unrepentant ETA member constitutes another act of violence and terrorism: ‘refined and intelligent,’ but terrorism nonetheless.  It’s not an action with arms nor is it carried out against other persons.  But it is violence against himself,” the cardinal explained, “in keeping with the purposes of ETA” (the Basque separatist movement).

“What we are seeing here,” he added, “is the deliberate execution of a prolonged act of violence against his own life, as part of a terrorist plan, in order to paralyze individuals and social institutions and create an atmosphere in which people cannot act freely.  He has succeeded in getting many to foolhardily and blindly take his side for ‘humanitarian reasons’.”

Cardinal Cañizares lamented the relativism evident in these situations.  “What is okay in one case, is not okay in the other.  What is said here doesn’t apply over there.  Everything is strategic and calculated.  We are immersed in a host of contradictions, in an ocean of confusion, in pure relativism, which undermines and destroys society.  There is no way out of that, no progress.”

“Relativism is destructive,” the cardinal stated.  “Neither man or nor society has a future if it is embraced.  Neither can democracy be based on relativism, which has no basis whatsoever.  Relativism leads to the destruction of democracy and generates violence and totalitarianism: that of the dictatorship of relativism. We are for life, not for relativism!” he said in conclusion.

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