Canada: "Bishops Offer Pastoral Guidelines for When Canadians Seek Assisted Suicide."


Priests in Canada are now facing the issue of how to respond to Catholics planning on killing themselves, now that assisted suicide, suicide abetted by a doctor, has become legal in Canada, since June 2016, to the dismay of Catholics there. But suicide is still a sin. Can a person planning on suicide receive the last rites? Can he have a Catholic funeral? What to do if the person comes to confession? How to deal with the person’s family? The bishops of several Canadian provinces have given the guidance reported on in this article.


I’m very glad that there is some guidance for the poor priests faced with these issues. I hope they will sleep better at night now, as I think this would be a scary issue for anyone faced with it.

I’ll note that they reaffirmed:

“If the penitent does not rescind this request, he or she will be killed,” the bishops write. “They are in this objective state of sin, which is gravely disordered. They have incited and officially arranged for someone to kill them.”

And, thank God, put priority to:

“How to offer care and support to a family in the wake of these tragic events remains something that we must always bear in mind, whether we celebrate a funeral or not.”

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