In this year’s Urbi et Orbi, Il Papa has said something rather startling:
In his address, the Pope also made a reference to the controversial case of Piergiorgio Welby, a paralyzed Italian man who was denied a Catholic service because he had asked to die.
“What are we to think of those who choose death in the belief that they are celebrating life?” he said.
The Catholic Church falling in line behind some form of physican-assisted suicide would be a startling (and welcomed, at least by me) thing. It would be well out of line for a Pope in the Ratz’s position to make a sweeping doctrinal change like that – typically, after the reign of a Pope like John Paul II, the next Pope is a short-timer who’s just there to tide over until the next long-term candidate can be groomed. Few changes are ever really made, especially at such a core level – this is definitely something to keep your eye on.