Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto has called on compatriots to write to politicians and ask them to 'protect the vulnerable'

A canadian cardinal has condemned proposals to permit the euthanasia even of children, telling Catholics the plans should “shock us to the core”.

Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto, said moves to set up a legal framework for a highly permissive euthanasia regime in Canada represented not only an assault on the sanctity of life but also on religious liberty.

In a video message played in 225 parishes of his archdiocese on Sunday, he urged Catholics to do all they could to persuade their MPs to reject the recommendations of a group advising the government on the content of the forthcoming legislation.

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He asked them to write to politicians asking them to “protect the vulnerable” as well as the rights of individuals and institutions to provide healthcare without “having to compromise their moral convictions”.

“Physicians across our country who have devoted their lives to healing patients will soon be asked to do the exact opposite,” the cardinal said in the video.

“They will not be asked to ease their suffering by providing them with treatment and loving care but by putting them to death.

“In fact, killing a patient will no longer be considered a crime but will be seen as healthcare, complete with legislation to regulate it.”

The law would not just affect a small number of people, the cardinal said, because it would be binding on all publicly funded institutions, including Catholic hospitals and care homes, and would deny healthcare workers the right of conscientious objection.

“No other country in the world requires such a violation of conscience,” he said.

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Dec 2 2016 cover