The priest in favor: “It is important to make the law”. And he sends a dossier to the Pope
“Faced with a life situation that I would no longer consider dignified and no longer bearable, I think I would prefer to be able to interrupt it”. Don Giulio Mignani is a Ligurian priest known for his progressive and courageous positions in contrast with the hierarchies of the Catholic Church to which he belongs. Thinking about the story of ‘Mario’, Federico Carboni, the first case of assisted suicide in Italy, in an interview with Adnkronos says that if he found himself in unbearable living conditions he would do the same. “For me – he observes – life does not end in the earthly journey so if earthly life were to become something unbearable I think that yes, really, I would interrupt it”.
Fr Mignani, to make his contribution to the Synod that sees the Church in the world engaged until 2023, created a survey – dossier on the hot topics that divide society, including assisted suicide, and sent it to the General Secretariat of the Synod and to the Secretariat of State of the Vatican to get it to the attention of the Pope. “I would like – explains Don Mignani – to contribute to giving voice to the positions that are in some ways” dissenting “, so that they could find adequate spaces for expression and listening . In my experience I perceive them as a sort of karst river, whose real flow I cannot measure, but which here and there, more and more frequently, emerges on the surface, manifesting a discomfort and therefore a demand for change that in my opinion should not undervalued “.
On the issue linked to assisted suicide, Fr Giulio Mignani asked in the dossier to which 434 people of all age groups replied: ‘The Church conceives life as a gift from God and considers it an unavailable asset. For this reason, euthanasia or assisted suicide is considered inadmissible, even in cases of terminal illnesses, or in irreversible situations of degradation, or of severe disability with intolerable suffering. Do you agree?’
The majority of the interlocutors – the result of the dossier that questions Catholics on the hottest issues (gay unions, abortion, sex scandals, celibacy of priests, female priesthood …) was sent to the Pope who, through the Secretariat of State, expressed the hope that ” the enthusiasm to deepen and share the treasures of the Gospel continues to be alive “- does not agree with the Church’s direction: in fact 57% do not share it at all and 21% scarcely; while 10% say they are quite in agreement and 7% totally. 4% answered I don’t know. “Those who disagree, while almost always claiming to consider life as a gift from God, believe that such a precious good ceases to be such when it is no longer allowed to live it with dignity. A gift is given so that the person to whom it is intended can make use of it, hopefully responsible, but free. Precisely the great consideration for life suggests the idea of preserving it from extreme degradation and from becoming a cause of pain, of “intolerable” torture, summarizes the dossier .
Don Giulio Mignani believes that the law on suicide must find an outlet. to operate exclusions, I am thinking of terminally ill cancer patients. But the approval of the law would certainly be a step forward. For some time now, the Council has asked the legislator to put his hand to the law “. Don Mignani believes it is “important to respect the choice of those who can no longer take it, just as it is important to respect those who decide to experience suffering to the last drop”.
Fr Mignani had also recently carried out a survey on the subject, made known by the Coscioni association, in which it emerged that “78 per cent of the respondents – of whom 71 per cent are Catholics – say they do not agree with the position of the Church. A confirmation – explains the priest today – that derives from more or less direct experiences of people who have friends, relatives who have seen them die, feeling a sense of helplessness so it is not that people have spoken on principle but having also experienced the need for a way out “.
Don Giulio, returning to the meaning of the dossier sent to the Vatican, summarizes: “The desire for change that seems to emerge from many interlocutors who have joined our initiative, and of which we personally interpret, does not involve any devaluation of thought (also manifested in the minority in the context of our survey) of those who express different or even opposite positions and expectations. The hope is instead that of a non-homologating Church, in which they can find the right of citizenship even diversified ways of living faith and ecclesial belonging, without reciprocal vetoes and mistrust, in the context of an always open dialogue that promotes mutual knowledge, understanding and legitimation “.