A Pastoral Letter on Medical Assistance in Dying from the Atlantic Episcopal Assembly

December 3, 2016

“As bishops of our local churches, we must have a primary concern for the pastoral well-being of all those entrusted to our care. This pastoral concern is symbolized by the image of the Good Shepherd and reminds all involved in pastoral care to make visible to the flock, the very ministry of Jesus Christ.

This ministry is summarized in four key words: healing, guiding, nurturing and reconciling.

These four words capture the heart and actions of the Lord as he encountered people in his public ministry. These words reveal the Lord’s attitude, his mission of mercy and his ministry of reconciliation.

We believe that all priests, deacons and lay ministers, particularly those who care for the sick and vulnerable every day, at home, in hospices and in hospitals, need to be compassionate expressions and effective sacraments of this mercy of God in all that they do and whomever they encounter.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide may be legal, but they do not reflect our Christian view of life, suffering and death.

The Gospel is a message of good news and hope in the face of pain and suffering. The Gospel offers a vision of life and death focused through the central mystery of our faith, the Resurrection. When we proclaim that Christ has died, Christ is risen and Christ will come again, we profess that death is not the last word on life and that life for a Christian is not terminated by dying.”

To read the full letter in English click here

A Pastoral Reflection on Medical Assistance in Dying

To red the full letter in French click here

Réflexion pastorale sur l’assistance médicale à mourir