The California assembly is expected to vote next week on a bill that would allow doctors to provide a lethal drug dose to patients who have less than six months to live, are mentally competent and have requested the drug; they would administer it themselves. In the course of the debate over this bill, anti-Catholic bigotry has flared. Addressing this issue today is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
“Those who believe in the ethics of assisted suicide should make their case without engaging in unethical conduct. They have not done so. On radio shows throughout California, commercials placed by Californians for Compassionate Choices have called into question the constitutional right of Catholic clergymen to speak to this issue. These spots mirror the invective employed against Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Cardinal Mahony that appear in the group’s press releases.
“On May 7, Compassionate Choices said, ‘How can lawmakers follow the dictates of the Catholic Church rather than legislate on behalf of ALL Californians?’ So when Catholic leaders speak out, they’re dictating to lawmakers, but when others speak out, they’re engaging in dialogue. Do even those who voice such nonsense believe what they say? Even worse is the lie, found on the group’s website, that says there is ‘a well-funded pressure campaign to force Vatican dogma on all terminally ill Californians.’ This is pure unadulterated demagoguery, and they know it.
“There is one Catholic that Compassionate Choices likes, and that’s Daniel C. Maguire, the embittered ex-priest theologian from Marquette University. In his letter to the lawmakers, Maguire did what he always does—spin the truth. ‘Catholic theology is broader and more nuanced than Vatican theology,’ he said. So if Vatican theology is not Catholic theology, is it Buddhist? And if the Vatican is not the source of Catholic theology, what is? The musings of Maguire?
“California lawmakers are free to decide what to do, but they also have a moral obligation to denounce bigotry. They should do so without delay.”