On Monday, May 15, 2017, Gerhard Cardinal Müller delivered a keynote address to Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica, Toronto. The full text of his address is available below.
First, I would like to thank the organizers of this event, the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, including its leadership, staff, board members, and supporters, for inviting me to address you all this evening. I would also like to express my gratitude for my brother Archbishop and your wonderful and faithful shepherd, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins. Your work and witness in promoting and defending human dignity through interdisciplinary ethics research is invaluable, particularly at this moment in your nation's history when recent laws and judicial opinions threaten to sow confusion and encourage grave violations of man's intrinsic, inalienable, and equal dignity.
I am referring, of course, to the 2015 decision of the Canadian Supreme Court decriminalizing euthanasia, and the subsequent codification of this result by your Federal Parliament in 2016.
The tragic recent legalization of euthanasia by Canadian authorities is the framing context for my remarks this evening. In my brief time with you tonight, I would like to explore the wisdom of the Church on this issue, which is not only enduring, but accessible and valuable to all reasonable people of good will regardless of their faith tradition.
In particular, I would like to discuss the ways in which euthanasia not only constitutes a grave wrong in itself, but how its legalization creates toxic and deadly social pathologies that disproportionately afflict the weakest members of society. Understanding clearly these individual and social wrongs will illuminate and prepare us for the path forward, namely, to persuade Canadian citizens to take the necessary steps to reverse the dangerous legal error of your Supreme Court and Parliament, and in the meantime, to protect the rights of conscience of health care providers who refuse to take the lives of those that they have sworn to treat and comfort.