Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Vatican Revokes Catholic Identity of Brothers of Charity
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ladaria: "Perverse" when doctors and relatives practice active euthanasia out of false pity - No Catholic identity for psychiatric clinics of the order "Broeders van Liefde
Vatican City / Geneva (kath.net/KAP) The Vatican has confirmed the revocation of Catholic identity for psychiatric clinics of the Belgian order "Broeders van Liefde" (Brothers of Charity). As became known weeks ago, they have not been able to call themselves "Catholic" since the end of March. In a letter published on Tuesday, the Roman Congregation of the Faith justified this step.
After numerous contacts and meetings, one unfortunately had to take note that there was no willingness in the clinics connected to the order to accept the Catholic teaching. Active euthanasia remains inadmissible even in extreme cases, according to the letter signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria. Human life maintain its dignity under all circumstances. It is all the more "perverse" when doctors and relatives practice active euthanasia out of false pity. It was therefore decided "after a long and painful journey" to no longer consider the clinics concerned as Catholic.
The chairman of the board of the Association of the Brothers of Charity, Raf de Rycke, had already reacted calmly to the withdrawal in May. They have no "consequences in civil law," he said at the time to the Flemish newspaper "De Standaard".
Belgium has allowed active euthanasia since 2002
The dispute as to whether a psychiatric clinic that does not rule out the use of active euthanasia can still call itself Catholic dates back to 2017. At that time, the Belgian organization "Broeders van Liefde" announced that it would no longer rule out active assisted suicide for the mentally ill in its clinics. In Belgium, active euthanasia has been legal under certain conditions since 2002, including for the mentally ill.
The "Broeders van Liefde" run twelve psychiatric clinics in Belgium as well as dozens of schools, crèches and orthopedic centers. According to its own statements, the organization has a total of 14,000 employees nationwide. The religious order is legally, closely linked to the organization.
The specialty of the Order of Brothers of Charity, founded in Ghent in 1807, is the care of the mentally ill. The community, known as "Broeders van Liefde" in Belgium, has around 600 members worldwide and is active in around 30 countries.
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