Caring & Preparing for End of Life

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Caring and Preparing

For End of Life

The CHurch's Teaching

Because all life is sacred, Catholic teaching holds that assisted suicide can never be permitted. Euthanasia and assisted suicide stand in contradiction to the Catholic understanding that all life bears God’s image and has inherent dignity. 

Pope Francis

“A population that does not take care of the elderly and of the children and the young has no future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise.”

Bishop Gerald R. Barnes

Statement by Bishop Barnes in response to the “Aid in Dying ” Law that took effect on June 9, 2016:

“It is a sad reflection on our unwillingness as a society to embrace our dying and those who suffer. We seem to have lost a sense of accompaniment when it comes to those members of our families and communities who are making their final journey to God.  So as disappointing as it is now we are reminded that our efforts on behalf of Live, in the eyes of God were never a waste of time.”

Catholic Response to the "Aid in Dying" Bill

Whole Person Initiative

It is a collaborative project of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Alliance of Catholic Health Care, guided by a Leadership Council comprising representatives from the two organizations, including Bishops, Catholic health care executives, and other leaders.  The initiative is aimed at creating an environment in our parishes, communities, and health care systems in which all persons are loved, wanted, and worthy and will be prepared and supported in health and serious illness through the end of life.  We are implementing our “Respect and Care” End of Life Program which provides theological and practical support for End of Life issues.  This includes discussion about the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services and expanding our Bereavement ministries to include “End of Life” care.  The Whole Person Initiative will provide a synchronized strategy to help us further develop a comprehensive program that will help us to enable caregivers in our parishes and health care facilities to attend to people and provide basic human needs. 

Our Pastoral Care Program

Provides educational workshops to help discern and prepare for moral, medical issues in advance. We teach about the new "Aid in Dying" Physician Assisted Suicide Law in California and provides understanding to the art of palliative care and how to have conversations with family members and the medical community. We provide parish resources regarding Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

Resources