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Portugal: Bishops making new calls against law on euthanasia. Vigils and rallies today and tomorrow

Tomorrow May 29th, the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal will be discussing four different bills of law on the decriminalisation of euthanasia, submitted by the environmentalist party Pessoas-Animais-Natureza (Pan), by Bloco de Esquerda (Be), by the Socialist party (Ps) and by the green “Os Verdes” (Pev). In an interview with news agency Ecclesia, card. Manuel Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, urged the MPs to “consider the fact that society has insistently taken position against the legalisation of euthanasia”. Though there has been no “long, deep and shared” debate as there should have been, lots of “people, religious and lay organisations” have expressed their disagreement, and, “if the Assembly wants to be in tune with society, it must keep this into account”. According to mgr. Jorge Ortiga, Archbishop of Braga, “citizens should ask their MPs to stick to the election programme, without venturing into fields that have not been submitted to people’s vote”. “All lives have dignity”, a civic movement, launched a number of vigils in many Portuguese cities for tonight, in support of “a society that cares, not kills”, and convened a rally in front of Parliament, tomorrow, at 01.30 pm. In addition to all religions, position has been taken against euthanasia by Adav, a non-political, non-confessional association, by the communist party Pcp, and by the national medical society, among others.

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