The Vatican might have that cool new Pope, but the rest of the operation is business as usual: a Vatican official told an Italian news agency that 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill 29-year-old who died by assisted suicide over the weekend, committed a "reprehensible" act.
Raw Story reports that Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, told news agency Ansa that assisted suicide is an "absurdity" and while he wouldn't judge Maynard herself, her actions were unacceptable.
"Suicide is not a good thing," he told Ansa. "It is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission in the world and towards those around us." (The original Ansa report is here.)
The Vatican's stance isn't surprising, given that Catholics consider suicide a mortal and unforgivable sin. Earlier this year, a high-ranking assistant to Pope Francis, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, advocated against legalizing assisted suicide in the United Kingdom, saying it would "open a Pandora's Box." Nor are they the first group to suggest that Maynard didn't have the right to die at the time of her choosing: various American pro-life groups started with that line even before she died.
The underlying implication here is that these groups believe Maynard is in Hell. So far, mercifully, everyone has been too tactful — or too media savvy — to say that part out loud. But Life News' Steven Ertelt is using her passing to accuse Compassion & Choices, the assisted suicide advocacy group that helped Maynard make her videos, of "exploiting" her, writing that they and other death with dignity groups "were essentially pushing her to kill herself."
Image via Compassion & Choices