The French government is currently preparing to pass a controversial bill on end-of-life issues that could legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in the country. The vote, which was postponed because of the pope’s visit, will be held Sept. 26–28.
Francis said he did not address the topic of euthanasia with Macron on Saturday but that he had expressed himself “clearly” on the issue when the French president visited him at the Vatican last year.
Macron, who made changing the end-of-life framework one of his campaign promises, declared his “penchant” for the Belgian model in April 2022.
Pope Francis said it is not just an opinion that life should be safeguarded and warned that it is easy to fall into an idea that pain should always be prevented, even through what some might consider a “humanistic euthanasia.”
Instead, science has made great strides in helping people to control pain with medication, he noted, repeating that “you don’t play with life.”
In his comments, Francis also recommended, as he has on other occasions, that people read the 1907 dystopian science fiction novel “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson.