The incoming president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has served notice that so-called Medical Assistance in Dying is a no-go for institutions and associations the operate under the Church’s name.

“Once again, unanimously, the bishops indicated that Catholic-sponsored health associations and organizations do not permit MAiD,” Calgary’s Bishop William McGrattan said at the concluding press conference for the annual CCCB plenary assembly. “We are promoting positive accompaniment through palliative care.”

A planned presentation of the gathered bishops for the opening day, public portion of the plenary was abruptly cancelled, but McGrattan made clear that the bishops’ opposition to MAiD isn’t wavering.

“We are making sure that the dignity of the human person is promoted (in Catholic health care),” he said.

McGrattan, who was previously vice-president of the CCCB, replaces Quebec’s Raymond Poisson, Bishop of St. Jerome and Mont Laurier, as president. He is one of four Canadian prelates who went directly from the plenary to Rome to attend the month-long Synod on Synodality that runs from Oct. 4 to 29. He emphasized Pope Francis’ message that the Synod aims to foster a “listening Church” more responsive to the needs of all its faithful.

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