Former EU president criticizes Pope Francis over euthanasia ban

(Catholic Herald) A former president of the European Council has hit out at Pope Francis, strongly implying he should have no say over whether a Belgian religious order permits euthanasia in their hospitals.

Herman van Rompuy said on Twitter “The time of ‘Roma locuta causa finita’ is long past” after canon law professor Kurt Martens revealed Mr van Rompuy was on the board of trustees for the Brothers of Charity Group.

The Latin phrase, which translates as “Rome has spoken, the matter is finished”, is a paraphrase of St Augustine and refers to the ultimate authority of the Pope.

The Group’s trustees agreed to allow euthanasia in their 15 psychiatric centres across Belgium, despite the practice being strongly condemned by Catholic teaching.

Br Rene Stockman, the order’s superior general, has criticised the trustees’ decision but has little direct authority over the board, which primarily composed of lay members. [More]


Catholic Herald