i’m Archbishop Mark Coleridge and you’re watching Q and A question and answer for The Catholic Leader. For the Catholic Church life is a great gift. A gift from the God who is life. Life is a blessing, a blessing from the God who is the source of all life. Because of this sense of life as gift and blessing, the Church is deeply committed and in the most positive and joyful way, to the protection of life for the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, and yet that sense of life as gift and blessing is not shared by all if you look around a society like ours. You see what I mean if you look at the beginning of life and at the end of life. Abortion says that this new life in the womb is no gift, it’s a burden to be got rid of. Euthanasia, the other end of life says that life is no blessing it is a curse, a curse that must be removed. That sense of life as burden and curse underlies a lot of the push for both abortion and euthanasia, but focusing here upon euthanasia in particular. Once upon a time not that long ago it was barely thinkable or imaginable that there would be such a push for legislated euthanasia in our society, but it’s quite a strong push now. Very often, what underlies the push for euthanasia is the illusion that we are and must be in control all the time, right to the to the very end of life ‘I will decide when and how I die’ and so on. The fear of losing control, what the Christian says is that there’s nothing to fear in losing control if you are going to fall into the arms of God. So that fear of losing control is a big part of the push for euthanasia. The other thing is depression, that very often people who want to end their own life are in fact suffering from a recognized or unrecognized depression and it’s that that needs to be treated properly. Or a sense of loneliness too, that they want to end the pain of loneliness by taking their own life or being assisted to take their own life. Or that sense of being a burden that ‘I am now useless and I’m a burden on everybody, my own family and society and I don’t want to be a burden’. All of those things underly the push for euthanasia, whatever the talk about the dignity and compassion there are deeper and darker things that work in all of this and it’s those things that need to be treated with dignity and compassion. So the the bottom line for Christians for the Church is kill the pain not the patient. So when I talk about kill the pain, kill the depression, deal with the the pain of loneliness, deal with the sense that ‘I am a burden that I’m useless’ it’s never true. someone who is dying can be surrounded by love can unleash a power of love in others the loneliness doesn’t have to be there, nor does the depression nor does that sense of being a burden, again dying can be a gift not only for the person who dies, but for those who will gather around him or her. So to focus on that sense that life even at its most fragile at its most diminish remains a gift and a blessing never allowing that focus to blur and then, with the focus clear deciding to kill the pain whatever the pain may be but not the patient. Allowing God to be God and life to be the gift and blessing that God wants it to be.