Archbishop Smith has issued a letter to the faithful following up on last week's Supreme Court of Canada ruling, which struck down the law banning assisted suicide. In the letter, the Archbishop calls on us to work with our Members of Parliament as they craft a new law, to defend our doctors' right to freedom of conscience as they treat their patient, to pray for the grace both to bear personal suffering and to stand in solidarity with those who suffer. 

"We have a duty to act for the good of our fellow citizens, especially for those who, because of disability, suffering or weakness, now find themselves on a slippery slope of increasing vulnerability to state-sanctioned death," writes Archbishop Smith. "For one thing, we can work with our Members of Parliament, now charged with crafting a new law, so that the legislation will severely limit the harm done by the Court decision. Doctors in particular should speak and act decisively to ensure that their right to freedom of conscience and their solemn responsibility to be agents of healing will be protected, and in this I assure them of my support. Even more, we all must consciously and deliberately bear joyful witness to the beauty and dignity of each human life at every stage of existence from beginning to natural end

"Above all, we must pray. Let us turn to Mary, the mother of Our Lord. She, too, knew untold suffering as she witnessed the cruel passion and death of her Son. She offered her pain, together with that of Jesus, to God, and experienced the wondrous joy of seeing suffering and death transformed into life. By her intercession, may she help us to bear our own suffering with peace, to stand in solidarity and hope with any who suffer, and enable us by our action and witness to foster the full protection in our country of all human life."

Read the full text of the Archbishop's letter