*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

No Viaticum for people using voluntary assisted dying, says Archbishop of Brisbane

16 December 2022

Alamy

The Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Mark Coleridge, pictured in Rome in 2019

The Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Mark Coleridge, pictured in Rome in 2019

THE Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Mark Coleridge, has said that people using voluntary assisted dying when it becomes lawful in Queensland next year would not be given the sacrament of Viaticum (holy communion for the dying). The concluding last-rites prayer for the dead could also be withheld, he said.

The churches were “walking a tightrope” to balance the moral and doctrinal questions with compassion for the dying, he said, and, while he did not wish to issue a fiat, it was possible that a person could be denied the entirety of the last rites.

Queensland will become the fourth Australian state to make voluntary assisted dying possible, following Victoria, Western Australia, and Tasmania. It will be introduced in South Australia and New South Wales next year. In each case, access to voluntary assisted dying is strictly limited. Until now, none of the churches has announced similar end-of-life sanctions.

Dr Coleridge has accused the Queensland government of being “impervious to genuine discussion”, saying that it had not been easy for him to have genuine conversations with senior government ministers.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)