Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Orange County California, has met with Catholic Bishop Robert Barron last week to discuss the dangers of the legalization of assisted suicide.
Their conversation was hosted by Life Legal Defense Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on the protection of vulnerable life. Attorney and radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt served as the moderator, Christian News Wire reported.
In the discussion, Warren talked about the death of his son who committed suicide in 2013. He explained that the tragedy was instrumental in shaping his view against assisted suicide.
“The fact is, we belong to God. Theologically, we are not our own… I didn’t choose when I came into the world and I don’t get to choose when I go out of the world. It’s appointed by God…It’s not a political issue for me; it’s a moral issue,” said Warren.
And of course it’s a practical issue, having had a son who took his life by suicide. I care very deeply about this,” he continued.
Barron, who serves as an auxiliary archbishop to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said that there are no motives or circumstances in which assisted suicide can ever be justified. He called on Christians from all denominations to minister to those who suffer from untreatable ailments.
California’s End of Life Option Act, which allows assisted suicide for terminally ill adult patients who are capable of making medical decisions, was signed into law in October 2015 and went into effect on June 9, 2016.
Life Legal filed a lawsuit on June 8 in the California Superior Court in Riverside County to challenge the law.
Alexandra Snyder, Executive Director of Life Legal, argued that the law lacks the protections for individuals who are suffering from mental illness or mood disorders and it gives full immunity to doctors who facilitate assisted suicide.
Snyder expressed her gratitude to Warren and Barron for speaking against assisted suicide laws.
“We have a moral and philosophical obligation to protect vulnerable human life by engaging in thoughtful and articulate opposition to assisted suicide—and by showing up to help those who are hurting,” she added.