emperor pope benedictA few days ago, several thousand people attended the funeral of Piergiorgio Welby in a Rome square. Many had gathered not to say goodbye, but to protest the Catholic church’s decision to deny him a religious funeral. But why would the church do such a thing? After all this is Italy.

Welby wasn’t just any Italian. He was a staunch advocate of euthanasia, an idea that doesn’t bode well with the Pope. Even more so, Welby was paralyzed and had asked his doctor to die. His doctor responded by administering a sedative and detaching his respirator.

Pope Benedict had weighed in on the situation and condemned it declaring that life was sacred until it’s "natural sunset." The local parish had granted the religious ceremony, but Rome stepped in and put the kibosh on the matter.

One priest was disgusted by the decision citing that the church is rife with hypocrisy by allowing religious weddings for people less deserving:

We [the Church] have allowed funerals for [former Chilean dictator Augusto] Pinochet, [former Spanish dictator Francisco] Franco and for Mafiosi, but we refuse a funeral for a man just because he asked to die.

I find this an open and shut case. The decision by the Pope is abundantly ignorant and void of intelligence. The Pope claims that all life is sacred until it "natural sunset." What exactly does that mean? Welby was on life support. Isn’t that artificially avoiding the natural sunset? Shouldn’t his decision to go off of life support be praised as he is clearly facing his fate naturally without the aid of technology?

What do you religious folk make of this? When replying, please include your religion because I’d like to see the opinion of all faiths here.

Thanks to Simon for the tip off!

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