The Vatican’s doctrinal chief has told Canadian Catholics that “we shall prevail” in opposing legalised euthanasia.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller addressed an audience of bioethicists, theologians, doctors and nurses at Toronto’s St Michael’s Cathedral Basilica last week.

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said Canada’s turn to legalised euthanasia was “tragic”.

“Euthanasia not only constitutes a grave wrong in itself, but its legalisation creates toxic and deadly social pathologies that disproportionately afflict the weakest members of society,” he said.

The cardinal was in Toronto to deliver the keynote address at a Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute conference dedicated to the conscience rights of healthcare professionals.

He urged members of the institute “to persuade Canadian citizens to take the necessary steps to reverse the dangerous legal error of your Supreme Court and Parliament and, in the meantime, to protect the rights of conscience of healthcare providers who refuse to take the lives of those that they have sworn to treat and comfort.”

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