EWTN News In Depth: Global Support Rising for Assisted Suicide, plus—the High Court’s Ruling to Protect California’s Right to Pray

Medical, legal, and policy experts weigh in on top stories, and Montse Alvarado speaks on the record with Archbishop Chaput about living the faith.

EWTN News in Depth Host Montse Alvarado talks with Archbishop Charles Chaput about his new book.
EWTN News in Depth Host Montse Alvarado talks with Archbishop Charles Chaput about his new book. (photo: EWTN)

Here’s your weekly wrap of the Catholic news program that brings unique, in-depth interviews and analysis on issues of importance to the Catholic Church and its members across the globe each week.

Last month, Spain became the fourth country in Europe to legalize assisted suicide for those who meet certain criteria. This marks the first time that a nation with historically Catholic roots has enacted such a law. The legislation will take effect in June.

With Catholic health policy experts and advocates for the dignity of the aging, EWTN’s Montse Alvarado examines the shifting legal and cultural landscape surrounding end-of-life options in the United States and around the world on the April 16 episode of News in Depth.

Some Key Takeaways: 

A conscience clause is included in Spain’s law for doctors and nurses whose beliefs do not support participation in assisted suicide.

Palliative care professionals in Spain tell EWTN News how aspects of their approach steeply reduce patients’ desire for euthanasia.

Depressed and isolated adults are at higher risk of requesting euthanasia: factors that are preventable and reversible if attended to compassionately.

Back in the U.S., New Mexico just became the tenth U.S. jurisdiction to legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill, reversing a 2016 state Supreme Court decision that warned of its “inherent potential for abuse.” 


More from the Experts 

Sister Constance Veit (Communications Director, Little Sisters of the Poor) 

  • “It would be mission-ending for us [not to have a religious exemption for assisted suicide laws] . . . It’s just unthinkable to us as, as Catholic women consecrated to Jesus Christ, that we would participate in taking the lives of those who we love and care for.”

Skylar Covich, Ph.D (Disability Rights Advocate and Health Policy Analyst): 

  •  “One of the main concerns of disability rights activists . . . [is the potential for] calls for even broader eligibility for euthanasia and assisted suicide, even including people with mental illnesses and other struggles.”

Watch the panel discussion:

 Insights from an Archbishop


Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia — author of the new book Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living — also offered his personal and spiritual insights on that topic and many others in an exclusive interview with Montse Alvarado on April 16.


Any quotable Catholic comments from His Eminence?
You bet. The archbishop spoke about rising religious disaffiliation, the human need for authentic community, and the importance of facing our past sins as a church but also as individuals. A couple of gold nuggets below, but you’ll want to sift your own from the full interview.


Thoughts on Lived Faith 

  • “We don’t want to be unpopular, so we’re tempted not to follow the gospel. But if we do, it shakes up our ourselves, first of all; then it shakes up the world around us.” 


On the Need for Selfless Friendship 

  • “[People] think all relationships are about self-interest rather than self-forgetfulness. And Jesus by his words taught us that friendship means a willingness to lay down our lives . . . if we did that, faithfully, in our real relationships, friendship would see a rebirth.”


Watch the interview:

“Where Two or Three Are Gathered…” 

Robert Dunn, an attorney at Eimer Stahl LLP, speaks on EWTN News in Depth about the legal argument dealing with Californians’ right to gather for religious purposes inside their own homes, which he argued and won before the U.S. Supreme Court recently. 

Such as . . . restrictions on gathering to pray? 

That’s right. The highest court in the land told California it can’t enforce public health restrictions that have legally prevented home-based Bible studies and prayer gatherings — as small as three people from different households — for more than a year, while it allowed hair salons, restaurants, and airports to hold indoor activities.

Robert Dunn also offered his opinion about recent efforts in Washington to adjust the makeup of the Supreme Court by adding more seats to the bench. Watch it here.  

Don’t miss these other stories on EWTN News in Depth, April 16:

Prayer, A Parish’s Heart 

EWTN’s Mark Irons speaks with parishioners and parish leaders on how to put faith into action and what keeps it going at the core.


Perseverance Far from Home

 A Syrian Refugee survives war and starts his life over in Italy, where he uses his journalism skills to start a new life and provide for his family free from the perils or war, never forgetting the plight of those he left behind.

Watch the full show: