July 4, 2011

Taking on the issue of physician-assisted suicide, the U.S. bishops declared suicide "a terrible tragedy, one that a compassionate society should work to prevent."

Approved 191-1 June 16 at the bishops' spring general assembly near Seattle, Wash., the policy statement called To Live Each Day With Dignity is the first document on assisted suicide by the bishops as a body.

Introducing the statement June 15, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said he hoped it would counter the recent "strong resurgence" in activity by the assisted suicide movement.

"With expanded funding from wealthy donors, assisted suicide proponents have renewed their aggressive nationwide campaign through legislation, litigation and public advertising, targeting states they see as most susceptible to their message," the document says.

"If they succeed, society will undergo a radical change."