The Vatican has ordered psychiatric hospitals in Belgium which belong to the ‘Brothers of Charity’ organisation to stop identifying as Catholic following their support of euthanasia.
The move comes after 15 psychiatric hospitals in the country began supporting the controversial life-ending practice in 2017.
The decision was communicated in a letter which said “with deep sadness” that the “psychiatric hospitals managed by the Provincialate of the Brothers of Charity association in Belgium will no longer be able to consider themselves Catholic institutions.”
In the wake of the news, the Brothers of Charity has announced plans to “let go” of the institutions, which were being managed by a civil non-profit group.
Brother Rene Stockman, said that “with a heavy heart” the religious congregation “must let go of its psychiatric centres in Belgium.”
The decision by the Vatican’s doctrinal office ends three years of wrangling and disputes between the Brothers of Charity and the hospital’s management group.
The decision to allow euthanasia in the hospitals stems back to 2017 when the 15-member board voted in favour of allowing it to take place.
At the time, three of the 15 were religious brothers of the congregation and two of those three voted in favour of the move to allow life-ending practices to take place.
Their terms on the board ended at the end of September 2018 and were not renewed.
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Story By: Conor Sheils, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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