CV NEWS FEED // Several US bishops recently concluded a workshop on the challenges that end-of-life care presents in today’s culture of assisted suicide and age-extension technology.
The workshop, jointly organized by the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) and the Knights of Columbus, provided US bishops with three days of talks and discussions on end of life issues.
Topics included end-of-life care, suffering at the end of life, ministering to they dying, Catholic health care, and the Catholic response to assisted suicide, among other issues.
According to the NCBC, the workshop is intended “to provide ongoing formation for the bishops in bioethical issues which affect their episcopal ministry.”
The 2024 workshop, which began on February 5 and concluded on February 7, incorporated several spiritual aspects into the program as well. Each day featured a concelebrated Mass with opportunities for evening prayer. In addition, bishops were given the chance to find community with daily cocktail receptions and dinners.
Featured speakers included Apostolic Nuncio to the US Cardinal Christophe Pierre, NCBC bioethicist Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, and NCBC President Joseph Meaney, PhD, KM, among other healthcare professionals and Catholic human rights organizations representatives.
The NCBC and Knights of Columbus have provided the workshop annually or biennially since 1980. Both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have supported the workshop. In both 1984 and 1991, Pope Benedict served as the keynote speaker, and wrote a letter addressed to the workshop leaders in 2013.
In 2005, the workshop focused on the moral legacy of Pope St. John Paull II in Catholic healthcare. The NCBC subsequently published proceedings from the workshop in a book called Live the Truth.
Two years later, the workshop “addressed the growing tension between cultural expectations for health care and the Catholic moral tradition,” which led to a book on the same subject in 2009.