Catholic bishops appeal to Government to give priority to prevention of suicide

Caring for the elderly is ‘a noble vocation’, they say

The Catholic bishops have expressed their “grave concern” at the increased incidence of suicide, especially among younger men.

In a statement in advance of the church’s Day for Life tomorrow, they appealed to “all those who may find themselves with suicidal thoughts to seek help and support . . . We appeal to you to choose life, not death.”

They ask people “not to be deceived by the lie that taking one’s own life, in any circumstances, is a helpful . . . solution to any problem.”

They also highlight that "often, when someone dies by suicide, the difficulties for those left behind are simply multiplied many times over." They also draw attention to "recent disturbing reports" of poor care for the elderly and the infirm. They say this has its roots in an attitude, which was described by Pope Francis as effectively saying, "this elderly man, this elderly woman, is useless; discard them, like we hang up the raincoat" in the summer.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times