Pope meets Luxembourg premier, raises concern over euthanasia bill
(dpa) - Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern over legislation to legalize euthanasia in the Grand Duchy during talks Friday with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.
The pontiff and Juncker in "cordial discussions" referred to the "good relations existing between the Catholic Church and the Grand Duchy," the Vatican said in a statement.
Specific mention was also made to the defence of human life and the current legislative process aimed at liberalizing euthanasia" in Luxembourg, the statement added.
Last month, Luxembourg lawmakers narrowly adopted a bill legalizing euthanasia, with most members of Juncker's Social Christian Party voting against.
If the bill were to be passed in a second reading - as required for it to become law - it will make Luxembourg, a majority Catholic nation, the third European Union member state to legalize euthanasia.
In 2002, the Netherlands became the first EU country to allow euthanasia or the so-called "mercy killing" of terminally ill patients. Belgium took a similar decision in 2003.
Juncker who currently leads the Eurogroup, which consists of the EU countries that have adopted the euro currency, also held talks in the Vatican with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See's foreign minister.