By John-Henry Westen

  MUNICH, February 12, 2007 ( – A Swiss Euthanasia group which runs a centre in Zurich which boasts of having killed – or as they put it, facilitated “assisted suicides” – of 700 people since 1998, has taken out a full-page ad in a German newspaper slamming Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.  The attack comes as no surprise to opponents of euthanasia who suggest that anti-Catholicism is rife within the ranks of euthanasia advocates.

  The ad by Dignitas appeared in the weekend edition of Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, accusing the Popes of responsibility for the deaths of millions of AIDS victims in Africa and Asia due to the Church’s “anti-condom policy”.

  The group expresses outrage that the Catholic Church in Italy denied a Catholic funeral to outspoken euthanasia activist Piergiorgio Welby who died last December.  Welby died after he requested that his breathing machine be turned off, an act which is not considered euthanasia.  Church authorities denied him a Catholic funeral since he was, until his death an unrepentant and very public advocate for euthanasia and assisted suicide.

  Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told that he was not surprised at all by the anti-Catholic ad.  “In September I attended the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference in Toronto,” said Schadenberg.  “One of the prevailing themes of the many speakers and world leaders at the Right to Die conference was their disdain for the Catholic Church and for people of faith.”

  Schadenberg said that at the conference he expected to meet people who were well-intentioned ideologues who shared a different world view.  “Many of the speakers and leaders fit that description,” said Schadenberg, “but many more shared a disdain for the Catholic Church and for people of faith.”

  He concluded, “My assessment is that the greatest unifying factor of the Right to Die movement is not their hope for death on demand, but rather their disdain for religion and the Catholic Church.”