A time to live and a time to die

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The study emphasizes the necessity to improve the accompanying social, medical and caring conditions for a worthy life and dying. These include the extension and development of hospices and the advancement of palliative care in theory and practice.

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At the 3. Assembly of the churches participating in the Leuenberg Agreement (18.-24. 3.1987 in Strasbourg) an ecclesiological subject was put on the agenda of the doctrinal conversations: The "distinguishing marks of the church as a community called and sent forth by Jesus Christ - the contribution of the churches of the Reformation to the ecumenical dialogue on church unity".

The Assembly recommended the following aspects and foci for the project:

  • "No merely historical elaboration, but one determined by current problems (the ethical-missionary challenge for Christians, contextuality, the growing minorisation on the one hand and the tradition of the Volkskirche on the other - cf. the Tampere Theses of the Copenhagen regional group: 'Church Ministry Today', thesis 6, and 'Ecumenical Openness', part I, findings of the Berlin group, Drübeck 1986)
  • the relationship between the ministry (priesthood) of all believers and the ordained ministry
  • the unity within the congregations and among the churches, and the diversity of gifts within the congregations and the churches
  • the Church as an institution guided by the Holy Spirit
  • the Church as sacrament and as the 'greatest sinner' (Martin Luther)
    (compatibility of the Roman Catholic concept of the Church and the conception of Reformation theology)

the relationship of the Christian community to the Jewish people within the framework of Reformation ecclesiology and from the perspective of our identity as a church."

Furthermore it ought to be examined how far the topic 'Holy Scripture and Tradition' (for instance as a reflection of fundamental theology) can be linked to these ecclesiological questions" (Konkordie und Ökumene. Die Leuenberger Kirchengemeinschaft in der gegenwärtigen ökumenischen Situation. Texte der Konferenz von Straßburg, ed. André Birmelé, Frankfurt/Main 1988, 149f.).

Additional information

Weight174 g
Language / Sprache

English, Deutsch, Français

Edition

1st, 2011

Publishing House

Community of Protestant Churches in Europe CPCE

“A time to live and a time to die“ is the title of an aid to orientation on medically assisted death and aid to suicide. The study is the fruit of an intensive process of consultation between 105 CPCE churches in 30 countries on the basis of a text by the CPCE special group on ethics. With the document presented in summer 2011 the protestant churches in Europe contribute their position to the discussions about a worthy approach to the end of life.

The 104 page brochure discusses fundamental questions of dying in the social, clinical and juridical context. It asks from theological and ethical perspective: What is human life? Where does our moral responsibility lie? How sensitive are we to the wishes of the patient? Here the aid to orientation takes up such central questions of medical ethics as the termination of life-extending measures, palliative care, assisted dying and suicide assistance.

The study emphasizes the necessity to improve the accompanying social, medical and caring conditions for a worthy life and dying. These include the extension and development of hospices and the advancement of palliative care in theory and practice.