FRONT ROYAL, VA — The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International (HLI), today lauded His Royal Highness Henri de Luxembourg for refusing to sign legislation legalizing euthanasia in Luxemburg. The Grand Duke said that for him this issue is a “question of conscience.” Euteneuer expressed his appreciation in a letter faxed on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The move represents considerable political risk for the Grand Duke, as Reuters reported December 4, “Luxembourg's parliament looks ready to strip the Grand Duke of his last lawmaking power as a controversy over euthanasia comes to a head. One of Europe's last royals with political sway may lose his formal veto by taking a stand against a law legalizing euthanasia.”
The stand is historical. Reuters reported, “His position tipped the tiny nation into the worst constitutional crisis in its history. The Luxembourg royal house has tried to block a decision by parliament only once before, when the Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide refused to sign an education bill in 1912.”
The sovereign dropped his traditional political neutrality by announcing he would refuse to sign a bill adopted by parliament to legalize euthanasia. Since then, Minister of State Jean-Claude Juncker announced that a Constitutional Amendment would be proposed, whereby the signature of the Monarch would no longer be needed for a law to take effect. This would remove one of the legislative roles of the Grand Duke, namely approving new legislation. The Grand Duke’s strong Catholic beliefs have been cited in his bold stand that bucks the pro-death trends of the European Union.
Euteneuer’s letter said, in part, “Please accept on behalf of all the associated member organizations of Human Life International in eighty countries our greatest admiration for your courage in refusing to sign the legislation legalizing euthanasia in Luxembourg.
“Your well-formed Catholic conscience is a precious gift that honors the Royal Family of Luxembourg, as one of the greatest responsibilities of the monarchy is the duty to resist demagoguery and all attacks on public morality.
“Human Life International, which has offices in eighty countries, exists to defend the right to life from the moment of conception to natural death as well as the sanctity of marriage. You have our deepest admiration and support in this battle to respect life. Thank you for the magnificent example that you have given to all the heads of state in this difficult period of history.”