For many reasons, California Governor Jerry Brown’s signing this week of his state’s bill permitting physician assisted suicide is distressing, in light of the great truths about the primacy of life and the family expressed by many presenters at the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Philadelphia.

On Tues. Sept. 22, Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles delivered the first keynote address of the WMOF. He spoke about Living As the Image of God: Created for Joy and Love.

Bishop Barron has done so much to teach and share the Church’s New Evangelization through traditional and new media. His television series, Catholicism, conveys the wonder and beauty of Catholic belief and God’s Image expressed in Christian art and architecture over the centuries. His Word on Fire website is a repository of commentary on issues facing the Church today.

Near the end of his keynote address in Philadelphia, Bishop Barron suggested that the Image of God is embodied in the everyday work of Catholic laity, as described and prophesied in Vatican II’s teachings about the laity in the modern world.

Today more than ever the work of Catholic healthcare professionals is essential to the care of families bearing the cross of severe illness or injury.

The growing acceptance of the “right” to die in the U.S is a matter for prayer and thoughtful action to inform public policy regarding end of life patient care and to inform public debates about freedoms granted to Americans in the U.S. Constitution.

Bishop Barron recently discussed human freedom and corresponding rights in his Word on Fire website. The article is available at http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/your-life-does-not-belong-to-you/4924/

The YouTube video of his talk at the World Meeting of Families, Living As the Image of God: Created for Joy and Love, is at http://www.wordonfire.org/resources/lecture/living-as-the-image-of-god-created-for-joy-and-love/4934/