"Dying is the most important step a person takes, for it is a step towards the ultimate fulfilment of our innate spiritual nature, our capacity to know God, to know the fullness of the mystery of all things. We have been created with this capacity and our best guide for living is to do nothing to dent, pervert or deaden it. The poet Lucretius said that 'life is given to no one as freehold, we all hold it on leasehold'. Accepting that life is a gift is a good start. Sadly these centuries-old truths about the nature of humanity are no longer common currency. But we can surely all of us recognise, whether we approach our lives with or without a transcendental faith, the serious ethical and social dangers to which the doctrine of unfettered personal autonomy is leading us.
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols is Archbishop of Westminster"