The archbishop of Los Angeles spoke out against assisted suicide on April 2, the anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, noting that the Pontiff lived the end of his life with dignity and died "after much suffering."
A prominent sponsor of the assisted suicide bill is California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, a Democrat from Los Angeles.
"We should be troubled that Fabian Núñez -- who has worshipped here in this cathedral, [who] is a Catholic -- somehow has not understood and grasped the culture of life but has allowed himself to get swept into this other direction, the culture of death," Cardinal Mahony said.
This is the fourth attempt by state lawmakers to pass an assisted suicide bill.
This legislation, called the California Compassionate Choices Act, modeled after the 9-year-old law in neighboring Oregon. It would make California the second state to legalize assisted suicide.
Cardinal Mahony said, "If Pope John Paul II were standing here right now, he'd say, 'We must not go down that path.'"