Consuela Cordoba has endured being the victim of an acid attack, which has not only left her with physical disfiguration, but facing psychological pain and economic hardship. During a 2012 interview with NPR, when she was then 51, Cordoba admitted that she had thought of ending her life, but still tried to persist.
Such thoughts came back to haunt her when she was more recently diagnosed with a brain infection, and made plans to be euthanized on September 29, Live Action News reported. She was to have received a lethal injection from Dr. Gustavo Quinonez.
In addition to making plans for a gravesite, Cordoba also hoped to get the permission of Pope Francis, who went to her country of Colombia earlier this month. The Catholic Church takes a clear stance against euthanasia, and Pope Francis has remained steadfast on such teachings, calling euthanasia a “sin against God” and a part of the “throwaway culture.”
When Cordoba and Pope Francis met, however, the pope did not lecture her on doctrinal matters. He embraced her, and, as Cordoba describes it, he not only refused to bless the euthanasia, but offered her words of encouragement. “He said no, he was not going to do it. He told me that I was very brave and very pretty,” she recalled.
Cordoba says she will not go through with her plans to die on that date “because God is going to bring greatness in my life.” Part of that “greatness” will include the surgery Pope Francis has promised to help her with.
The kind of acid attack which Cordoba suffered in 2000, which is more commonly known for occurring in Asian countries such as India and Pakistan, has had alarming amount of occurrences, as NPR highlighted in their 2012 reporting.
In 2016, President Juan Manuel Santos signed a law enacting tougher punishments on those who commit such attacks. Cordoba’s ex-boyfriend served one month of jail time for disfiguring her.
While in Colombia, Pope Francis offered a message of hope and peace, and also urged forgiveness after years of conflict in the country. Even rebels asked him for forgiveness after having been engaged in guerilla warfare.
With Pope Francis offering such a message of hope, which has been consistent with his care for people, it is no wonder Cordoba declared “Now I want to live” after hearing such encouraging words offered.