Pope Francis has sent a message of support for human life to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales ahead of the annual Day for Life in England and Wales which is to be celebrated on 28 July. Scotland has already celebrated its Day for life on 28 May and Ireland will celebrate it on October 6 but the Pope includes these countries in his message.
In his message the Pope emphasised the need to care for life from conception to natural end and says that all life has inestimable value, including the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor. The Pope, who promised his prayers for the celebration, said that people ‘are all masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving the utmost reverence and respect.’
The full message from Pope Francis to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales is as follows:
“Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that “everything that breathes may praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).”
The proceeds of the Day for Life collection to be held in parishes in England and Wales assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life related activities supported by the Church.
As the Pope said in 2005 (when known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio): “Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you. No child should be deprived of the right to be born, the right to be fed, the right to go to school.”