The Catholic Bishop’s Conference has published a list of the themes chosen for the 2013 ‘Day for Life’, which will be held on next Sunday October 6th, and have published a pastoral message from which the following extracts have been taken.
The full text can be found on this link.
Day for Life is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. It is a day dedicated to celebrating the dignity of life from conception to natural death. This year’s Day for Life will be celebrated in Ireland on Sunday 6 October and will focus on the theme: Caring for Life.
This year’s message begins with the words of Pope Francis taken from a homily in 2005 on the Feast of the Patron Saint of expectant mothers and midwives, when His Holiness spoke simply and beautifully about what promoting a culture of life really means:
“Jesus teaches us to care for life because it is the image of God, who is absolute life. We cannot announce anything else but life, and from the beginning to the end. All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth……..to give life is to open (our) hearts for others…… Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing…. So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it!”
Day for Life 2013 will place particular focus on:
Care for unborn children and their mothers
Care for people who are elderly
Care for those who are suicidal and their families
Bishops invite the faithful to read the short pastoral message ‘Care for Life: It’s Worth It’ which is now available on www.catholicbishops.ie in the Irish, English and Polish languages.
Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013
Bishops discussed the sacredness of human life in the context of the enactment of the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act 2013. They expressed their deep gratitude to everyone who showed their concern in a respectful way when challenging the passage of this legislation. In particular bishops acknowledged those national public representatives who did so at great political risk to themselves. Bishops reiterated “to legislate for abortion does not make it morally acceptable, and the direct and intentional ending of the life of an unborn child, at any stage of pregnancy, is always gravely wrong.”
Bishops discussed the need to support women in crisis pregnancies and the vital roles that fathers have to be supportive particularly in such circumstances. Bishops encouraged expectant mothers and fathers facing a crisis and/or unplanned pregnancy to avail of the support offered by the Church’s crisis pregnancy agency Cura on 1850 622 626 and on www.cura.ie
Bishops welcomed the recent comments made by Pope Francis in his address to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Catholic gynaecologists on 20 September 2013, when he said “so often we find ourselves in situations where we see that what is valued the least is life. That is why concern for human life in its totality has become in recent years a real priority for the Church’s teaching.”
Pope Francis went on to express support for the work of the medical specialists reminding them that there is no human life more sacred than another. He said “the credibility of a healthcare system is not measured solely by efficiency, but above all by the attention and love given to the person, whose life is always sacred and inviolable.”