VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As Great Britain and Ireland debate right-to-life issues in current health care policies and legislation, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics there to uphold “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 forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect,” the pope said.
His encouragement came in a message made public in the run-up to the annual Day for Life, celebrated by the Catholic Church in England and Wales July 28. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales published the pope’s message July 16.
The message said the pope was praying “that the Day for Life will help ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due.”
He underlined that “the glory of God is seen in a living human being” and asked that all Catholics work “to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognize the inestimable value of all human life.”
This year’s Day for Life theme, “Care for Life: It’s Worth It,” is based on a homily then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio gave at a Mass in 2005 in honor of St. Raymond Nonnatus, patron saint of expectant mothers and midwives.
In his homily, the future pope said, “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth … to give life is to open the heart, and to care for life is to expend one’s self in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart 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 focus on the care and protection of the elderly, people who are suicidal and their families, and the unborn and their mothers.
One of the initiative’s “key aims is to build an environment of compassion and care that nurtures and sustains life, even in the most challenging of human events and personal circumstances,” the British bishops said in a press release July 16.
The pope’s message came as Irish lawmakers were considering new measures to allow abortions for women whose lives were somehow at risk either because of a medical condition or threats of suicide.
In Britain, Catholic physicians were leading an anti-euthanasia campaign to get government health care services to end a controversial end-of-life protocol, after evidence of abuse and suffering was discovered.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103