From the Vatican news site:
Pope Francis sends message of support for human life to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. Below is a communique from the Bishops ‘Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) attached with the Pope’s message signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
In a special message to Catholics across Britain and Ireland, ahead of the annual Day for Life, Pope Francis has emphasised the need to care for life from conception to natural end. In his message, he says that all life has inestimable value ‘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’.
He has promised his prayers that ‘Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that it is due.‘
Over half-a-million leaflets have been sent to parishes in England and Wales in readiness for Day for Life Sunday (28 July). The theme of the Day is ‘Care for Life – It’s Worth It’ taken from a homily preached by Cardinal Bergoglio in 2005 during a Mass in honour of the protector of Pregnant Women, Saint Raymond Nonnatus.Within this homily, the now Pope Francis said: “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) 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.”This year’s Day for Life focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers; care for people who are elderly and care for those who are suicidal and their families. One of its 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.
Day for Life is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. 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.
Text of the Message from Pope Francis to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales
“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 day for life in Scotland England and Wales is marked on Sunday 28th July, while is Ireland it is celebrated on Sunday October 6th.