Cardinal O'Brien's Easter Message

Cardinal O'Brien's Easter Message.  

In his Easter Sunday Homily to be delivered in St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday 27 March, Cardinal Keith O'Brien claims society has lost sight of the sacred nature of human life.  

He draws attention to threats to life, spanning; life unborn, life unfulfilled and life usurped. He describes this week's Parliamentary report on embryo research as a "development which would lead to even more destruction of human life" but points out that the MP's who prepared it will shortly face the electorate and should, like all candidates, be quizzed on life issues.  

Cardinal O'Brien concludes with a call for the promotion of the life issues he describes, saying;  
"May we all continue to preach that Gospel of life by our words and by our actions “ as we value more and more life unborn, life unfulfilled, and life usurped in our own journeys towards life unending in the company of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ."  

ENDS  

Note: The full text of the homily is shown below.  


Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  




EASTER MESSAGE OF CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN  

PREACHED IN ST MARY S CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH  

EASTER SUNDAY : SUNDAY 27 MARCH 2005  

After our Holy Week commemoration of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, today we celebrate the glory of his Resurrection from the dead. Those who listened to the teaching of Jesus Christ while he was on earth were able to say: He said while he was still alive “ after three days I shall rise again . And those followers of his who saw the empty tomb said to one another: He has risen as he said .  

The Resurrection of Christ is fundamental to our Christian belief. In believing that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we also believe that we are called to a new life and called to ensure that others have the opportunity of a ˜new life also.  

In his ENCYCLICAL LETTER EVANGELIUM VITAE, Pope John Paul II describes life as; a sacred reality entrusted to us, to be preserved with a sense of responsibility and brought to perfection in love and in the gift of ourselves to God and to our brothers and sisters.  

Sadly, too many of our fellow human beings fail to recognize that sacred reality and so we live today in societies where what the Pope has described as a culture of death flourishes and grows.  

As long ago as 1965, the year in which I was ordained a priest for this Archdiocese, the Bishops at the Second Vatican Council in their PASTORAL CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD, GAUDIUM ET SPES addressed the many threats to life that existed then, when they said:  

Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society ¦. they are (a) supreme dishonour to the Creator.  



These prophetic words remind us of the many threats to life we face today, to:  

LIFE UNBORN, LIFE UNFULFILLED AND LIFE USURPED  

LIFE UNBORN  

We think at this time of life at its most fragile “ within the womb.  

At this present time there is a growing debate in our country “ not about the teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to ending abortion completely, but rather as to whether or not there should be a reduction in the time limit for abortions from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It is apparent that the moral values of our entire society are called into question by the practice of abortion “ because it is permitted, our laws and medical practice conspire to debase the value of human life and contrary to all logic to allow life at its most defenceless to be attacked and destroyed.  

While I appeal for the ending of all abortion, I acknowledge with Pope John Paul II that it is indeed legitimate to make an imperfect choice where the object of that choice is the preservation of the lives of unborn aged between 20 and 24 weeks and so I endorse moves to bring about such reductions.  

Unborn life has only this week been subject to further threats with the publication of a controversial House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report. MP s said that gender selection and embryo experiments should be permitted “ developments which would lead to even more destruction of human life. Interestingly, five MPs did not attend the meeting where the report was passed, and have called the final report "unbalanced". I welcome their dissent and remind all that not just these five MP s, but every Member of Parliament will shortly face the electorate. The forthcoming election provides an important opportunity for all Catholics to play a part in shaping the values which will direct our political activity. I urge you all to question your prospective candidates on these issues and demand that the defence of life is placed at the top of the political agenda.  

LIFE UNFULFILLED  

When thinking of that ˜call to new life , one cannot ever forget those who are living in conditions of severe poverty here in our own country and in many other countries of the world, especially in Africa.  


We are repeatedly told that: We can make a difference . I am sure that those who support the ˜Make Poverty History Campaign in Edinburgh on 2 July 2005, will be only too ready to convince the G8 Leaders, meeting in Gleneagles in the days following, that the world s richest nations can indeed make a considerable difference to the poverty which is an indictment on our society. At a recent meeting concerning ˜poverty in our Cathedral, one of the speakers quite simply said: It s just not fair! And no one of us can say that it is fair that in the midst of our plenty, there are those who are suffering severe want and those who indeed live on the very margins of society. Our voices raised in protest will indeed show that we do indeed care, that we can indeed do something about it, and that we ask our Governments to act in our name, remembering previously made commitments to help the poorest nations of the world. Too many of our brothers and sisters in other countries HAVE life, but are unable to LIVE IT to the full. They endure the subhuman living conditions Pope Paul VI and the Bishops of that time so eloquently condemned.  

A further vital concern to us here at home is that our young people make the most of their lives, that they live their lives to the full. They must not damage and demean themselves through the misuse of drugs, alcohol or the gift of human sexuality. Rather, they must grasp the chances and advantages they have and consider how they in their health and strength can mobilise to defend the cause of life for themselves and for others. We acknowledge with shame statistics regarding abortions and sexually transmitted diseases in Scotland and would hope to give a lead as a Church to those people of goodwill who are as concerned as ourselves at the present waste of young lives. In our contacts with all those involved in health policy especially sexual health policies at local and national level, it is imperative that we support strategies that are right and correct those we believe to be wrong.  

LIFE USURPED  

Life is, of course, equally vulnerable as one approaches death. Again in recent days we have seen the case of the brain-damaged American woman Terri Schiavo whose parents have filed an emergency appeal to the US Supreme Court, as they fight to keep their daughter alive. Mrs Schiavo, had her feeding tube removed last week, and is currently dehydrating and starving to death as legal battles rage around her.  

Earlier this week, Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said this action, was an illicit and grave act not only on the fact that food has been taken away from her, but also on the decision that tries to legitimise such a thing."  

Bishop Sgreccia added that the decision "is not euthanasia in the literal sense of the term; it is not a 'good death,' it is a death that is induced in a cruel way. It is not a medical act. It is about taking water and food away to cause death."  

Again we are witnessing exactly that Culture of Death of which Pope John Paul II warned us. While the Pope himself bears daily testament to the gift of life, he provides inspiration and provokes increasing admiration in millions of people around the world as he continues to preach by his example what he has consistently taught throughout his active life “ the value of human life from its first beginnings until its natural end. He is reported as saying: Jesus did not come down from the cross . The Pope, as is seen from his previous writings, sees value in suffering “ not just suffering for its own sake, but suffering for the sake of others in the world “ prior to the glory of the Resurrection.  


LIFE UNENDING  

And it is truly in that glorious Resurrection that we will have the most precious gift of all, life unending. As Jesus said "Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die" (Jn 11:26). Christ came that we should have life and have it in abundance. May that new life of Christ be with us now and into the future.  

May we all continue to preach that Gospel of life by our words and by our actions “ as we value more and more life unborn, life unfulfilled, and life usurped in our own journeys towards life unending in the company of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 152 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Vincent Logan

| 55 minutes ago | Blogging

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Vincent Logan   The Reception of Bishop Vincent Logan’s Remains, his Requiem Mass and Burial at Balgay Cemetery will be recorded and available to be viewed on the Diocese of Dunkeld website www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk  later the same day as the event. The funeral will also be available as a livestream here: https://www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk/livestream-mass/   RECEPTION OF BISHOP VINCENT’S REMAINS WITH VESPERS fromSt Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee at 5 p.m. on Monday 25th January, 2021.   SOLEMN REQUIEM MASS for the Repose of Bishop Vincent’s soul on Tuesday, 26th January 2021, at 12 noon.   BURIAL OF BISHOP VINCENT’S REMAINS at Balgay Cemetery, Dundee, on Tuesday, 26th January 2021 from 1.30 p.m.   Due to COVID-19 restrictions, with reduced numbers, precedence has been given to Bishop Vincent’s relatives and closest friends. A small number of diocesan clergy, have been invited to concelebrate the Funeral Mass.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org                    Note to Editors: An image of Bishop Logan is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/50833807603/in/album-72157717885467253/    ...

Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 21 January 2021         In his homily at the funeral of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, describes the late Archbishop as “a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night” a loss that “has changed the landscapes of so many lives.”   The full text of the homily is shown below:   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia St Andrew’s Cathedral, 21 January 2021   “Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.” There are so many settings in which to have known Archbishop Philip: as a member of his family, or in his school and student days, in Rome, in the seminaries and parishes he served, as Bishop of Paisley and Archbishop of Glasgow. There were the many circles he moved in: of ecumenical dialogue, Catholic education about which he was so engaged and realistic, the civic life of Glasgow, not forgetting its sport. So many people touched by him, so many aspects to a life, so many perspectives to view it from. Three score years and ten. Our memories are fragments of a greater whole, and that whole – the mystery of a person - is in the mind and hands of God. “On the earth the broken arcs, in the heaven a perfect round.” Today, in Christ, we remember Philip’s life, we give thanks for it and we pray for its completion and the comfort of the bereaved. We bring him and ourselves before God in a literal and metaphorical great Eucharistic prayer of hope and affection. The image that comes to me is of a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night – Storm Covid. And only when we woke up the day following did we begin to divine what had happened, did we begin to grasp the depths of its roots, to see the space this tree occupied, the shelter it gave, and what we’ve personally and collectively lost. This uprooting has changed the landscapes of so many lives. “Tree” seems right. The timber of this man was sound. It was sound all through. At a time when hollowness or rottenness seem to surface with disheartening regularity, this was a comfort. I think we felt this soundness and relied on it more than we knew. Eulogy is no part of a liturgy. It’s the last thing Philip would have wanted; he was not a self-advertising man. It’s not what we want; we are probably still too numb. But the prohibition of eulogy doesn’t mean we have to talk abstractions. Surely we can acclaim the providence of God, the presence of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit within him, from his birth seventy years ago to his committal today, from his baptism to this Eucharist, from the pouring of that first water to the final sprinkling of his remains. There seems a rare wholeness here. Surely we can acknowledge how the grace of his baptism and of his ordination grew and flowered in him, how the Lord was indeed his shepherd and through him shepherded others, how his priesthood became a true spiritual fatherhood which has left its trace on all of us. Looking at it from our side, we are commending to God today someone who wasn’t small in any sense, someone of gravitas, and someone in whom head and heart came together, possessed of intellectual force and clarity and at the same time of great human warmth. There have been so many testimonies to this (and my thanks to all who have sent condolences). He might have passed his life in the green pastures of dogmatic theology, by the restful waters of seminary teaching (if they exist) or of promising ecumenical dialogue, but he accepted pastoral assignments and he cherished them. He had a gift for friendship and insight into people. During our Ad Limina visit with the Pope in 2018 he said to the Holy Father, “I miss the parish”, and got a delighted papal thumbs-up. As a pastor, esp...

Catholic bishops urge governments to renew search for Middle East peace

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 21 January 2021   Following a series of online meetings with Christians in Gaza, the Palestinian territories and Israel, the Catholic bishops who are members of the Holy Land Coordination group have urged “Israeli and Palestinian leaderships (to) recommit to direct negotiations.” The fifteen bishops from eleven countries also urged “our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims”   The full text of their statement is shown below:   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Holy Land Coordination 2021 Final Communiqué This is the first time we have been prevented from meeting physically in the Holy Land. Yet we remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers in the homeland of Christ. Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances. Through our dialogue, it has become painfully clear that there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history. The health challenges of Covid-19, felt by the entire world, are compounded by conflict, occupation and blockade. The absence of international pilgrims has exacerbated widespread economic hardship, increased levels of unemployment and pushed many more families into poverty. The lack of political progress, along with relentless expansion of illegal settlements and the impact of Israel’s Nation-State law, continues to erode any prospect of a peaceful two-state solution. Now is a critical moment for us all to strengthen our expression of solidarity with the people of the Holy Land “not as a vague sentiment but as a ‘firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good’”.1 We stress the importance of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships recommitting to direct negotiations. We call upon our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Furthermore, the international community must hold Israel accountable for its moral, legal and humanitarian responsibility to make Covid-19 vaccines accessible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and encourage cooperation by the Palestinian Authority, heeding Pope Francis’ message that “in the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls.”2 While many of our own countries continue to face severe hardship amid the pandemic, we have a profound responsibility to support our fellow Christians in the Holy Land. Church schools, clinics, hospitals and other social projects including the work of Caritas, while under severe pressure, are models of charity, justice, and peace. These Christian institutions are vital in bringing together people from many different backgrounds to serve the common good of all. 1 Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2021 2 Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi 2020   The Christian community, though small, is an important guarantor of social cohesion and a bearer of hope for a better future. We eagerly await a time when Christians from across the world can once again make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to witness and support this first- hand. Until that point, we encourage our communities to provide any assistance that may be possible and hold all the region’s peoples in our prayers. Bishop Declan Lang England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination) Bishop Udo Bentz Germany Archbishop Stephen Bris...

Media Arrangements for Archbishop Tartaglia's Funeral

| 5 days ago | Blogging

Media Arrangements for Archbishop Tartaglia's Funeral   The Archbishop’s Funeral Rites will be celebrated in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, subject to the restrictions that are in place. Under current regulations only 20 of the Archbishop’s closest family and friends will attend and no media presence in the Cathedral will be possible.  However media outlets are free to make use of the following arrangements:   Vigil ceremony and Reception of Remains of Archbishop Tartaglia on Wednesday 20th January at 6.30 pm accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/idlkb2sNUcc     The Archbishop's Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday 21st January at 12 noon, and will be accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/tS6rtYC0DhMS   Still photos of the ceremonies will be available shortly after each liturgy at the following address and can be freely downloaded and used by the media. https://www.flickr.com/photos/archdioceseofglasgow/  The main celebrant of the Requiem Mass for Archbishop Tartaglia will be Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. His sermon will be made available to the media and can be used after 12 noon on Thursday January 21.   Please note that external photography is not an option as the Cathedral ceremonies will be held behind closed doors. The coffin of the Archbishop will not be carried from the Cathedral as it will be buried in the Cathedral Crypt immediately after the Requiem Mass.   ENDS   For further information, contact   Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications RCAG - 07735 224789   ...