scmo_banner_news.jpg


Friday 20 March 2008

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will   use his Easter Sunday Homily on 23 March 2008 to launch a
powerful attack on the Government's   "Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill"   currently  
going through Parliament.

In the homily, the Cardinal will describe the proposed legislation as "a
monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life" adding "In
some other European countries one could be jailed for doing what we intend
to make legal"

Cardinal O'Brien will also accuse Gordon Brown of denying Labour MP's "the
right to vote according to their conscience" and backing a law which will,
"add to the 2.2 million human embryos already destroyed or experimented
upon.... (allow) scientists to create babies whose sole purpose will be to
provide, without consent of anyone, parts of their organs or tissues......
sanction the raiding of dead peoples tissue to manufacture yet more embryos
for experimentation..... deny that a child has a biological father, (by)
allowing tampering with birth certificates, removing biological parents, and
inserting someone altogether different. And this Bill will indeed be used to
further extend the abortion laws."

The full text of the Cardinal's homily is shown below.

ENDS

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org


Notes to Editors:

1. The homily will be delivered during the 11.30am Easter Sunday (23 March) Mass at St.Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh

2. An MP3 audio clip of Cardinal O'Brien commenting on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is available for download at: http://scmo.org/categories/Pod-Cast/

3. For images of Cardinal O'Brien at St.Mary's Cathedral on Easter Sunday contact: Paul McSherry on 07770393960


SERMON FOR EASTER SUNDAY

ST MARY S CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH

CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN

SUNDAY 23RD MARCH 2008


INTRODUCTION:

Just one week ago I began our Palm Sunday liturgy with the following words:

For five weeks of Lent we have been preparing, by works of charity and self
sacrifice, for the celebration of Our Lord s Pascal Mystery .

Today Easter Day we celebrate the culmination of that Easter mystery “ that
culmination in which we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead.   Our celebrations continue during the fifty days of Easter time
leading to the great feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit on
the Apostles “ and this Easter time our fifty days includes all of the month
of April.  

At Easter and during these fifty days of Easter time we think with great joy
of that glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; and we remember
once more that during the first Easter time Christ clarified and confirmed
for his followers an essential aspect of their Christian vocation. They were
to be a missionary people: Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good
News to all creation!

DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST:

I think with you today first of all on the death and resurrection of Jesus
Christ himself.

A particular poignancy was brought to our commemorations this Easter in our
Cathedral. News was brought to us some two weeks before that Father David
the father figure of this Cathedral Parish had died suddenly and tragically
in Barcelona in Spain. It was on the weekend of Palm Sunday that his remains
were brought here to our Cathedral and remained until noon on the Monday of
Holy Week when our solemn liturgy for the dead was celebrated and followed
by his burial in the cemetery in Culross near Oakley in Fife.

Obviously there was much grieving here in our Cathedral Parish and indeed
throughout our diocese and all of Scotland as people remembered this gifted
young man who seemed to have the ability to relate in a very easy and
positive way with all with whom he came in contact.

However our liturgies of Holy Week reminded us of how natural everything had
been in David s life and death. Born as one of a large family with a devoted
mother and father he answered the call of God to the Priesthood and lived
out that call to the full until his death in Barcelona. The day following
his funeral, on the Tuesday of Holy Week, the priests of our Archdiocese
gathered to renew our own personal commitment to service “ all having in
mind, I am sure, that service rendered by Father David and our own ongoing
commitment to serve until the Lord calls us to himself.




One might say that when thinking of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
Christ we realise that is what our own Christianity is all about. Brought
into the world by the love of two devoted parents, raised to adulthood in
our own families, every action is indeed in someway or another a preparation
for our new life in Christ.

I think that the words used in many European countries to describe a death,
sum up very beautifully our basic Christian belief: He has gone to the home
of the Father!

CALL TO BE MISSIONARY:

At this time as well as thinking of the death and resurrection of Jesus
Christ we are asked to consider again what I have described as the
essential aspect of a Christian vocation “ namely to be a missionary
people .   I think that there is a greater need than ever before for each and
every Christian to be aware of that call at this present time.

So many people are worried about the future “ the possibility of banks
failing; the increased cost of living with regard to food, petrol and many
of those things which we find essential; our concerns about climate change
and global warming; our increasing worries about the dangers of nuclear
disaster.  

But I think that a fundamental concern of all of our people at this present
time and one which we ourselves as Christians must take very seriously is
that concerning the future of human life itself.

The beliefs which we have previously held, and the standards by which we
have lived throughout our lives and by which Christians have lived for the
past 2000 years are being challenged at this present time in ways in which
they have never been challenged before!

The norm has always been that children have been born as the result of the
love of man and woman in the unity of a marriage. That belief has of course
long been challenged. However I believe that a greater challenge than that
even faces us “ the possibility now facing our country is that animal “
human embryos be produced with the excuse that perhaps certain diseases
might find a cure from these resulting embryos.

What I am speaking of is the process whereby scientists create an embryo
containing a mixture of animal and human genetic material. If I were
preaching this homily in France, Germany, Italy, Canada or Australia I would
be commending the government for rightly banning such grotesque procedures.

However here in Great Britain I am forced to condemn our government for not
only permitting but encouraging such hideous practices.

Our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has given the Government s support to the
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. It is difficult to imagine a single
piece of legislation which, more comprehensively, attacks the sanctity and
dignity of human life than this particular Bill.

With full might of government endorsement, Gordon Brown is promoting a Bill
that will allow the creation of animal “ human hybrid embryos. He is
promoting a Bill which will add to the 2.2 million human embryos already
destroyed or experimented upon. He is promoting a Bill allowing scientists
to create babies whose sole purpose will be to provide, without consent of
anyone, parts of their organs or tissues. He is promoting a Bill which will
sanction the raiding of dead peoples tissue to manufacture yet more embryos
for experimentation. He is promoting a Bill which denies that a child has a
biological father, allows tampering with birth certificates, removing
biological parents, and inserting someone altogether different. And this
Bill will indeed be used to further extend the abortion laws.

Further it seems that Labour MPs are not to be allowed a free vote on this
Bill and consequently are denied the right to vote according to their
conscience “ a right which all other political parties have allowed.

This Bill represents a monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and
human life. In some other European countries one could be jailed for doing
what we intend to make legal. I can say that the government has no mandate
for these changes:   they were not in any election manifesto, nor do they
enjoy widespread public support. The opposite has indeed taken place “ the
time allowed for debate in Parliament and indeed in the country at large has
been shockingly short. One might say that in our country we are about to
have a public government endorsement of experiments of Frankenstein
proportion “ without many people really being aware of what is going on.

Many excuses are being made for this present legislation, particularly that
cures will soon be found for various diseases which afflict mankind through
this legislation. Rather the opposite seems to be the case when cells
required for ongoing investigation into cures through medical science can
take place through cells obtained in other ways from human bodies and
certainly not through the creation of animal “ human embryos.

I contend that matters of such concern to the peoples of our countries
should not be left quite simply to a vote by members of Parliament. Along
with my colleagues in England and Wales and my brother Bishops here in
Scotland I would maintain that the establishment of a single permanent
statutory national bioethics commission is something which would indeed
bring considerable benefits. As I indicated recently in a letter to the
Prime Minister: This would appear to be the only way that the issues raised
by the swiftly developing biotechnology industry can be adequately discussed
and weighed up in a body which engages with public concerns and informs the
government and parliament on matters which will continue to raise such
unimagined and complex ethical questions .

Our voice must be heard and that voice must be listened to especially by the
members of Parliament who will soon vote on this issue in the House of
Commons. Sadly many members of Parliament do not seem concerned “ or rather
are in a certain ignorance of what is going to happen. In January of this
year our Catholic Parliamentary Office wrote to all of Scotland s 59 members
of Parliament asking them how they intended to vote. As of today only 9 have
bothered to reply. Over three weeks ago Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley
wrote to Gordon Brown urging him to allow all his MPs a free vote “ as of
today he has not even had an acknowledgement!



Our Church, and I personally, have, I think, done all the ˜right things .
We have responded to the consultation document; we have sent letters to all
of Scotland s Members of Parliament; we have written to the Prime Minister;
we are speaking publicly about what is going on in our name and in our
country.   Further, I recently signed a letter with other Church Leaders
which concluded:   This Bill goes against what most people, Christian or
not, reckon is common sense.   The idea of mixing human and animal genes is
not just evil.   It s crazy! .


CONCLUSION:

Today as we celebrate in the resurrection the triumph of life over death I
urge you to ensure that life continues to triumph over these deathly
proposals. I know that many of you have already made your views known to
your members of Parliament. I ask you to continue to do that.

Being a Christian and acting as a Christian must be one and the same thing.
Gathered here on this Easter Day we realise that we are indeed followers of
Jesus Christ and with that comes responsibilities. One of those
responsibilities is as I have indicated to be missionary . May God indeed
help us all to be missionary at this present time and to hand on the saving
message of Jesus Christ in a world which does not seem prepared to receive
it.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 110 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

‹ 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

New Scalan altar honours persecuted Scots

| 6 days ago | Blogging

13 August 2019   A new altar has been installed at Carfin Grotto in Motherwell to honour the Scots forced to practise their Catholic faith clandestinely through two and a half centuries of persecution, from 1560 onwards.   The altar is named after the secret seminary in the Braes of Glenlivet which operated from 1716 to 1799 in contravention of the Penal Laws against Catholicism. The laws forbade the celebration of Mass in Scotland; priests were prohibited from being in Scotland at all.   Fr Michael Briody, President of the Scalan Association said:   “There are several shrines at Carfin Grotto honouring the Irish, Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian immigrants who brought their own contribution and strength to the Catholic Community in Scotland. The Scalan altar pays tribute to those native-born Scots who kept the Faith through centuries of persecution, especially in The Enzie of Banffshire, Lochaber, Strathglass, “Blessed Morar”, the Southern Hebrides and Galloway. The Scalan altar is a worthy representative of them all.”   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:   “The new Scalan altar recognises the courage of the men and women who gave witness to their Faith in the darkest and most testing of times. It reminds us that we must never take for granted the freedom we have to practise our faith in public and in private, and our responsibility to stand up for our fellow Christians around the world who face severe hardship, discrimination and persecution for professing belief in one God and his holy religion.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to editors: Images of the new Scalan altar at Carfin are available at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmG5WAFt For more information about the Scalan Association visit: https://www.scalan.net...

Mercy Bus Takes To The Road Again

| 26th July 2019 | Blogging

Friday 26 July 2019 - Call Notice   The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS) are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road for the third year this summer thanks to an overwhelming response in the past two years.   To date they have touched over 2,000 people on the streets of Scotland, over 400 people have boarded the Mercy Bus and over 2,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets and many rosaries were given to the people the team met on the streets of Scotland.   This year, the bus will visit Johnstone, Coatbridge, Greenock, Cumbernauld, Glasgow and Paisley. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John Keenan, of Paisley on board the bus at on Saturday 3 August 2018 at 2 p.m. in Paisley town centre.   Organiser Helen Border said:   “Pope Francis has urged the church to ‘leave her four walls behind and to go out in search of those who are distant, those essentially on the outskirts of life.’ We are taking up Pope Francis’s invitation in taking the Church to the people. Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘Church on wheels!”    “Taking the church to the people shows them that the Lord loves, cares and wants them to return to him. People think that they cannot be forgiven for what they have done. No sin is too great for the Lord to forgive as long as there is repentance from the sinner. Stepping on board the bus could be the first step in changing their lives for the better and leaving the guilt on the bus. There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and the FODMS team will be welcoming visitors with tea, coffee and home baking.”   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan said:    “Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand, so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.    Bishop Keenan added;   “The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  So, the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors:   - For further information please contact Helen Border on 07786097147   - You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to Houston Square, Johnstone at 11.a.m. on Monday 29 July 2019 when the bus will be blessed by Fr Joe Burke and begin its journey.   - The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18334, of Kilmarnock depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it for a week’s use with a driver. It’s been branded with the Mercy logo.   - Image of the bus can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFttpro   DATES, TIMES AND VENUES   - Monday 29 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Houston Square, Johnstone, Renfrewshire - Tuesday 30 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Quadrant Shopping Centre, 126 Main Street, Coatbridge - Wednesday 31 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cathcart Square, Greenock town centre, Greenock - Thursday 01 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Antonine Centre, Tryst Road, Cumbernauld - Friday 02 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Argyle Street, Glasgow - Saturday 03 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Paisley High Street, Paisley where Fr Joe Burke will be celebrating Holy Mass at 2 p.m.    ...

President of Scotland’s Catholic Bishops asks First Minister to protect freedom of conscience

| 18th July 2019 | Blogging

18 July 2019     The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to express his concerns at the attacks launched against the SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron, following her vote against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland.     In his letter on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Bishop Gilbert calls on the SNP leader, on behalf of all those “who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square” to provide an urgent reassurance that freedom of conscience will be protected within the SNP and valued in Scottish public life, at every level.     The full text of the letter is shown below.     ENDS     Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Letter to the First Minister     Dear First Minister,     I write following recent public comments made by Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.     On Tuesday 9 July, Dr Cameron voted against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland. It is a long-standing parliamentary convention that votes on such ethical issues are considered matters of conscience and, thus, are not subject to the party whip. Indeed, this was confirmed in writing to Dr Cameron prior to the 9 July vote by the SNP Chief Whip, Patrick Grady MP.     In the days following the vote, however, Dr Cameron has been subject to a significant degree of hostility from many quarters, including ordinary members and officer bearers of the Scottish National Party, some of which she describes as being “nothing less than vitriolic” in nature.  She adds that according to local officials it may “now be incompatible to hold pro-life views and be a SNP MP, candidate, to pass vetting or be elected in any capacity”. She further notes that, despite prompting, she has presently received no public re-assurance from the leadership of the SNP that this is not, in fact, the case. I therefore am writing to you as Leader of the Scottish National Party to seek such a public re-assurance.     I believe I write on behalf of all who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square and hold in high regard those in public life who remain true to their conscience, even at the expense of personal popularity or political advantage.      “Moral courage is readiness to expose oneself to suffering or inconvenience which does not affect the body,” wrote the co-founder of the Scottish National Party, Sir Compton Mackenzie, in 1962, “It arises from firmness of moral principle and is independent of the physical constitution.”     Thank you for taking the time to read this letter First Minister.     I await your reply with anticipation. In the meantime, please be assured of my continued prayers and good wishes.     I am, Yours Sincerely,     Bishop Hugh Gilbert     President Bishops’ Conference of Scotland              ...

Catholic Church in Scotland welcomes five ordinations to the priesthood in July

| 02nd July 2019 | Blogging

Tuesday 2 July 2019   The Catholic Church in Scotland will welcome five more candidates into the priesthood in July.   Deacons Mark O’Donnell, Kevin Lawrie and Kieran Hamilton will be ordained for the Diocese of Motherwell; Deacon William McQuillan will be ordained for the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh; and Deacon Ronald Campbell will be ordained for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.   Six of Scotland’s eight dioceses will receive men into the priesthood in 2019, bringing the total number of ordinations this year to ten.   Commenting on the news, Bishop John Keenan, President of Priests for Scotland said:   “I am delighted that the Catholic Church in Scotland is welcoming five men into the priesthood in July.”   “In recent years, there has been a steady and sustained interest from men of various ages and backgrounds, who have answered God’s call and approached our vocations directors to apply for seminary.”   “I am particularly grateful to the lay faithful for their prayers and support in encouraging our young men and women to enter religious life. We hope that the joy of several ordinations throughout 2019 will bring our people closer to the Church, to Christ and the teachings of the Faith.”   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:   “It is a great blessing for the Diocese of Motherwell to have 5 men being ordained priests this summer. We thank God for the gift of their Vocations and look forward to their ministry among us. We are grateful also to all who accompanied them on their journey to priestly ordination - in their families, parishes and seminaries.”   Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles said:   “I am very much looking forward to ordaining Deacon Ronald Campbell to the priesthood in his home parish of St Mary’s, Benbecula this July. It will be a great occasion for Ronald, his family, his island and all the diocese.”   Other dioceses to receive men into the priesthood this year include the Archdiocese of Glasgow – Br Antony Connelly; the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh – Patrick Harrigan; the Diocese of Dunkeld - Jude Mukoro; the Diocese of Motherwell - Charles Coyle; and the Diocese of Aberdeen - Dominic Nwaigwe.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Note to editors:   Images will be available from SCMO at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmEFdU8c  ...