news-2


EMBARGO 7.30PM FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2008

Cardinal O'Brien calls for "Faith and Science" forum on Embryology Bill

Speaking at a Public Meeting in Kirkaldy this evening (28 March) on the ˜Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill , Cardinal Keith O'Brien will call for greater communication between faith leaders and scientists. He will say; "I see the way ahead through bringing together the Churches and peoples of all faiths, along with scientists who are involved at this present time". The Cardinal will add;

" have been approached by MPs and asked by others in the media to consider meeting with leading scientists who are currently involved in this area. I would be only too happy to agree to such a meeting and I am sure other Church representatives and leaders of other faiths would also agree.......In agreeing to such a meeting my only condition would be that the scientists were also willing to accept instruction from our Churches and peoples of faith on basic morality, on what human life really is, on the purpose of our life on earth"


Cardinal O'Brien will also use the opportunity of the meeting to restate his strong opposition to the Bill. The Cardinal's full text 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




PUBLIC MEETING AT ST BRYCE KIRK, KIRKCALDY

ADDRESS BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN

FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2008  


Introduction:

Since my Easter Sunday sermon, less than a week ago, a great number of concerns have been raised about many aspects of the ˜Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill “ apart from the content of the Bill, these also concern freedom of conscience.

I have been asked why I raised the matter at this time “ on Easter Sunday morning in my Cathedral. My reply would be the same as to why I raised the issue of abortion at the end of May last year when we were commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act. Then, as now, I am simply trying to draw attention to changes in legislation which will greatly affect the society in which we live.

At Easter we commemorate the new life brought by Jesus Christ; now I am considering, along with yourselves, just what sort of new life we will be celebrating in our own country in a few years time.

I have two main concerns “ one concerning the liberty of conscience allowed by the Labour Party to Labour MPs who do not agree with the content of this Bill; the other concerning the Bill itself.

Freedom of Conscience:

My remarks have focussed the attention of many on whether or not Labour Members of Parliament should be given a free vote with regard to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Many agree with me in that a free vote should be granted “ particularly as free votes have been granted on causes much less important, such as fox hunting and the docking of dogs tails! Consequently, when this Bill is considered, I would certainly maintain that Members of Parliament of whatever Party should be allowed to vote according to their conscience.

I would ask: when is a ˜free vote not a ˜free vote !

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on three key issues “ the mixing of human and animal cells in research embryos, the use of IVF to create children who may be able to donate tissue or cells to cure a sick sibling, and the removal of the need to consider a child s need for a father when a woman applies for IVF. However, Gordon Brown stressed that he would be voting in favour of all of the controversial element of the Bill and said that he expected his Party to endorse its broad themes, while adding: I fully respect the views of those who have specific religious objections . I would hope that the conscience of any Members of Parliament will not be dictated by their political party or leader “ but will indeed really be a vote in conscience. If enough voices are raised against the Bill at the first stage, free votes may be extended to further stages.

2.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill:

This Bill is concerned with, human life in its earliest incarnation, but make no mistake, it is human! Crucially, it is not ˜potential human life but ˜human life with potential .

We are told that the use of stem cells taken from human embryos ˜might , ˜could or ˜may lead to treatments for many diseases “ but these claims have been made now for over a decade without any substance. We continue to be told that experimenting on embryos will lead us to cures and treatments, particularly with diseases such as Alzheimer s, Parkinson s and motor neuron disease.  

Yet, as the years have gone by, not one single treatment or therapy has emerged. In the meantime, research using adult stem cells has led to over 70 different therapies and treatments, without destroying a single embryo. The creation of animal-human hybrid embryos is described as just a few little experiments to help the seriously ill and after all these embryos will be destroyed after 14 days.

However, I see this Bill as quite simply the thin edge of the wedge and ask Where will we go to next? . I have mentioned the passing of the Abortion Act some 40 years ago in 1967. At that time I don t think anyone would have dreamt the statistics concerning abortion would be as they are now, when we have literally abortion on demand and pregnant teenagers are almost encouraged to have abortions. I myself have been accused of frightening people with statistics regarding the number of abortions. However, there is one vitally important statistic which we must have in mind concerning abortions at this time and it is quite simply to ask: How many abortions have been refused over the past 40 years? . We are so often told how many healthy babies in the womb have been killed, denied life! How many girls and young women, along with their husbands (or nowadays ˜partners ) are told: Please keep your unborn babies, give them life, with the help of the many agencies ready to help them . In other words how SAFE are the SAFEGAURDS we were promised then? And how likely is it that they would be any better today?

Is there a way ahead?:  

I would ask both those who support me and those who criticise if there is any way ahead at this present time. I am aware of a great fear from many people who have spoken to me or written to me. The question being asked is quite simply: What will our brave new world do next? .

If animal-embryos are allowed to be kept for 14 days “ why not 14 weeks or 28 weeks? Instead of destroying such embryos, why not implant them to see just what will happen? What happened after the death of Dolly the sheep “ apart from the fact that its remains are now stuffed and in the National Museum of Scotland? What can we say of the company which created Dolly the sheep and then went bankrupt without producing any useable treatments? What other companies are financially involved in this so-called research at the present time? What can we say of those who indicate that human beings are only animals after all “ and we can do what we like with them?


3.

I see the way ahead through bringing together the Churches and peoples of all faiths, along with scientists who are involved at this present time with the potential production of these human-animal hybrid embryos or who wish to consider such production themselves.

I have been approached by MPs and asked by others in the media to consider meeting with leading scientists who are currently involved in this area.

I would be only too happy to agree to such a meeting and I am sure other Church representatives and leaders of other faiths would also agree. No doubt, it is well known that at the last two General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland the Assembly voted against experimentation on human embryos. Members of other faiths are also strong in their defence of human life in its earliest stages. A joint statement, signed by the members of the Islamic Medical Association, Muslim Doctors Association, Islamic Medical Ethics Forum and Union of Muslim Organisations said British Muslims fully support the Catholic leaders, Ministers and MPs in their opposition to this, the worst Bill in the history of Britain . The Muslims labelled the Bill as an ˜inhumane, destructive and immoral Bill . Those who are not particularly religious fall back on what is described as ˜natural law , which in this case might be summed up as indicating: What is being discussed is just not right! It is plain crazy! .

In agreeing to such a meeting my only condition would be that the scientists were also willing to accept instruction from our Churches and peoples of faith on basic morality, on what human life really is, on the purpose of our life on earth and so on. I would ask them to be open to considering the great major questions concerning ˜life in all its aspects which have concerned man quite literally since the beginning of time.

I would also urge them to accept the case for a single permanent statutory national Bioethics Commission in our country. This would be a body which would engage with public concerns and inform Parliament on complex ethical questions. I see it as quite unacceptable that matters of such immense public concern are left to a simple vote by Members of Parliament, who sometimes are not able to have a free conscience vote and in other cases are voting without a full understanding of the magnitude of the issue under consideration.

I think it is worth remembering that Canada and Australia, as well as France, Italy and Germany here in Europe, have all banned the grotesque procedures which we seek to legalise. It cannot be said that the citizens and politicians of those countries care nothing for the chronically ill among them. Perhaps they don t want to develop cures or therapies; perhaps they are simply anti-scientific luddites! Or could it be that we are wrong “ and those in other democracies see no reason to attack the sanctity and dignity of human life when many alternatives exist?

Conclusion:

Among many others, I believe that this Bill is profoundly wrong and I know that many, many people agree with me. If you do agree with me, I urge you to contact your Member of Parliament as a matter of urgency and raise your concerns. I pray that you will be successful and that in defeating this legislation, we take our first steps on the road to becoming a society that truly and deeply values all human life!  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 112 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

Councillors urged to support Ayrshire’s Catholics by rejecting moves to remove voting rights for church reps on East Ayrshire Council’s education committee.

| 20th September 2019 | Blogging

20 September 2019   The Bishop of Galloway, Bishop William Nolan wants them to urge local councillors to support Ayrshire’s Catholic community and vote against any such moves to ensure its schools catholic ethos is maintained.   He warned that if the proposal to remove voting rights from church reps, advanced by the National Secular Society and the Humanist Society Scotland was passed, it would “would weaken the Church’s voice and would do nothing to enhance Catholic education”.   In a message to be distributed at Sunday Mass in churches across Ayrshire this weekend  (21 & 22 September 2019) Bishop Nolan says: “given that the Diocese of Galloway and East Ayrshire Council have always had a harmonious relationship regarding education, it is not clear why the Council should consider this proposal worthy of consideration."   The bishop goes on to ask parishioners to contact their local councillor as a matter of urgency to ask them to vote against any such motion.   ENDS   Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 116807968 122291pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   The full text of Bishop Nolan’s message to Ayrshire Catholics is shown below:   “Once again in Scotland the very existence of Catholic schools is being called into question. Two newspapers, the Scotsman and the Times, both had front page articles last week written by those calling for the abolition of Catholic schools.   Sadly, in this hostile environment, East Ayrshire Council has decided to discuss whether to remove the voting rights of the Church representative on the Cabinet which determines education matters. The Council is doing this in response to letters received from the National Secular Society and the Humanist Society Scotland. Since both these societies wish to see an end to Church influence in education it is understandable that they should propose this. However, given that the Diocese of Galloway and EAC have always had a harmonious relationship regarding education, it is not clear why the Council should consider this proposal worthy of consideration.   Since the Catholic Church handed its schools over to the state in 1918, Church representation has helped ensure that the Catholic ethos of the schools is maintained. All Councils are obliged by law to have a representative from the Catholic Church. To deny that representative a vote would weaken the Church’s voice and would do nothing to enhance Catholic education.   I am disappointed that the Council is even considering this proposal. I will be in touch with them to let them know my concerns. I invite you to make your views known to your local councillors.”...

Show kindness to one another Archbishop urges Barlinnie inmates

| 16th September 2019 | Blogging

16 September 2019   The relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux which have been in Scotland since Thursday 29th of August, as part of a three-week tour of Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses, arrived at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow today, Monday 16th September.   The relics arrived at HMP Barlinnie, one of Scotland’s largest prisons at 2.00pm on 16th September where Archbishop Philip Tartaglia celebrated a Mass for staff and inmates.   In his homily, the Archbishop urged inmates to follow the example of St. Therese and to “do little things, little acts of goodness here and there throughout the day that in the end make a big difference.” He suggested prisoners could “offer a kindly word to a fellow inmate who is struggling with prison life. You could cooperate more readily with prison staff. You could perform your duties more perfectly for the sake of all.”   Archbishop Tartaglia recognised that “Prison life is not easy” but suggested to prisoners, that they could “offer up to God your hardships and sufferings for the sake of your fellow prisoners. You could say a kind word rather than a harsh one. You could make more of the opportunities that you are given to prepare for life on the outside.”   Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin (St. Therese of Lisieux) who is patroness of the Missions, the sick and prisoners entered the convent aged just fifteen and was canonised a saint in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Many miracles of healing have been reported throughout the world, including Scotland, through her intercession.   Archbishop Tartaglia explained to staff and inmates why the relics were visiting a prison;   “Famously, as a girl of 14, St Therese prayed for the conversion of a convicted murderer, who, although he never admitted his guilt, at the last, kissed the figure of the crucified Jesus just before his execution. Later, when she wrote about this, St Therese took this to be a sign that her prayer had been answered and that the man had asked forgiveness of God. Because of that, it is recommended that her relics, should, if possible, be taken to a prison. Accordingly, when the relics came to Glasgow, I wanted their first stop will be Barlinnie Prison.”   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   The full text of the Archbishops’ Homily is shown below:   Images of the the relics visit to Barlinnie and elsewhere will appear here https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/with/72157710655484316   A full itinerary of the visit and other background information about the Saint is available at www.littleflowerinscotland.co.uk   What is a relic?   A relic is either part of the physical remains of a saint after his or her death, or an object which has been in contact with his or her body. The casket coming to Scotland contains some of the bones of Saint Therese.   In each location across Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses, the relics will be placed in a prominent place, such as the sanctuary of a Church, and people are invited to file past the casket containing the relics.   Mass at Glasgow Barlinnie HMP In the presence of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux On the Feast Day of St Ninian Homily – Archbishop Philip Tartaglia   My dear brothers and sisters, we are celebrating Mass today at Barlinnie in the presence of relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux. St Therese, also called the Little Flower or the Little Flower of Jesus, was a Carmelite Sister. Her name in religion was Sr Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She was born Therese Martin in 1873. She entered the convent at age 15 in 1888 and she died in 1897, age 24. The goodness and holiness of this remarkable young woman and religious sister was clear for everyone to see. She was declared a saint in 1925 by Pope Pius XI....

Relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux arrive in Scotland for historic visit

| 28th August 2019 | Blogging

28 August 2019   The relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux arrive in Scotland for the first time on Thursday 29thof August, where they will begin a three-week tour of Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses.   Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin entered the convent aged just fifteen and was canonised a saint in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Many miracles of healing have been reported throughout the world, including Scotland, through her intercession.   She is a Doctor of the Church, Patroness of the Missions and of the sick. Her relics will be brought to Barlinnie Prison for a special Mass on Monday 16thof September.   Fr Jim Grant, General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland who has coordinated the visit said:   “People today are fascinated by the idea of pilgrimage, of travelling to a holy place or site associated with a holy person. This once in a lifetime visit of the relics of Saint Therese to Scotland is a pilgrimage in reverse, where a holy person comes to us. We can expect many graces from this visit including healing, conversion and discovery of true vocation to God.”   The relics are in the Diocese of Motherwell from 29thof August until 1stof September.   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, said:   “I hope the Pilgrimage of the Relics of St Therese will encourage us, through the inspiration and intercession of St Therese, to have confidence in God’s merciful love for each of us, and to share that love daily with all with whom we share our lives. In bringing St Therese’s relics to Scotland we will pray that we will be inspired by her to recognise and live to the full our vocation in the mission of the Church in our country as joyful witnesses of Jesus Our Lord.”   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   You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to St Teresa’s, Newarthill at 10.15am on Friday 30thof August where the procession will begin. The ornate casket carrying the relics of St Therese will arrive at St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin at 11am. Hundreds of pupils from Taylor High School, New Stevenston, Our Lady and St Francis’ Primary School, Motherwell and St Teresa’s Primary School, Newarthill will line the streets to witness the procession which will be led by North Lanarkshire School Pipe Band.   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, will celebrate Mass with primary and secondary school children at St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin at 11am. There will be a Mass with Sacrament of the Sick at 1pm.   A full itinerary of the visit and other background information about the Saint is available at www.littleflowerinscotland.co.uk   Images   Will be available to download at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmGhJe91   What is a relic?   A relic is either part of the physical remains of a saint after his or her death, or an object which has been in contact with his or her body. The casket coming to Scotland contains some of the bones of Saint Therese.   In each location across Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses, the relics will be placed in a prominent place, such as the sanctuary of a Church, and people are invited to file past the casket containing the relics.   Key dates   Diocese of Motherwell                                 29 August – 1 September Diocese of Galloway                                      1 September – 4 September Diocese of Dunkeld                                        4 September – 7 September Archdiocese of Saint Andrews & Edinburgh      7 September – 9 September Diocese of Aberdeen                                      9 September – 12 September Diocese of Argyll and the Isles                       12 September – 14 September D...

New Scalan altar honours persecuted Scots

| 13th August 2019 | 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...