scmo_banner_news.jpg


Archbishop Conti opposed to Margo MacDonald s End of Life Asssitance Bill

The Archbishop of Glasgow, the Most Reverend Mario Conti, has hit out against Margo MacDonald s End of Life Assistance Bill by saying it is wrong in principle and that hard cases made bad laws.

The head of Scotland s most populous diocese made clear his opposition by stating that it is wrong in principle for someone to take their own life and it is wrong in principle for someone to help them to do so.  

Speaking during the annual ˜Mass for Health Care Workers Archbishop Conti went on to emphasise that attempted suicide is no longer a criminal offence but that laws against assisted suicide should remain ¦the good of society demands that it be not changed. Mercy can be shown in the administration of justice.  
ENDS

Contact details:
Ronnie Convery
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Glasgow
0141 225 2613


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The 'Mass for Health Care Workers' was held at the Parish Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, 3pm, Sunday 14th February, 2010. In it the Archbishop made reference to the Bill proposed to the Scottish Parliament, by Margo MacDonald, to legalise physician assisted suicide.

Archbishop Mario Conti s Homily in full.
Sermon of the Archbishop of Glasgow at the Mass for Health Care Workers, which he conducted in the presence of Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien and other members of the Bishops Conference and representatives of health care workers, at the Parish Church of Our Lady of Lourdes Cardonald on 3pm on Sunday 14th February 2010.   In it the Archbishop made reference to the Bill proposed to the Scottish Parliament to legalise physician assisted suicide, by Margo MacDonald MSP.   He said that Hard cases made bad laws , and while compassion was to be found in society, and mercy in the administration of justice, Laws need to be objective in their statement of principle.   It is wrong in principle for someone to take their own life; it is wrong in principle for someone to help them to do so. Attempted suicide is no longer a criminal offence; assisted suicide should remain one; the law should not be changed -the good of society demands that it be not changed.   Mercy can be shown in the administration of justice .

Here follows the text of the Archbishop s sermon, which commenced with a reference to the Gospel read at the Mass, taken from Saint Luke s Gospel, Chapter 6 verses 17, 20-26).  

Jesus came down with the twelve (Lk 6, 17).   He came down from the hills where he had gone to pray all night, and When it was day he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles . (Ibid 6, 12-16).   Accompanied by these twelve he addressed a great multitude of people who had joined his disciples. They had come to hear him and be cured of their diseases ¦and all the crowd sought to touch him for power came forth from him and healed them all .   This last verse was omitted in the passage we read, but it is relevant to our celebration today, for we have gathered to mark the 18th World Day of the Sick, which is also the 25th Anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers.   Our Mass “ the third such “ is following the lead given us by the Holy See; on Thursday, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in Saint Peter s Basilica. In announcing it he said it constituted A further reason “ opportunity “ to thank God for the journey “ the progress “ that has been made hitherto on this sector of the Church s pastoral care.   I hope , he said, that it will be an occasion for a more generous apostolic impetus in the service of the sick and of those who care for them .  

The bishops in celebrating this Mass echo the Holy Father s intentions.   In a particular way we want to honour all the members of the Church who devote themselves to the care of the sick and who are variously represented here today, especially the members of our respective Lourdes Hospitalities: nurses, doctors, lady helpers, brancardiers and our devoted hospital chaplains and auxiliary ministers of Holy Communion and hospital visitors “ to pray with them and for them.  

The Order of St John of Jerusalem, better known as the Order of Malta “ the oldest religious body dedicated to the care of the sick, has twin purposes in its constitution: Tuitio Fidei “ the defence of the Faith, and Obsequium Pauperum , meaning a service of the poor which goes beyond duty.         The poor in this case are Our Lord s the sick .  

Jesus announced His own mission by reference to the words of the prophet Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor (Lk 4, 18).   In today s Gospel Our Lord addresses his disciples : How happy are you who are poor; yours is the Kingdom of Heaven ¦happy you who weep now; you shall laugh ¦ .   Given the context it is easy to relate these words to the curing of their diseases. Undoubtedly they have a wider application, namely God s preferential option “ in today s expression of Catholic social teaching “ of the poor, - what a biblical commentator on this passage calls God s prejudicial commitment to the poor .   He added: The coming of the kingdom will bring a reversal of fortunes .   Saint Luke in his Gospel makes it clear that one of the principal hallmarks of the kingdom will be the redemption of the poor “ and here the evangelist portrays Jesus as teaching His disciples to do likewise “ to do what He has done, i.e. to cure them of their diseases.  

The Holy Father in his message recalls how Jesus at the Last Supper, before returning to the Father, bent down to wash the feet of the Apostles, anticipating His supreme act of love on the Cross.   By this gesture, He invited His disciples to enter into “ what the Holy Father called “ the same ˜logic of love by bending down to tend the wounds of the body and spirit of so many of our brothers and sisters whom we encounter “ like the good Samaritan “ on the roads of the world .   And I would like to add, he said, - and I paraphrase his words: that more than ever today we need to be alongside, and be seen by society to be alongside, the sick, demonstrating our care for them at every stage from conception until their natural life s end “ the most effective way indeed of defending life.  

The motive can only be love.   Two apparently similar indictments were given wide cover in the press recently: Two mothers were accused of helping their children to die; one was given a long prison sentence; the other found not guilty of murder, the charge under which both were arraigned (- if I am not mistaken) “ two judgments at variance.   One mother was acquitted on the basis of her sustained love of her daughter whom she did not wish to see die, though she ultimately assisted her in so doing.   That may seem a judgment on the other mother, - whether fairly or not I don t know.  

There is room for compassion in the administration of justice “ but it is truly said that hard cases make bad laws “ and for that reason I am opposed to Margo MacDonald s End of Life Assistance Bill. Courts can take mitigating circumstances and motives into account.   Laws need to be objective in their statement of principle.   It is wrong in principle for someone to take their own life; it is wrong in principle for someone to help them to do so.   Attempted suicide is no longer a criminal offence; assisted suicide should remain one; the law should not be changed “ the good of society demands that it be not changed.   Mercy can be shown in the administration of justice.

Mercy, compassion, love “ these are all aspects of genuine humanity; they are essential virtues of Christ s disciples.   They come into play when we serve the sick.  

In conclusion I want to quote some words which I noticed in the Lesson of yesterday s Divine Office, drawn from an ancient author, Blessed Isaac of Stella: Brothers (and Sisters) why do we pay so little heed to seeking out opportunities to save each other, so that the greater we see the others needs to be, the more we come to their help?   This is what the blessed apostle (Paul) said: ˜Bear one another s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ ; and in another place he speaks of ˜forbearing one another in love , for that, indeed is the law of Christ ¦that truly is the law of Christ who, surely ˜has borne our griefs in His passion and ˜carried our sorrows in His compassion, loving those whom he carried and carrying those whom he loved ¦

Therefore, in our compassion for each other let us too be lovers of our brothers (and sisters), because of each other s weaknesses, and persecutors of vice ¦for that is the love on account of which everything should come into being or cease to be, should be changed or left unchanged.   That love is the source of all things and the final end towards which everything should be fittingly directed.   Nor can anything be blameworthy that is done in truth on account of that love and in accordance with it.

May it be His will to grant us that love, whom we cannot please without it, without whom we can do nothing at all, He who lives and reigns, God, through endless ages. Amen.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 151 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  ...