scmo_banner_news.jpg


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 111 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

Pax Christi Scotland launches with inaugural conference in Glasgow

| 3 days ago | Blogging

Wednesday 14 November     Pax Christi Scotland, a newly-formed peace project, will officially launch later this month (23-25 November) with its inaugural conference at the Conforti Centre in Coatbridge, hosted and funded by the Xaverian Missionaries.       Its mission is to promote peace in the family, the school, the parish, and the wider community. The project will fall under the guiding principles of Pax Christi International (the Peace of Christ) a global, Gospel-based faith movement, whose mission is to create a world where people can live in peace, without fear of violence in any form.      Key speakers at the event include Liz Dornan of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, who will address the issue of promoting an environment of peace in our schools.     Marian Pallister, member of the Pax Christi Scotland steering group said:      “Pope Francis has encouraged us to create a society in which nonviolence pervades all aspects of our lives. It is no longer enough to demonstrate against nuclear weapons and campaign against arms sales. We must start at grass roots level to instil an ethos of nonviolence in the home, the playground, and the parish. If we can be at peace with our physical neighbour, it becomes easier to reach out in peace and love to the ‘neighbours’ Christ suggests - the migrant, the refugee, the stranger.     “Pax Christi Scotland aims to nurture nonviolence at every level.”     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     Note to Editors:   For further information about Pax Christi Scotland contact Marian Pallister, marian.pallister@zen.co.uk, or 07768 731145     If you would like to attend the conference please contact Anna at Conforti, anna@confortiinstitute.org. Registration will be from 5pm on the Friday and all meals from Friday supper to Sunday lunch are included.  ...

Scottish Bishops celebrate centenary of Catholic Education at Edinburgh Castle

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Tuesday 13 November 2018     Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney will celebrate the centenary of the 1918 Education Act together with the Catholic bishops of Scotland tomorrow evening (Wednesday 14thof November) at a reception in Edinburgh Castle.     The event marks the beginning of the week that leads up to the date the Act was signed, bringing Catholic schools into the state sector, 21stNovember 1918, and is the culmination of a year of special celebration and reflection.     Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Scottish Catholic Education Commission said:     “The Scottish Government’s support for Catholic schools is greatly appreciated, I welcome the fact that events like this recognise the contribution which Catholic schools make to education in Scotland and to wider Scottish society.”     Barbara Coupar, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, said:     “We are delighted that members of the Scottish Catholic Education Community have been invited, along with representatives of the other Denominational bodies that have schools within Scotland (Episcopalian and Jewish communities), to celebrate this historic occasion.      “It is fitting that the Deputy First Minister should mark the centenary of the 1918 Act, an Act which saw Scotland move ahead of other countries in supporting the right of parents to educate their children according to their faith, as denominational schools are yet another area within education where Scotland remains sector leading.       “This event shows the ongoing partnership between the Government and the Church and highlights the support that denominational education has from our elected members.  In particular, we are honoured that the Papal Nuncio will be attending as Mr Swinney’s guest.”     Deputy First Minister John Swinney added:     “I am delighted to celebrate that, for 100 years now, Catholic schools have been part of the fabric of the Scottish education system.     “The 1918 Education Act recognised the significant contribution that faith-based schools make to Scotland and the Scottish Government maintains that outlook today.     “Every child in Scotland should have an equal chance to fulfil their potential. We welcome the continued contribution of Catholic schools in helping to achieve that ambition by fostering an environment where children can follow their faith, learn successfully and become confident individuals.”     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:     Images will be available from the Scottish Catholic Media Office: mail@scmo.org   Two Catholic secondary schools will provide musical entertainment; Notre Dame High School, Greenock and St Ambrose, Coatbridge. A pupil from St Benedict’s High School, Linwood – Evonne Jeffrey will pipe guests in to the great hall.   The guests from the Catholic Church include: the eight bishops of Scotland, the nominated Church Representatives on Local Authority Education Committees, Head Teachers and pupils from each of the eight Scottish Catholic dioceses. ...

Scottish bishops elect new office bearers

| 07th November 2018 | Blogging

Wednesday 7 November     At their meeting on Wednesday 7 November 2018, the members of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland elected the following office bearers, who will serve a term of three years:     President: Bishop Hugh GilbertVice President: Bishop John KeenanEpiscopal Secretary: Bishop Brian McGee     Commenting on his election, Bishop Gilbert said;      “I am honoured to have been chosen as President of the Bishops’ Conference and thank the bishops for the trust they have placed in me. I accept the mandate given to me aware of the challenges the church faces, while conscious of the great treasures she holds and continues to offer as a point of reference in an often disorientated world. I would be grateful for prayers for all the Bishops of Scotland.”     ENDS     Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 116807968 122291pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org     Note to editors:   1. Images of the new office bearers are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157666531058155     2. Biography: Bishop Hugh Gilbert     Born in Emsworth, Hampshire, 15thMarch 1952; baptised ‘Edward’ in the Church of England; received into the Roman Catholic Church, 1970; educated at St Paul’s School, London, and King’s College, University of London (B.A. Hons, 1974); entered Pluscarden Abbey 1974, receiving the name Hugh; final profession, 10thMarch 1979; theological studies, Fort Augustus, 1977-82; ordained priest, 29thJune 1982; Novice Master 1985-2004; Prior 1990-92; Abbot 1992-2011. Nominated bishop of Aberdeen, 4thJune 2011, and ordained by Cardinal Keith O’Brien, at Aberdeen, 15thAugust 2011....

Scots Bishops thank Pope for his support

| 27th September 2018 | Blogging

27 September 2018     Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops met Pope Francis in the Vatican this morning ( 27 September 2018) at the beginning of their Ad Limina (five-yearly) visit to Rome and thanked him for his support and prayers. After saying Mass at the tomb of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Bishops met Pope Francis for a 1 hour 40 minute private audience. Speaking after the audience, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said;     “Our meeting with the Pope lasted almost two hours and left all the Bishops grateful to him for his fraternal and fatherly support. He encouraged us to share our experiences as pastors and leaders and took a close interest in all that we had to say.”     “The Bishops introduced a wide range of topics which we were able to discuss at length. We updated the Pope on the ecumenical work being done in Scotland to ensure that friendship, prayer and common witness among Christians will grow and flourish and he encouraged us in that work.”     “We also discussed Nuclear Disarmament and explained that the issue of Nuclear weapons had a special relevance in Scotland and was of particular concern to the church. I was able to present Pope Francis with a copy of “In God’s Image” the Church’s new Safeguarding document and the culmination of two years’ work designed to create a robust set of safeguarding procedures and protocols. The Pope thanked us for this work and urged us to continue with it.”     “Pope Francis encouraged us all in our vocations and reminded us that as bishops, we must be; close to God, close to our priests and close to our people. All of the bishops found his words uplifting and affirming and in thanking him we assured him of our prayers that he may bear the heavy responsibility which rests on his shoulders.”     After the private audience, the Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan presented Pope Francis with “Mungo” the Prayer Bear of St. Charles’ Primary School in Paisley - see photo - https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/44035549845/       The Bishops and the Scottish students studying for the priesthood in Rome are being followed by a film crew from Solus Productions who are making a documentary on the Scots College in Rome for the BBC. Solus Producer Jim Webster said;     “Filming the Scots Bishops and students has given a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Catholic church at the highest level. We’ve been honoured to have such privileged access to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican and we are acutely conscious that this is the first time an ‘Ad Limina’ visit has ever been filmed.”     Jim Webster added;     “Apart from the sense of scale and occasion, we’ve been struck by the human stories of the students themselves. We were able to film one student as he took a bottle of whisky in to the Papal audience as a gift for the Pope, after the Pope told the students who’d served Mass for him last year, that he loved Scotch whisky.”     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 Note to Editors: The Ad Limina visit required by church law, obliges the Bishops of each country to travel to Rome, meet the Pope and in acknowledging his universal jurisdiction, make a report to him of the state of each diocese in Scotland. The following members of the Bishops' Conference will travel to Rome from 26 September until 4 October: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland and Archbishop of Glasgow, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Bishop of Aberd...