In his beautiful Letter to Artists just before the Great Jubilee of 2000, Saint John Paul spoke of ‘wonder and indeed awe being the only appropriate attitude’ to have before the wonder of creation and especially before the wonder of the human person, the pinnacle of God’s creation. Created in God’s image and likeness, and having inestimable value in the face of violence, death and danger to life posed from every direction today, we have need to pause and give thanks to the Lord for such a
noble and great gift.
This year, the Bishops’ Conferences of Ireland, England and Wales and Scotland have decided to ask us to reflect on this great theme.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis, in his Encyclical Letter published last year called ‘Laudato si!’ situated the value of human life in the context of the whole of creation and sees the destruction of life at the margins when it is at its most vulnerable especially as a justice issue.
This reminds us here in Scotland that next year, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act. In many ways, then, we can also consider this year’s Day for Life as a preparation for the dread remembrance of this anniversary and for the great challenges we face as a Catholic People as the Scottish Parliament receives devolved legislative and administrative power over matters relating to abortion. We are already seeing posturing from some groups to pressurise for a change in the law which would be catastrophic for such a small country as ours which still sees 900 unborn babies die
each month as a result of abortion.
This year’s Day for Life, is an occasion, as with each year at this time, to reflect on the sacredness of human life in all its dimensions and especially within the context of the wonderful creation that God has entrusted to us in stewardship as his great and most noble gift to us.
With every blessing and thanks for your support and work for the protection of life,
+ Stephen Robson
Bishop of Dunkeld.