5th October 2007
Theme of ‘Day for Life’ pastoral letter: Blessed is the fruit of your womb
The Catholic Church will celebrate ‘Day for Life’ 2007 this Sunday, at Masses throughout Ireland, with a pastoral letter called: Blessed is the fruit of your womb. The pastoral letter highlights the sacredness of human life at all stages. It is a joint publication by the Catholic bishops of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
This pastoral letter explains why the Church is opposed to abortion: “The Church believes that every life has been created by God in his own image and likeness and that all life is sacred from the moment of conception to the point of natural death. The Church opposes abortion because it is the taking of an innocent human life.”
The pastoral letter also explains what the Church means by pro-life: “To be pro-life means to promote human dignity and development in every sphere of life: to say ‘yes’ to life. The Church is opposed to all direct attacks against innocent human life e.g. abortion, abortifacient pills and devices, the abortion pill and the morning after pill, destructive embryo and embryonic stem cell research, genetic engineering, euthanasia, etc. because it believes that every life has purpose, meaning and inherent value.”
This pastoral letter is now available to download from the bishops’ website www.catholicbishops.ie in the English, Irish and Polish languages, along with a special message from Bishop John Fleming, the President of CURA. Thirty years ago this year the Irish bishops established CURA as a crisis pregnancy agency.
There is also a dedicated website promoting the annual ‘Day for Life’ celebration: www.dayforlife.org. Please see previous ‘Day for Life’ themes below.
Notes for Editors
* In his 1995 Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), the late Pope John Paul II proposed that “a day for life be celebrated each year in every country”. The primary purpose of this day should be “to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church, and in civil society, a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition” (EV #85).
* The Bishops of Ireland responded to this invitation by announcing an annual celebration of the ‘Day for Life’. Since 2001, the bishops have published a Pastoral Letter every October celebrating a different theme for each ‘Day for Life’. The theme for this year’s ‘Day for Life’ on 7 October is: Blessed is the fruit of your womb. Since 2001, the following themes have been chosen to celebrate this annual ‘Day for Life’:
- 2001: Proclaiming the Gospel of Life
- 2002: End of Life Care – Ethical and Pastoral Issues
- 2003: The Wonder of Life – celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II
- 2004: Life is for Living – A Reflection on Suicide
- 2005: Cherishing the Evening of Life
- 2006: Celebrating the life and presence of people with disabilities in the Church and in society
- 2007: Blessed is the fruit of your womb – dedicated to protecting all human life
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)