“The life of every human person is equally valuable, whatever the stage or state of that life” – Archbishop Martin
As Catholics across the island of Ireland prepare to celebrate the annual Day for Life (4 October) on the theme of ‘Cherishing Life-Accepting Death’, I have written to Northern Ireland’s Members of Parliament, asking them to oppose the destructive and pessimistic approach to human life proposed in the ‘Assisted Dying Bill’ to be debated in the Parliament of Westminster on 11th September.
I appeal to all Catholics in Northern Ireland to become actively involved, as baptised Christians and as citizens, in promoting a culture of love, care, respect and protection for every human life. I ask Catholics to encourage their MPs to oppose this Bill.
The life of every human person is equally valuable, whatever the stage or state of that life. Every human life is worth living and worthy of our utmost care and protection to its natural end. As Pope Francis has said, “What a lie … to make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living!”
In asking Catholics and others to oppose this Bill, I am asking them to state with confidence and joy that the future of humanity does not lie in a culture of death and the deliberate destruction of another, but in a culture of life and care for one another in which medicine and science are at the service of human dignity, not threats to our very existence.
The human, moral, social and medical implications of the so-called ‘Assisted Dying Bill’ are far-reaching and profound. I appeal to Catholics and all who believe in the inherent dignity and value of every human life, in all its stages, to inform themselves about the important values at stake in this debate, to pray for the progress of a culture of life and mutual care in our society and to contact their Member of Parliament to ask them to oppose the passage of this Bill in favour of a more humane and ethically sound future for humanity.
· Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
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