Pope Francis has sent a message of support to everyone participating in this year’s Day for Life event in England and Wales.
The Pope sent a letter to the the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, which was passed on to Bishop John Sherrington.
The letter said that the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing “upon all those persons who are participating in this significant event and working in any way for the promotion of the dignity of every human person from the moment of conception until natural death.”
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has selected the theme of “Cherishing Life and Accepting Death” for this year’s Day for Life.
Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of Westminster said that the theme for the Day for Life was chosen to counter the “great lie that lives affected by great illness are not worth living”.
Bishop Sherrington also said that the timing of the day was providential because of current pressures to change the law on assisted suicide.
Bishop Sherrington said: “In our country at the moment, it’s actually very providential that we are speaking about this in July because we had the Falconer Bill earlier in the year and then we have [Rob Marris’s] Bill on September 11.
“And obviously we want to ask our parishioners to reflect on this issue to oppose the introduction of assisted suicide and to either write to their MPs or to go and see their MPs in their constituencies in order to emphasise why we value life, particularly at its most vulnerable time,” he said.