On behalf of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, who celebrated last Thursday the silver jubilee of his ordination as a bishop. Unborn babies in Britain and Northern Ireland are undoubtedly safer because of him. If you want to write to congratulate him, you will find his contact details here.
I will never forget the fearless manner in which Cardinal Keith O'Brien told the truth about the British government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.
In his Easter Sunday sermon in March 2008, he laid the responsibility for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill squarely on the shoulders of Gordon Brown. He said:
"Our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has given the government's support to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.There's little doubt that the Cardinal's courage, for which he was widely attacked, was one of the factors which prompted Gordon Brown to step back from the brink, not just once but twice, of allowing pro-abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which would have led to the most damaging extension of the Abortion Act for over 40 years. Another vital factor was the stand taken by Northern Ireland politicians.
"It is difficult to imagine a single piece of legislation which, more comprehensively, attacks the sanctity and dignity of human life than this particular bill.
With full might of government endorsement, Gordon Brown is promoting a bill that will allow the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos ...
... He is promoting a bill which denies that a child has a biological father, allows tampering with birth certificates, removing biological parents, and inserting someone altogether different ...*
... And this bill will indeed be used to further extend the abortion laws. This bill represents a monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life".
*I can't but comment here that, by way of contrast, Archbishop Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, has defended the appointment of Greg Pope as deputy director of the Catholic Education Service who, as an MP voted against amendments which sought to retain the requirement for doctors to consider the child’s need for a father (20 May 2008) or male role model (20 May 2008) before a woman is given fertility treatment. He also voted against a bill which would have required practitioners providing contraception or abortion services to a child under the age of 16 to inform his or her parent or guardian (14 Mar 2007) and he supported a substantial number of appalling anti-life and anti-family measures and positions as an MP. As a result of his appointment, and Archbishop Nichols's defence of it, unborn children, our children in schools and the rights of parents are less safe than they might be.
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