Last Sunday, Bishop Philip Tartaglia described the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, on which I blogged yesterday, as "a state sponsored attack on human life". Here are a few snippets from his excellent homily, delivered last Sunday in St. Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley.
"...It seems that hardly a year passes that the bishops need to bring before you yet another state-sponsored attack on unborn human life. It almost seems that the powers of evil are never done fomenting the culture of death among hapless human beings by attacking the innocent unborn or the weak terminally ill with the great lie that these lives have no value at all or only have the value that powerful men and women are prepared to concede them.
"The latest twisted enterprise is legislation soon to be presented by the Government at Westminster which would allow the creation of human-animal embryos. You should know that such procedures are banned in other countries. They have rightly been described by the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life as a "monstrous act against human dignity, and I am sure that that is the instinctive reaction of our moral reason..."
On Wednesday, Cardinal Pell's profound and beautiful speech on the challenges facing those defending the culture of life, given the week before in Seoul, South Korea, was published in Zenit.
Cardinal Pell quotes Dr Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese scientist who has had ethical qualms about destructive human embryo research:
"'When I saw the embryo', he said, 'I suddenly realised there was such a small difference between it and my daughters. . . I thought, we can't keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way'.
"There were of course, many differences between this several day old human embryo and Yamanaka's daughters in terms of its maturity, size, appearance and capacities. Yet his knowledge and awe of the embryo's intrinsic potential for human growth and development allowed him to recognise the essential similarity between them -- their common humanity and shared dignity. Yamanaka's breakthrough is, amongst other things, the fruit of the virtue of reverence."
On Thursday, in his weekly newspaper column, The Archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, called on Mexicans to reject pressures from the United Nations to legalise abortion in every state throughout the country - as I blogged earlier in the week. In memorably blunt language he wrote: “Let us remain, then, with the fundamental idea: abortion is killing, killing is a crime condemned by God’s, by man’s law and by the Constitution of Mexico."
On Saturday, the moving story of Lorraine Allard, 33, hit the headlines. At four months pregnant, she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and was offered a termination. She refused and she gave birth to Liam 15 weeks prematurely. She told her husband: "If I am going to die, my baby is going to live." Everything else this week pales into insignficance.