(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his good wishes and support to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for this Sunday’s Day for Life. Day for Life is the day dedicated to praying for the protection of human life and raising awareness about its meaning and value at every stage and in every condition.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom, Archbishop Antonio Mennini received the letter from the Pope and conveyed it to the Bishop for Day for Life, Bishop John Sherrington. 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.”
Day for Life 2015 focuses on Catholic teaching about appropriate treatment at the end of life. The essential message for the Day is ‘How do we cherish life while we can and accept death when it comes?’
Bishop Sherrington said: “Catholics cherish and celebrate the gift of life but they are not vitalistic in saying that life must be preserved at all costs. Rather, judgements are to be made about types of treatment, taking into account the benefits and burdens of the treatment as well as the person’s total medical condition and well-being. This means there is no obligation to pursue medical treatment when it no longer has any effect or, indeed, harms the patient, or where the risks or burdens of the treatment outweigh the likely benefits. Sometimes difficult decisions need to be made and the views of family and experts are needed. But in such situations these two questions can guide us: “Is this decision loving life?” and “Is this decision accepting the inevitability of death? Please pray that we will always value the precious gift of life.”
Day for Life is celebrated yearly by the Catholic Church in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. The Day is celebrated in England and Wales this Sunday (26 July) and in Ireland on 4 October 2015. It was celebrated in Scotland on 31 May 2015.
The proceeds of the Day for Life collection to be held in parishes in England and Wales on Sunday 26 July 2015 assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.
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