Protect the vulnerable, Pope appeals

Pope Francis has asked Catholics across Britain to protect the right to life. In a special message for the annual Day for Life which is marked this Sunday (27 July) in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the Pope encourages young Catholics in particular to “combat the culture of death” by working to ensure legislation that respects life and to strive to bring Christ’s “life-giving balm” to the poor and vulnerable in society.

Day for Life is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The theme of this year’s Day for Life is #livelife Protect and Cherish Life from its beginning to its natural end. It invites young people in particular to get involved in caring for, respecting and protecting life.

Over half-a-million postcards have been sent to parishes and chaplaincies in England and Wales in readiness for the day. The proceeds of the Day for Life collection in parishes this Sunday will assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.

Message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, on behalf of Pope Francis

"As the Church in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales celebrates the 2014 Day for Life, the Holy Father expresses his confidence that this annual witness to the sanctity of God’s gift of life will inspire the faithful, and young Catholics in particular, to combat the culture of death, not only by working to ensure adequate legal protection for the fundamental human right to life, but also by seeking to bring the merciful love of Christ as a life-giving balm to those troubling “new forms of poverty and vulnerability” (cf. Evangelii Gaudium 210) which are increasingly evident in contemporary society.

"To all involved in the Day for Life celebrations, His Holiness imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of wisdom, joy and peace in the Risen Lord."