Abortion Act of 1967 a "pack of lies" claims Cardinal O'Brien

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Abortion and Christianity

In a strongly worded sermon delivered on Thursday afternoon (31 May) at St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien describes the claims and assurances made at the time of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act were no more than a "pack of lies" which amounted to "lies and misinformation masquerading as compassion and truth". The Cardinal's words come as the 40th anniversary of the act approaches and are timed to coincide with the Catholic Church's "Day for Life" on May 31st, "Blessed is the fruit of your womb" is the theme for this year's Day for Life.

The Scottish Day for Life falls on The Feast of the Visitation which marks the journey by Mary who went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also expecting a child. At their meeting, John the Baptist, the child in Elizabeth's womb leapt for joy, and Elizabeth cried out: "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb." The day will be marked in Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes who have been sent 250,000 leaflets expanding on the theme and explaining the church's opposition to abortion and providing details of alternatives.

In a letter which accompanies the material sent to parishes, Archbishop Mario Conti urges "every parish in Scotland (to) take the opportunity to remind people that it is 40 years since the Abortion Act was passed into law" adding that people should be encouraged to "pray for legislation to protect the unborn child from the moment of conception".

In his sermon on Thursday, Cardinal O'Brien will also call on Catholic politicians to avoid "cooperating in the unspeakable crime of abortion" reminding them of "the barrier such cooperation erects to receiving Holy Communion"

1. An audio recording of Cardinal O'Brien quoting from his text (1min) in MP3 format is available to broadcasters on request.
2. A "Day for Life" website has also been created with video and audio content which can be viewed at: www.dayforlife.org

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Day for Life Homily Feast of the Visitation 31 May 2007
Homily Text - Cardinal Keith O'Brien

"Today's Gospel follows Our Lady. She has just learned that she is to be the mother of the messiah and that her cousin Elizabeth is also to become a mother.

Mary, whose whole future had been transformed in the Annunciation, is so moved at the news of Elizabeth's pregnancy that she immediately sets out for the town of Judah. The meeting of the two women is an event of great joy. What lessons can we learn from that scene?

We see the affirmation of the immense value of life from its very conception. The redeemer in the womb unites himself with all of humanity. By becoming incarnate in the womb of Mary, God raises to a new level the greatness of every human life.

The joy of that meeting holds out to us the message of delight that should accompany every pregnancy. With every life conceived God acts directly to create a new and unique human being, a person destined to life everlasting. Sadly, joy is not always the dominant emotion evoked by news of pregnancy in the world we live in today.

Today as we remember the Visitation we mark the "Day for Life" in Scotland, with a mixture of emotions, celebrating the gift of life but remembering also the tragic loss of life. Abortion is the theme for this year's "Day for Life" which significantly is the 40th anniversary of the passing of the abortion act. In those 40 years the loss of life has been staggering. Around 7 million lives have been ended as a consequence of that one piece of legislation.

We were told that backstreet abortions were killing women and had to be decriminalised. We were told abortion would only be used in extreme cases. We were told medical scrutiny would be rigorous. We were told a

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