Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Homily notes of Bishop Brendan Leahy for Vigil for Life – Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick

*“The unborn child in the womb is a human life with potential, not a potential human being”
 *“There stands before the Dáil a Bill that could enshrine in Irish law, for the first time ever – and completely
against what our Constitution requires – a hierarchy or a pecking order of human beings based on size in this State”
 *“There are shades here of George Orwell’s Animal Farm where all are equal but some more equal than others”
 *“The unborn, it appears, are to be afforded little or no legal advocacy on their behalf”

This evening we are prayerfully reflecting on the theme of life in its many dimensions. Life is the great gift entrusted to us from conception until natural death and all moments in between, as Archbishop Diarmuid Martin put it last Saturday at a ceremony that took place in Dublin just before a rally for life that gathered over 50,000 people.

On the eve of what is a defining moment for our country we cannot but focus on the life of the unborn.  As we do so we are mindful of mothers who today are facing difficult or crisis pregnancies and mindful also of others who have had, or who have assisted with abortions, and may now be re-living what happened in the past.  Let us begin, therefore, by assuring them from our heart that we want to offer them all the love, support and professional care that we can.

But this evening allow us give voice to the unborn.  Our Constitution affirms that ‘The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn’—in Irish, the phrase used is “na mbeo gan breith”, “beo gan breith” meaning life before (literally ‘without’) birth.  The unborn child in the womb is a human life with potential, not a potential human being.  He or she is not an extension of the mother.  This human being with potential calls out silently but deeply to be loved.  It is the unborn child’s incapacity to return in visible quantifiable ways the love that is lavished on him or her that is the greatest gift he or she already offers to the world.  The unborn child is a pure gift of itself to be loved simply from the very fact of its existence.

For full homily go here:  

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