Cardinal Urges Politicians to Know Life Issues

Affirms Church Teaching on Sin and Communion

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LONDON, JUNE 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor recalled long-standing Church teaching on sin and Communion and called politicians to educate themselves about the Catholic position on life issues.



In a statement made regarding the upcoming Day for Life in England and Wales, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, said: "I would urge all Catholics, especially those who hold positions of public responsibility, to educate themselves about the teaching of the Church, and to seek pastoral advice so that they can make informed decisions with consistency and integrity.

"The Catholic Church believes that every life has been created by God in his own image and likeness. This means that all life is sacred, with value and meaning at every stage and in every condition, from the moment of conception to the point of natural death."

"It is for this reason," the 74-year-old cardinal explained, "that the Church strongly opposes abortion because it is the taking of an innocent human life."

"The long-standing tradition of the Church teaches that anyone who freely and knowingly commits a serious wrong -- that is, a mortal sin -- should approach the Eucharist only after receiving faithfully the sacrament of penance," Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor affirmed.

The bishops' conferences of Scotland, Ireland, and England and Wales are jointly participating in a Day for Life to remember the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in all conditions.

This year's theme is "Blessed is the Fruit of Your Womb."

In England and Wales, the Day for Life will be on July 1. In Ireland, it will be Oct. 7.

In was held in Scotland on May 31. Cardinal Keith O'Brien, archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, also marked the occasion by speaking about the responsibility of politicians and all involved in the promotion of abortion.

The Day for Life 2007 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act in England, Scotland and Wales.