Archbishop Eamon Martin has published a special video message for the World Day of the Sick, which was celebrated on Sunday 11 February on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. In his message, Archbishop Eamon expressed particular appreciation to our doctors, nurses and carers ‘who dedicate their lives to the ministry of healing and protecting life’.
In his message, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland said, ‘In my work as a priest I have seen surgeons, doctors and nurses fighting to save life, even at its most fragile They bring their gifts and expertise without discrimination, conscious that they are not treating, say, a cancerous growth, or a dangerous virus. They are caring for a sick human being, a person with a story, family and loved ones, a living human being with potential.
‘I’m thinking today about those who dedicate their lives to the ministry of healing and protecting life. Even though they are often under great stress and working long, tiring hours, our hospital staff, GPs and other carers are our ambassadors for life!’
‘I think of Jesus who devoted so much of his time to reaching out to the sick, and suffering, without distinction, so that they could have life to the full!’
In his message, which has been widely shared on social media, he went on to say, ‘The debate about the eighth amendment here in Ireland is a debate about life, about life equality, the equality of two lives which matter – the life of a mother and the life of her baby. Two lives which are precious, two lives in need of love, protection and care.
‘It is troubling to think that our nurses, doctors, midwives and other carers may be expected by abortion legislation to use their healing hands to intentionally take innocent life, rather than to give every life a chance. It is already being suggested that even those with conscientious objections to taking life will be required to refer the task to others.
‘To force someone to cooperate like this in the wrong-doing of another is wrong. It undermines freedom of conscience.’
Archbishop Eamon concluded, ‘You may have a carer, nurse or doctor in your family or as a friend. Pray for them today, find an opportunity to thank them and encourage them in their vital, life-giving work. But, in addition to this, be a missionary for life yourself. Speak and act now to ensure that those who have chosen to devote their lives to healing the sick will be spared the grim tasks surrounding abortion.
‘Every life is beautiful, precious and sacred. Choose Life.’