BY Peter Diamond | May 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Bishop’s rallying cry for political leaders to stand up for the unborn

Bishop John Keenan has issued a rallying call for politicians and leaders of the UK to speak up for the pro-life movement even if it means coming under attack. — By PETER DIAMOND AND JAMES FARRELL

The Bishop of Paisley Diocese was addressing thousands of people attending the March for Life in London on Saturday May 5.

Bishop Keenan recalled how as a student of Law at Glasgow University in the late 1980s he remembered being inspired by a Liberal Party MP who spoke openly about the right to life and brought a bill before parliament.

David Alton MP managed to get a majority of MPs to back his bill seeking a cut from 28 weeks to 18 weeks in the legal limit for an abortion, but it lacked government support and was talked out.

Bishop Keenan said: “I remember watching the issue on TV because it was a huge national story and I saw a young politician full of courage.

“When I saw David Alton speak I saw my first pro-life hero—a champion. Any time he was attacked, he answered serenely.

“And you’ve no idea the profound, galvanising effect on the young prolife movement, myself included.

“It galvanised our zeal, it galvanised our ideal but it even galvanised in me a sense of vocation.”



The Bishop of Paisley Diocese went onto issue a rallying call to political figures and civic leaders to courageously speak up for the pro-life movement even if persecuted.

Speaking at the March for Life he added: “So today can I say to any leaders in our country just now, you have no idea the galvanising affect your courage will have if you stand up before the British media, courageously, even under attack, and be pro-life.

“You are sowing the seeds of the next generation of the pro-life movement.

“Brothers and sisters we will win this battle by truth but we will win it even more with our positive message—the most positive message of all. Life. For all. And life to the full.”

An estimated 4,000 pro-life supporters marched through London streets on Saturday May 5, from the Covent Garden area of the capital past Trafalgar Square and 10 Downing Street to the front of the British Parliament, in solidarity with the unborn and as witnesses to the dignity of life. The UK March for Life had previously been held in Birmingham, and Bishop Keenan said the move to London showed it was ‘truly an international march.’



The former chaplain of Glasgow University paid tribute to the young people who had attended the event and travelled in their numbers to London for the march.

Bishop Keenan said: “It makes me remember when I was young, growing up as a young teenager and in my early 20s, I had lots of questions about my Faith—that is a good thing, as we have to work through our Faith—as not all of the teachings of my Faith were immediately obvious to me.

“But I can tell you brothers and sisters one call that was always obvious to me was the right to life.

“I was always convinced that the children in the womb of their mothers were my brothers and sisters and I’ve never known a time in my life when I’ve not been convinced of that.

“Back all those years ago I realised that those children were voiceless and I had to stand up and give them a voice, something I continue to do.”

Bishop Keenan added that the debate around pro-choice forums has become a ‘tired, haggard message’ and that the pro-life movement should pray for our country to be pro-life once again.

He said: “I’m sure brothers and sisters that our country and its citizens are ­becoming sick and tired of a haggard message that women have no choice. That their only alternative is their live or their child’s live.

“We have a much better more hopeful, more positive story, you can have life for both.

“We love the mother and we love the children and we love them both. We have one message and I want you to tell everyone wherever you go, there’s always a better choice than abortion.

“We don’t just need new laws, we need new grace. And therefore as well as marching with our feet, I would ask those with Faith to pray on your knees.”

Bishop Keenan concluded his speech by saying, ‘I know deep in my heart and do believe we will overcome one day.’

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