Bishops of the United Kingdom Invite You to JOIN in Prayer to Help Defeat the ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ - FULL TEXT

UK Bishops' Release:

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales invite the faithful to pray a novena, nine days of prayer, seeking the intercession of Pope Saint John Paul II, to help defeat the ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’.

The Bill will receive its Second Reading, with full debate, in the House of Lords on 22 October. If successful, it will allow terminally ill adults with less than six months to live, assistance to commit suicide.

Prayer and Care

In the lead up to the Second Reading, from Thursday 14 October, Catholics are encouraged to pray the novena with short daily reflections to uphold the infinite worth of each human person through proper investment in palliative care.

Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, said:

“Jesus told his disciples to pray at all times and not lose heart. Providentially the discussion of Baroness Meacher’s Bill in the House of Lords falls on the feast of Saint John Paul II on 22 October.

“The novena, asking the intercession of Pope Saint John Paul II, who spoke courageously about the infinite worth of each human person and witnessed to the cross in his final illness, calls upon Catholics and all who share our view that assisted suicide is wrong, to pray with perseverance that this Bill will be defeated.

“Saint John Paul II, pray for us!”

Visit our full ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021‘ section.

Novena to Pope Saint John Paul II
Thursday, 14 October to Friday, 22 October 2021
This novena, nine days of intercessory prayer, can be prayed in the lead up to the Second Reading of
the ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ in the House of Lords. It is offered to encourage a flourishing of a
culture of life and the defeat of the Bill.
Start the novena with this prayer each day
Merciful God, we pray with thanks and gratitude for the great spiritual gift of Saint John Paul II’s
apostolic life and mission. Through his heavenly intercession we ask that the ‘Assisted Dying’ Bill be
defeated and that the infinite worth of each human person is upheld through proper investment in
palliative care. Grant also that we may grow in love for You and proclaim boldly the love of Jesus
Christ to all people. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen
Daily Quote / Reflection
Read the daily quote or reflection as set out below the Lord’s Prayer and the Glory Be.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.Hail MaryHail, Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be
world without end. Amen
Daily Quotes and Reflections
Day One
"All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the
unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined
to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect."
Pope Francis, Message to Catholics participating in Day for Life in Britain and Ireland
28 July 2013
Day Two
"A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the
dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the
contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and
violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the
foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as
democracy and peace."
Evangelium Vitae, 101
Day Three
"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the
most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying."
Pope Saint John Paul II, Address to the New Ambassador of New Zealand to the Holy See
25 May 2000
Day Four
"Respecting the dignity of people who are dying must involve respecting their lives, for
without life there is no dignity."
Cherishing Life, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales 2004
Day Five
"Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or
euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every
individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law."
Evangelium Vitae, 72
Day Six
"As believers, how can we fail to see that abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are a
terrible rejection of God's gift of life and love? And as believers, how can we fail to feel the
duty to surround the sick and those in distress with the warmth of our affection and the
support that will help them always to embrace life?"
Pope Saint John Paul II
Day Seven
"Physician-assisted suicide is part of a 'throwaway culture' that offers a 'false compassion'
and treats a human person as a problem... True compassion does not marginalise anyone,
nor does it humiliate and exclude - much less considers the death of a person as a good
Pope Francis, Address to Directors of the Orders of Physicians of Spain and Latin America
June 2016
Day Eight
"As life is given by God, so we should be ready to meet God in death when the time comes.
For Christians this is a time in which fear and sadness are mixed with hope and love. It is an
occasion to surrender ourselves into the hands of God. It is wrong for us to anticipate God's
command and bring about our own deaths..."
Cherishing Life, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales 2004
Day Nine
"Never tire of firmly speaking out in defence of life from its conception and do not be
deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with
courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!"
Pope Saint John Paul II