Friday, September 24, 2010

Canon James Morrow Pro-life campaigner

One of the most dedicated priests against abortion has died in Scotland.

The Glasgow Herald  has reported the recent death of Canon James Morrow.

In 1984 he established Humanae Vitae House in Braemar as the centre for his pro-life work. This was well before the 1995 Encyclical Evangelium Vitae. In fact his pro-life activities started even before the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967.

He was a prophetic witness

In 1990, Fr Morrow was released from ordinary parochial duties to become a full-time pro-life campaigner. From Braemar, he developed a vigorous publishing and campaigning organisation attacking abortion.

He was arrested several times in Britain after forcibly entering abortion clinics, he was convicted several times for breaches of the peace. He even spent time in Craiginches Prison, Aberdeen, after refusing to pay court fines.

Core to his activities was the belief that "Thou Shalt Not Kill", that no civil power could make divine law illegal and so the Abortion Act was invalid.

He campaigned across the UK and abroad, staging demonstrations at abortion clinics and once threatening to mount a private prosecution for murder against the parents of Hillsborough coma victim Tony Bland, his doctors and an NHS Trust for allowing him to die.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said:

"Father James Morrow was a dedicated priest and a heroic pro-life campaigner. A dedicated, intelligent, articulate good man and priest, Father Morrow always showed an innocence that was shocked by the actions of people.

In the pro-life cause there have been few fighters as doughty, and few publicists who have reached a wider audience. Many sympathisers have admired his courage while questioning the disconcerting directness of his methods, and perhaps making that questioning an excuse for keeping their distance. May he now rest in peace."

In 2008 his home diocese of Paisley appointed him an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral Chapter in recognition of his ministry in the defence of human life.

May he rest in peace.