Cardinal Keith O'Brien on behalf of the Scottish Bishops

"The bishops of Scotland uphold the sanctity of human life from its beginning at the moment of conception until it ends with natural death. We never cease to invoke the protection of the Mother of God on all her children, especially those who are most vulnerable at life's earliest stages before they are born.

We are encouraged by the prayerful trust shown by those who have organised the "Ocean to Ocean" pilgrimage of the Icon of our Lady of Czestochowa, which will visit our Cathedrals in Edinburgh and Glasgow and the shrine of our Lady of Lourdes at Carfin.

We join our prayers to those of so many others pleading for the protection of the unborn and we hope that the deep devotion of so many people along the Blessed Virgin's pilgrim route will cause people and their governments to restore protection to all unborn babies and rediscover the sacredness of the gift of human life."