Archbishop Cushley has called on Catholics to pray for those traumatised by abortion as he highlighted the 'travesty' of those who want the deliberate killing of an unborn child to be a human right.

His comments came in his homily for the annual Archdiocesan pro-life Mass which was broadcast this evening on YouTube, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

He said: "As abortion has become more common in the West in the last 50 years or so, today's Feast has gained a more solemn character.

"We now recall not just ancient events as we did in the scriptures, but the daily reality of those souls who, hidden and silent, have suffered the pain of death before they can taste the joy of life

"We remember mothers who, willingly or unwillingly, have aborted their children and who remain marked and traumatised for the rest of their lives by their actions."

He said society had become "coarsened by making the deliberate taking of life into something banal, by the pressure of vested industrial and scientific interests and by the wilful pride of individuals who pretend to make such actions into a travesty of a human right".

Archbishop Cushley added: "The legislation created in the United Kingdom in 1967 (the Abortion Act) was supposed to make abortion - in their own words - legal, safe and rare. 

"It may be legal but it is not safe and it is not rare. It is certainly not without consequences for the mother, never mind for wider society, to safe nothing of the fetus. So we can never willingly accept abortion as a right, or as a duty, or as a good.

"But what we can do is to continue to act and to pray, to love the mother, to love the child and to support them both in every way that we can. Have a happy Feast and may God awaken all consciences."