Early today Cannon James Morrow, the indefatigable Pro-Life campaigner, passed to his eternal reward in the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. Fr Morrow was not a foolish man. He was possessed of genuine learning in all areas of knowledge germane to his priesthood, he had in his time taught in seminary and had a great love of St Thomas. But Fr Morrow was an innocent man, a painfully and terribly innocent man. He never lost his surprise and dismay that his countrymen could stoop to murder babies and to connive at their murder for any reason and least of all mere hedonistic indulgence. He was filled with a great sorrow for this crime and for those who perpetrate it and those who tolerate it. He was always genuinely surprised when other clerics failed to assist or even opposed him. He never forgot that a law that violates the law of God is null and void and he always acted accordingly, often finding himself on the wrong side of the civil power. Once he memorably appeared in court for barricading an abortuary with Elizabeth Anscombe as his codefendant and John Finnis as his representative. Drowned as we are beneath four centuries of reformation legal positivism the officers of the law were at a loss to deal with the assertion that, as the Abortion Act is invalid, Fr Morrow had merely been acting to prevent unlawful killing of infants. I once discussed this problem with him and he insisted, quite correctly, that the only thing Parliament can do is to acknowledge the terrible gravity of its sin and the invalidity of its ‘Act’ and enact a formal declaration of repentance before issuing Acts of Attainder against such of the instigators as may still live.  I would like to say Fr Morrow was delighted when Benedict XVI was elected Pope, and he was, but he did not experience the euphoria of others because, trusting as he did in the Holy Spirit, he assumed this would be the outcome of the conclave. He predicted exactly the ballot on which he would be elected and the name he would take. He was a wonderful confessor and he did me the charity of saying mass for my intentions and allowing me to serve him on one of the most frightening mornings of my life. Saints are vastly rarer than funeral eulogists would have you believe and I have no power to look into men’s souls, but pray for him fervently and if he doesn’t need your prayers I’m sure the Lord will be happy to take his suggestions on where to redirect them.