The Catholic Church will chastise the Irish state from the pulpit this weekend when, at the request of the bishops, priests across the country will read out their latest response to the Irish government's proposed legislation on abortion at Masses this weekend.

According to the Irish Independent, the bishops will also invite the priests and mass goers to pray the specially designated 'Choose Life' prayer in the hope that 'the dignity and value of all human life will continue to be upheld in Ireland.'

The request comes in the same week that an independent review body found that Savita Halappanavar, who died at Galway University Hospital on 28 October last year, should have been offered a termination earlier but was told Irish law prevented it.

Speaking to reporters in Maynooth on Tuesday, Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick said the bishops hoped people would read their statement. 'We hope it will be read out at parishes at the weekend,' he said.

The move is part of a new campaign by the Catholic Church to inform mass goers of its continued opposition to the Government's proposed legislation.

The bishops have also reportedly asked mass goers to support an initiative being led by Pope Francis this weekend in Rome which celebrates the sanctity of human life.

In their statement at the conclusion of their three-day summer meeting in Maynooth yesterday, the bishops referred to a special celebration by the pope entitled 'Believing, May They Have Life.'

This Saturday, thousands of participants from around the world who oppose abortion are due to take part in a silent, candle-lit procession in Rome which will conclude in St Peter's Square.