As to be expected, the shocking result of the abortion referendum in Ireland has been greeted with gleeful gloating by the likes of Martin Scicluna. Meanwhile, Women’s Rights Foundation director, Lara Dimitrijevic, proudly reaffirms her pro-abortion stance.
Such outcomes do not happen overnight and have a long incubation period. For years, the media in Ireland has been intensely anti-clerical and hostile to the Church. The Church has been portrayed as the embodiment of evil and paedophilia almost presented as a phenomenon of the Catholic priesthood.
Here in Malta, the deep seated and ingrained animosity of the Labour Party political apparatchiks to the Church has shown no signs of abating over the years as their anti-family ideology comes inexorably to fruition.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Church in Malta is not succumbing to the cowardly stance of that in Ireland. No matter what the failings of the Church, one must not confuse issues.
The Church of Malta has given an enormous positive contribution both locally and abroad. Besides, it has taken draconian measures to address any abusive misconduct by the clergy. However, it rightly does not expect to be silenced because of past shortcomings, because it irritates the powerful, or by the rants and shabby partisan manoeuvring of pseudo priests.
The abortion campaign has to be seen in context. In a talk given early this year by Joseph Meaney of Human Life International, when invited by Gift of Life, he referred to a comment made in 2007 by Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona who had said: “The culture of death is both ancient and new.”
This penetrating comment says it all. Before the dawn of Christianity, all the pagan and primitive civilisations practised human sacrifice. They lacked the Christian vision of the right to life. One need only mention the sacrifice of thousands of children by incineration to the Canaanite god Moloch.
In the US public opinion is changing. The grass roots, mostly young people, are now challenging the culture of death
The conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity marked the turning point. Abortion and infanticide were outlawed. According to Meaney, the Judaeo-Christian pro-life stance became so influential that legal abortion disappeared. This changed in the 20th century.
The first country to legalise abortion was Soviet Russia in 1920. This was the atheistic strategy of Vladimir Lenin who was determined to destroy Christianity and the family by legalising divorce and abortion. The next country, in 1935, was Nazi Germany. Abortion and sterilisation were used as powerful eugenic tools to cull the non-Aryan races. Abortion is the hallmark of the pre-Christian and Post-Christian world.
So, in promoting the killing of nascent life, the likes of Lara Dimitrijevic are not as avantgarde as they think. No appeals to conscience can present evil as good and vice versa. Sadly, the evil of atheistic totalitarianism has been taken over by the new gurus who parrot the slogan of freedom of choice and reproductive rights that in reality are a new type of slavery and self-imposed sterility.
St Pope John Paul II, who was instrumental in raising the true awareness of human dignity that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain, gave this stark warning: “Capitalism, undisciplined by morality will ultimately self-destruct.”
Although richer, healthier, and more secure than ever before, the Western world is failing to reproduce itself.
Ironically, while the Western, post-Christian world greets abortion rights with jubilation, matters are quite different in Eastern Europe and in the US. The former are acutely aware of the consequences on family life and the current governments of Poland and Hungary, so criticised by the EU, are doing their utmost to promote family friendly policies and encourage child bearing.
In the US, after 50 of State-imposed abortion, public opinion is changing. The grass roots, mostly young people, are now challenging the culture of death.
The Maltese have nothing to be ashamed of. The challenge today that eclipses all others is the fight against the spectre of Moloch. Countries that embrace the culture of death may be ecstatic but they have no future.
As St Mother Theresa said in 1994: “Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace. If you cannot tell a mother not to kill her own child, how can you tell anyone not to kill another person.”
Klaus Vella Bardon is deputy chairman of Life Network Foundation Malta.