Providentially, I was kindly invited by Paul Borg to the launching of his book “…jiena xi ħadd…” at Verdala Palace on November 24. This powerfully-written book is an attempt by the author to raise public awareness about the reality behind the destruction of embryonic life and abortion. The title and subtitle of the book, freely translated, is ‘I am someone…I count… I matter’.
In the introduction to his book, Borg claims he was deeply shocked and, at the same time, galvanised by a TV programme he had watched. This set him off on a journey of research and consultation on the issue of termination of pregnancy. In his introduction, he makes five piercing and logical questions asking why such a practice is condoned and promoted.
With passion and sensitivity, this book tries to place the reader in the shoes of the embryo and the foetus, faced with an untimely end.
Malta is on the threshold of far-reaching changes that are uprooting the fabric of our society
The overpowering plea is for the right to life and we are shaken out of our indifference and ignorance to what it means to be so weak, insignificant and vulnerable and at the mercy of a culture that is increasingly so ready to eliminate life at its source.
The book has chapters in Maltese and also in English as well as poetry in both languages. Throughout, the tone is urgent and shocking as it goes into well-researched and graphic detail of what such cruel procedures really entail. He also draws out the agonising situation of women who bear the brunt of bearing the scars of such soul-wrenching decisions.
Borg even reflects on the terrible destiny of children whose lives are cut short by war and by drowning in their attempt to escape to a better life. He draws our attention to the atrocious practice of female genital mutilation, the widespread use of which cripples so many young girls.
Throughout, the book is an attempt to shed light and enlighten us, a heartfelt supplication mainly addressed to those in power and positions of responsibility. He feels that they have a grave duty to educate and legislate in favour of life and to provide frameworks in which life can be nurtured and given the full opportunity to flourish and reach its full potential through love and support.
This book could not have had a more timely inauguration. Malta is on the threshold of far-reaching changes that are uprooting the fabric of our society. These issues were always with us but the cultural changes that have engulfed our country so overwhelmingly are now rapidly coming to fruition.
Some of us have been acutely aware of this unfolding scenario, the slippery slope down which Malta is sliding so precipitously. Sadly, many people do not realise that this is not just an unrelated cascade of uncontrollable events.
Our country is in the grip of a highly-determined and well-placed cadre of committed activists who influence the policies being foisted on our largely indifferent and uninformed population.
Like the rest of the world, we are being swept by what John Paul II prophetically labelled the “new ideology of evil”. The Pope did not hesitate to do the unthinkable and challenge the ideology of communism. Neither did he shirk from standing up to gender ideology, the new evil that he described as more subtle and hidden and which is intent on exploiting human rights themselves against Man and against the family.
This callous ideology denies the very essence of our humanity and promotes contraception and abortion with a vengeance. Man is no longer in awe of creation and aware of transcendent realities that are the bedrock of our culture. This materialistic approach can be seen in the wanton destruction of our environment where everything and anything is reduced to its monetary value. Power and pleasure dominate our lives and the concept of God is slowly but surely being excluded.
The season of Christmas is with us again, with its reminder of the mystery of Christ and the perennial call for renewal. More than ever, in the turbulent times we face, the birth of Christ is an opportunity to uphold the sanctity of life in all its dimensions and all its fullness that invites us to cherish creation. This includes our impact on the animal world and the environment.
We are called to be stewards not manipulators and least of all destroyers.
The Year of Mercy came to a close on November 20 and the first corporal work of mercy is to instruct the uninformed. Borg does this eloquently and with a burning desire to change hearts, an appeal we should all heed, especially at this sacred time of the year.
Dr. Klaus Vella Bardon is deputy chairman of Life Network Foundation Malta