In her excellent article on post-abortion trauma (June AD 2000) Anne Lastman shows how suffering can lead to repentance. In his encyclical, The Gospel of Life, the Pope says that these women have a very special role in spreading the pro-life message. These women, therefore, themselves victims of the death culture, should not bear the entire blame for the crime of abortion.
Every hour, on average, at least eleven Australian babies are aborted. This does not include the 70,000 lives discarded annually in the in vitro fertilisation programs. Who is responsible for this barbarous slaughter?
Although they must bear much of the guilt, abortionists can act only because of public apathy. Ordinary people like you and I are ultimately responsible. If the bulk of people were actively pro-life, no government would dare countenance such wholesale slaughter.
Abortion and euthanasia would then become so risky that few doctors would dare practise them. It is our Christian duty to challenge this community mind-set.
Around 1500 years ago, Pope St Felix III wrote: "An error which is not resisted is approved, a truth which is not defended is suppressed ... He who does not oppose an evident crime is open to the suspicion of secret complicity." Today, crimes against the innocent are all but unopposed.
The Gospel of Life further tells us that life is good because in man there shines forth a reflection of God himself. The life which God offers to man is a gift by which God shares something of himself with his creature. Do not the Pope's words tell us that the destruction of the innocent, among other things, is an act of gravest sacrilege, because it profanes the living image of God. Is it any wonder, therefore, that we will be judged with the words: "As you treated the least of these my little ones so also you treated me"?
To be totally indifferent to the slaughter of the innocent is, therefore, to be on Calvary hammering the nails into the hands and feet of Christ. We all have the obligation to help the pro- life movement by offering our time, financial assistance and, most importantly of all, our prayers.
North Blackburn, Vic