The electronic media brings instantaneous reports of calamities, earthquakes and sufferings of peoples around the world, and quite rightly, we in our Australian Catholic churches (and probably in others as well), pray for and remember them at our Sunday Masses and services.
However, while we care about such international calamities, we seem to be completely oblivious of the holocaust perpetrated on our own doorstep: the 100,000 innocent children aborted annually in Australia. Perhaps if numbers don't register too easily in our minds, let us picture the sea of spectators at an AFL grand-final and then imagine that number of people exterminated every year. If such a picture does not shock us, nothing will.
Yet despite this undisputed fact, one almost never hears any petitions in our churches asking God to rid us of this horror, nor are we often encouraged to do so by many of our priests from the pulpit, for reasons that are not at all clear.
Some Catholic and Christian lay organisations have been working night and day to stop this holocaust, but what are all the rest of us church-goers doing to assist them? Most of us are not even aware of the magnitude of the problem, since we read only secular publications where abortion is condoned as "family planning" and where big numbers are studiously avoided.
The whole monstrous nature of this calamity is pushed under the rug both outside and indeed inside our churches, where those who are aware appear to be much too afraid to come out and "rock the boat". Yet despite this, the holocaust of innocents must be stopped.
In view of the deeply secularised nature of our society, it will certainly not happen through political action alone, but only when coupled with our prayers and intercessions to God and especially with the help of our Blessed Lady. We have precedents of this right throughout the ages where hopeless situations have turned into success because of her intercession with God. We must do the same again in our present plight and turn to her for help.
Towards this end, a first step is to familiarise all church-goers with the monstrous crime on our hands, by spelling it out via a regular petition included in our Sunday Masses, wherein with the help of Our Lady we ask God to change the abortion mentality of our nation and intercede for the slain babies, their parents and medical executioners.
If our bishops were to strongly encourage or even mandate such action at our Sunday Masses, then we would all be in a better position to receive the grace, strength and courage to fight this evil tooth and nail.
The proper organisations for this fight are already in place, and these committed people only await our prayers and actions to assist them. Let us not be judged by history as the people who stood by in comfort while innocents were slaughtered.
THOMAS M. KALOTAS (DR)