Yesterday the results of the referendum held in Ireland on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which recognizes “the right to life of the unborn”, were published.
Two thirds of the Irish support removing their rights to other human beings
66.4% of the Irish have voted in favor of suppressing this right, which will allow killing the most innocent and defenseless in that country. It is a brutal setback in terms of human rights, which leaves Europe without its last great sanctuary for unborn children. I know that one day our society will be ashamed of this, just as today other peoples are ashamed to have called “right” to the possession of slaves or to have considered “untermensch” (subhuman) millions of our fellow men (Jews, disabled, gypsies , Poles, Russians …), in order to deny them the rights of the human condition, starting with the most basic right of all, without which others are threatened: the right to life.
The dictatorship of relativism: a threat to human rights
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI warned: “The dictatorship of relativism can destroy freedom.” He did not lack reason. A relativist society does not accept any absolute or universal truth, not even human rights. Relativism leads to the dictatorship of the majority, whose will is manipulated through the media. The legal dams implemented after the World War II to stop abuses against minorities, starting with the protection of human rights, are being broken one by one in the name of a form of thought that distorts everything, including the very respect for the human life. We should bear in mind the warning made by St. Teresa of Calcutta in 1994 at the National Prayer breakfast in Washington DC, United States: “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.“
The words of St. John Paul II to Ireland in 1979
I have cited two great references for Catholics. I’ll add one more. In 1995, Pope St. John Paul II warned: “we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the «culture of death» and the «culture of life»“. The campaign to approve the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution, which protects the unborn, was launched on January 21, 1981. Fifteen months earlier, the Polish Pope had visited Ireland, saying the following in a homily in Limerick on October 1, 1979: “Abortion, as the Vatican Council stated, is one of the “abominable crimes”. To attack unborn life at any moment from its conception is to undermine the whole moral order which is the true guardian of the well-being of man. The defence of the absolute inviolability of unborn life is part of the defence of human rights and human dignity. May Ireland never weaken in her witness, before Europe and before the whole world, to the dignity and sacredness of all human life, from conception until death.“ Inspired by that saint, the Irish bishops and various Catholic organizations of the island were fully involved in the initiative, receiving the support of the three main parties of the country.
The low profile of the Irish bishops and the pastors who refuse to be
The thing has been very different before this new referendum. Several media have boasted of the “low profile” adopted by the Irish Bishops: “Fearful of distancing voters with a too dogmatic message, or of mobilizing those of the other side, the Irish Catholic Church has chosen to remain in the background in the referendum campaign on abortion,” France 24 said. On May 5, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which claims to group a thousand Irish Catholic priests (in 2014 there were 2,627 Catholic priests in Ireland), published a statement in which he affirmed: “human life is complex, throwing up situations that are more often grey than black and white and that demand from us a sensitive, non-judgemental, pastoral approach. Also, as leadership of an association made up of men who are unmarried and without children of our own, we are not best placed to be in any way dogmatic on this issue.“ They also criticized that “some Catholic parishes are allowing their pulpits to be used by campaigners during Mass. As there are, among faithful, Church-going Catholics, a great variety of opinions on this vote, we believe this is inappropriate and insensitive.“ If they refuse to morally guide their parishioners, why are they priests?
The silence of Pope Francis before the Irish referendum
But the most notable absence in this debate has been that of Rome. On May 14, from The Catholic World Report, Filip Mazurczak encouraged praying for the Pope to address the Irish on this subject. Finally he has not done it. Unlike the inspiration that Irish Catholics received from St. John Paul II in 1979, Pope Francis has not sent any specific message to the faithful of Ireland regarding abortion. “We can not continue insisting only on issues related to abortion, homosexual marriage or the use of contraceptives. It is impossible,” Pope Francis said in an interview with the magazine La Civiltà Cattolica in 2013, adding: “It is not necessary to be talking about these things without ceasing.“ However, the defenders of the culture of death talk about it without rest. And now they have just conquered Ireland too. Will the Pope change his mind about this new defeat for the culture of life? What would have happened in Ireland if Francis, making use of all his popularity, had pronounced himself?
The duty of Christians towards society
Christians have to assume that our faith must also be projected in public life. We have the right and also the duty to assert our approach in matters that affect us all. Or does anyone think that Christians are second-class citizens and we must be silent so as not to “contaminate” society with our beliefs? It is something that is not even asked to supporters of a totalitarian ideology responsible for more than 100 million deaths such as communism. Precisely, the role of Christians in the fall of that oppressive system was very important. Without the intervention of St. John Paul II, without the activism of the Polish Catholics of Solidarność, today half of Europe would remain under the Marxist yoke. The silence and complexes of Christians in public life is being exploited by ideologies as aberrant as Marxism, and in some cases descendants of it. The terrain that we lose is won by the supporters of the culture of death and the aberrant and totalitarian gender ideology. And with it not only the Christians lose: it is losing all the society, starting with those whose lives are beginning in the maternal womb. Christianity is the solid foundation on which Europe built its civilization, this civilization in which freedom and democracy took root. We do not have to be ashamed to be what we are. It is time for Christians to stop being silent: we have much to contribute to society, and many lives depend on our defending them.
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