Our Lady of Fatima
and the Right to Life
Our Lady at Fatima told us to do our daily duty. Of course, to do our daily duty, we must know what it is. Most Catholics know that they must keep the Ten Commandments, and that they must also keep the laws of the Church, but our duty is more than just what many people think it is. We can understand better our duty by putting our duties in a certain order so that we do not miss any. Our first duty is to God; this duty we must fulfill, even at the cost of our life. We must honor Him, we must profess our faith, and worship Him. We must obey all His Ten Commandments and the precepts of the Gospel. Then we must be sure to fulfill our duties to ourselves — take care of our own soul, and of our own physical health. We also have a duty to love our neighbor as ourself. So we have a duty to be concerned first of all with those nearest to us, our family and the people we associate with at work and those we meet in our lives. We should be concerned not just in words but in effective action, first of all for their souls, and then for their physical well-being. And we also have a duty to do our jobs diligently and prudently according to the will of God, as long as the job given to us is not against God’s law.
But our duties do not stop here, we also have an obligation to the community we live in, to the city or town, as well as to the State or Province, and then to the country as a whole, and finally to all mankind. In brief, we have an obligation to further the true interests of the common good. So we are our brother’s keeper. It is our duty, our obligation, to do what we can to safeguard his legitimate interests. Now of course the public authorities have this obligation to the common good first of all — and the negligence of others will not excuse them from the non-fulfillment of the duties which their public office gives them.
As citizens, as voters, as members of the human race — by our conversations, writings, and example, and by whatever means Divine Providence gives us, we too have an obligation to protect those innocents whose very lives are being taken, and those who are in danger of death at the hands of doctors and nurses. We must do as much as we can to protect them. It is our duty. Our Lady at Fatima reminds us to do our duty. We must do our duty because God our Creator will demand an exact accounting of how we fulfilled our duty on Judgment Day. But we cannot do our duty unless we pray, because we need God’s grace to do our duty. So we need to pray. Pray the Rosary every day to know your duty and pray for the strength to do it every day. And pray for our clergy, our government leaders, and all those in public office so that they will do their duty as God expects them to.
|Tiny human feet at ten weeks after conception perfectly formed. Millions and millions of unborn human babies have been destroyed in the undeclared and silent war against the unborn in the past ten years. This "unspeakable crime" (Vatican II) cries to heaven for vengeance. This crime on such a vast scale, allowed and approved by the Government, and financed by your tax dollars, is a sign of the great crisis in our times. Catholics who procure an abortion, including the mother, if the abortion actually takes place, incur automatic excommunication from the Church (see Code of Canon Law - Canon 2350 - No. 1). This excommunication has been recently reaffirmed and is in the New Code soon to be promulgated.|
The Right to Life
Everyone agrees that each one of us has the right to life. Upon reflection, it is also clear that if we do not have a right to life, then all our other rights, real or theoretical, do not mean very much in practice, because if we can lose our life due to the whim of others, we would automatically lose our right to a job, to own private property, to marriage, to procreate and educate our own children, to vote for our own representatives, the right to worship God, and the right to obey our informed conscience, etc. All these rights we would lose and in fact we do lose, if we lose the right to life, because all these other rights cannot be exercised if we do not have life.
So it is clear then, that to attack the right to life, is in fact to attack all our rights. Without the right to life, we would not in fact have any other rights. We can see that the right to life is the very foundation of all the rights we have. To attack that right is to attack all rights, and in fact it is to attack all rule by law. It is an invitation to anarchy, as it calls into question the authority and purpose of government which has no role and no meaning unless it is there primarily to protect our rights.
The purpose of the law is to protect the legitimate rights of all citizens, and to promote the common good. St. Thomas Aquinas says in the Summa Theologica, that Law is the ordination of reason given and promulgated by one who has care of the community for the common good. The law must above all protect the right to life. If the law, that is the legislators of public law, renounce their obligation to protect the right to life of some class of citizens, if the judges and the administrators and doctors in hospitals refuse to do their duty to some class of citizens, then not any given part of that society is safe from “legalized murder”; once that part of society is unprotected by judicial fiat or by democratically elected legislators who decide to opt out of their duty of protecting a given segment of the population.
And if our right to life is not safe, then no other right of man is safe from the results of the government’s non-fulfillment of its duty. Nor in time will any person be safe from the positive act of the public authorities which decide to pay for the death of a person if that person becomes unpopular, or expendable according to popular will.
The Foundation of the Right to Life
Since we all agree that each one of us has the right to life, we must understand the true basis for this right to life. In brief, where does our right to life come from?
1) Is the basis of our right to life a decree of the parliament of Canada that we have such a right?
2) Is the basis of our right to life a 51% vote of our citizens agreeing that we have the right to life? If that were so, then we would have to concede that as long as fifty-one percent of us agree to our having a right to life, then that is how long we will have a right to life.
3) Is our right to life simply a nice phrase that sounds good but which does not really mean that each and every citizen has an actual right to life? This would really mean the individual has a right to life by his own decree as long as no one else is capable of killing him, but if someone else succeeded in taking his life it would then mean the individual really didn't have a right to life at all.
One can see that if the right to life is based on parliament being absolutely sovereign, then no one can consider himself wronged or unjustly treated if parliament steals from him, or breaks up his family, or kills him even though he is innocent. But no, we do not hold that parliament is absolutely sovereign. It has authority, it is true, but not such as to act unjustly or to take away the lives of innocent people. Nor has it the authority to give the Supreme Court the right to rule that it is all right to execute, and to kill the innocent, no matter what their age.
If we say that the reason we have the right to life is because democracy has Absolute Power and since this democracy legislates or votes by means of a referendum that we in Canada have the right to life, then our right to life would be given to us by the Absolute Power of democracy. If that were the case, then when democracy votes to take away someone’s life, then that person, even though not guilty of any crime, could not consider himself unjustly treated, since democracy which is absolute according to this theory, has even the power over the life and death of its citizens. But this indeed is a blasphemy. It is to put democracy in the place of God. It is to make the popular will the Absolute Sovereign. To make popular will the Absolute Sovereign is to allow popular will to arrogate to itself God’s rights over each man’s physical life. To agree to this proposition is to agree in effect that the State owns each one of us, and can do with each of us what it wants, as though we were a piece of property belonging to the State. The only limitation to this absolute domain of democracy over each of us would be that it has to be voted on first. Thus the most democratic thing and by this standard the most just thing, is a lynch mob where you have ninety-nine percent of the people in favor of killing an innocent man. By this line of reasoning, we would then agree that the Crucifixion of Christ was justified because the mob cried out that He be Crucified. What this really means, if we agree with this absolute sovereignty of democracy is that each of us will be handing over the God-given right to life, and all our other God-given rights into the hands of the manipulators of public opinion.
If we think that the right to life is in fact just a phrase that really means nothing except that those who are strong have a right to life whereas those who are weak forfeit the right to life when they become weak, then we admit that we allow others the right to kill us if they want to and if they can succeed. To deny that the right to life means anything, is an open invitation to terrorists to kill individuals. It is a further invitation to foreign powers to invade our country. Such thinking would then justify the invader’s armed forces when they kill women and children and all non-combatants.
What then is the right to life based on? It is based on the fact, provable by reason, that the one true God created us. Since He made us, we belong to Him. He has a right to be served by us because God has, with regard to us, more than just a workman’s title to his labor, or the legal rights of a man who owns private property. God made us out of nothing, and thus He owns us absolutely, body and soul. He has absolute sovereign domain over each creature as well as over States and Nations.
The right to life antecedes any right the State or the nation has over us. The right to life is granted to each creature by the Creator directly. This right is not derived from the State or the legislature or the will of the people. The right to life is a right that no man or group of men or political party or human judge or any public authority or even a national referendum can take away, because God gave that right and gives to no man the authority to take it away. It is not for any man to take away, as God said: “Thou shalt not kill.” It is an absolute command, and to take one innocent human life is to be guilty of mortal sin, and to be worthy of eternal damnation.
The Obligations of Public Authorities
Not only are those guilty of murder who actually pull the trigger, or who use the knife or have their hand on whatever instrument of death is used, but also guilty of murder are those who pay the killer, who approve of his action, and those who protect him from the punishment of just laws. Those whose duty is to protect the innocent, and yet, who refuse to do their duty, with the result that innocent people are murdered, are themselves guilty of murder of those innocent people.
For example, if a policeman, who takes an oath of office to protect society, would say to a man being murdered before his eyes: “I am personally against this crime, but I do not feel I can impose my view on those who are killing you, because they don’t see it the way you and I do. I think they are sincere.” Such a law-enforcement officer would also be guilty of murder for not doing his duty of protecting the innocent citizen whose life was being taken by murderers. His words which justify to himself his neglect of his duty, will not excuse him from allowing the man to be murdered. His criminal negligence makes him a partner of the murderer.
The same is also true for legislators who refuse to protect the lives of innocent persons who are in their territory. If a man takes on the job of being a legislator, he has by that very fact taken on the job of protecting innocent life within the territory of that nation.
Thus a legislator who allows the lives of some innocent persons to be endangered by passing laws which knowingly allow some innocent people to be killed without fear that the public authorities will punish those murderers, then those legislators are guilty of murder themselves, both before God and before men. Through their criminal negligence of duty they are as guilty as is the policeman in the example above who failed to enforce the law and justified this murderous negligence with some empty words.
Let us take for example a policeman or a politician who says to us as we are being murdered: “I sympathize with you. I know you are suffering and I disagree with those who murder you. But I am sure you understand that I can’t impose my morality on these murderers, and so I won’t protect your life.” It is clear that in such a case the policeman or politician is guilty of criminal negligence. Neither God nor man will consider them to be guiltless.
No Excuse Allowed
Nor will the politician be held guiltless who abstains from speaking and acting as far as he is capable of to stop abortions from being allowed by the law of the land. By his very office he is obliged to protect innocent life. If the previous legislators did not do their duty and allowed abortion, it is no excuse for him to not do his duty which obliges him to stop or at least try to the best of his ability to stop abortions.
Nor will the politician be excused from this grave obligation because the party he belongs to does not agree with him and will not allow him to fulfill his duty towards God and toward the common good and toward the innocent persons who are being killed or who are about to be killed. Since the party will not allow him to fulfill his duty, may he consider himself excused before God and men? The answer is simply no. He is not excused. He is still guilty of murder if he neglects to try to bring about just laws and the effective protection of all the innocent. His first obligation is not to the political party but to God Himself. Neither he nor his party is above the obligations that each legislator personally has to God and to his fellow man. They are there to fulfill their duty, not to impose or to allow others to impose their murderous will on the innocent. For by allowing doctors and mothers to kill their babies, they are allowing innocent people to be murdered, and allowing murderers to prey on the weak and defenseless, without fear of punishment.
God is not only sovereign over individuals, He is sovereign over families, cities, provinces, states, and nations. He is sovereign over public authorities, governments, administrators and courts. His sovereignty is absolute and complete. All authority that governments and courts have comes from Him. He has not authorized any government to pass laws which contradict Divine Laws. Nor has any court been authorized by God to hand down sentences contrary to the law of God. Any legislator guilty of voting for, or not voting against such a law as abortion, no matter what pressure has been put on the individual legislator or the government as a whole, is guilty of a grave sin, a mortal sin, and he must as far as he can work to rectify such a law. He must make restitution to the common good in order to be forgiven by God.
“We must obey God rather than men,” must be the answer that any legislator (Member of Parliament, Congressman, Senator or the member of the House of Lords) of any political party must give to his party when they ask him to vote in favor of an abortion law. He must give the same answer to his party, when it asks him not to speak in parliament and not to vote in favor of repealing an existing abortion law. If others will not join him in doing their duty as lawmakers, God will not account him responsible for the sixty-five thousand murders that will continue to take place each year in Canada or the one and a half million murders that will continue to take place each year in the United States. But if the legislators neglect to protect the unborn, then they are guilty of these murders due to their criminal negligence of duty.
When other choices are available, citizens who vote for these legislators who neglect their duty to the unborn are also guilty. And people who do not do what is in their power to do, to protect the unborn, are also guilty, even if they did not vote for pro-abortionists, or for politicians who refuse to protect the unborn, because more than political action is needed. The people need to be educated to know their obligations. All seem to be largely ignorant of their strict duty toward God in this matter. We must speak out. Priests and Bishops should clearly and repeatedly tell all the souls in their care the obligation in strict justice that the legislators, and law-enforcement officers and all citizens have. All mothers, doctors and nurses, social workers and all those who pay these people should be told clearly and firmly that they will have to answer to God Himself if they had an abortion or helped perform one or counseled their clients to have one.
The Role of the Clergy
|When the women of Jerusalem were weeping for Jesus as He carried His Cross to Calvary, He said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children,” (Luke 23:28). Our Lord could be saying the same today to women of North America. As Mother Teresa said, abortion kills not only the baby but the souls of the persons who procured the abortion.|
St. Alphonsus Liguori tells us that bishops and confessors and pastors of souls have a strict obligation in justice to tell those in their charge what the moral law is when it involves third parties. That is, the Church and St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, tell us that the pastor can’t leave someone continue doing a great evil to a third party, even though the person is acting in good faith and does not know he is doing something evil. The pastor then is seriously and strictly obliged to correct the person, even if the person, whose soul God has entrusted to his pastoral care, will not listen to the correction.
Thus parish priests have an obligation to let their people know clearly and unambiguously and unequivocally and repeatedly from the pulpit and in the confessional and “in season and out of season,” (2 Timothy 4:2) as well as by whatever means they can legitimately use, that abortion is a mortal sin, that one who dies unrepentant of this sin, will go to hell, and that one who procured an abortion, the mother included, is excommunicated.
All Catholic legislators (Members of Parliament, Congressmen and Senators and Members of the Upper House) and Cabinet Ministers should be clearly told of their obligation to protect the rights of all the unborn by effective statutes and laws. And if they do not do all they can to protect the unborn from abortion, they also are guilty of sin. And if a charter of rights is passed which does not include the right to life of one segment of the population, namely the unborn, then the charter implicitly does not give them full protection of the law. It would, it seems, be seriously sinful for Catholic legislators to vote for such a charter of rights.
We cannot remain silent before such abominable crime and practiced on such a vast scale. The clergy has an obligation to inform people of the law of God and of the Church in these matters. It would seem that if they were to maintain silence in these matters, it would make them guilty also. We must also consider seriously our obligations to withhold tax money, for we must not partake of the guilt of our neighbors by paying others to kill the unborn.
We Must Heed Our Lady of Fatima
Above all we must pray. We must beg of God through Our Heavenly Mother’s intercession, especially by Her Rosary which is most powerful against error and heresy, the grace for ourselves to do our duty to God and to mankind no matter if it even costs us our own life. We must pray for our legislators, for our government leaders and for court officials and doctors, to obtain for them the light to know their duty and the strength to resist the apparently powerful anti-life, anti-God forces that are within our country. We must also pray for the doctors and for the hospital committees which vote on each individual “legal” abortion, that they have the power to resist the pressures put on them. We must also pray for those who are tempted to have abortions, that they may see the light before they commit the crime they are considering. We must pray that all concerned help those mothers of children who are in danger of abortion; so that they will know it is wrong to kill their children, and give those mothers help so that it will be easier for them to let their children live. And we must pray that we all convert more to God so that the sacred power of procreation will be respected by all people as God expects, and that it will not be considered as a means of self-gratification. And we must pray that immodest fashions and all occasions of sins against purity will be avoided by all. We must pray that people realize the need for the strength of God’s grace in order to live justly and chastely, and therefore that they realize the need for prayer and vigilance in their own lives in order to live as God intended. We must pray for a greater spirit of faith and mortification for ourselves and for the conversion of all men towards God so that all men will live always in His grace. Let us pray to Our Lady of Fatima as She indicated we must do, if we are to have peace, justice and happiness in this world. Let us do as She asks so that we and many souls will merit the eternal reward of Heaven. May we all do our duty toward the unborn now.