29 March 2007

A Sad Day

There are some who think Portugal has enjoyed the special protection of Our Lady of Fatima. The bishops of Portugal solemnly consecrated the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on May 13, 1931 and 1938, and the effects were striking. First, there was a Catholic renaissance throughout the country to such an extent that one of the bishops remarked:
Anybody who would have closed his eyes twenty-five years ago and opened them now would no longer recognize Portugal, so vast is the transformation worked by the modest and invisible factor of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. Really, Our Lady wishes to save Portugal.
Secondly, the political and social climate transformed, and laws were enacted in keeping with Catholic doctrine, to protect marriage and the family. Portugal was also protected from the evils of communism, as well as the devastations of the Second World War. Sr. Lucia herself wrote to one of the bishops that "in this horrible war, Portugal would be spared because of the national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by the bishops."

It is, therefore, a sad day when we read that the country is soon to pass legislation allowing unqualified abortions up to ten weeks.
The abortion bill was introduced jointly by the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Left Block and the Green Party, all of which had participated in drafting the legislation. The ruling Socialist Party holds an absolute majority in the legislature—the party has been working to introduce pro-abortion legislation for the past decade.
A large pro-life demonstration in Lisbon on Jan. 28 drew a crowd of more than 18,000, indicating strong support for pro-life laws in the country. Regardless, the government declared its intention of pushing through early-stage abortion on demand following the Feb. 11 referendum.
The bill is subject to the president's ratification in the next 20 days, but will become law only once officially published (which could take months). There is still time to pray this measure will be defeated.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.