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So this is not Life?

His Holiness Pope Francis.

“Our defence of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection. We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandoned live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty.

We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue. Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the “grave” bioethical questions. That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children” — Gaudete et Exsultate Rejoice and Be Glad #101-102

The Holy Father Pope Francis has for some years been persecuted unmercifully and called many names and titles (false prophet, anti-Christ) by supposedly “good Catholics” which should make us all hang our heads in shame. One pro-life group especially has used social media to carry out a campaign of division since this Pope was elected. Pope Francis has even been accused of not being “pro-life” the quote on this page are his thoughts in his latest exhortation. He defends not only those in the womb first but then all kinds of suffering human beings.

We work hard to save a child from abortion (rightly so) but then stand by whilst human trafficking of enormous proportions is carried out in our day and age. Trafficking of young little children for the purpose of sexual gratification by wicked/evil individuals and groups? As someone said to me recently “because of their innocence and “virginity” What have we become that we have businesses which would do this to children.

Yes we’ve worked and will continue to work hard to save babies in the womb because we believe that they have a right to their life as a gift given to the parents even if they don’t know it and we have saved the child in the womb only to let that child be exploited, used, abused, starved, beaten? Is being pro-life only about life in the womb but nothing else? Are we pro-lifers sabotaging our language just as surely as the pro aborts and pro choicers who sabotage the word “choice” and “rights” are we going to do the same? With the word “pro-life? Meaning only life in the womb? Are we only interested in life in womb or life of a child in its continuum? Life is life. A child is a child even when they are being raped and then passed on to someone else etc. etc. to do the same.

Child trafficking isn’t to give a needing child a wonderful life and opportunity it is to give some badly damaged individual distorted pleasure.

We all remember an image of a little 3 year old Syrian boy found washed up on sea shore about 2-3 years ago. It broke all our hearts seeing that little one floating face down in the water. Dead. Have we so quickly forgotten? Was the life of that child whose parents let him live (not aborted him) but then he was lost due to place of his birth and right/wrong political landscape? What about pro-life and euthanasia where elderly are now fearful of going to hospitals just in case they never leave hospitals alive. Or even the disabled whose life is deemed valueless. Is this not Pro Life?

We all of us write about our horror and euthanasia, indeed at this moment we have the story of a distinguished elderly professor who has gone to Switzerland to have himself done in.

Or even the tragic story of young Alfie Evans whose life was deemed so useless that even with all the world’s attention and offers of help from others professionals, hospitals etc. the courts and hospital and not his parents chose and carried out their decision that the child must die.

The Holy Father is recognizing these matters as pro-life matters and we must fight to reclaim the entire meaning of value of life beginning at conception, its hospitality in the womb and then deep respect for the humanity from birth to end of life. Life is a continuum it always begins with the union of a sperm and ova and concludes in a human whose life was intended for good and joy and mirror the image of its creator and co-workers (parents).

This little two year old Alfie Evans, just like the little boy washed on sea shore tugged at heartstrings of all throughout the world, i.e. all who followed the story. After being removed from life support he died in the early hours of Saturday morning after having breathed on his own for 24 hrs. In a hollow voice the little one’s father said: “My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30…absolutely heartbroken. I love you my guy.”

His mother also spoke of his little wings and flying. This is not pro-life work? What is it then?

And this only a matter of short time after the other child Charlie Gard, at the same hospital and same illness, was also doomed to die. This should never have happened. The hospital or the courts or no one but the parents are the guardians of their child. Or has big brother started flexing his muscles with the youngest in the womb, disabled, and elderly? Already?

Is this what we can expect in the future? Is this not pro-life matters? This child Alfie Evans had been granted Italian citizenship to be able to be taken the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù children’s hospital which had offered to take the child for further diagnosis and treatment, but enter the British courts which repeatedly refused to allow the transfer, ruling that it is not in the child’s best interest. So the courts and the hospital and maybe even the janitor at the hospital deemed that it was in the child’s best interests but not the parents? Stopping these matters, is this not pro-life? Where were the parent’s rights to determine which way to go with their child? Their child. Or does this mean that already when someone goes into hospital for treatment they lose their rights? This is not life matters? We pro-lifers don’t fight this? Is it too hard?

How interesting in the same week a prince was born. The media and world rejoiced (and rightly so) but another young prince (to his parents) was intentionally left/made/forced to die. There is a tragic irony in that isn’t there?

The Holy Father Pope Francis, supported and prayed for the child and family and offered to encourage public prayer for them who met with Alfie’s father last week, has offered public prayers for Alfie and his family several times, including at a general audience and in several twitter posts “Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted,” he said Monday on Twitter. But the final and tragic decision was to keep the child at that Hospital and die. One must ask the questions what that hospital had to hide to fight so hard to keep that child there.

All of this saga not pro-life? He was spared from death in the womb to be insisted that he die by same people who would no doubt have carried out many abortions. If I were a British mother I would not take my child near that place because immediately you enter the doors you lose rights over the outcome and treatment of your child.

When the Holy Father speaks about poverty this is considered much much less of a pro-life matter. Have we forgotten the images of little ones with bloated bellies and hollow eyes? Or even desperate mothers offering an empty breast for comfort to her dying little child? This is not pro-life? What are we doing when we can say that these matters are not pro-life? What are we doing playing with words or semantics. We must not forget that life is always life and death, no matter how it occurs, is always death.

Anne Lastman

Anne is a qualified post abortion grief counsellor and sexual abuse counsellor who has worked in this area for nearly 30 years. Over the years Anne has developed a recovery strategy, which works well for those who persevere with the programme. Anne continues to study post abortion grief and the related, sexual abuse grief, which manifest with similar symptoms.

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