28 December 2018
Holocausts and the Holy Innocents
Among the things I noticed when I holidayed annually in Ireland was the sight of people with Down's Syndrome. It is no more remarkable there to see such jumans in the streets than to see, say, a West Indian or someone in a wheel-chair, in Britain. When you get back to Blighty, the streets seem suddenly strange because there aren't any.
Then it dawns on you why there aren't any. Rather as, just after the cattle trucks had rumbled off to the East, it must have been strange ... and then disconcerting and very frightening ... to wander round a German town and miss the Jewish faces. Ugly, isn't it, that the role performed in Nazi Germany by Gestapo or SS is performed in Britain by members of Caring Professions whom we each of us have to visit, especially as we get older, for our aches and infirmities. If anything, ours is a spookier ... well, let's be frank ... an even more evil society ... than Hitler's; one in which the Evil has dug its roots even deeper than it had in his Germany, because it is internalised among more people and more groups and more classes and more structures; and has been so manipulated that, far from being concealed, it is publicly appauded by our Media; and because the killing is, by a Diabolical masterstroke, disguised as Caring and performed by men and women whom we take for granted to be gentle. And yet, throughout my ministry, I've felt that I ought to discipline myself not to mention abortion too often in sermons lest people decide I am fixated on only one thing; or lest, in my own comfortable male and clerical self-righteousness, I traumatise women who've had abortions.
How evil does infect us all.
Even back in the 1970s, not long after the legislation allowing Abortion in Britain, it was, to my certain knowledge, common even for intelligent and articulate middle-class women to be pressurised by their GPs to 'terminate' a fourth or fifth pregnancy.
And now, in a few days, this whole, sick, evil process is about to begin in Ireland. I wonder where in Hell Dante's imagination would situate the Varadkars of our own time.
Spare a prayer for brave young women, in Britain or Ireland or anywhere, who embark upon a willed pregnancy and have to face some 'medical' bully. Spare more prayers for those put under enormous pressure to have 'tests' to see whether their 'foetus' is 'abnormal'. Find some more prayers for those who are assured, by kind and sympathetic people who only want to help them, that it would be wholly irresponsible to encumber the world with a Down's Syndrome human being.
And don't forget, in your prayers, those other victims; the women who have already been deceived and seduced into complicity in the killing of their own children.