Printed in the U Matuna, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam, October 9, 2011.
October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The feast was originally instituted by Pope Pius V as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the victory of the Christian forces over the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Lepanto was more than just another battle. For nearly 800 years Christian civilizations within an ever expanding Islamic radius had been falling to the Saracen sword. A loss at Lepanto could have meant the subjagation of Christian Europe, and with it, the destruction of western civilization.
With the Christian forces greatly outnumbered, Pius V invoked the intercession of the Mother of God through the Most Holy Rosary. The Christians not only miraculously won the battle, but effectively stalled the march of the “Mohammedan” and secured Europe for the first time in 800 years.
The victory at Lepanto was so significant that it became a battle cry for the triumph of Christianity over every danger. Ominously, one week before the 2008 national election, Bishop Finn of Kansas City invoked the memory of Lepanto and urged a week of prayer:
“Join me in calling upon Mary in this month of the rosary. In 1571, in the midst of the Battle of Lepanto, when the future of Christian Europe was in the balance and the odds against them were overwhelming, prayer to Our Lady of the Rosary brought the decisive victory. We ask her now to watch over our country and bring us the victory of life.”
Finn saw Barack Obama’s radical commitment to sign the FOCA as a threat comparable to the impending destruction of Christian Europe by the Ottoman Empire:
“Promotion of the Freedom of Choice Act is a pledge to eliminate every single limit on abortions achieved over the last thirty-five years … I ask you to join me in invoking the Guardian Angels of 47 million babies lost through abortion in our country in the last thirty-five years.This horrendous loss of life remains one of the greatest threats to human civilization we have ever faced.”
But there was no Lepanto-life victory for Bishop Finn. Not only did the pro-abortion team of Obama-Biden take the White House, but pro-abortion majorities also swept both houses of Congress. And with at least two Supreme Court justices about to retire, the appointment and confirmation of their pro-abortion replacements was guaranteed. It was a grand slam. All three branches of government would be solidly pro-abortion in 2009.
The news within the pro-life community was glum. The hard work of turning back the tide of abortion one mother and one law at a time seemed all for naught. Throughout 2009 and into 2010 the mood darkened as the new administration aggressively implemented its anti-life agenda.
Indeed, within 48 hours of his inauguration, the new President lifted the Mexico City Policy allowing millions of U.S. dollars to be sent oversees to fund abortions in developing nations. And with the pro-abortion health care bill poised to pass in March of 2010, prospects for the legal protection of nascent human life appeared very grim.
However, it seems that the Blessed Mother had a little something up her sleeve. While Bishop Finn’s prayers were not answered in 2008, they appeared to be answered in 2010. The 2010 mid-term election swept more pro-life lawmakers into office on both the state and national levels than ever before, and the chart below tells the story.
In just the first six months of 2011, 162 pro-life provisions were enacted at the state level, triple the number from the previous year! In state after state, abortion proponents are now scrambling to stop the pro-life juggernaut that is sweeping the nation, that is, sweeping the nation in just about ever place except Guam.
Despite the introduction of four pro-life bills over the last three years, the majority of Guam lawmakers have seen to it that exactly none of those bills became law, keeping Guam, in terms of legal protections, the most dangerous place in the nation for life in the womb. Let us pray during this month of October to Our Lady of the Rosary, as Bishop Finn prayed: “to watch over our country (and our island) and bring us the victory of life.”