The article discusses an amazing statistic: From 1985 to 2005, abortions fell by 91.1% in Croatia. The article explores reasons for this, including the role of the Church and faith, following the collapse of Communism.
One might jump right away to thoughts of Medjugorje, and it's impact - justifiably. While I personally cannot accept authenticity of the appartions given attacks against the bishop, and obstinate disobedience to the bishop's demands to cease public manifestations of the messages in 1985, and in 2006, I have never doubted that Our Lady is using the place to her advantage. But, I also want to point out that graces can come even in the absence of an authentic apparition where there is frequent use of the sacraments, and a life of holiness built through prayer and penance.
People returned in great numbers to the sacraments while I was there after the birth of "Medjugorje" as a phenomenon, especially young people. Confession, and devotion - especially Eucharistic and Marian, exploded. I myself participated in making Communion wafers numbering into the tens of thousands, which lasted only a few days. And, I witnessed young people passing up the attempts by the communist government to pull them away through "disco-teks" and movie theatres erected along the path to Medjugorje. They also endured much persecution by the communists until....the commies realized they were bringing in tourist money.
Hence, I believe this return to sacraments and life of holiness has everything to do with these statistics.
Here is the article in a very crude translation by Google:
Source Article (Italian): ABORTO/ “L’eccezione Croazia”: un esempio da seguire
ABORTION / "The exception Croatia: an example to follow
Saturday 31 January 2009
In Croatia, from 1985 to 2005, abortions fell by 91.1%. We are facing a real collapse. The source is certain: the Croatian National Institute for Public Health. The numbers say that in 1989, the last year of the communist regime, there were 40,000 abortions volunteers against 4600 in 2005.
A statistic of this kind is so shocking that it should cause analysts, sociologists, psychologists, producing conferences and round tables at the highest levels. But nothing. "The exception Croatia" on abortion, which is unique in the world, despite the sensational numbers that are accompanying, had an echo on minimal media.
Among the few items that broke this silence, there was a valuable article on the excellent Antonio Gaspari Zenit, appropriately Catholic agency. And yes, because the reason can explain the anomaly Croatian (not just on abortion, then we will see) is to identify precisely in the Catholic faith of his people, a faith that in time it is kept firm and deep.
In particular, the Croats have never failed to devotion to the Virgin, developed over centuries by saints (the apostles of the Slavic people of Cyril and Methodius), Papi (John IV), emperors (Eraclio) monks (i French Benedictine and then those of Montecassino). And today confirmed by the Marian apparitions of nearby Medjugorje.
Now, if it is true that the reading of these causal (in short: more authentic, less abortions and social dramas) is absolutely peaceful for the Croatian people, we somehow doubt that our statistical experts - in a culturally plaster as the Italian - they consider these cause-effect relationships are worthy of being described. Yet that is exactly the case, we see why.
The Croatian Church, a patient with pastoral activity, in recent decades has contributed to a profound reconstruction of the social fabric, frayed completely after long seasons of injections of communist ideology. The educational activity of the Catholic Church has led to a revolution in social mores. There is not only the collapse voluntary interruption of pregnancy (which will certainly not be explained only by the fact that it is not free), the other official reserve surprises.
Croatia should be in contrast with the emergency birth (it is a growing number of families with three children) and a percentage of divorces and people living with HIV, among the lowest in Europe.
It must be said that the Croatian people lived on your skin what it means living in a society which has tried to erase the religious feelings with violence. The nursery rhyme pro Tito "Six states, five nations, four languages, three religions, two alphabets and a single Titus", signifying its ability to hold together many different, is silent on the fact that the medium used was the systematic abuse (test is that after his death any link between the various ethnic groups is bloodily landslide).
The history of former Yugoslavia is far from a nursery rhyme. The truth speaks scomodi intellectuals killed and imprisoned by the Communists Titina, thousands of churches destroyed, hundreds of priests exterminated, to humiliate the faith of the people it was even plow the cemeteries.
To give credibility to the voice of the Church also contribute the luminous testimony of his children. That the Archbishop of Zagreb Stepinac Louis, for example, by Titus sentenced to sixteen years of forced labor as opposed to the creation of a church separated from Rome. Since his death in 1960, despite the opposition of the regime, his tomb has become the destination of constant pilgrimages. John Paul II in 1998, proclaimed Blessed Stepinac.
It is also because of these stories - many well-anchored in the memory of the people - that people now trust the lessons offered by the Magisterium of the Church, showing among other things, to be protected from the risk of statolatria "recently suggested by Archbishop Antonio Amato.
"Do not promote Catholic positions because they are Catholic, but because they are the best. Best for everyone, not just for Catholics. " This is the clear theme of the "Center for Life" in Zagreb, one of the most important associations in defense of life and family.
This slogan is also a perfect synthesis of the Church in the educational world. Before whom the allegations of interference, which now regularly rising everywhere (including Italy) are, in all honesty, quite childish.
Also in Italy, which must sooner or later someone responds to a question by no means assured. The dramatic rise in divorces (70% in the last 10 years), a birth rate among the lowest in the world, more than 4 million and 600 thousand lives aborted by the law 194 to date, to combat social ills or physiological events in which to live?
The question is unfortunately not rhetoric. If so, does not explain the hostility, often angry, with a Church that these tragedies do not hide but is fighting them. And with success, especially when it is left alone (the Croatian example is there to show).
Much better - here lies the point - to inaugurate a new collaboration between church and state in order to form new generations. To launch a true "pact" to build a common education, would be a huge cultural renewal, the only one able to stop the drift of our country. A shout scandalous urgent enough simply to chronicle the events of each day.
In Croatia (of course not without some reluctance attitude) this Alliance is already working. Many state education programs are quietly sponsored by the Croatian Bishops' Conference. Some of these are also approved by the Ministry of Education, so they are disseminated and used in schools at all levels. All this without any scandal. Indeed, with a great sense of gratitude by the people, who no longer wants to live "Deus non daretur ETSI," as if God did not exist.
The dispassionate defense of life from the Catholic Church (confirmed by Cei in Education "Dignitas personae), which does not allow uncertainties in defense of his dignity and, who wants to prevent manipulation of human life, new aberrations, careful prevent the return has the best on the right and the desire to become law, is in fact, that the invitation to people of every age to self not that good which is the immense human reason. That reason is exactly the common ground of church and state.
The Croatian people seem to have understood. And we?
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