February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The following reflection on vaccines and their relation to abortion was written by Karen Darantière, an American living in France.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
Abortion is the modern-day massacre of the innocents. Before asking ourselves whether or not we would be complicit in this crime by accepting vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses, let us for a moment contemplate a painting that illustrates beautifully the sanctity of human life in the womb.
“Before I Formed You in the Womb” (painted in 2012) is a work of art by pro-life artist Ron DiCianni, whose intention it was “to make a statement that each life is precious to the One who created it, namely God. No life is an accident, and each has a purpose. As someone who was scheduled myself to be aborted, that has been my own story as well as the promise we have in Scripture … I wanted to clearly show three things. Notice the hand of Christ reaching out to touch both mother and child ... Look at the shadow cast by Christ's thumb, see how it completes the cross? Christ died for each of us, those long dead and those yet to be conceived ... Finally, note the star at the place where Christ’s hand touches the mother, that moment of Divine Presence touching real life flesh. I believe that if you could pull back the curtain of what our human eyes are limited to see, we would see that powerful hand of God ‘knitting’ together each child in its mother’s womb.”
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“If any Israelite … sacrifices a child of his to the false god Moloch, his life must pay for it … I will not let him live among my people any longer, once he has outraged my sanctuary, dragged my holy name in the dust, by sacrificing his child to Moloch.” (Leviticus 20:2-3)
Now, let us confront honestly the reality of abortion. About one in five pregnancies worldwide ends in abortion. There are an estimated 42 million abortions per year worldwide. In 2020 alone, there were over 42.6 million abortions. By way of comparison, an estimated 1.8 million people died from the coronavirus over the past year, making abortion 23.2 times deadlier than this virus. At this rate of 42 million per year, in a mere 25 years one billion babies are murdered. Since the abortion business began in earnest in the early 1960s, we have probably murdered nearly twice that number, that is to say two billion unborn babies. Two billion unborn babies murdered in the wombs of their mothers. Just for a moment, let us ponder that figure, and try to fathom this fathomless abyss.
The 2Oth century’s exceptionally barbaric cruelty, with its two very deadly world wars and even deadlier ideologies, comes nowhere near to approaching the immense magnitude of this worldwide massacre of the most helpless of all human beings: our very own unborn babies. Over the past half-century, in countless towns, in countless countries across the globe, we have killed up to two billion of our children. How could we not keep this fact firmly in mind as we thoughtfully deliberate as to the morality of vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses?
This genocide of the unborn is unthinkable in its magnitude, but it is equally unconscionable in its heinous brutality: not only is the abortion business horrifying due to the quantity of babies who have been murdered in the womb, but the manner of their murder is barbaric beyond belief. Let us place before our mind’s eye a couple of the favored surgical abortion methods which stop the beating heart of unborn babies. Let us picture an unborn baby boy at nine weeks after conception: He can do somersaults, frown, and swallow. To abort this unborn boy, a hollow tube with a knife-edged tip is inserted into his mother’s womb and is connected to a vacuum 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, which tears him into small pieces that are sucked into a bottle and discarded.
Now let us picture an unborn girl at the end of the third month in her mother’s womb: She can and does sometimes cry silently, and she can feel pain. To abort this unborn girl, a pair of forceps is inserted into her mother’s womb to grasp, break and twist off her bones, until her body is totally dismembered and removed, her spine most likely being snapped and her skull crushed in the process.
Finally, let us picture an unborn boy at 20 weeks: He can hear and recognize his mother’s voice. To abort him, the doctor inserts a long needle into the mother’s abdomen and injects a strong salt solution which he swallows and is poisoned by. It also acts as a corrosive, burning off the outer layer of his skin. Within a day, his mother will give birth to her dead or dying baby.
Many such babies have been born alive, then left unattended to die. This is a death more cruel than that of the children sacrificed in Gehenna, the valley near Jerusalem where the ancient Israelites once sacrificed their own children, burning them alive in the hands of the Canaanite idol Moloch. The fires of infanticide consumed them more rapidly than today’s tiny martyrs. It is icy cold in Moloch’s hands today: The little boy shivers until he is silent and still, lying in a pool of blood that quickly chills. Once swaddled warmly in the womb, he now lies lifeless in a sterile room, naked from head to toe, with no one to mourn or weep for him.
Yet, as if the sheer number and the barbaric brutality of these abortions were not horrific enough, we are now harvesting aborted baby body parts for the purpose of medical research in a kind of modern-day feticidal horror story. Abortionists have admitted to amending surgical procedures so as to ensure that some body parts are left intact and usable by researchers. Picture the same little boy: He feels the excruciating pain when the abortionist very quickly cuts out his kidney, so that it can be shipped overnight to keep it fresh.
Consider this contradiction in fact: Pre-born children are not considered human enough to be granted the legal right to life, but they are treated as human enough to have their organs harvested for medical research. Our very crimes perpetrated against these tiny people are proof positive of their humanity, and of our own inhumanity. Knowing full well just how heinous these crimes are, both in cruelty and in magnitude, how can we possibly accept to benefit from their sacrifice by using a vaccine which used these aborted babies’ body parts throughout the process of production? What does the voice of our conscience say to us? Can we possibly justify even the most remote cooperation?
“How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” (Mother Teresa)
We may not know the names of these two billion babies massacred in their mothers’ wombs, but their names are known by God. We may not mourn their deaths, but they are mourned by their holy guardian angels. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, when he, along with four other bishops, wrote the declaration entitled, On the moral illicitness of the use of vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses, certainly had these martyred souls in his shepherd’s heart, as his personal testimony attests: “When we were preparing the document, I was very much praying … to the souls of these babies who were murdered in the womb of their mothers, … because from the first moment of conception there is a human soul, a person. And the souls of these children, because they died innocently, they are in the reign of God … they are not in the kingdom of the devil because they are … martyred souls. And so, I asked specifically the souls of those children who were killed and whose cell lines were used for the vaccine … Well, I was praying for all this because God knows these souls by name.”
Let us try to imagine the special place in the Kingdom of God, where a sea of ruby-colored roses graces His garden, where the blood-red bodies of the tiny martyrs have become as red rose buds blossoming eternally. These tiny martyrs are dear to the Immaculate Heart of our Heavenly Mother and to the Sacred Heart of Her Child. Should they not be dear to our own hearts as well? So dear that we could only react with the utmost horror and repugnance at the very thought of benefiting from their martyred bodies, employed in the process of producing a vaccine? What does Mother Mary’s Immaculate Heart say to us?
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“Thus saith the Lord: A voice was heard on high of lamentation, of mourning, and weeping, of Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted for them, because they are not.” (Jeremiah 31:15)
Let us pause once again in order to contemplate a work of art (painted 1451-1452) depicting the horror of the Massacre of the Innocents. The painter, Fra Angelico, a Dominican beatified by Pope John Paul II, patron saint of painters and one of the greatest Christian artists of all times, places before our eyes the massacre of the Holy Innocents, the Gospel episode recounted at the same time as the flight into Egypt: The massacre of all children under two years of age in the region of Bethlehem, carried out by order of Herod, who feared the advent of a king of the Jews announced by the Magi. This scene reminds us of the immense global genocide of children in their mother’s womb. However, the horror of the Gospel scene depicted here pales in comparison with the present-day crimes of abortion and the harvesting of aborted baby body parts. Indeed, contrary to what this painting shows, where we see Herod’s soldiers stabbing children in the arms of their mothers who are desperately trying to protect them, the mothers and fathers of the children murdered today are themselves complicit in the murder of their very own children. And are we not complicit, if, for the sake of ensuring our own health and our own well-being, we accept to benefit from the martyred bodies of aborted babies employed in the production of a vaccine? What would the Immaculate Heart of Our Coredemptrix respond to us?
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“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (Ephesians 4:18)
Are we not, as Christians, guilty of a sort of moral blindness and hard-heartedness, if, while gravely considering the morality of recourse to abortion-tainted vaccines, we nonetheless remain blind to the magnitude of this evil? Let us ponder in our hearts, deeply, the fact that we are not talking about just any murder, but the murder of the most helpless and innocent among us — unborn babies; and not only that, but this murder, far from being committed against the will of the mothers by the hands of some cruel tyrants, is committed by their mothers whose natural maternal instinct, which incites them to protect and nurture their offspring, has momentarily been snuffed out; and not only that, but these abortions constitute gruesome and barbarous forms of torture, including dismemberment of unborn babies capable of feeling pain. These unspeakable crimes are incalculable and ever-growing in number: There are billions of these massacred unborn babies.
However desirable the good to be achieved by accepting an abortion-tainted vaccine may be, is it not negligible in comparison with the magnitude and the horror of these crimes? Does our conscience not make us recoil in horror at the mere thought of the slightest, most remote complicity with evil of this magnitude? Are we not confronted with an evil of such magnitude that it is to be avoided at all costs? How blind are we when we calmly deliberate on this question without deeply taking into account the extreme gravity of these crimes?
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“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” (Mother Teresa)
Finally, let us for a moment ponder over the distinctly anti-Christian character of abortion. Abortion is the antithesis of the joyful mystery we celebrate at Christmas: instead of contemplating Mary and Joseph adoring the Christ Child in the manger, our eyes follow a trail of blood from an empty cradle to a freshly-filled grave. Abortion is antithetical to the Paschal mystery of Christ’s sacrificial love. Instead of hearing the echo of our Savior’s words (“This is my body, given up for you”), we hear a satanic voice saying, “This is your body, given up for me.” Abortion is a sort of anti-Christmas, anti-Paschal mystery of iniquity whose depths we cannot begin to fathom. Abortion is akin to a sacrilegious sacrament, a perverse cult rendered to the Antichrist.
Our Mother Coredemptrix cooperated with Her divine Son in his work of redemption, from conception to Calvary, through the self-giving love of her Maternal Heart, which is the exact opposite of the coldheartedness of the woman who screams: “My body, my choice.” How surprising is it, therefore, to see some of the more extreme advocates of feticide engage in hideous spectacles in which they portray the Virgin Mary aborting the Baby Jesus? Such horrifying performances reveal just how intimately wedded abortion advocacy is to a deep-seated hatred of the Christian message. Abortion is rooted in the outright rejection of the very notion of sacrificial love, whereas the Christian story is that of Christ’s Sacred Heart and His Mother’s Immaculate Heart indissolubly united in one sacrificial love for the salvation of fallen humanity.
The abortion ideology is nothing other than the perverse inversion of the Way, the Truth and the Life; it is the victory of callous, cruel selfishness over selfless, sacrificial love. If the greatest love is a willingness to sacrifice your life for another, then its contrary consists in sacrificing another’s life for yourself. This, then, is our choice: uniting our hearts with those of Christ our Redeemer and His Mother our Coredemptrix, bearing witness to the Truth, or, on the contrary, cooperating in this immense, infernal, infanticidal cult. May we, with our consciences enlightened by God’s grace, make the right choice. If there are no faithful Christians who will stand up and say no to these abortion-tainted vaccines, the horror can only continue on and on, relentlessly, until the day when God himself will intervene.
Let us listen once again to the testimony of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a faithful shepherd whose words we should meditate on attentively: “There have to be witnesses without any shadow of even the slightest collaboration with abortion in the case of the vaccines, because there is a concrete murdering of children … We have to resist … We have to follow the truth. Even if I lose all my good friends, I will follow my conscience. Even if I am alone, I will follow my conscience, as Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher did … We have to follow our conscience, a conscience which we have prayed, studied, consulted before God … God will illuminate us, we who will confess His truth, and He will give us strength. What is this short life in comparison with eternity, with the Truth? With the uncompromising witness of the prophets, … with the saints, the martyrs …? We have to follow them, even when we will lose our short temporal life.”
“Now the mother was to be admired above measure, and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God” (2 Machabees 7:20)
To conclude our reflections, let us meditate on an extraordinary figure of our Mother of Sorrows in the Old Testament: The noble “Motber of the Maccabees” who, under the persecution of the king, Antiochus, witnessed her six sons, one after the other, being excruciatingly tortured and murdered for their loyalty to the Law of God. Antiochus himself invited this mother to intervene with her seventh son to urge him to save himself by accepting the king’s offers of wealth and power, if this son would only turn away from the divine Law. Instead, this mother addresses words of exhortation to her son: “My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age. I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also: So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren, receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.” (2 Machabees 7:29). The Mother of the Maccabees admirably prefigures our Mother Coredemptrix: The suffering caused by the death of the seven sons announces the seven swords of pain which will pierce the heart of our Mother, according to the prophecy of Simeon. What does our Mother Coredemptrix say to us, through these words of the Mother of the Maccabees, who exhorts her last living son to prefer to suffer death rather than to be unfaithful to the Law of God? What would our Mother answer if each of us asked Her this question: Must I refuse abortion-tainted vaccines in order to to avoid being an accomplice in the modern-day massacre of the innocents?