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A warning from Mother Teresa: Abortion leads to Nuclear War

It is Mother Teresa who saw clearly that the deliberate, systematic and prevalent destruction of innocent human life, a manifestation of what Pope John Paul II calls the 'culture of death', is what makes a third world war an unimaginably horrific possibility; she said, quite simply: "The fruit of abortion is nuclear war"*.  This is because deliberate abortion and nuclear war have in common the following two things: the widespread and indiscriminate killing of the innocent; and, secondly, the widespread rejection of the law of God that this is.  The law of God is expressed, classically, in three ways: the law of civilized society and that of medicine827 particularly, which considered it a development to protect the life of the unborn child; the first principle of natural law which commands us to do good and avoid harm and the first practical act of which is to preserve innocent life828; and, finally, the law of God as expressed particularly in the Scripture: you shall not kill the innocent (Ex 23: 7)829.

The providence of God830, however, is more and more clearly seen in the history of the world.  For not only is there the actual evil of elective abortion, and the impending evil of a nuclear war, but there is also, as Pope John Paul II says in Evangelium Vitae, the culture of life.  Furthermore we live in a time when the widespread existence of the Christian Faith is both itself a providential fact and is, in the context of the ecumenical movement831 and inter-faith dialogue, what makes possible an almost universal call to repentance.  Moreover, providence puts before us, through the ministry of His priest, Pope John Paul II, in Tertio Millennio Adveniente, a program for our conversion.  We are called to work for the evangelization of the world, concretely, now, in order to save the world from the probably unforseen consequences of our personal sins.  For the possibility of a nuclear war arises out of but is not identical with the multitude of the world's individual sins832.

The providence of God is, therefore, nowhere more clearly evident than in granting us, even at this late hour, the celebration of the third millenium as the occasion for our gift of thanksgiving to God our Creator and Redeemer, for delivering us from the possibility of a nuclear war if, that is, we repent of our rejection of His law.

There exists, by the providence of God it is increasingly impossible not to praise, the two social factors that make the possibility of a universal call to repentance both a practical proposition and one that can be expressed in effective, international social action: the first is the gift of the means of social communication833; and the second is the growth, recognized as legitimate and therefore of God, by Pope Paul VI and Pope John XXIII, of the timeliness of the following: 'Who but must see the necessity of arriving by degrees at the establishment of a world-wide authority capable of acting effectively on the juridical and political plane?'834.

In conclusion, then, let us praise the providence of God and repent (cf Lk 3: 4-6).  For now is the favourable time (cf Ps 85: 1-2): the time for a "jubilee"; the time for the Church to prepare to rejoice in the salvation of the world.

In the sober words of Pope John Paul II, we see both the reason to rejoice and the reason to repent: 'the Second Vatican Council was a providential event, whereby the Church began the more immediate preparation for the Jubilee of the Second Millennium.  It was a Council similar to earlier ones, yet very different; it was a Council focused on the mystery of Christ and his Church and at the same time open to the world.  This openness was an evangelical response to recent changes in the world, including the profoundly disturbing experiences of the Twentieth Century, a century scarred by the First and Second World Wars, by the experience of concentration camps and by horrendous massacres.  All these events demonstrate most vividly that the world needs purification; it needs to be converted'835.

826 A Tale Of Two Questions, an article on page 5 of Human Concern, No 32, (London: The Society For The Protection Of Unborn Children [Autumn 1991],).  Abbrev. HC.    Back
827 Cf. Hippocratic Oath, page 210, and cf. also the Hippocratic Tradition, by V. Nutton, pages 210-212 of the Dictionary Of Medical Ethics, ed. by A. S. Duncan et al, (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, revised and enlarged edition, 1981).  Abbrev. DME.    Back
828 J. C. H. Wu, Thomistic Analysis, page 257 of Vol X, NCE.    Back
829 Cf. HV, art 4, pages 7-8; and cf. also Gaudium et Spes, articles 25-26, 39, and 79-93, pages 926-928, 938, 988-1001.    Back
830 Cf. TMA, art 17, page 25.    Back
831 TMA, art 16, pages 23-24.    Back
832 Cf. Pope John Paul II, On Reconciliation And Penance In The Mission Of The Church Today, otherwise known as Reconciliatio Et Paenitentia, (London: CTS [Do 562], 1984), articles 16-18, pages 50-71.  Abbrev. ReP.    Back
833 Cf. Inter Mirifica, art 1, page 283 of VCII.    Back
834 PP, art 78, page 36.    Back
835 TMA, art 18, pages 25-26.    Back

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