Albanians Abort 18% of Live Births
Albania has endured many Calvaries in its history, some of which challenged its very existence. However, despite 500 years of occupation by the Ottoman Empire, it survived. Despite occupation by foreign countries in the First and Second World Wars, it survived. Despite fifty painful years of Communism, still it survived. But abortion was legalized in Albania in 1995. After such incredible resilience, today, it is alarming to find that the Albanian nation is struggling to survive the modern day Calvary of abortion. According to the World Health Organization, the current abortion rate is approximately 2,064 abortions per 10,974 births. In response, the Albanian pro-life movement held another Vigil in St Paul’s Cathedral, Tirana last month. The International Day of Women had been celebrated two days before.
Countering the Albanian Culture of Death With Faith
At the Albanian pro-life movement’s Vigil Mass March 10th the Archbishop of Tirana, George Frendo, celebrated Mass alongside Archbishop Charles Brown, the Papal Nuncio in Albania, Monsignor Romanus Mbena, secretary to the Nuncio, Monsignor Henrikus Veldcamp, Diocesan Chancellor and Fr Arian Doda, Vicar General. In his homily, Archbishop Frendo stated: “the Pharisees of today, in their pride, don’t accept that they are sinners and that means that they think they don’t need the Mercy of God. The Pharisees of today, who make up modern day society, don’t accept the social sins of abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.” Here we share with you more of Archbishop Frendo’s homily:
“Today a dehumanised feminism prevails which gives a pregnant mother the right to kill her baby, in the name of female emancipation and her right over her body… [This] female ‘emancipation’ goes against the unborn child. Christians have supported the emancipation of women. St. Paul tells us that ‘in Christ there is no longer man or woman,’ which means man and woman are equal. However, the emancipation of women doesn’t mean women have the right to kill the life that is growing inside of them.
Today we have so many fake prophets, militant missionaries who are spreading propaganda in many countries: their desire is to have abortion legalized and encouraged in countries where it is still prohibited. For example, Nils Muižnieks [Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights] is putting pressure on those states who have yet to legalise abortion. Another is George Soros, billionaire financier, who every year gives many millions of dollars to spread propaganda in favour of abortion. These are the fake prophets of today, the fake missionaries.
In addition, we see clear examples of peer pressure today. For example, one country wants to legalise something just because other countries have done so. I give the example of the legalisation of gay marriage in Holland. It started in Holland, and then quickly followed in Belgium. Belgium thought: ‘if Holland has accepted it, why not us?’ and afterwards so many other countries did the same thing trying to show themselves as ‘modern’ countries.
The same strategy has been followed for abortion: ‘this country has legalised it, so why not us too?’ If so many countries have legalised abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, does this mean that they have done a good thing? Absolutely not. It’s an indisputable fact that human life begins at conception. Even from the medical perspective, there can be no doubt about this. And human life must be respected from conception until natural death.
The number of abortions rises each year in Albania. One sociologist said there are more abortions than live births. In contrast, before 1990, abortion was prohibited in Albania. It was even taboo to speak about abortion at that time.
There are two large maternity hospitals in Tirana and more than 27 private clinics where thousands of pregnancies are terminated, especially those pregnancies of young girls…. Mothers tend to abort babies more often when they discover their child is a girl. There is an increasing gender imbalance in the Albanian population as a result.
An example of how society disrespects human life is shown by the case of one English mother, who simply decided to have an abortion because she was about to go on holiday…
When refugee boats sink in the Mediterranean Sea, in reporting the tragic deaths why does the media always dwell on so many children drowned during that journey? Why do they show so much sadness for these children? Because the death of these children denied them a future. So, why don’t we show this sadness for the lives of babies killed by abortion? They, too, are denied a future.
In this Mass, today, we have to ask forgiveness for these social sins. We have to ask God’s forgiveness to have mercy on us and on our society.”
After Archbishop Frendo’s powerful homily, there was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral and, while some believers stayed in Adoration, another hundred processed to the Maternity Hospital, led by Archbishop Frendo, praying the Rosary and holding Albanian pro-life movement posters through the city streets. The procession paused outside the hospital where prayers continued, including one minute of silent prayer on bended knee, for all victims of abortion.
Archbishop Frendo, along with Johannes Bucher, Regional Director of Europe at Human Life International, sowed the seeds for the Albanian pro-life movement ten years ago and it is still growing today.
There have been many other Prayer Vigils in Albania other the past ten years and more are being planned. The Albanian pro-life movement will continue to fight for the survival of life, from conception till natural death.
Dr. Majlinda Gjoni Thompson provided this report.