Rosary and Portugal
did the Blessed Virgin Mary repel from Portugal the Law
VICTORY OF THE HOLY ROSARY IN PORTUGAL IN 1998
Fr. Fabrice Deleate
and communists had on their agenda to begin the introduction
of the law enabling abortion. As it usually happens, the freemasons
first issued a law authorizing abortion in some exceptional
circumstances, when, for instance, there is a danger for the
life of the mother, or when the fetus is abnormal, and in
cases of rape and incest.
it be said that these situations never justify the killing
of an innocent through abortion. Direct abortion is intrinsically
immoral, it is a murder, a sin against the Fifth Commandment.
The fetus already has all the genetic material of a man. A
fetus is not a plant or an animal, no, manhood is already
latent in it. No ‘good’ reason can morally permit direct abortion.
“Let us not do evil that there may come good” (Rom., III,
Because of this law, 265 abortions were performed in the Portuguese
hospitals in 1995 and 281 in 1996. (These are the official
numbers, certainly far below reality).
The parliament of Portugal had to vote for or against the
total freedom of abortion, after an appeal of the socialist
youth. 127 deputies were socialists and communists and 103
represented the conservative line. Thus it should have been
easy for the ‘left’ to gain that victory.
However the wind changed.
day before the vote, the Prime Minister, who pretended to
be both Catholic and socialist, went (out of a troubled conscience?)
to the Parliament and delivered a very strong speech against
abortion. His words were convincing enough to move some socialists
to change their mind. This was perhaps due to the fact that,
in this Catholic country, even among adherents to socialistic
teaching, there remain some deep-rooted vestiges of Catholicism.
In any case, the law opening the floodgates of abortion was
defeated by the vote of the Parliament itself, by the narrow
margin of 112 votes against 111!
and communists charged again. On February 4th,
1998, freedom of abortion was voted by the Parliament by 116
votes against 107 (and 3 abstentions). This vote was for a
law granting the possibility of abortion during the first
10 weeks of pregnancy. The vote took place as huge demonstrations
occurred in the streets of Lisbon and around the Parliament.
results of the scandalous vote provoked such a reaction all
over the country that, caught in their trap of democracy,
socialists and communists were obliged to ask the President
of the Republic to nullify the vote and to organize a general
referendum on abortion throughout the country. This was granted
by the President on March 19th, Feast of the great St Joseph.
The referendum was fixed for June 28th.
APRIL – MAY 1998
Episcopal Conference of Portugal issued a “Pastoral Statement
concerning the referendum on abortion”. Here are the principal
passages of this Pastoral Statement.
No popular consultation can morally legitimate a voluntary
interruption of pregnancy. Even if a referendum approved of
direct abortion, it would not change the immorality of this
action, and the Catholics and other citizens would have to
fight by all legitimate means against this social calamity.
Concerning the upcoming referendum, the answer of the Catholics
and of all those who defend life can only be: No! The reason
for this negative answer must be clearly stated:
a) To depenalized the persons who collaborate to direct abortion
(doctors, nurses, expecting mothers, and often their husband),
signifies that abortion, having been legalized, permitted,
has ceased to be a crime.
b) We say “No” to direct abortion, because the fetus is a
human being from the first instant of his conception. This
is confirmed today by science.
c) The question to which the citizens will have to answer
in the referendum suggests that abortion can be the right
of a pregnant woman. (The exact question is: “I agree that
the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, if it comes from
the free choice of the woman, in the first ten weeks of her
pregnancy, in an approved medical establishment, should not
be penalized.” Yes or No?”)
d) A Referendum, as any popular consultation (…) supposes
a period of clarification. The Catholic Church cannot renounce
to participate in this effort to enlighten consciences. Bishops
and priests, we will fulfill our teaching duty . We ask all
priests, in all the circumstances they usually exercise this
teaching mission to calmly proclaim the Church’s doctrine
on the inviolable character of human life (…).
e) For Catholics, any work of formation of the conscience
must be accompanied by prayer. Only God can touch the hearts
and reveal the mystery of life, which always has its origin
in God. We invite priests, religious communities and all Catholics
to intensify prayer in this intention (…).”
statement was in fact an appeal to a crusade of prayer, even
if the word ‘crusade’ was not used and the power of the rosary
not reminded. It was nevertheless much better than the guilty
silence of the French Bishops when a similar law was voted
by the Parliament in France in 1974.
In this Catholic country of Portugal such an appeal for prayer
was sufficient for the mobilization of the lay people. Alas,
it wasn’t the bishops or the priests who organized this counter-attack
of prayer. The faithful were truly edifying with their all-night
prayer vigils, their living rosaries, etc. The Society of
St Pius X obviously joined this crusade through its priory
after their Pastoral Statement, the bishops adopted a contradictory
May 13th, during a Mass attended by 300,00 pilgrims,
the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, in his sermon, said nothing about
abortion. He merely urged dialogue, tolerance and asked to
avoid fundamentalism. The following day, “Le Correio da Mantia”,
one of the most important newspapers in Portugal, ran as a
headline: “In front of 300,000 persons at Fatima, the bishop
ignores the issue of abortion.” The consequence of this
scandalous silence was that many poor and simple people of
the countryside ignored the very existence of a vote and the
duty for Catholics to vote, and to vote ‘no’. The attitude
of the Patriarch of Lisbon was not better. He didn’t want
to tell his diocesans how to vote in order not to hurt the
feelings of the women who had had an abortion! The result
was that in his diocese 68.5% of people voted for the freedom
In the North of the country, things went differently, as it
is more Catholic. Dom Antonio Rafael, bishop of Bragancia,
declared: “Abortion is punished by the most serious canonical
penalty which is excommunication for those who commit this
crime, collaborate to it or induce it. All Catholics must
vote ‘no’. Those who would vote ‘yes’ would sin. (Diario
de Noticias, June 2, 1998). He also said in another occasion:
“I will not give the sacraments to anyone who doesn’t abhor
abortion. Those who do not want to follow the law of the Church
should not ask for the sacraments of the Church” (Diario de
Noticias, June 29,1998). In his diocese, 73.75% voted
against abortion. Dom Antonio Monteiro, Bishop of Visen, stated:
“If someone accepts the possibility of killing an innocent
child, he puts himself outside the Catholic Church. Those
who will vote for the freedom of abortion will put themselves
outside the Catholic Church. Abortion is punished by excommunication.”
This bishop, who is nonetheless a pioneer of ecumenism in
Portugal was much criticized by the media who called him a
fundamentalist, an integrist, and said that he has made a
medieval declaration a campaign similar to the Inquisition!
In his diocese, 75,78% voted against abortion.
Eugene Dias Noguiera, archbishop of Braga, compared abortion
with the holocaust of the Nazi, which infuriated the media.
77.27% of his diocese voted ‘no’.
of this proves that when the bishops are courageous, the file
and rank Catholics are strengthened and stand up for the laws
of God and of the Church.
The day before the referendum the polls announced that the
law for the freedom of abortion would certainly passed by
54 to 60% of the votes. The enemies of the Church were sure
of their victory.
Nevertheless, on June 28, 1998, 50.91% of the people of Portugal
voted against abortion.
newspapers explicitly stated that it was a victory for the
Catholic Church: “The churchmen have threatened the people
and brandished the flag of fear. Politicians washed their
hands as Pilate, and the Church threatened the Portuguese
people with the fire of hell” (A Capital, June 29, 1998).
It must be said that this victory of the Church was in fact
a victory of Our Lady of Fatima, of the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, of the Holy Rosary. This miraculous turn of event was
due to all these rosaries prayed days and nights all over
Portugal. Once again it proves this efficacy of this prayer.
us quote Sister Lucy:
these last times, Our Lady has given a new efficacy to the
recitation of the rosary, so that there is no problem, no
matter how difficult, of the temporal order or above all spiritual,
a problem of our personal life, of our family, of families
in general, or of religious families, problems at the national
or international level (…), there is no problem how difficult
it may be, which cannot be solved by the rosary. With the
Holy Rosary, we will save ourselves, we will sanctify ourselves,
we will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many