Last night LIFE launched a new Group in West Yorkshire. Martin Foley, the chief Executive of LIFE spoke to the assembly, which was held in the Novotel in central Leeds. He outlined the policies and work of the organisation and the plans to set up a central Yorkshire Committee which will co-ordinate the work of members and sub-groups spread throughout Yorkshire.
As I listened to Martin Foley I was reminded of how well-structured is the deeply pagan agenda of our society. Far from diminshing, abortion statistics continue to rise. It is now seventeen years since Parliament debated abortion; and any future debate will be more dangerously anti-life and less of an opportunity for pro-life. LIFE has had to remove the "Message Board" from its website because of the deluge of foul language. Contemporary culture has made the abortion issue a feminine preserve; men no longer see a role for themselves in abortion culture - LIFE speakers frequently experience boys "switching off" during school education visits and the whole issue is seen as a woman's preserve.
All this tells me how little light there is in our culture for people to be guided by, and that the organisation LIFE is operating mainly in a punitive way - offering help to those who "falll out" of the grip of pagan culture, but hardly being able to respond to causes of this culture.
The other side of this is that LIFE, operating in a way which "is consistent with Catholic principles", is only offering help and guidance at a pragmatic level. In fact, the full work which is to be done is EVANGELISATION - bringing people into the New Life of Christ and helping them to live from the Mystery of Faith. We Catholics cannot set our goal below this. However, LIFE is certainly stepping into the fray with great courage and deliberation. Martin Foley, its Chief Executive, is a man who is visibly filled with light and hope - and he received a great salute from West Yorkshire last night.