Is the Home of Fatima Turning Socialist?

The home of Fatima is about to tailspin into a Socialist-led revolution, ushering in an age of moral relativism.

The last time Portugal saw a Communist revolution, Ronald Reagan was still governor of California. Fast forward some four decades and Portugal is facing a momentous challenge from the political left.

Inside the nation’s 230-seat parliament, António Costa (PS) is spearheading the largest Socialist-led coalition in recent Portuguese history. It comprises four different left-wing parties, including the Communists (PCP), the Greens (PEV) and the Left Bloc (BE).

Costa summoned the Marxist-inebriated Leviathan just two weeks after Portuguese president Aníbal Cavaco Silva invited the victors of an October 4 national election to form a government. The left staged their bloodless coup d’etat on November 10. Now, Costa himself is poised to become the nation’s prime minister, riding into office on a wave of Socialist-Communist enthusiasm.

A radical secularist creed undergirds many of the demands Costa’s coalition is putting forward. He and his allies are pushing for free and unfettered access to abortion, the right of gay and lesbian couples to adopt children—and the imposition of a muzzle on the Church’s objection to that right—and they’re beginning to whisper about euthanasia. At the same time, they dispute the austerity measures Germany and other countries want Portugal to follow in the wake of a one billion dollar bailout that helped Portugal over an economic hiccup in 2011.

To ram through that agenda, Costa’s coalition first had to reject the results of a democratically held election that saw the anticipated victory of a right-wing social democratic coalition called Portugal Ahead (PaF). That coalition was led by Pedro Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas. In October, it was elected for the second time in the last four years, taking 38.5 percent of the popular vote. According to Portuguese election law, the popularly elected prime minister must be accepted by an absolute majority of the deputies in the Assembly of the Republic. Otherwise, he faces rejection.

On the night of the October 4 election, Passos Coelho took a relative majority of the vote. Two weeks later, Costa’s Socialist-led coalition cobbled together an absolute majority of 60.1 percent and geared up to displace Passos Coelho (as well as PaF’s Vice Prime Minister Paulo Portas).

After Portuguese president Cavaco Silva invited Passos Coelho and his cohort to form a government, the left-wing coalition—representing an absolute majority of the popular electorate (and therefore having a majority of deputies)—one-upped Passos Coelho’s social democratic coalition and overthrew it by impeding its formal acceptance by the Assembly.

Although Portugal has had a Catholic tradition since its founding and formal recognition by Pope Alexander III in 1179, it can no longer be seen today as a Christian country. The political transitions that followed the regicide and implementation of the Republic 105 years ago established a state of instability. This inconstancy is muffled by the country’s historical achievements, while the public increasingly withdraws from civic engagement. A sense of indifference towards the future is evident in the 44.1 percent (and increasing) voting abstention rate.

Into this narrative, last month’s rejection of a democratically elected government is to be inserted, being matched only by the Communist revolution that took place on April 25, 1974. Since that time, the left-wing politicians have been toying with democracy like spoiled children commandeering someone else’s playthings, creating a soon-to-fall house of cards. Only a few speak of the numerous negative consequences of the events that followed from the revolution forty-one years ago. Even less speak of the outcome of this month’s uprising, since most of its negative consequences will unfold only sneakily and in a bureaucratic way.

For the moment, the country is still waiting to know exactly how this political telenovela will end. In the meanwhile, although there is no party-in-government, the Assembly still runs ahead at full speed. The left-wing coalition with the majority of deputies continues pressing changes to laws at will. In this short period of time, some important variations have already been introduced, without further debate in the Assembly or public referenda.

The first move concerned “rectifying” corrections to the abortion law that were introduced during the government of Passos Coelho and Portas ahead of the October elections. Waving the flag of the “sexual and reproductive rights” movement, the left-wing coalition continues to demolish the legislation with a morally relativistic imperative.

Formerly, Passos Coelho and Portas passed legislation that required the payment of a minimal hospital fee (with exceptions for the unemployed and others). Now, those wishing to procure an abortion are, once again, freed from charges. It appears that the left now considers abortion a more fundamental right than, for example, emergency treatment for an allergic reaction, since the latter service requires a fee.

Passos Coelho and Portas also introduced another correction to existing abortion law, requiring women to obtain a medical consultation ahead of an abortion. They also allowed pro-life physicians to provide consultation services, not just doctors who favor abortion. Now, the Socialist-led coalition has withdrawn these provisions, allowing women to skip the consultation and forbidding pro-life physicians from participating in advising appointments.

Another recent struggle going on in Portugal has to do with LGBT rights. After the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in 2010, the gay-agenda started forcing into public opinion the notion that homosexual couples had the right for adoption. Although it was already possible for a single person to adopt a child, despite his or her sexual orientation, gay and lesbian couples were not permitted to adopt children jointly. Since November 20, this has changed. Setting aside the right for children to have a mother and a father, the Socialist-Communist coalition approved a law that had already been discussed and rejected five times by the Assembly of the Republic. And currently, the majority in the Assembly is already preparing other legislative proposals for surrogacy as well as homosexual access to medically assisted procreation, permitted previously only for infertile heterosexual couples.

These truly disturbing developments have happened while the rest of the Western world is focused on other issues. Within Portugal, this dictatorship of moral relativism is accomplishing its goals simply through bureaucratic sleight of hand, and all under the nose of Portugal’s supposed 81 percent Catholic population.

If ever there was a time for the intervention of Our Lady of Fatima, this is it.

Diogo Miguel Machado

By

Diogo Machado lives in Rome where he studies theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. While earning his degree in philosophy at the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Fundamentum, the academic journal of the Students' Union Association of the College of Theology. He also served as a staff member of the Political Studies Institute at the Catholic University of Portugal.

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