Marxist dogma dictates "the abolition of the monogamous family as the economic unit of society". So declared Friedrich Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State . Destroy the family, he rightly assumed, and Western nations will crumble. In his book he laid out the means to achieve that satanic end: elimination of the concept of legitimacy, "the reintroduction of the whole female sex into the public industries", the collective care and rearing of children, and no-fault divorce.
Although much of this communist programme has been realised, it is still pursued with Rottweiler zeal by the champagne socialists of New Labour. The raze-the-bastions rhetoric of its ageing feminist and homosexual comrades ever betrays the motivating source - witness Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell’s intrusion into married life last November. "As men do more at home", she declared like a 60s undergraduate brandishing The Female Eunuch, "women can do more at work: that I think is the next stage of the revolution".
All liberal efforts to normalise the abnormal - to afford the wicked ‘rights’ and ‘benefits’ by supplanting our entire Christian moral, socio-political and legal heritage - are predicated on this one central objective: annihilation of the intact family. Hence the jubilation of this sterile fraternity over "gay marriage" and "gay adoption" - viewed as deadly strikes against the fruitful embodiment of the natural law they must needs deny.
To stand up to the despotic liberal monolith rabidly enforcing the Marxist credo is a daunting task which few tackle. Yet those brave souls who do so on our behalf not only keep the flames of Christian liberty, sanity and self-preservation alive, they also inspire others to take up the gauntlet after them.
And so, on 8 November 2005, Susan Axon, following in the footsteps of Victoria Gillick 20 years ago, launched a landmark legal battle in the High Court against what she rightly terms "horrific" Health Department guidelines that allow girls under 16 to terminate a pregnancy without informing their mother or father.
The guidelines, introduced in 2004, replaced earlier government advice that followed the 1986 Gillick judgment, according to which parents were to be informed about the giving of contraceptive advice and treatment to their children in all but "the most exceptional circumstances". Mrs Axon argues that the 2004 guidelines, which effectively ended this parental ‘right to know’, "misinterprets and subverts" the Gillick ruling, and is thus unlawful.
A divorced mother of five who has spoken of the "emotional damage" she suffered from her own abortion two decades ago, 51-year-old Mrs Axon is taking on a government-feminist-abortion lobby coalition which includes the nefarious Family Planning Association. In a submission made to the court through their barrister, this unholy alliance bluntly stated that Mrs Axon’s idea that parents know what is best for their children is out of date, since that would "completely ignore the autonomy of the child". Marx and Engels themselves could not have put it better.
Countered Mrs Axon outside of court: "I think it’s absolutely outrageous that they even think they can get away with it behind our backs. A lot of abortion providers are making a lot of money out of young girls. It’s not just about my daughters - I’ve got sons as well. It’s about my grandchildren, and everybody’s grandchildren".
Indeed it is. And we thank God for her strong stand, just as we salute her brave predecessor in the following pages. The Catholic witness and courage of Mrs Gillick and so many others who have given their lives to defending Life, Truth and Goodness, like the great Father Paul Marx OSB, have inspired us in the oppressive heat of battle against the Culture of Death. And it is precisely because such encouragement is vital to perseverance that the sordid and potentially dispiriting situation treated in much of this edition is ‘prefaced’ by an uplifting interview, and ‘postscripted’ with a striking account of the power of the Blessed Virgin Mary to move the heart of Her Divine Son in our favour.
This latter testament reaffirms that petitioning Jesus through Mary, especially via the Rosary, is our most powerful weapon both for converting sinners and for deliverance from "unjust and deceitful men" [Ps.42]. Even as natural law foundations crumble and Christian institutions fall, it counsels us to stand firm: to swap our worries, as Padre Pio exhorted, for unceasing prayer and unwavering hope!