The last train to Dachau Print
In Your Name
Thursday, Oct. 07, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

In Your Name by Deacon Jack

Recently, the national head of a pro-life group spoke at a rally. He told of a woman sharing with him the story of the last train-load of prisoners arriving in Dachau after World War II had ended. The Jewish and other prisoners on this last train (and all who were in the neighborhood of the tracks of the concentrations camp) were filled with fear.

The soldiers were gone. The local police had run away. And the villagers, still affected by the horrors of recent years, were immobilized by fear.

They did nothing

Years later the villagers were still proclaiming their innocence: "We didn't do anything -- we didn't say anything."

That is, no one helped these prisoners, even thought the war had ended. All but the one woman who survived to tell the story died in captivity on that train.

The Nuremberg Tribunal exposed this killing of millions who were gassed, poisoned, shot, or starved, while local officials and officers, suppressing their conscience, kept silent!

Killing the innocent

The pro-abortion movement provides a similar dilemma for our efforts locally.

The just war policy mandates that there shall be no killing of innocent non-combatants. Who could be more innocent, more a non-combatant, than the unborn baby in the womb -- or, even more problematically, one who is partially born that then has his or her head crushed in a partial-birth abortion. Meanwhile, many suppressing their conscience keep silent.

To quote Rev. 12:2, 4bc: "Because she was with child, she wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then the dragon (read abortionist) stood before the woman about to give birth, ready to devour her child when it should be born." It's a child, not an embryo!

Cannot serve two masters

Admirably, Tom Barrett became a national hero when he was seriously wounded for seeking to protect one baby and its guardian. Yet he wants to become the next Catholic pro-abortion Wisconsin governor leading a political party whose national goal is that no abortion should be illegal.

God tells us that we cannot serve two masters, e.g., be a pro-abortion leader and a Catholic who receives the Eucharist. We are called to foster and obtain a culture of life and Jesus, Prince of Life (Acts 3:15), calls us to proclaim the Gospel -- the Gospel of Life.

While we are proclaiming the Gospel, we need to be careful about "casting our pearls" (Mt. 7:6). "An officer with an attitude" may say as they did at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau: "I'm only doing my job; I'm merely following orders." This excuse for guarding the killing of innocent non-combatants was rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

We have our call from Jesus; to be his disciples, to be sent like lambs among wolves to proclaim his kingdom -- his truth, to carry his word to the world today and every day. Ask Mother Mary to take the pro-life movement to her son Jesus for help in every way.

Protecting freedom of speech

We want our constitutional freedom of speech protected just as we want these babies to be safeguarded. Some of us may need to exercise our constitutional rights to free speech beyond giving police only our name.

Our speech may not be safeguarded, but we are obliged to try to protect about-to-be-aborted babies. Jesus said in Matthew 25:31-46: "So as you do unto the least of our brothers and sisters; so you do unto me."

Jesus (Lord of Life -- Acts 10:36) tells us to love our neighbor even when we hate grave sins. Some may face death in police custody as Jesus did. Still we must stand up and speak up faithfully. Jesus (John 15:20) said: "If you follow me, you will be persecuted."

Deacon Jack Fernan is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Madison.