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Interview with Fr. Tom Euteneuer
Inside the Vatican
Andrew Rabel, Reporting from Front Royal7
Fr Thomas J Euteneur is the President of Human Life International, (HLI) based in Front Royal Virginia. He has held this position since December 2000. Founded by Fr Paul Marx OSB in 1981, HLI exists on all continents of the globe, and is the largest pro life, pro family organization in the world.
He gave an interview recently to Australian ITV correspondent, Andrew Rabel, at present visiting the United States, talking about why he believes the pervasive struggle against abortion is not in vain, and why he believes it will be ultimately successful.
1. How important is it to proclaim the entire Gospel of Life?
If you don't proclaim the whole Gospel of Life, you're just anti-abortion. And it is important to be anti-abortion, but the Church isn't only anti-abortion. As we see the Church's comprehensive teaching on the life issues, it sees the sanctity of human life from across the spectrum, from the moment of natural conception to the moment of natural death. And it sees human life inserted into the context of certain sacred realities like marriage and family, which are divine institutions.
So, when we defend life we also defend the whole range of gifts that God has given to us, to defend, to nurture, and to strengthen life. So we can't just fight those who are trying to deprive us of a fundamental human right, i.e., that is one dimension of it, but the Church sees it in its much larger dimension, and that is Christ coming to give us life, and life in abundance. So we defend the whole package.
2. Human Life International has always taken a strong stance that one cannot fight against abortion effectively without also opposing contraception. Why is this?
It's naive to think that you can fight abortion without also dealing with the issue of contraception for many, many reasons. Number 1 because fertility has not just a personal dimension, it has a social dimension. As we are seeing now in the declining fertility rates around the world, and how the declining fertility rates have economic consequences, have demographic consequences, have immigration consequences, and so even on a social level, if you ignore the whole issue of fertility, and just focus on abortion you're never going to see it in its full truth.
Carl Djerassi [the Austrian chemist; an inventor of the pill who recently said it has created demographic suicide] has recognized the fact that there are social consequences to what have always been considered personal decisions. The pill was marketed as a personal choice because the inventors knew this would have dramatic social consequences as well, and that is why contraception has always been part of population control because they realize it has social consequences and political consequences.
I might add, which Pope Paul VI pointed out in 1968, a dramatic change in society would happen when we accepted birth control as a reality for any society, that it could potentially be used as an instrument against people not just individuals.
3. Some prolife groups promote more of a secular model when fighting the issue of abortion. Is there any value in this in our society?
A secular model is always geared towards social and political change. I don't say there is anything wrong with that, because we need to change the laws back to be just laws, and as Archbishop Raymond Burke said at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in May this year in Washington, "We must never tire of working to restore justice to our laws, and to our legal system," no matter how dreary it seems.
However, it is not the only effort. Some work to change laws that must be always in the context of wanting to change hearts, which is the wider context of the Gospel. You don't have to do that necessarily out of a sense of religious conviction. You have to do it because this is how society functions. If you don't have people who are accepting of basic moral norms whether they believe in a religious sense or not, society itself falls apart.
I'm convinced that someone always has to be working to change laws. Laws have a propaedudic function of teaching society in general basic concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, black and white. If law doesn't even get it right, then how can you expect society to understand basic concepts of right and wrong in God's law. All human law should nearer the natural law, all human law should somehow nearer God's law, and if it doesn't, if law becomes unjust, then we have to restore it and that effort always has to be taking place, which we might call the secular prolife movement. But it can't be divorced from the whole effort to change people's hearts and minds.
4. In the battle against the culture of death how crucial is the role of Our Blessed Mother? In Fatima, where she spoke of the "annihilation of nations", do you think she was referring to this?
I believe that the culture of death is so ingrained in our Western society which would include the developed world like Australia and New Zealand. I believe it has developed so deeply inside of our fabric of our thinking and of our being in society, that only a spiritual force will undo it. We may be able to change a law here or there but the overall effort to purify of our evils of the culture of death has to be a spiritual force, and it has to be organized. That is a function of the Church Militant. Our Lady is the 5 Star General of the Church Militant because she has been given the eternal vocation to crush the head of the serpent.
This serpent has dug his tentacles into the very fabric of our society. And so I believe the victory over the culture of death will be the triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart promised at Fatima.
The word you used and she just used there in regard to the nations was annihilation. When the borders changes after World War I, and Prussia disappeared that wasn't an annihilation that was just a change of borders. But in abortion it is the annihilation of human beings. With Communism it was the annihilation of human beings, systematic atheism that expressed itself in political systems that was responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone.
Abortion is another systematic expression of atheism. It annihilates 50 million per year if we believe the United Nations (which isn't a prolife institution). So 50 million souls is a medium to large nation annihilated every year throughout the world, and that only consists of surgical abortions. [It would be impossible to quantify the amount of chemical abortions.]
5. As an authorized exorcist, can you enlarge on what are the natures of evil spirits involved in abortion?
Abortion comes from the heart of the one that Jesus calls a murderer and a liar, and in John 8: 44 He uses the word lie or liar five times to describe the devil. So when he speaks lies, he is speaking his need of language. He is a murderer from the beginning.
So what Jesus was saying was that whenever you find this combination of lies and murder there is no other source than the one who was a liar and murderer from the beginning, so abortion is an industry that kills babies and it does it on the basis of convincing people that killing babies is a good thing. Lying and deceiving, and distorting very fundamental concepts of right and wrong, concepts of family, and concepts of human solidarity.
If you can get a mother to kill her own child thinking that she is doing a good thing that is a pretty big victory of deceit and of the kingdom of darkness. So to go back to your original question it's not any kind of spirits that are in this. This comes from the heart of Satan himself
6. Does the violent extraction of a life from a womb create a vacuum in the person and how can she be delivered of this evil?
Abortion is a sin, and often has spiritual consequences. Abortion is a mortal sin, so it is possible for that mortal sin and that emotional, spiritual wound to open the woman up to some kind of demonic spirits.
There are some women who have demonic problems after an abortion, but by no means do all of them have these kinds of problems. Everyone sins who has an abortion, so the important thing to focus on is the sin of abortion and get people to recognize that they need to reconcile with God. Once they do that repent and reconcile with the Church, then they may have some more emotional and spiritual problems to deal with.
We all know the emotional problems all too well that come from abortion.
7. Have you ever encountered evil spirits in women who have aborted?
Clearly, yes. Sometimes women call me that they have had demonic problems, and I have sent them to a post-abortion retreat and they were cured. Now that could have either have been because the retreat itself released the evil spirit that was in them, or it healed them emotionally, and it could be a combination of both.
It takes great discernment to distinguish one from the other, and most people don't have the ability like that, so what you do is put them in touch with the measures of healing that the Church holds out, one of which is confession, another which is post-abortion trauma healing programs, and another which is deliverance.
8. Despite all the cards that we appear to have stacked against us, you obviously have the hope that eventually we will emerge victorious?
I do, and I know it is because Our Lady will bring us to a point where we can all see what God's plan is. We just don't need God enough yet. After 9/11 everybody got on their knees and went back to church for a couple of months! We don't have a big enough of a crisis in this world yet to turn everybody back to God, and to ask how are we supposed to undo this?
What I believe is going to happen is a great worldwide crisis that is going to wake everybody up, almost like what Garabandal said where everybody will see clearly for what is, and wake them up to the reality of their sinful consciences.
Whether it is question of changing laws or changing society, we always have to change hearts and minds, one heart and mind at a time, and nobody is exempt from that. This is the important thing I want to communicate to anyone who ever listens to me talk about this, that we are all missionaries of life in our society, and if we renounce our responsibility to do that, we will have to stand before the judgment seat of God one day, and account for that.
So the person who is more prone to work in politics, he has to change hearts and minds in his particular area. The person in communications, in social work, the medical profession, all across the board, mothers and fathers. Everybody has something to do, to change hearts and minds. When we are silent that culture of death steamrolls us.
On top of that, when everyone is doing their part, we have to pray that the Church will get back on its feet, and become the Church Militant. All those efforts will have an important social impact, but they won't be organized until the leadership of the Church gets its act together and says we're going to take the force of all these individual efforts and apply them to the culture of death in a systematic way.
So while we are praying that the Lord will change hearts and minds, we must also pray that the Church will be transformed,to bring it back to a fighting force again.
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