It was a time when female infanticide was so rampant that men outnumbered women by 30%. However, we’re not talking about female infanticide in China today, (which unfortunately is much worse), but female infanticide in the First Century A.D. and throughout what was known as the Dark Ages.
Ironically, the satanic push for infanticide occurring in U.S. and elsewhere in this century is quite literally bringing back the Dark Ages and stripping women of the very rights that the Catholic Church – yes, the Catholic Church – helped them attain.
This is just one of many inescapable conclusions that any student of history cannot help but draw after reading Father William Slattery’s amazing new book, “Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build – And Can Help Rebuild – Western Civilization.” From the title, readers can see that Father covers all the foundations of Western Civilization from music, art, and drama to free-market economics. But here we focus on the conflict that is currently roiling the United States: infanticide and women’s rights and what we can learn from world history.
Fr. Slattery tells us that in the First Century A.D., female infanticide “grew to such horrendous levels…that in Italy, Roman North Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean area, males outnumbered females by about 30 percent.”
In discussing this phenomenon on a recent episode of “EWTN Live,” Host Fr. Mitch Pacwa noted that unwanted female infants at that time were literally thrown onto a hill outside the walls of Rome where they would be eaten by wild dogs. Christians would comb through the trash at night to try to save as many babies as they could.
What most people don’t know is that it was the Catholic Church that rammed through legislation in 325 AD making female infanticide in Rome a criminal offense, possibly with the death penalty attached to it. But as we all know, laws don’t necessarily change hearts and minds. Catholic priests continued to fight this attitude from the First Century through the 12th Century.
In fact, Father Slattery says that Catholic priests were quite literally the only “light” throughout the Dark Ages as they began saving these “foundlings” by allowing them to be left at churches and monasteries. To deal with this crisis, they would also establish orphanages, schools, hospitals, maternity-care centers, and other institutions. During this time, societies of lay Catholics whose sole purpose was to care for these children also sprang up to help in this lifesaving work.
Just as the Church stood for the rights of these unborn female babies, it loudly asserted that women had an equal dignity to men, a concept that was unheard of at that time. It asserted that men and women had different genes, but that they were complimentary and necessary to each other.
Says Father Slattery: “The romantic culture created by the Church in Medieval Times led to the abolition not only of infanticide, but the abolition of abortion, a tremendous cause of the deaths of countless women, and to the elimination of polygamy and to adultery as a female-only offense in ancient Rome, [meaning that only females could be charged with the crime of adultery].
“Throughout the Middle Ages, the Church constantly held up the rights of wife as equal to the husband. Women having right to vote, the right to the property they came into their marriage with, the right to their own profession.”
Father tells us that there are records of women being lawyers, plasterers, doctors and even Crusaders, as well as rulers like Queen Blanche of France, and military leaders like Joan of Arc. “Men obeyed Joan of Arc because of a culture that respected women, and while it didn’t normally expect to have a woman as a military officer, it was able to accept that some women would be given an extraordinary mission from God which would put them in that position.”
What’s important about the history – and all of the history outlined in Father Slattery’s extraordinary book — is the fact that it is so relevant for us today.
“The first barbarians believed in marriage, believed men and women were different, believed in God, believed God should be worshiped,” Father said. “Even though they were primitive as regards their idea of justice – for them, vengeance was justice – nevertheless there were fundamental principles they held to be sacred. The new barbarians don’t hold to any of those principles. Therefore, we can say in all legitimacy, that we are entering a new Dark Ages.”
Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.
The Romans throwing babies to the wolves sounds barbaric – and it is. But is it any less barbaric than what is happening in many U.S. hospitals today when a newborn, who has survived being poisoned in an abortion, is left alone to die, with no food, no water, and no human companionship even as its pitiful cries are ignored by those who jobs it is to save the baby? Is it any more barbaric than discovering that these babies are often thrown in a trash bin or their body parts are sold to the highest bidder?
Father Slattery’s must-read book, “Heroism and Genius,” is the antidote to a second Dark Ages that, once again, threatens to consume us.
Note: To purchase this book from EWTN Religious Catalogue, please go to http://bit.ly/HeroismGenius.