Switzerland and San Marino: two referendums that must make us open our eyes

By Prof. Roberto de Mattei

The Italian and international pro-life movement does not seem to have reacted with sufficient vigour to two international events that directly affect life and the family.

The date of both events is Sunday, 26 September 2021.

On that day the Republic of San Marino, an independent state in the heart of Italy between Emilia-Romagna and the Marche, the third smallest state in Europe with a population of just over 33,000, held a referendum that liberalised abortion.

In San Marino abortion was still a crime and the question submitted to the vote was this: “Do you want a woman to be allowed to voluntarily terminate pregnancy within the twelfth week of gestation, and also subsequently if there is danger to the life of the woman or if there are anomalies and malformations of the foetus that pose a serious risk to the physical or psychological health of the woman?”

77.28% of the voters said Yes; 22.72% No. This means that it will now be possible to carry out abortion up to the third month for any reason and up to the ninth month for malformation of the foetus that involve a risk not for the physical health of the child, but for the woman’s mental health – a law that recalls National Socialist eugenics and that denies life to those who may be born with physical problems. And this just as the greatest publicity is being given to those Paralympic Games that are meant to affirm the right to quality of life and equal opportunities, in the field of sport, of those with physical disabilities.

Now it is up to the Parliament of San Marino to write a law that will have to take into account the request of the citizens. This law will be added to the disgraceful regulations that legalise murder all over the world.

In another popular referendum on that same September 26 Switzerland approved an amendment to the Civil Code that effectively introduces so-called same-sex marriage. Switzerland had authorised civil unions between persons of the same sex back in 2007, but the change just approved will grant same-sex couples the very rights of marriage, including the possibility of adopting children and the right for lesbian couples to use sperm donation. The amendment to the law was approved by all 26 cantons and semi-cantons of the Confederation, with a majority of 64.1% of Swiss voters.

What is striking is precisely the fact that both in Switzerland and in San Marino it was the large majority of citizens who approved these new expressions of a process of moral degradation that is reaching a dizzying pace in Europe, amid the silence, if not the indifference, of the supreme ecclesiastical authorities.

One of the best commentaries I have read is that of the Ticino journalist Giuseppe Rusconi, who on his blog Rossoporpora writes:

“The two electoral results (especially that of San Marino) brutally confront us with a dramatic reality: we now live in a post-Christian society dominated by indifference (and increasingly also by hostility) towards the religious dimension, in particular towards a Catholic Church in a state of alarming confusion (and currently perturbed by shameful and disruptive scandals such as that of the priest of Prato, a devotee of debauches and cocaine, which at first the diocese tried – for the usual disgraceful reasons of ‘image’ – to cover up). It is also very striking that opinions are now formed much more via social media than through concrete personal relationships. Because in social networks the immediacy of (uncontrolled) emotions triumphs at the expense of a rational approach to the issues under discussion. Shameless tricks of language are currently being used propagated at every level of politics and media and (sometimes of the Church as well) based on two terms, ‘rights’ and ‘freedom’, which are distorted in their original meanings and detached, among other things, from ‘responsibility’. There is food for thought (and a great deal of it) in the two results, also within a Catholic Church whose future in our Western society is shaping up to be – unless there come a shock as healthy as it is necessary – characterized by social irrelevance.”

This is a defeat of traditional morality, defeat of reason, but also defeat of the Church, because the Catholic Church is the guardian of the natural and moral law founded on the good use of reason, as well as on divine Revelation. We live in an age of the atrophy of reason and the extinction of morality, because the Church is self-destructing. But the only possibility of salvation lies in the Church, because She alone has the supernatural means to support the movement of intellectual and moral reform necessary for the reconquest of the laws and customs of what was Christian Civilisation. The two referendums in San Marino and Switzerland must make us open our eyes.