The country of Croatia has witnessed something extraordinary. Between 1989 and 2005, for which the latest statistics are available, the abortion rate has declined from 51,289 to 4,563. A remarkable 90 percent drop, praise God.
Pro-life activists in the country attribute this remarkable reality to the strong leadership of the Catholic bishops. For as Dr. Anton Lisec points out, his own success at saving the lives of preborn children thanks to the superb support and cooperation of Catholic bishops and priests in the nation, which is over 80 percent Catholic.
Speaking on this remarkable course of events, writer Michael O'Brien, who has visited Croatia, points out that the culture of death has attacked Croatia in many ways and has been relentless in its attacks on the Catholic Church. But, he says, "They have maintained a dynamic orthodoxy in their seminaries, in their clergy, in their religious orders. There is no vocation crisis in Croatia."
Praise God! Perhaps some of our own Catholic bishops should be visiting Croatia from time to time, absorbing the wonderful holiness that we know from personal existence is totally apparent.
One of my best pro-life friends, Mario Zivkovic, who is a leader in Croatia, has over the past ten years distributed thousands of brochures from American Life League and other organizations. He is tireless in his efforts, and he too cannot say enough about the wonderful support he receives from the Catholic Church in his country.
It is the country's strong commitment to truth, but more importantly to Christ that has made the difference.