A Greek Orthodox bishop defends the unborn.
This Icon is a work of the iconographer Mr. Kostas Vrousgos from Thessaloniki and was painted in Adelaide, South Australia, with the blessing of Bishop Joseph of Arianzos. It was published in thousands of copies. His Grace wrote the following text about abortion and the Icon, printed on the reverse side of the Icon.
The All-Holy God is the fountain of life. Life belongs to him. His love provides life to all living organisms and especially to man, whom He created in His own image and likeness. We live and exist because of the overflowing love of God. As in this sacred overflowing love of God which is life, every person has a right which cannot be taken away. The Son and Word of God became human, was crucified and was resurrected so that all "may have life and abundantly they may have" (John 10:10). God's gift of life is inviolable and murder is forbidden by the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition of the Church (Holy Fathers, Synods and Canons). He who takes away life opposes the work of the Life-giving Lord and joins with the devil, who "was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44).
Human life begins from the moment of conception and fertilisation. The Church believes this, and so does contemporary medicine (Panhellenic Medical Conference 1985). Furthermore the science of embryology, with the assistance of ultrasound and of other admirable technological means which are available, proved that the unborn baby is "certainly a new human being, a new member of human society, inseparable from each and every one of us in any way" (Dr Bernard Nathanson). Therefore, from the moment of conception, the violation of life at whatever stage is murder! As much as the killing of an adult or an adolescent is murder, so much so is the killing of a foetus by abortion at any stage of pregnancy. It is the cowardly murder of an innocent and completely unprotected human being, which has no possibility whatsoever to defend or protect itself.
Despite all these, the various human passions and especially sensuality, hard-heartedness, superficiality and indifference, very often lead to abortion as a "solution" of some "unwanted" or otherwise problematic pregnancy! Nevertheless, this is no solution. It is a manifestation of rage of the above-mentioned fathomless passions, which characterise the souls which are found outside the life of the Church and the fear of God.
I believe that this most beautiful Icon by the talented Iconographer Mr Costas Vrousgos, very clearly expresses all the Church wants to say to Her children about the dreadful subject, the indescribable calamity of abortion, the contemporary baby-killer Herod. The Iconographer's ability to blend colours, being led by the Spirit of Truth, presents the causes of evil, the murderers of innocent babes, the sadness of the Life-giving Christ, the solution and need for repentance of the mother, the equally responsible and unloving father and perjurer murderer-doctor, and to anyone else associated with the crime. The testimonial cross of the unmarried mother who prefers the cost of social shame rather than the killing of her child. The blessing of the Christian family. The eternal prototype of the mother of God, the all-honoured person of the breast-feeding Mother of the Blessed One. No other comment is needed.
The icon explained
Christ our God (bearing the title "O ON" which means "He Who Is" in Greek) is seen looking down from Heaven. His right hand is extended towards the family depicted just below Him, in the characteristic form of blessing. The father of the family is seen supporting and playing with his beloved children, and the mother is seen offering care and the necessities of life.
At the bottom left of the Icon the patience and long-suffering of the unmarried mother who chose to support her baby and suffer hardship or social shame rather than have it killed, is depicted as a mother, nursing her infant whilst bearing the weight of the Cross that she carries daily.
Below the Blessed family unit, we see a woman clothed in red, on her knees with hands raised in repentance and tears streaming from her eyes. She has undergone an abortion. In her lap rests the dismembered remains of her murdered baby. The woman is tearfully calling to our Lord for Mercy, as she has realised the grave error of her deed. She seeks healing in the Sacrament of Confession and repentance. Of course, this equally applies to the irresponsible and unloving father of the child as well.
In contrast to the repentant mother who yearns for mercy, above and to the right of her, is a series of women, who purposely and intently present their infants for slaughter for various worldly reasons; uncontrolled sensuality, hard-heartedness, superficiality and indifference. The children they carry are a nuisance and a bother, affecting their selfish and hedonistic way of life. The children are offered to a queen. She is given the title, "the new Herod", who was responsible for the slaughter of thousands of infants at the time of the birth of Christ. This evil queen is Abortion. At her feet lay the dismembered bodies of countless innocents.
Above in Heaven, we see the Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Perfect Mother, who is seen nursing the Infant Christ. To Her left is our Father among the Saints, Saint Stylianos the protector and patron saint of children. The Mother of God, the Saints and all the Heavenly bodies grieve as they look down and see the holocaust below. The Angels weep at this indescribable calamity below.
Behind the evil queen can be seen her servant, the abortionist, murdering another child. Behind the abortionist is the master of the evil queen, the beast, the evil one, who gleefully watches as the mothers offer their children for slaughter, in the process losing their own souls to the beast.
Read this article on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia website.