Friday, 28 December 2012

Holy Innocents

Reflecting on today's feast, I have been looking at some accounts of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents.

What I did find notable were the estimates of numbers for those killed (according to Wikipaedia article).

The story assumed an important place in later Christian tradition; Byzantine liturgy estimated 14,000 Holy Innocents while an early Syrian list of saints stated the number at 64,000. Coptic sources raise the number to 144,000 and place the event on 29 December. Taking the narrative literally and judging from the estimated population of Bethlehem, the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907–12) more soberly suggested that these numbers were inflated, and that probably only between six and twenty children were killed in the town, with a dozen or so more in the surrounding areas.
Compare this with the following, taken from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's [nice innocent sounding euphamism] own website, concerning abortions in the UK in the years from 1969-2011:-
In 2011, there were 189,931 abortions to women resident in England and Wales. This is roughly the same (a rise of 0.2%) from 2010. The highest recorded number of abortions to women resident in England and Wales was in 2007, with a total of 198,499.
The total number of abortions carried out in every given year includes non-residents: that is, women who come to England and Wales from abroad. The number of abortions is presented in Table 1 of the official statistics. The figures below give a snapshot of the number of abortions to residents of England and Wales over the past four decades.• 1969: 49,829
• 1979: 120,611
• 1989: 170,463
• 1999: 173,701
• (2007: 198,499)
• 2011: 189,931
Do we really live in less barabaric times?

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