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Thomas Aquinas Visits Yugoslav Abortionist in Dream, Converts To Pro-Life

Monday, December 1, 2008 • 9:44 am


The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”

In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. ‘My name is Thomas Aquinas,’ the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn’t recognize the name”

“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.“They are the ones you killed with your abortions,’ St. Thomas told him. “Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions,” the article stated.

“That same day a cousin came to the hospital with his four months-pregnant girlfriend, who wanted to get her ninth abortion—something quite frequent in the countries of the Soviet bloc. The doctor agreed. Instead of removing the fetus piece by piece, he decided to chop it up and remove it as a mass. However, the baby’s heart came out still beating. Adasevic realized then that he had killed a human being,”

The entire article is available here.


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Comments:

This is a very encouraging story, but I find this part the most encouraging of all:

Adasevic has told his story in magazines and newspapers throughout Eastern Europe. He has returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood and has studied the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

He stops murdering, decides to follow Christ in a branch not always on good terms with RCC, but in this story no one is questioning and he shares his testimony in a public forum. At least four, in not many more, wonderful works of the Lord. God is very Good.

[1] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-01-2008 at 09:59 AM • top

Fascinating article. It makes it seem that St Thomas is still doing theology although of course in a much greater light.

In Saturday’s Globe and Mail there was a fascinating exchange of letters between Jean Vanier and Globe columnist, Ian Brown.  Vanier, a true saint of our era in every sense of the word in my humble opinion, discusses abortion from his perspective.  You can find what he says at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081128.wvanier29/BNStory/National/

[2] Posted by Ross Gill on 12-01-2008 at 10:05 AM • top

Strangely enough, I find this article disturbing.  There is too much of an “I stopped performing abortions because I saw the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast” quality to the story.  Especially this:

“Influenced by Aristotle, Thomas wrote that human life begins forty days after fertilization,” Adasevic wrote in one article. La Razon commented that Adasevic “suggests that perhaps the saint wanted to make amends for that error.”

This states clearly his belief that he is not describing a vision but a visitation.  But the dead do not visit the living.  And the dead in Christ certainly have no further reason to ‘make amends.’ 

One might argue that any reason to stop abortion is sufficient, but there is spiritual corruption in this story; something dark and malevolent just below the surface.

carl

[3] Posted by carl on 12-01-2008 at 10:07 AM • top

Carl,

The dead CAN visit the living.  Unless, of course, Peter, James and John were dead when Moses and Elijah returned during the Transfiguration.  It is possible.  Perhaps exceptionally rare, but not impossible.  Not that anything with God is impossible.

[4] Posted by pksundevil on 12-01-2008 at 10:13 AM • top

This states clearly his belief that he is not describing a vision but a visitation.  But the dead do not visit the living.  And the dead in Christ certainly have no further reason to ‘make amends.’

carl,

Your Calvinism is showing again. wink  Visitation by saints, angels, the Virgin Mary, and Christ Himself are very well attested in both East and West, and often accompanied by miracles.  The Transfiguration is the preeminent example.  Did Moses and Elijah not appear to Peter and John?

“Making amends” doesn’t necessarily imply some post-mortal Pelagianism, or something like Marley’s Ghost, even if ‘make amends’ is what he actually said in Serbo-Croatian.  If I were Aquinas, living in the Beatific Vision, and God needed someone to send to the abortion doctor, I can easily imagine wanting to volunteer—not out of a feeling of guilt, but from a certain sense of symmetry.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[5] Posted by gone on 12-01-2008 at 10:22 AM • top

Pksundevil (#4): Your argument is a good one, but leave Elijah out of it.  Elijah didn’t die; he was taken up to heaven.

[6] Posted by Hindustaaniwalla Hatterr on 12-01-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

One might argue that any reason to stop abortion is sufficient, but there is spiritual corruption in this story; something dark and malevolent just below the surface.

I’d urge extreme caution before declaring an act of God a work of the devil, for that is what Jesus, Himself, was accused. The four items I referenced above would pass the Scriptural test to declare Jesus as Lord, thus a work of light, not dark. Maybe if just moving from pro-death to pro-life, I’d agree with you, but the returning to an expression of Faith in Christ and testimony before the world, I’d urge you not to let your finite understanding of how God works to declare something “something dark and malevolent.”

[7] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-01-2008 at 10:37 AM • top

Carl,

What is ‘dark and malevolent’ about an abortion doctor repudiating abortion as murder, and moving towards Christ?  Given the change of heart, do you really think that the evil one is the originator of the vision (or whatever you prefer to call it)?

[8] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-01-2008 at 12:16 PM • top

God has appeared to many in dreams and visions.  It is one of many ways He communicates with us.  Therefore do not “poo-poo” this man’s dream/vision - God was obviously calling for a change in his life.  And don’t forget that the man in the dream didn’t actually physically appear to him - it was part of the dream.

[9] Posted by B. Hunter on 12-01-2008 at 12:45 PM • top

I’m convinced, but…
Don’t expect to see this story in “Episcopal Life.”

[10] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 12-01-2008 at 12:57 PM • top

[5] CryptoCatholic

Your Calvinism is showing again.

Thank you, Mr Hobbs.  That’s probably the nicest compliment I have ever received on this board. smile

carl
Who speaks only slightly with tongue-in-cheek wink

[11] Posted by carl on 12-01-2008 at 01:20 PM • top

Carl,
I love you for all the times you have so clearly and succinctly expressed ideas with which I was struggling. I understand that you think this is theologically wrong because the dead do not visit the living in dreams. Where do you get that?

I am seeing many places in Christian sources where the dead do visit the living in dreams. For example, Bede’s History of the English Church has a few cases.

Regarding Calvin and dreams: Yes, Calvin did write that dreams could be from diabolical sources. However, he also wrote that dreams could be sent from God. Regarding Jeremiah 23:25-27, he wrote

Dreams themselves are to be taken in a good sense, for God was wont to make himself known to his servants by dreams.  Hence it is dreams that are from above that are to be understood here, not every kind of dream.

[12] Posted by perpetuaofcarthage on 12-01-2008 at 02:38 PM • top

I understand that you think this is theologically wrong because the dead do not visit the living in dreams. Where do you get that?

I can’t speak for Carl, but I can speak for myself.  Up until several months ago, I probably would have responded similarly.  The denomination I hailed from is Cessationist, a view that rejects the notion that God would communicate directly with people after the age of the apostles.  It isn’t Deism, as it emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s illumination (different than inspiration) of the Church over time, as well as God’s providential interaction with the course of history. 

Two important arguments in favor of Cessationism are the closing of the canon in Revalations, and the inconsistencies reported in (e.g.,) 1 Corithians 12 and second-century accounts of worship.  Second century texts suggest an absence, or at least a waning, of charismata-‘ish’ gifts. 

I’ve moved from a position of outright rejection to one of mutual acceptance - not so much sitting on the fence, but rather just standing at the gate.  Those who have been gifted thus and are called to use those gifts ought to;  those who aren’t into them probably should leave them alone anyhow.  It’s not for everyone.

[13] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-01-2008 at 05:48 PM • top

This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17

[14] Posted by 7Light on 12-02-2008 at 12:27 AM • top

A minor criticism:  Yugoslavia is no more.  It was a place that existed only for a few decades.  This man is a Serb.  He has returned to the communion of his childhood, the Serbian Orthodox church.  Thanks be to God.

[15] Posted by Katherine on 12-02-2008 at 01:33 AM • top

OK, so now that the moral imperative of watching MNF is over… smile

Let me deal with each of the objections in turn.  The various commenters raised four different critiques.  I have selected a representative quote for each.

Objection 1.

Visitation by saints, angels, the Virgin Mary, and Christ Himself are very well attested in both East and West, and often accompanied by miracles.

Yes, I am well aware of these claims.  I simply do not believe them - from the apparitions of Mary to the stigmatic mysticism of Anne Emmerich.  They are founded upon the testimony of a false authority.  It’s just one more reason to reject the RCC and all its works and all its ways.

Objection 2.

I understand that you think this is theologically wrong because the dead do not visit the living in dreams. Where do you get that?

Because God no longer communicates with men through dreams, and prophets and visions.  The Revelation is complete in the person of Christ and so also the Scripture.  I do not accept the concept of private Revelation.  God now speaks to men through the Scripture.  Consider:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-2

The final Revelation is complete in Christ who is the exact image of the Father. The record of that Revelation is found in Scripture.  What further need has He of dreams when the Revelation is complete?

Objection 3.

Given the change of heart, do you really think that the evil one is the originator of the vision

So what connection should I make between this vision and his claimed return to the Orthodox faith?  Suddenly deciding that abortion is evil is not a prima facia case for conversion.  Unbelievers can and do adopt this position.  Should I then consider the alleged testimony by Thomas Aquinas to be critical to the conversion?  The suggestion here would then be that the author converted on the testimony of a man returned from the dead who speaks only of abortion.  But then what am I to do with this? 

“But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:29-31

If men reject the greater testimony of God, why should they accept the lesser testimony of men - even dead men who return?  The statements of Aquinas would be lesser testimony, although men might not intuitively see it this way.  And why should we see this as connected to his conversion if there is no Gospel content to the message.  Abortion is evil, but railing against it does not constitute preaching the Gospel.  Mormons rail against abortion.  Should we credit them faith on that account?  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  There is no place where it is written that faith comes by the testimony of shades who visit in the night and decry abortion.

Objection 4.

The dead CAN visit the living.  Unless, of course, Peter, James and John were dead when Moses and Elijah returned during the Transfiguration.

The Giver of the Law and the pre-eminent prophet are called forth to give witness the Glorification of the Christ.  Their presence is is intended to reveal something about the Christ.  They do not even speak to the Apostles.  They are attending the glorified Christ.  And this under the unique conditions that attend the Transfiguration.  What they are not doing - what the dead never do in the testimony of Scripture - is act as messengers for God.  He used Angels.  He used prophets.  But He didn’t use necromancy.  The Scripture specifically condemns what the author suggests has happened.

When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Deuteronomy 18:10-11

One final thing.  How would you verify the identity of this apparition as Thomas Aquinas?  How do you know it was not an angel of light preaching a clever deceptive counterfeit?  Would you test it against the Scripture - the same Scripture that forbids attempting communications with the dead?

carl

[16] Posted by carl on 12-02-2008 at 01:38 AM • top

I have followed the links and see that the headline “Yugoslav” comes from the catholic.org site to which Perpetua linked.  Their mistake, and not SF’s or Perpetua’s.

[17] Posted by Katherine on 12-02-2008 at 03:19 AM • top

One final thing.  How would you verify the identity of this apparition as Thomas Aquinas?  How do you know it was not an angel of light preaching a clever deceptive counterfeit?  Would you test it against the Scripture - the same Scripture that forbids attempting communications with the dead?

WE don’t, but we do have a Scripture on how to test the spirits and this situation does end up with Jesus as Lord. Second where is there a Scripture for those asleep in Christ not to communicate with the living? There certainly is Scripture to keep against black magic, but this man didn’t do any of that, he went to sleep and had a vision. Maybe it was not Aquinas at all but a vision the Lord allowed him to think was Aquinas for what ever reason in His Sovereign Purposes which we do not know. All Scripture gives us is that angels of dark do mascaraed as ones of light and we must test the spirits, which in this case should pass by the fruit this guy is barring in declaring Christ as Lord (first repenting of his murder, then returning to his childhood faith).

It is recorded that the Lord has sent all sorts of dreams, maybe not of dead theologian but who is to say that this was not the most productive was for the Lord to lead this man to repent then return to Christ. I think we do need to test this by Scripture. The dreams are strange (then so were those recorded in Scripture) but there soes not seemed to be anything in this that is demonic by the test Scripture gives us about spirits.

[18] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-02-2008 at 10:00 AM • top

So what connection should I make between this vision and his claimed return to the Orthodox faith?  Suddenly deciding that abortion is evil is not a prima facia case for conversion.

Actually, I didn’t have that connection in mind.  C.f., Luke 11:14ff for the connection between the purported vision and the cessation from evil.

[19] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-02-2008 at 12:09 PM • top

the same Scripture that forbids attempting communications with the dead?

Actually, it is forbidden for the living to initiate the conversation, as revealed in the account of the Witch of Endor.  The fact that Samuel chided Saul, yet continued the conversation would seem to indicate that Samuel had permission to speak to Saul.

[20] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-02-2008 at 12:27 PM • top

Carl,
We are barred from trying to call forth the dead.  (That is the work of God alone.)

We are NOT barred from receiving angles nor the dead.  We should test such ‘apperances’ against Scripture, not against our personal bias.

The ban in Revelation is against ‘new’ or ‘additional’ stuff, it isn’t against ‘reminding’ us of ‘existing’ stuff.  The Holy Ghost is constantly at work bringing to mind what is already revealed.  If the fellow makes no claim (nor presents) a new revelation, he’s not in danger of the punishments described in Revalation.

We don’t have ‘scripture’ to turn to after the end of the Apostles ministry, but we do have scriptures that plainly have the Risen Christ appearing to St. Paul, after the ascension, and dead Saints appearing to St. John.

I put these events in the ‘possible’ category today, and look for the evidence that they aren’t from the Father of Lies…

[21] Posted by Bo on 12-02-2008 at 12:33 PM • top

Thank you all who contributed to this thread. I think it has helped me clarify my understanding. Here is what I am thinking now:

1) We are barred from attempting to initiate contact with the dead.

2) However, that does not mean that the dead do not attempt to contact the living. We don’t know one way or the other about that.

3)We don’t know if these experiences are actually visits from the dead, messages from God using the form of visits from the dead, or visits from the demonic.

4) So, any message of any dream or vision that claims to be a contact from the dead should be checked against the Bible.

5)True messages from God (or the dead sent by God)will remind us of what is taught in the Bible and perhaps call attention to particular Biblical teachings relevant to our situation and the moment.

6) True messages from God will bear healthy good fruit, leading us toward or deeper into relationship with Christ and his church and mission.

7) We are barred from using any dream or vision to contradict the teachings in the Bible.

[22] Posted by perpetuaofcarthage on 12-02-2008 at 08:35 PM • top

It’s not the direction of the relationship that is problematic, but the nature of the relationship.  I am incredulous that people would actually argue we should never seek out the spirits of the dead, but nevertheless receive them with gladness should they show up on our doorstep.  I fail to see the difference.  Can you imagine an Israelite telling Joshua “Now, I didn’t summon this dead spirit.  He just happened to walk in here, and I was just being polite and all.” 

I don’t necessarily give any credence to the idea that this dream was in fact anything other than a dream.  But if it wasn’t a dream - if there really was a spirit claiming to be Thomas Aquinas - then I can guarantee two things:

1.  It’s not the spirit of a dead theologian named Aquinas, because the dead are not allowed to roam free, and God does not send them as messengers.

2.  That only leaves one other possibility as to the origin of the spirit, and that’s why I used the word ‘malevolent.’

carl

[23] Posted by carl on 12-02-2008 at 09:57 PM • top

Carl,

On what basis do you make these guarantees?  For a guy who normally insists on a Biblical basis and rational argument,  this seems out of character.

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[24] Posted by gone on 12-02-2008 at 10:20 PM • top

It’s not the direction of the relationship that is problematic, but the nature of the relationship.

Why would the direction of the relationship have no bearing on the nature thereof?  If a single man’s advances are unwelcome and frequent towards a single woman, he may find himself the object in a restraining order.  The order would forbid him from initiating contact with the young lady.  On the other hand, if the young lady initiates contact, then the restraining order has not been violated. 

I am incredulous that people would actually argue we should never seek out the spirits of the dead, but nevertheless receive them with gladness should they show up on our doorstep.

I’m equally incredulous with this ridiculous characterization. 

I fail to see the difference.

 
See above analogy. 

Can you imagine an Israelite telling Joshua “Now, I didn’t summon this dead spirit.  He just happened to walk in here, and I was just being polite and all.”

Eh?  I don’t recall such a story concerning Joshua.  Could you refresh my memory?

I don’t necessarily give any credence to the idea that this dream was in fact anything other than a dream.

The dream was of a man who is a household name among Roman Catholics, but probably not Eastern Orthodox folks, much less prolific abortionists who were raised EO.  He didn’t recognize the name in the dream. 

That raises the possibility that this may be an elaborate hoax of human origin;  a speculation that can’t account for someone turning their back on passion and profession. 

1.  It’s not the spirit of a dead theologian named Aquinas, because the dead are not allowed to roam free, and God does not send them as messengers.

Where does it say, “God does not send (dead people) as messengers?”  If you are referring to the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, then you can rest easy, because futility of the exercise is cited as the reason his request is turned down, not that it’s verboten. 

2.  That only leaves one other possibility as to the origin of the spirit, and that’s why I used the word ‘malevolent.’

Which begs the questions (again), what is malevolent about a prolific abortionist ceasing and desisting, and why would the evil-one work against his own best interests thus?

[25] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-02-2008 at 10:36 PM • top

Carl,

A Christian woman of my acquaintance has made mission trips to South America.  On her mission trips, she has performed several exorcisms.  One evil spirit she has come up against (frequently, with many different women) has “sex” with his victims while they are dreaming. 

The women know that the “sex” is wrong, and (therefore) that contact with the spirit is wrong.  They are often too ashamed to admit and confess their guilt, which (as my friend informs me) is an important part of exorcism. 

If sin is involved, the spirit is definitely manevolent.  Same of blasphemy.

[26] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-02-2008 at 10:56 PM • top

How do you know it was not an angel of light preaching a clever deceptive counterfeit?

..To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
(1 Cor 12:10, emphasis mine)

So, it’s a spiritual gift that God gives to some of us.  For the rest of His children, He’s given them far more sense than geese have, in spiritual matters.

[27] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-02-2008 at 11:04 PM • top

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