Catholic Teaching On Abortion

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  1. Catholic Teaching On Abortion To Save The Life Of The Mother
  2. Catholic Church And Abortion Forgiveness

INTRODUCTIONIn a recent Pew Research Poll nearly 48% of those identifying themselves as Catholic say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, in spite of the Catholic Church’s strong opposition. Since 1973 Roe V Wade there have been over 60 million abortions in the United States, alone and over a billion and a half worldwide.Those kind of numbers are truly astonishing to me. When they cite the number of those calling themselves Catholics, who are these people? We know from similar polls that only 23% of those identifying themselves as Catholics attend Sunday Mass regularly.The Church has never been ambivalent in my lifetime on the deliberate taking of the life of an innocent human person in the womb. I know Roe V Wade never considered the person in the womb but made up some right to privacy that is not even in the Constitution to give in to the clamor of those who were inconvenience by having children.A single sexual partner (the woman) claims she has right over her body and any decision to bear children. Try having a baby without any Male semen! The baby in the woman’s womb is an individual person apart from her.

The baby’s genetic material is not the same as the woman who acts as a natural incubator, a safe space for nurturing and developing human person.If a parent can be charged with neglect or even infanticide after a baby is born what then, when they extinguish the life of a developing person before birth.

Catholics on Abortion and Conscience:Address to the Thomas More Centre Summer School, 1991(by Anthony Fisher, O.P. — paper read in his absence) Ch. 1 Catholic Teaching on AbortionFrom time to time we hear it suggested, even at times by Catholic politicians and academics, that Catholic teaching on abortion is unclear. Yet in its earliest teachings and down through the centuries to modern times, the Church has consistently and unequivocally condemned abortion as a grave moral and social wrong. The Church argues its position on clear philosophical grounds, rather than any special revelation private to Catholics.From a high view of the human person—shared by people from many philosophical, religious and humanistic traditions—comes the basic principle that every human being must be respected as a person, and accorded rights and dignity equal to all other persons.

Catholic Teaching On Abortion To Save The Life Of The Mother

A long list of basic human rights has thus been enunciated and codified in United Nations conventions and other places—of which the most basic right, upon which the others depend, is the right to life. The direct taking of innocent human life is therefore almost universally deplored.

Thus Catholics join others in resisting disrespect for and threats to human life in many situations: violent crime, murder, child abuse, embryo experimentation, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, genocide, killing of non-combatants in war, starvation etc.Abortion is a case of direct killing of an innocent human being – a violation of the rights of the youngest members of our society and the human family. It is, thus not just a matter of personal choice, religious opinion or women’s rights, but a basic human rights and social justice issue. All human beings are called to respect (and, if they are in a position to do so, protect and nurture) human life at all stages, and to ensure a society where crimes of violence are as far as possible prevented. Thus the Vatican Charter on the Rights of the Family (1983, #4) declares:Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.


Abortion is a direct violation of the fundamental right to life of the human being.In taking this position the Church is not proposing an eccentricity. Even entirely secular government committees have soundly concluded:The embryo is a genetically new human life organised as a distinct entity oriented towards further development as a biologically individuated member of the human species It commands such a degree of respect as to prohibit destructive non-therapeutic experimentation. Second Vatican Council, The Church in the Modern World (1965), ##27How then do we form a right conscience?

Catholics seek to inform their consciences according to reason and revelation as guided by Church teachings. They believe that by “their faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority ( magisterium), and obeying it, receives not the mere word of human beings, but truly the word of God.” It is to the pope and the bishops that this teaching authority is entrusted. As the Second Vatican Council put it: “in matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful, for their part, are obliged to accept their bishops’ teaching with a ready and respectful allegiance of mind”. Thus for a Catholic to disagree with what the Church teaches on abortion, he or she would need to have very clear reasons and convictions.

These could only follow a genuine search for meaning through docility to church teaching, reading, prayer, taking counsel, developing the virtue of prudence, and so on. Any conflict would then be within the person’s conscience, rather than between conscience and some alien magisterial authority.In forming their consciences the faithful must pay careful attention to the sacred and certain teaching of the Church. For the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the teacher of truth.

Catholic Church And Abortion Forgiveness

It is her duty to proclaim and teach with authority the truth which is Christ and, at the same time, to declare and confirm by her authority the principles of the moral order which spring from human nature itself. Second Vatican Council, On Religious Liberty (1965), #14It is sometimes rightly pointed out that no pope has proclaimed the Church’s teaching on abortion in a specific ex cathedra statement declaring it as an essential matter of faith and infallibly true, and that there are degrees of authority in magisterial pronouncements.