Just look at Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi the ‘loyal and devoted Catholic’ lying through her teeth about what the church teaches. This clip also has Obama’s infantile answer: “The question of when human life begins is beyond my pay grade…” So this is a smart Harvard educated guy?
The other awful thing about Pelosi is that she goes on to promote contraception openly and then piously says, “We want to reduce the number of abortions, all of us want to reduce the number of abortions.”
Where’s the sick bucket?
Father Christopher publishes Archbishop Rigali’s correction of Pelosi here: and Carl Olson gathers other responses over at Ignatius Insight
Creative Minority Report gives us Cardinal Egan’s blunt and courageous response.
There is a plan behind all this, a way to “make it so.” If you refer to the Church’s position on abortion as a “controversy” long enough, repeatedly enough, people do not recognize the truth that the Church’s position is exactly the opposite: there is *no* controversy in the Church about this issue.All these political “Catholics” have to do is (a) lament the “difficulty of the problem” (b) claim that they are not qualified to answer the question, emitting a kind of false but convincing humility (c) “hope” the issue is resolved, ad nauseum. Makes them appear reasonable, caring, able to see “both sides”, etc.I’ve been doing research on the English Deformation: *How* did the crown succeed? By continually, repeatedly, over and over (think of Chinese water torture), hammering the idea of Catholicism as “foreign”–even the term “papist” works. Just think about it–over and over: them, them, them (ever distinguished from us). It will work. It did work. And it was a lie. People even know it’s a lie. They just get tired.
American Papist also has extensive coverage on this issue. He includes links to all of the letters written by the Bishops in response to these egregious abuse of the public spotlight. http://www.americanpapist.com
Father – The problem I see is the Church’s failure to categorically state the truth here. Buried among the flowing words of many documents one can interpret things different ways, as Speaker Pelosi has done in this instance. So where is the clear, unequivocal document of the Church that eliminates the waffling and categorically states, “Human life begins at conception.”? And why is there no document that equally states “The deliberate killing of any unborn human being shall be adjudged as murder.” ?
to pdt, the source you seek is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, specifically paragraph 2271. “Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” Paragraph 2270 above it states “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” Paragraph 2270 finds its biblical source from “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11.I also recommend reading “The Catholic Church is a Pro-Live Church.”
Ben – You give a good citation from the Catechism (which I do have open in front of me) but it’s not what I seek. This is two sentences, obviously connected, but which use different representations: moment of conception vs. first moment of existence. You and I know what is being said, but why can’t the Pope or the Magisterium stop talking in prose and just say the words?Biblical citations, sadly, are subject to an infinite number of individual interpretations. Our bishops and cardinals and pundits toss quotes back and forth to no avail. Just read the Connecticut bishops’ justification of allowing Plan B at their hospitals. Or Augustine’s comments on the beginning of life.The only way to combat this is the simple straightforward declarative sentence: Human life begins at conception.Sadly, even this will be a point of departure for new arguments about in vitro fertilization, same-gender DNA component transfer, etc., but it would be a start.
Now my comment is a little bit more on-topic! I am looking for some intelligent priestly commentary on this silly 23 year old’s blog:http://myabortion.tumblr.com/
She is BEYOND clueless.Yes, there have been specific elements within the Church to examine this question. But to use that as a way to add ambiguity to this issue is like focusing on the flat-earth apologetics of the middle ages as a way of arguing the shape of the earth is still up in the air.
I don’t understand. Augustine really did believe that ensoulment was at the quickening, if I understand correctly, and it seems like a legitimate position to take that criminalization should start after the quickening but some sort of controlled pro-choice position prior to the quickening. I’m not saying I agree with that, but it does look like a compromise position. Politicians are supposed to compromise are they not? We’ve made progress with partial birth abortion being restricted. If abortion were restricted to the first month of pregnancy we would really have made some serious progress indeed.I didn’t really take her meaning to misrepresent the church by suggesting the church held her view or Saint Augustine’s view. She said she was catholic and had put a lot of thought into it. She seemed more concerned with ensoulment, which the church has not taken a position on, then the begining of life, which the church has taken a position on.I agree with Saint Augustine as I understand him. I don’t believe god ensouls the embryos in ectopic pregnancies, or embryos that fail to implant. Obviously God’s ways are beyond our understanding, but it just seems wasteful to spend souls on doomed early embryos like that and it goes against my sense of God’s justice. So I’m with Saint Augustine on this ensoulment issue.
Wikipedia to the rescue! The article on St Augustine has been rapidly elaborated on, with good citations and sourcing,9 to correct Ms. Pelosi’s quotations and use of St Augustine to support her view. Excerpt:Like other Church Fathers, St Augustine “vigorously condemned the practice of induced abortion”. In his works, Augustine did consider that the gravity of participation in an abortion depended whether or not the fetus had yet received a soul at the time of abortion. He held that this ensoulment occurred at 40 days for males, and 90 for females.In the summer of 2008, this aspect of Augustine’s thought (i.e., the gravity of abortion vis-a-vis the ensoulment of the fetus) was used by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in defence of her pro-abortion political stance. She quoted one of his works, in which he wrote:”The law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation.'In the week following her comments, she was corrected by numerous American bishops, such as Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver, who wrote: “In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or “ensouled.” But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself…”[62Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo#Abortion_and_ensoulment
The United States Catholic Bishops speak out on the Pelosi matter:http://www.usccb.org/prolife/constantchurchteaching.shtml
The more I read the more I see that Pelosi does have a point from a legislative perspective. Augustine was addressing when abortion should become a criminal matter. What the pro-life movement wants to do is criminalize abortion and send women and doctors who participate in it to jail. The question of when abortion becomes murder does depend on ensoulment. Augustine was speaking to that. The church and the pro life movement refuse to seriously address the criminalization issue or the ensoulment issue. Where I come from murder is something serious, something that requires evidence beyond any shadow of a doubt. There seems to be plenty of doubt about whether or not abortion is murder before the quickening, or before a soul is imparted.It’s really not enough to declare that an embryo is ‘life’. A cabbage is life, so is a cow. We have dominion over the earth, the plants, and the animals. We do not have dominion over human life. But to me, a soul is necessary before a life is truly a human life.Saint Augustine is revered by both protestants and catholics. This point is very salient and important. If the pro-life movement and the catholic church are not willing to say when something is murder and worthy of criminalization as murder no one will trust the government with making abortion illegal.
You are arguing, Marcus, not with a view toward clarification but toward obfuscation. Augustine can be revered by whoever wants to revere him. He didn’t write our catechism.Discussions of “ensoulment” will have to wait for the afterlife for conclusive statements. What we know is that God creates human life, that each human life is sacred from conception to natural death. That’s all we need to know.
That’s my point Estiel! Abortion is immoral and wrong for catholics, period, end of statement. But in politics we have to decide when it is a criminal act, when it is in murder. And as you have just surmised, we aren’t going to know until we’re in the next life.That, by the way, is exactly what Joe Biden just said to Tom Brokaw on meet the press. Palin, incidentally would not go because she is not meeting with the press for a few weeks?!? I think that the church is right that abortion is immoral. But I think that Biden and Pelosi might just be right that we don’t need some Assembly of God wacko appointing our supreme court justices to make abortion euqivalent to murder when so many theological issues are beyond our grasp or were a matter of debate amongst the church fathers.
The Speaker has every right to declare what she knows by way of her profession, which is the law in the United States. What she lacks is the right to proclaim the teachings of the Catholic Church from her position as an American politician. St. Augustine gave his opinion, which has never been fully refuted. Indeed Canon Law recognized a difference between abortion prior to “animation” and one after. However, that difference pertained to whether a complicit male would e considered guilty of an irregularity and thus ineligible for advancement through Holy Orders. And it did state (not sure if it still does) that for a male, that point was 40 days and for a female 80 days after conception. In his Papal Bull of 1869, Pius IX helped codify many of these rules, and Canon Law is built on such, not the opinions of a Saint no matter how beloved and revered.Ms. Pelosi can indeed argue her version of the facts, as will any lawyer whether right or wrong. But she must also accept that if she subscribes to and legally advocates a fundamental belief that differs this strongly from her Church, she should stand down from one or the other.
What is mysterious to me is that you don’t seem to see that you’re arguing apples and oranges, Marcus.