Do Catholics Really Support Abortion?
Featured Rightgrrl May 1999
March 17, 1999
I rarely make the religious argument against abortion. I understand that for those that do not believe in my God, or who believe in a different version of my God, the God argument is one that can neither be won nor lost by either side. It does however, as a Catholic, bother me to see parties that formerly may have been the first one with their hand up to explain why religious argument cannot prove that abortion is wrong... now attempt to use religious argument to attempt to show that abortion is morally and religiously acceptable.
It seems that some people are coming across groups like "Catholics for A Free Choice" and using this as a means to mislead others into believing that "secretly" the Catholic Church condones abortion. If it weren't for all of us fanatical Catholics forcing our beliefs upon everyone, that some Catholics would be able to freely support abortion whilst lining up for Sunday Eucharist.
I wish to go on the record against what these groups profess, and set the record straight.
Abortion is contrary to all Catholic teaching. While it is each and every person's perogative to disagree with the teaching of a faith... they are then, (if the disagreement involves a major tenet of that faith... and they cannot live according to it) free to support any Church that their beliefs do coincide with.
Anyone can say they are Catholic... that does not make them a practicing Catholic. No true practicing Catholic would/should support "choice". I will explain why this is a matter of fact, and not simply my own bigoted opinion.
I have no problem if they call themselves "Former Catholics for a Free Choice" etc. as that would be a more accurate description, but my feelings regarding why they call themselves "Catholics for A Free Choice" is that they do so to mislead uninformed/confused people to believe that the Catholic Church somehow condones abortion. It does not.
Some even try to use the argument that in the past... two Popes (specifically Pope Innocent III, and Pope Gregory IX) "allowed" abortion. This is not entirely accurate. Basically, all Catholic teaching is based on the DIDACHE, which is The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles. The DIDACHE, clearly states that abortion is wrong. These Popes may have fallen into placing credence in Thomistic teachings, but abortion was not deemed to have been freed from it's distinction as a sin.
Some pro-abortion "Catholics" use the matter of "hominization" or "delayed ensoulment" to justify their stand, but using the ensoulment theories of St. Thomas Aquinas, these pro-abortion "Catholics" fail to recognize that St. Thomas inherited a faulty view of biology. He believed that the whole person in potency was locked inside the man's "seed" alone. He considered the destruction of this person in potency, to be a serious moral wrong, and did not accept abortion as a legitimate response to a pregnancy. Modern biology also supports the view of immediate hominization. "Casually" speaking though, if pro-abortion supporters are going to make a habit of using the theories of St. Thomas Aquinas to support their positioin, it really would be consistent for them to hold all of his theories in esteem, including the theory that it was a serious moral wrong to destroy the man's "seed" for he believed it held the potency of the whole person. We know what that means for all the men out there now, don't we?
Being that we cannot empirically observe ensoulment, believers should naturally choose the alternative causing the least harm, and give the unborn the benefit of the doubt. Pro-abortion "Catholics" are attempting to justify their own wants by the use of extraneous details that prove only that certain Popes may have temporarily been confused into removing the punishment for abortion, but it does not mean that at any time Catholicism based on The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, endorsed abortion.
From the DIDACHE, 2:2
"2:2 Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not corrupt youth; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use soothsaying; thou shalt not practise sorcery; thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither shalt thou slay it when born; thou shalt not covet the goods of thy neighbour;"
Canon Law, is also often cited to attempt to support abortion. An excerpt from Canon Law (highlighting by this author):
""Canon Law," the juridical law of the Roman Catholic Church, often is cited by both sides in the abortion debate--usually to make a point about the Church's moral stance. However, Canon Law is not a moral code, it is the administrative, civil, jurisdictional, procedural and penal law of the Catholic Church. It is subject to many of the same political, administrative and practical influences that shape any other body of law; while the authoritative moral teachings of the Church, per se, belong to a different forum. But, at times, it is reasonable to make moral inferences from the Canons. Still other times it may not be. Canon Law remains a somewhat esoteric and remarkable body of law, one that is rarely discussed with much understanding."
"Can. 1398 -- A person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication."
Today, we have the added benefit of science and technology to support the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion, whereas Pope Innocent III, and Pope Gregory IX did not. It then seems obvious that anyone attempting to use the misguided opinions of centuries ago Popes, is simply engaging in a pathetic attempt to justify abortion because truly following what the Church sets out is not within the scope of their ability at present.
What would be next for them I wonder? Bringing back witch burnings because someone at some time condoned it? Or slavery? I see the tactic of using the mistakes of two Popes (out of well over two hundred) to justify their want of abortion support within their faith, as foolish and misleading.
For any person or group to call themselves Catholic, they must be following, nay... practicing Catholic teachings to the best of their abilities. Based on information readily available even to the layperson, it appears that "Catholics for A Free Choice" clearly does even attempt to do so. Therefore, I personally, hesitate to call them "Catholics".
The "Catholics for A Free Choice" issue, is that quite simply, if I felt I couldn't abide by the tenets of a faith... I would respectfully find one where I did feel I could faithfully follow. I wouldn't dream of joining a particular faith, and then proceed to tell them they're wrong and must change to suit me. That is the ultimate in disrespect. I feel, that those who feel it necessary to either try to force their own will upon the Catholic Church, or failing that.... go about misleading uninformed people that the Church condones or stands for things it doesn't, are not only not of that faith.... but incredibly disrespectful people as well.
For me, I believe "Catholics for A Free Choice" should be a non-issue, but sadly, they are convincing some of those that are desperately seeking any method of justifying abortion. They are a group of people pretending to be Catholic, doing so for Political means...
For anyone that reads this now, and thinks, "I shall dismiss her ramblings for she is but a sanctimonious bigot", ask yourself if you think it would be respectful of my newfound faith if I became a Jehovah's Witness or a Budhhist, and then proceeded to form a group called Jehovah's Witnesses for Blood Transfusions, or Budhhists for Prostitution?
This article copyright © 1999 by Sass Seagal and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.