Abortion and dying in original sin

There are similar bible quotes that say the same for all mankind irrespective of age. For example

**1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.3This is good, and pleases God our Savior,4who wants all *people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2: 1-4

and

*“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”**(2 Pet. 3:9).

I have been told that these verses express the will of God but from that it should not be concluded that all will be saved.

I have come across two ways of addressing this issue.

  1. Nowadays I am often told that God wills that all will be saved but as he has given man free will, man is free to choose perversely. so, therefore all will not be saved.

  2. A more traditional interpretation is to query the word “all” to mean only “all the elect”

i.e

but here I will say one thing: ‘he wills all men to be saved,’ is so said that all the predestinated may be understood by it, because every kind of man is among them Rebuke and Grace 44, St Augustine of Hipp

‘Accordingly, when we hear and read in scripture that he ‘will have all men to be saved,’ although we know well that all men are not saved, we are not on that account to restrict the omnipotence of God, but are rather to understand the scripture, ‘who will have all men to be saved,’ as meaning that no man is saved unless God wills his salvation: not that there is no man whose salvation he does not will, but that no man is saved apart from his will; and that, therefore, we should pray him to will our salvation, because if he will it, it must necessarily be accomplished.(Enchiridion 103) St Augustine of Hippo

Anyway, interesting stuff

Clem, and others following along,

Here is a good thread from our apologist, Michelle Arnold.

Because this understanding of limbo was merely an attempt by theologians to understand Christian doctrine and was never itself Christian doctrine, such an understanding can be either accepted or rejected by the Church.
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Thank you :slight_smile:

he might well have meant, as do many, that those in purgatory are denied heaven for a while (not that i’m saying that there’s any such thing as time after death), but not permanently. when he says that their souls are lost, perhaps he means a temporary loss.

i still disagree. purgatory is such an ambiguous concept that it doesn’t even really have a name. we know nothing of its organization, its proceedings, its mechanisms. we know very little about it. those struggling with this concept (i.e., everyone who tries to understand it at all) have sometimes called it hell because it clearly isn’t heaven, but were not referring to eternal damnation. we weren’t given a whole lot of teaching about this in either covenant and to the church can’t give us details as a result, but, again, we’re not supposed to know every little thing about God’s creation. we know enough to know that those innocent little souls couldn’t possibly be damned.

another thought: he says that they lose their souls. in that time as in this, there were those who said that the unborn do not yet have souls. catholic teaching has always been that we receive souls as soon as we’re alive, which happens upon fertilization, or conception. we might both have been reading this the wrong way. perhaps he is saying that these attacks are as much on these babies’ eternal aspects as their bodies. we can’t know whether these attacks amount to anything beyond death because, as others have stated, the document that you reference is not official church teaching. popes have been wrong lots of times. this might be one of them.

Well, he doesn’t say that their souls are lost in purgatory yet later they will be in heaven in"Effraenatam". So, the onus is on you to prove that the small point of their eventual salvation was implied by Sixtus. "“He might of meant” is speculation not proof.

Whilst agreeing that the concept of purgatory existed before it was given a name ( I assume you mean that) and that it is neither heaven nor hell, the Catholic church has made a dogmatic statement that those who die in original sin alone go to hell and it is the same hell that those who die in mortal sin go to. Obviously those who die in a state of original sin alone includes unbaptised babies. See the the Council of Florence ewtn.com/library/councils/florence.htm . Recent popes have said there may be hope that infants unbaptised by water go to heaven. Hope is not the same as assurance and in any case none of their statements are dogma. The council of Florence’s statement is dogma because it is an ecumenical council and is making a definition of faith binding on all Christians. So, the church is not at a stage yet where it can dogmatically assure that they are not damned.

I am sorry but I cannot accept that “he might have meant” is the same as “he did mean”. He quite clearly believes that unborn babies have souls that can be lost if they are are aborted. He says nothing about the argument as to when the foetus is ensouled. I assumed he means from conception as he does not provide a time of exemption but this is irrelevant to the point. Sixtus believes that those who commit abortions deprive those children of heaven and send them to limbo.

It is ,of course, permissible to question the authority of the document and the accuracy of the interpretation so long as it can be proven that the authority and/or translation is suspect.

It has always been a matter of frustration to me what papal documents can be considered infallible. Most people recognise ecumenical councils and the pope speaking ex cathedra as being infallible when making definitions on faith and morals but if I quote from papal bulls, constitutions etc then their authority is sometimes questioned. Sometimes with good reason but at other times it is a reflex response in order to defend an entrenched position.

At this point I want to challenge the statement that* “No pope can bind his successors with regard to development of doctrine”* by adding that the pope certainly can make dogmas that are irreformable and development cannot include the flat contradiction of previous dogmas. Development has to be in agreement with previous dogma by explaining it more fully.

So when the Council of Florence says that those who die with mortal sin and original sin alone go to hell then one cannot have a later “development” that says that either of those two categories may actually go to heaven.

As your response is with regard to “Effraenatam” it would be good to at least consider what authority it has for all Christians. So, as a preliminary I wanted to show some of the claims of Vatican 1 regarding the primacy of the Pope and then apply them to Effraenatam.

  1. The pope is the highest court of appeal in terms of jurisdiction, his judgment cannot be overturned by an ecumenical council as his authority is higher.

*The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintain that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman pontiffs to an ecumenical council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff. * Chapter 3:8 Vatican 1

  1. That when the pope speaks ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals he does NOT need the consent of the church to make his decisions irreformable which of course means no one in the future can change them.

Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable. Chapter 4:9 Vatican 1

The question then is whether “Effraenatam” constitutes a pope speaking ex cathedra and making an irreformable dogma.

Vatican 1 gives the criteria

4:9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.

  1. **Is he speaking ex cathedra? ** Sixtus seems to claim yes. *“We who are placed by the Lord in the supreme throne of justice”*Effraenatam. Remember Vatican 1’s statement that the Pope has the highest jurisdiction and that his judgments “is not subject to revision by anyone”

2.Is it a definition of faith and morals Well we can safely say that abortion is a matter of morals and he defines that it is wrong and why it is wrong. Again vatican 1 says the Pope has to be defining an issue faith and morals

  1. ]Does he need the consent of the rest of the church and does he believe his statement is irreformable? Not according to Vatican 1 and not according to Sixtus in Effraenatam

*We decree that in all aforementioned things all ordinary and delegate Judges, even the Apostolic Palace Auditors and Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church have had taken away from them by Us the authority of judging otherwise and the faculty of otherwise interpreting. Anything done to the contrary knowingly or by ignorance by any authority in any instance is null and void.*Effraenatam

So, this is my argument that Sixtus meets the criteria of Vatican 1 of a Pope speaking ex cathedra. I once did have a catholic tell me that Effraenatam was not speaking on matters of faith and morals as “abortion” is not a moral matter which did make my eyes pop open somewhat!

So in short

1 Sixtus claims to sit on the highest throne of justice ie ex cathedra
2. He defines that abortion is immoral and why
3.He states that the aborted loses its soul and does not go to heaven
4. He declares this to be an irreformable matter and therefore infallible statement.

and I argue that all this is in agreement with the criteria that Vatican one says a pope needs to be speaking infallibly.

Hi Nimeniton, totally missed the thread until now or I would have commented much earlier.

I’m sorry, but for me it comes down to one thing. We have two authorities here who have investigated the issue, and who have come up with different conclusions-you and the Theological Commision.

You are an atheist, and only an amateur scholar. The theological commission was a group of bishops and theologians specifically created to investigate this very issue and who references the very statements from Florence that you do. You say that aborted babies can’t go to Heaven. They say it’s a possibility.

Let’s make something else clear first, too-the Church is NOT afraid to issue a controversial ruling. Humanae Vitae was one of the most unpopular rulings on any issue since the Council of Trent. So I’m not going to buy the excuse that, “they’re Catholics, of course what they’ll say will sound good to everybody”. They’ve been there before.

So, I’ll trust the group of theological experts handpicked and dispatched specifically to research this topic over a lone internet atheist. :shrug:

Argument from authority? Yes, technically, but honestly all this stuff is waaaaaaay over my head-whatever conclusion I come to will have to be explained to me by other people anyway, so it’s always going to be an argument from authority for me-and I’ve picked my authority.

This is also true and a good point-an Ecumenical Council is Ecumenical if it is accepted by the entire Church (that’s why there is some debate on whether or not VatII was an Ecumenical Council or merely a Pastoral Council). And it is true that VatII defined no new doctrine. It only clarified old doctrine and reexamined non-infallible doctrine in light of the modern world to see if it should still apply.

So if the Council of Florence is not accepted by the ENTIRE Catholic Church (including the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome) as ecumenical there is, at least, some wiggle room for debate on the subject.

Well said, Marc. Let him bray all he wants, the bottom line is…
Roma locuta est - Causa finita est.
Limbo has never been defined as dogma, regardless of all the discussion and debate. It has always been nothing more than a pious theory.

Could we keep the discussion polite, please. I am not a donkey!

Perhaps but with regard to the Ecumenical Council of Florence we are not talking about unborn babies going to Limbo, where they have a measure of happiness but to hell where they experience lesser pains to those who die in mortal sin. And this is defined dogma.

For those who wish to question whether the Council of Florence is ecumenical, I would draw their attention to Vatican 1 where the then pope, describes it as ecumenical and that its defintion of the world wide primacy of the pope must be recognised by all Christians. If you wish to question the validity of the Council Florence then you question the validity of Vatican 1 which appeals to its authority and papl primacy itself.
*
And so, supported by the clear witness of Holy Scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general councils,** we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence*** [49], which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christian people. Chapter 3:1 Vatican 1
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For those who wish to question whether the Council of Florence is ecumenical, I would draw their attention to Vatican 1 where the then pope, describes it as ecumenical and that its defintion of the world wide primacy of the pope must be recognised by all Christians. If you wish to question the validity of the Council Florence then you question the validity of Vatican 1 which appeals to its authority and papl primacy itself.

*And so, supported by the clear witness of Holy Scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general councils, **we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence **[49], which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, true vicar of Christ, head of the whole Church and father and teacher of all Christian people. *Chapter 3:1 Vatican 1

And as I have also said in a private message to you, that you are fully within your rights to do so… I certainly do not want to be seen as an authority and agree that I am an amateur. But to those who are interested in the points I bring up, I am keen to hear their responses and apologetics. Others are free to ignore me.

I have heard accusations that the church is being populist with regard to the idea that unbaptised babies may go to heaven. I have not repeated them and I have a dislike for searching for motives mainly because they smack of ad hominem attacks. The theological commission gives its motives and I am happy to accept them at face value.

In the contemporary context of cultural relativism and religious pluralism the number of non-baptized infants has grown considerably, and therefore the reflection on the possibility of salvation for these infants has become urgent” [size=]THE HOPE OF SALVATION FOR INFANTS WHO DIE WITHOUT BEING BAPTISED*[/size]

Well, we agree on that so I wonder if you could have a word with my mother.:slight_smile: I was in the hospital the other day having one of my chemo sessions when the nurse started asking me questions just as my mother popped in. “Religion” asks the nurse. “None” I try to reply when my mother interjected, “He’s a lapsed Catholic, once a Catholic always a Catholic” The truth is I am an apostate but I did not want to tempt fate by saying so:eek: :slight_smile:

Nimeniton,


From dictionary.com:
**bray ****2 **— ***vb ***1. ( *tr *) to distribute (ink) over printing type or plates
2. ( *tr *) to pound into a powder, as in a mortar
3. *dialect *( *Northern English *) to hit or beat (someone or something) hard; bang

From Webster.com:
bray: to utter or play loudly or harshly

If we consider definitions from both dictionaries, the word I chose is appropriate. Like Marc Anthony, I was also contacted by you in a PM to continue your relentless debate. You just don’t give up, do you?

St. Augustine, in rendering his opinion, was NOT the Pope invested with the grace of Office, nor the keys of Peter. It holds no weight.

It holds not weight? I hardly think so. Using your reasoning, you could say the same thing about all of St. Augustine’s opinions, or those of any other Church Father who did not hold the office of the papacy. Clearly, the history of th Church shows that the opinions of Church Fathers, and perhaps those of St. Augustine more so than any other single Church Father, hold a great deal of weight. I say this in spite of the fact that I disagree with St. Augustine on this issue, among others–I generally prefer the Greek Fathers.

Maybe I should clarify. It “holds no weight” in light of present Magisterial teaching that has clearly put forth in the CCC and ITC that the fate of these infants is left to the mercy of God. We cannot dismiss the Church’s teaching in order to adopt the thought of a saint of antiquity.

After further research, I am appalled (for lack of a better word) that Nimeniton posts the ITC document, yet cites only the portion of that document that agrees with his deplorable bias that unbaptised children were not innocent and deserved hell. :eek: Curiously, he stated in shouting format, “The theological commission gives its motives and I am happy to accept them at face value.”
Why then, does he not accept the entire findings of the commission?
This present text was approved in forma specifica by the members of the Commission, and was subsequently submitted to its President, Cardinal William Levada who, upon receiving the approval of the Holy Father in an audience granted on January 19, 2007, approved the text for publication.
Let’s remember that Cardinal Levada served as head of the CDW until he retired, and that the Holy Father gave approval of the text. Looking at some specifics in the text, we find mention that there had never been a resolution to the question. although some had attempted to give closure in the V-II Council.
28. In the preparatory phase of Vatican II, there was a desire on the part of some that the Council affirm the common doctrine that unbaptised infants cannot attain the Beatific Vision, and thereby close the question.

The Central Preparatory Commission, which was aware of many arguments against the traditional doctrine and of the need to propose a solution in better accordance with the developing sensus fidelium, opposed this move. Because it was thought that theological reflection on the issue was not mature enough, the question was not included in the Council’s agenda; it did not enter into the Council’s deliberations and was left open for further investigation.

Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered above give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptised infants who die will be saved and enjoy the Beatific Vision. We emphasise that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge. There is much that simply has not been revealed to us (cf. Jn 16:12). We live by faith and hope in the God of mercy and love who has been revealed to us in Christ, and the Spirit moves us to pray in constant thankfulness and joy.
The document is replete with statements that correlate with the brief paragraph in CCC that the fate is left to God’s mercy, primarily because the matter simply has not been revealed to us and is “left open for further investigation” and development of doctrine as it becomes known to us by the Holy Spirit.

i can hardly blame your mother for keeping hope. :slight_smile: i prayed for you yesterday along much the same lines.

you prompted me to ponder a lot and a lot of what is said in this thread is over my head. i decided to spend some time prayerfully considering all that has been said here, which is why i was away for a little bit. i still come down where i was. if i’m sick and whatever is ailing me is beyond my scope to heal, i go to the doctor. my understanding of the medical sciences falls far short of a medical doctors’ and i don’t necessarily understand everything that the doctor does, but i accept the doctor’s diagnosis once i’m confident in the doctor as a professional. i think the same applies here. as others have said, the information that you bring up is not binding and catholics are not required to believe in it. especially when it comes down to you saying one thing and michelle arnold herself saying another, i’ll side with michelle arnold. i feel more comfortable following what she says about the faith.

i’ll continue to question and i’ll continue to think, of course. i thank you for the learning opportunity. but, for now, i still disagree with you and i hope all the best for you. :slight_smile:

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