Right…I know my post here might sound a little muddled, as I’m not quite sure how to phrase it but I would appreciate your thoughts as Catholics upon it.
From since I began my first Theology degree I’ve been a great admirer of the work of the Catholic Theologian Fr. Hans Kung, known for some of his rather unorthodox beliefs ranging from a rejection of Papal Infallibility, Humane Vitae and Clerical Celibacy to openly supporting the ordination of women.
I was reading one of his latest books earlier today (Can we save the Catholic Church? ) and he claimed to point out a hole regarding the Church’s current teaching on abortion. Now, I am very much in the pro-life camp and have otherwise agreed with many of Kung’s beliefs but this one truley struck me as unusual.
At present the Catholic Church teaches that a soul is formed at the very moment of conception, and because of this fact to abort a fetus is nothing short of murder. Fr Kung claimed this could not be so, because a good deal many of conceptions end in miscarriage, sometimes so early on the woman in question might not even be aware she has had one.
He the went on to state that if this menstration of cells, not even a recognizable zygote was a human being then it would have to be given a funeral as many stillborn babies are. Since so many pregnancies end this way, it would seem impossible that they could posses an soul and thus were not yet human. He likened an early abortion like this; “If I lost an acorn it would be ridiculous for me to be charged for destroying an oak tree”. The metaphor was dragged out further, that every single egg cell must be counted as a human being and each menstrual cycle is the loss of a child if current teaching is true.
I admit he has an interesting point regarding miscarriages in the first few weeks and while this in itself does not convince me it has struck me as food for thought. What do you make of it?