Does the church care about "potential life"?

Everybody says we do… but do we?

Given that at the moment of conception it is life and not potential life, is it right to say the church cares about what she defines as life but doesn’t give a rip about what the church defines as potential life (i.e. sex cells before conception, etc.)?

[quote=cardenio]Everybody says we do… but do we?

Given that at the moment of conception it is life and not potential life, is it right to say the church cares about what she defines as life but doesn’t give a rip about what the church defines as potential life (i.e. sex cells before conception, etc.)?
[/quote]

I don’t know if classifying sperm and eggs as “potential life” is quite right. They simply die like any other cells of the body if they aren’t fertilized. We don’t worry about our skin cells dying and sloughing off, we don’t have to care about eggs and sperm, either. If we did, every menstrual cycle would be a catastrophe!

To my knowledge, an united egg and sperm cell could form life if left in the womb no?
A sperm cell or a egg left alone could not correct?
Yes, it is “potential” life but couldn’t all cells classify as that in the general term?
Also, how does the Church not care about them either? I can’t say I’m well voiced in the women’s “cycle” like that, but does not the Church forbid the er… “spilling of seed” from a man outside of sexual intercourse (with intent to create life) with one’s partner?

The teaching of the church has never compromised on this issue . Life comes from GOD and none has the right to take it away .

milli
:thumbsup:

[quote=milli]The teaching of the church has never compromised on this issue . Life comes from GOD and none has the right to take it away .

milli
:thumbsup:
[/quote]

Of course the church cares about potential life, otherwise contraception would be allowed. Men are not supposed to climax outside of the woman because he is preventing life. A woman is not supposed to use pills to keep the egg from being fertilized, because she is preventing life. God created everything, even the woman’s cycle, and if you think about it, girls can have their first cycle at age 12, they should not be having sex at 12 though, so we are not going to be punished for not haveing children from age 12 on. SOme women never have kids (Nuns). OUr job is to not interfere in an unnatural way.

A sperm does not have an immortal soul. An ovum does not have an immortal soul. I don’t understand the question. —KCT

[quote=CatholicCid]To my knowledge, an united egg and sperm cell could form life if left in the womb no?
A sperm cell or a egg left alone could not correct?
Yes, it is “potential” life but couldn’t all cells classify as that in the general term?
Also, how does the Church not care about them either? I can’t say I’m well voiced in the women’s “cycle” like that, but does not the Church forbid the er… “spilling of seed” from a man outside of sexual intercourse (with intent to create life) with one’s partner?
[/quote]

A united egg and sperm are life. Once they unite (conception) there is life.

[quote=CatholicCid]To my knowledge, an united egg and sperm cell could form life if left in the womb no?

Yes. If it is left in the womb to develop naturally.

A sperm cell or a egg left alone could not correct?

Right.

Yes, it is “potential” life but couldn’t all cells classify as that in the general term?

No. Without the joining of egg and sperm there is no new life–no new person formed.

Also, how does the Church not care about them either? I can’t say I’m well voiced in the women’s “cycle” like that, but does not the Church forbid the er… “spilling of seed” from a man outside of sexual intercourse (with intent to create life) with one’s partner?

The “spilling of seed” refers to a man deliberately not fulfilling his husbandly role in reproduction. It does not refer to any release of sperm outside of marital intercourse. Eggs and sperm are only cells like any others apart from each other, like skin cells or any other cells we lose every day.
[/quote]

[quote=migurl]Of course the church cares about potential life, otherwise contraception would be allowed. Men are not supposed to climax outside of the woman because he is preventing life. A woman is not supposed to use pills to keep the egg from being fertilized, because she is preventing life.
[/quote]

Absolutely true. It is also the reason condoms can’t be used even though they are not abortifacient.

Every marital act must be open to at least the possibility of procreation.

What I meant is… if life did begin at birth, and if embryos and fetuses really were “potential life” and not human life, the Church’s view on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research would be significantly different. Is this true?

I’ve heard people accuse the Church of being against contraception for the same reason the Church is against abortion. They say the Church considers any form of potential human life the equivalent of human life. I’m pretty sure this is not true and I was looking for someone to verify it.

well, abortion is the ending of a human life. Contraception in the form of a birth control pill or condom is the prevention of a human life. THe abortion pill is the ending of a human life. The Church condems abortion b/c life begins at conception and therefore it is murder. The church condems contraception because it gets in the way of the natural order of things. THe marital act is for unitive and procreative purposes. We cannot seperate one from the other. NFP is keeping track of the womans body to either become pregnant or avoid it. But we can only avoid it for certain reasons that must be okayed by a priest, otherwise we might as well be using a condom. DOes that help?

migurl - yes. Thank you. That was exactly what I needed.

migurl summed it up. I’ll just add one thing. The term “potential life” seems meaningless to me. What in the world does it mean? All cells in the body have actual life, not potential life. A nerve cell has actual life, a skin cell has actual life, a muscle cell has actual life, a sperm cell has actual life, and an egg cell has actual life.

But none of those cells are separate and distinct individuals of the human species.

When an egg cell and a sperm cell unite to form a zygote, then a new and genetically distinct individual of the human species comes into existence. And it also has actual life.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.