Ensoulment question


#1

does anyone have any info on when the church says that we recieve our souls. i thought at conception but im not finding it online. does the church take a formal position on this, and where can i find it. ive seen all the debates in history but what about now?


#2

[quote=cyprian]does anyone have any info on when the church says that we recieve our souls. i thought at conception but im not finding it online. does the church take a formal position on this, and where can i find it. ive seen all the debates in history but what about now?
[/quote]

See the Catechism of the Catholic Church on The Fifth Commandment, especially down around 2270 and following where it talks about abortion.

Here’s my :twocents:…

The human soul is the live-giving principal of the human body. If the human body is alive, it has a human soul. Remove the human soul and the human body dies. A living human body begins as a single human cell at conception and since it is alive it has a human soul.

Some folks, like St. Thomas Aquinas, once thought that the being conceived at conception passed through several stages of development in the womb before becoming a human being, first a vegetable, then an animal, and finally a human being with ensoulment at 40 days after conception for a male or 80 days after conception for a female. However, this view was based on the bad science of Aristotle. Modern science has shown that the developing human being’s DNA does not change after conception from plant to animal to human but begins and remains human.


#3

Hi Todd,

There is no way to know when God creates the soul. The Church considers the fetus a human being from the moment of conception.

I would also point out that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was defined as sinless from the moment of conception, which would imply that she already had a soul.

Verbum,


#4

Biologically, a new individual of the human species has its beginning at conception. That is when a new, genetically distinct individual begins. Since it is a new individual, genetically distinct from it mother, it is a new human being at that point. All human beings have souls. Therefore, we can say that human beings are ensouled at conception.


#5

**Catechism of the Catholic Church

366** The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not “produced” by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection. [235]

235 Cf. Pius XII, Humani Generis: DS 3896; Paul VI, CPG § 8; Lateran Council V (1513): DS 1440.


#6

[quote=Verbum]Hi Todd,

There is no way to know when God creates the soul. The Church considers the fetus a human being from the moment of conception.

I would also point out that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was defined as sinless from the moment of conception, which would imply that she already had a soul.

Verbum,
[/quote]

There is no way to prove that you or I have a soul NOW!

The question for the human fetus or newly fertilized egg is no different than when you look at your spouse across the dinner table.

Maintaining that one can not tell WHEN a “fetus” is ensouled is bad logic. There is no objective reason to restrict the question to the unborn, or to a chronological number line between-but-not-including conception or birth.


#7

The paper “Delayed Animation: An Ambiguity and Its Abuses” by John J. Conley, S.J., surveys and analyzes the magisterial documents relating to the time of ensoulment.


#8

ensoulment, Jewish tradition is divided between those who believe 40 days and those who believe at birth. But, we know that John recoginized Jesus in the womb. David believed that he followed God from the womb. And, God viewed saw two nations in the womb.

Luke 1:41
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:44
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Psalm 22:10
From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

Genesis 25:23
The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

If you are speaking with a teacher, simply point out that abortion kills their future students.


#9

Great info. what about conception? does the church say that it happens when the sperm penetrates the egg. pro aborts say that conception doesn’t happen until the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. any doctors out there?


#10

Implantation is different from conception. A new human individual is genetically complete and begins developing at conception. Implantation is an important event in this new life, but it doesnt’ begin the new life.


#11

[quote=JimG]Implantation is different from conception. A new human individual is genetically complete and begins developing at conception. Implantation is an important event in this new life, but it doesnt’ begin the new life.
[/quote]

agreed. so do we say then that conception and fertilization are one in the same?


#12

[quote=cyprian]agreed. so do we say then that conception and fertilization are one in the same?
[/quote]

Yes, fertilization and conception are one and the same. It is the process of the spermatozoa fertilizing the human egg to form a new genetic individual.

When one who is pro-life speaks of “conception” one seems to have in mind a nearly instantaneous process, but of course it is not. There is a period of time of penetration of the egg cell membrane and rearrangement of the nuclear material. So there is still some indeterminacy as to “when” “ensoulment” occurs. Whenever that may be, I would guess it to be after genetic completion–i.e. formation of the zygote and before the fertilized egg begins its descent into the fallopian tube to be implanted into the uterine wall.


#13

Hi Cyprain ( hope I spelled that right )

when they say they know when the soul enters the child, I simply ask them how much does the soul weigh? Fact is no one really knows when the soul enters the body because we are not the creator and scripture does not tell us. But, we do know if you let the child grow than one day he/she will be a student in school and thus job security for teachers.


#14

If we start with a dead person or animal, it is very obvious that when the soul ( a vital life principle)leaves the body no further human or animal activity takes place. The body has become a pile of chemicals that rapidly starts coming undone. Just ask someone in New Orleans what this means. So activity, growth, development depends on the soul being present. One might conclude that since the fertilized egg doesn’t rot and return to its chemical components, but becomes a zygote and so on and on till a perfect new human being or puppy is born that the soul must be there for life to happen. It is quite convenient for those who would abort babies and harvest embryonic stem cells if they can say well it has no soul yet, therefore no problem. It is true soul has no physical properties, but it is detected because something has life and is developing. It is detectable by its action on the pile of chemicals which would otherwise rot and become disorganized.


#15

Fantastic post Rumpelstiltskin (or whatever your name was.)


#16

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