Has The Church defined when life begins?


#1

I was watching NBC’s Meet The Press (08/24/08) and Tom Brokaw’s interview of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Mr. Brokaw asked Speaker Pelosi the same question recently asked of the Presidential candidates … “When does life begin?” I’m unable to provide an exact quote, so I’ll paraphrase her response. ‘As a staunch Catholic I’ve researched this question and the Doctors of the Church are unable to provide an answer … St. Augustine said at 3 months.’

Is this an accurate representation of the teaching of The Church in the 21st Century?


#2

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

The church has (to the best of my knowledge) ALWAYS taught that life begins at conception. Nancy Pelosi is most certainly NOT the person anyone should go to for answers about the Catholic faith. UGH!!!


#3

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

(Was that emphatic enough?)

To the best of my knowledge the church has always taught that life begins at conception. Nancy Pelosi is most certainly NOT the person to go to for answers about the Catholic faith. I’m disturbed by her answer…particularly the part about her being a “staunch Catholic”. Any Catholic who was even remotely committed to their faith could never promote abortion, even under the guise of “reproductive rights”


#4

WHAT?? Excuse me I mean WHAT?

Three months? I’m not too sure about Augustine’s thought on this but then his thoughts were also that sperm were little people in their entirety. So, we cannot leave scientific discovery aside and bang heads with an Early Church Father’s theory at that time. This would never mean that Augustine was pro- abortion or that the Church ever was.

When someone says that life begins at any time other than conception then I have to ask, “Exactly what nano second was that “thing” not life and then POOF it becomes life?” Is it three months, one day, two hours, twenty eight minutes, ten seconds and one nano second?

The Church defines life as starting at the moment of conception. Period. Scientists are now beginning to agree with what the Church has taught all along…teachccd


#5

Absolutely!!! :thumbsup:


#6

It is a shame that Pelosi knows better yet spews that lie.

The teaching of the Church has never changed.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm#2269

Abortion
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75 God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80
"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights."81
2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."82
2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."83
"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."84 "Certain attempts to *influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance *are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity"85 which are unique and unrepeatable.


#7

The Catholic church has taught that life begins at conception, for as long as I know. As others have said, it makes no sense to pinpoint life beginning at any other point, because there is no definite event occurring, other than conception, which would signal the beginning of life. Even if you don’t have a religious belief that life begins at conception, you can generally agree that it does. Nothing else makes any sense. I don’t care how much “scientific proof” you have or don’t, pinpointing the start of life as being the third month of the pregnancy or the 28th day, or whatever makes zero sense. The only belief other than life beginning at conception which would be logical, is the Jewish belief that life begins at birth. Everything else is just rubbish.


#8

There’s actually some truth to what she said (sorry to have to take her side).

Augustine believed that any abortion was wrong. But he believed that there was some point after which an abortion was murder. Before the ‘quickening’ of the fetus it was wrong, but different from murder.

But Augustine didn’t know about conception. His logic was based on the assumption that sperm contained little seeds of people that would grow in the womb and at some point ‘come alive’ and start moving. It’s disingenuous to use Augustine to defend such a notion today when we understand more about reproduction.


#9

When life begins is a biological question, not a theological one.

I don’t look to the Church for biological information any more than I would accept religious doctrine from NASA.


#10

There are MANY scientific truths that are counterintuitive. The earth being spherical, the sun being stationary, quantum mechanics all defy “logic” and our perceptions, but are none the less “true”.


#11

There have been many scandals throughout the church history. The people that were a part of these scandals made mistakes. But these same people did have some good Christian qualities. The one true fact remains, the Catholic Church doctrine does not error. (although humans who make up the church do and some greatly) Augustine did not make doctrine and was contrary to Church doctrine about abortion.

The Catholic Church has not wavered in its doctrine that life begins at conception.

To pick and choose what you want to believe that is contrary to Catholic doctrine, is simply not Catholic.


#12

The catholic church has not wavered in its teaching that abortion is always wrong.

The catholic church until the scientific age didn’t even know about conception, so it’s absurd to say that it has always taught that life begins at conception.


#13

I watched the same interview and Your paraphrase matches my recollection. She claimed to have done extensive research on the subject as a staunch Catholic and found that the Church doesn’t know when human life begins. When Brokaw challenged her concerning the Church’s stand, she responded that the Church has changed her position only in the last 50 years from what she has taught thoughout her history.

Another segment of the same program identified Catholic women as the crucial swing vote in the upcoming election. If that’s true, it certainly would provide the lady Speaker with an incentive for disseminating misinformation on Church teaching.

Daddums :slight_smile:


#14

I took the quote a few posts above you from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You are saying that is absurd?


#15

The catechism doesn’t say that the church has always believed that life begins at conception. Your quote doesn’t say that anywhere. You need to be more precise:

The church has always taught that abortion is a moral evil.

But the church has not always taught that life begins at conception. They are two different questions.


#16

I missed that part of the program … I agree with your choice of words “incentive for disseminating misinformation on Church teaching.” I believe the Speaker is selective in her references to frame and justify her positions.


#17

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75 God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

What am I missing?


#18

The United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated authoritatively on national television that the Catholic Church does not claim to know when human life begins. She did not make any statements as to the position of the Church regarding either murder or abortion. My question is, was her statement regarding the Church’s teaching on when human life begins true or false. In other words, does the Catholic Church teach that She doesn’t know when human life begins?

Daddums :slight_smile:


#19

I think the quote right prior to yours is very clear about what the church teaches.


#20

Of course it’s false. The church today claims that life begins at conception.


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