Historical view of when life begins


Pax vobiscum!

On another site, I have someone who is saying that Pius IX changed Catholic teaching on when life began. I have tried to explain that there was no knowledge of things like fertilization, implantation, ect. until fairly recently in history and the only thing I knew of was that quickening was often used since they knew for sure at that point. What is the best way to answer this allegation?

In Christ,


What Pius IX did was add abortion to a list of sins that caused automatic excomuunication. It had always been Catholic Teaching that abortion was a mortal sin. What many get confused about was a long term(centuries long) discussion as to whether the sin was greater after the “quickening” or “animation” than it was before. This may see irelevant to us today but the discussion was ground in two things -was would the pennance be and did the Pope have to personally approve forgiveness of this sin? There was a time when abortion after “the quickening” could only be forgiven only after getting Vatican apporval. Abortions before “the quickening” , although still considered mortal, could be forgiven at the Parish level.

closed #3

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