Morality Question

I’ll probably sound like a lunatic for posting this but believe me I don’t intend on doing anything I’m typing right now. I’m simply curious for an answer to this question.

If you could be confident that no fires would spread; the building was empty, and no human life would lost would you have the moral high ground for bombing an abortion clinic? I know this is a serious matter and people have died from what I just posted above, but my question isn’t about those incidents but if you could destroy only the building itself. Also I realize you’d be arrested for arson and possibly other crimes but I’m only asking morality here.

I think it would be sinful because you’re destroying someone else’s private property, possibly even the property of someone who has no connection with abortion (such as a child of the person who owns the building where the clinic is located, who stood to inherit the building). As others here have said on numerous occasions, Catholicism does not countenance means-end justification.

The building does not commit the sin

When Israel was only worshiping the Golden Calf what did God Do, and what about Sodom, … Do you want me to light the match?

…here I have a **perfect **answer (well actually it is a question - lol); What would Jesus do!? Well, for a start, he certainly wouldn’t bomb that building! …see where I’m going here? ;):smiley:

As said above, the building itself does not sin.

It is a sin for a Christian to destroy the property of others, no matter what.

Christ did not go about burning down Herod’s palace (he killed babies and John the Baptist). Christ didn’t advocate burning down brothels, the houses of scribes and pharisees, the barracks of Roman soldiers (who killed people), etc.

And anyway, if an abortion clinic is burned down or bombed a new one could be set up within days and government security would be set up to ward off those who try to get their way by terror tactics.

I believe Christ would advocate prayer, fasting, dialogue, appeals to the heart and perhaps even peaceful protest.


I don’t think that it would be intrinsically evil. Some might say it was theft, but the Catechism defines theft thus:

2408 The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner.** [nothing about future inheritors etc.] **There is no theft if consent can be presumed or **if refusal is contrary to reason **and the universal destination of goods. **[Abortion is very contrary to reason, no?] ** This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one’s disposal and use the property of others.

(emphases and comments added)

However, methinks bombing an abortion clinic would almost certainly cause great scandal (which is sinful) and be in practice A Very Bad Idea, due to the long-term damage it would undoubtedly cause.


You provided the context of the quote but still took it out of context in your interpretation. Abortion may be contrary to reason, but destroying the building does not at all help to bring about the universal destination of goods.

no it is not moral to destroy an abortion clinic, nor is it very intelligent, since it will not stop abortions, the practitioners will be up and running in a day or too in another location. Of far more benefit to spend time and effort working to change minds and hearts. This work is impossible for someone who cherishes thoughts of violence as that mind-set is completely opposed to pro-life work.

However. the first sentence of that paragraph can stand alone:

“The seventh commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another’s property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if…”

(not "There is only no theft if…)

Would you have moral qualms concerning the seventh commandment about wrenching the gun out of a murderer’s hand as he was about to shoot his victim? I think not, although you might well have other concerns.


But I would have qualms about burning down the murderer’s house.

What is going on, did no one read my last post? :frowning:

…here I have a perfect answer (well actually it is a question - lol); What would Jesus do!? Well, for a start, he certainly wouldn’t bomb that building! …see where I’m going here?

:confused: Burning down his house won’t prevent the crime…


Sure it will. He’ll have to stop killing while he looks for a new house- same as the abortion clinic.

:rolleyes::smiley: Ah here…

No he won’t.

I really don’t think I can say much more than that.


And the abortion doctor could carry around his instruments and perform abortions on the the side walk- the destruction of the building, while it is used for abortion, does not stop abortion.

But the person who wants an abortion could go else where! :frowning:

He could, but the chances are extraordinarily slim at present, I would think.
Besides, many instruments would likely be in the clinic…

The question is not really of whether or not evils would be stopped, but of whether or not someone is entitled to a possession which they use for an unreasonable purpose, whether that be a gun or a clinic or anything else.

I don’t think so.


And then the question becomes whether or not vigilante justice is permissible

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