Pope John Paul II and The Seamless Garment

I was in a discussion with a classmate from our Jesuit High School class (Old Old Old), when the subject of abortion as “not the only evil in the world” (his words) came up. I correctly identified his position as “The Seamless Garment” argument, which I know St. Pope John Paul II debunked. Another friend said he actually called it a heresy. Did he? If so, where so I can cite that in the future.

Thank you.

AMDG

What is The Seamless Garment argument?

I do not know where you are going with this, but abortion is** not **the only evil in the world. I am wondering if this might be a case of arguing over semantics. In any case, I do not see how an analogy can be a heresy.

Hello Ignats75.

Admittedly I have not looked it up now for this post, but if I recall correctly, it was implied in Evangelium vitae.

w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html

God bless.

Cathoholic

Priests For Life summarized the document too if you think it is too long of a read.

priestsforlife.org/magisterium/evvatsummary.htm

:confused:

Pope JP II said at one time that the intrinsic evil of abortion is so egregious that,no matter what other good someone does, if they are pro abortion rights then the good they do does not mitigate the evil they perpetrate. This was in response to Cardinal Bernardin’s famous talk called :A Consistent Ethic of Life". Cardinal Bernardin used that term as it is used in scripture; although in different context.

I never said it was the ONLY evil. But St. Pope John Paul II often taught that it was especially disordered.

Check the first post again. You said, “…abortion ‘as not the only evil in the world.’” There is nothing remotely heretical in that statement. Even Pope Francis had trouble understanding how some could see some values as negotiable and some as not. Surely there is nothing wrong with maintaining a consistent life ethic as opposed to hypocrisy.

And yes, abortion is disordered in a way few other things are, not only taking the life of an innocent, but also the greatest perversion of parental love.

Yeah, so? Did I, in that post, say that it was? No? So, context is essential. I wasn’t interested in re-describing the discussion. It isn’t germain to the purpose of the OP. I asked a simple question about St. Pope John Paul II. No need to try and pick a fight.

But since you seem to want to; I find it interesting that you called it a “consistent life ethic”. Thats what Cardinal Bernardin called it too. And what St. Pope John Paul II corrected. But, I’m trying to find the specific quote that labeled “consistent life ethic” (aka The Seamless Garment), as Cardinal Bernardin used it, a heresy.

Where did you get that idea? If I misunderstood what you said, then did you not do so all the more. I quoted where I got my information. I know there is no quote that can be taken to be wanting to fight.

I find it interesting that you called it a “consistent life ethic”. Thats what Cardinal Bernardin called it too. And what St. Pope John Paul II corrected. But, I’m trying to find the specific quote that labeled “consistent life ethic” (aka The Seamless Garment), as Cardinal Bernardin used it, a heresy.

Maybe it does not exist. What part do you think is heresy? Consistency in values? Valuing life? Or living ethically?

I think you are looking for something that does not exist, or maybe as you referenced above, there is an issue with context. FYI, you need to be cautious as we are not allowed to call Cardinals of the Church heretics on this site.

Indeed.

Ignats75. There seems to be a** licit application** of the “seamless garment” statement and an illicit manner of interpreting it.

I think right here at Catholic Answers, they have pretty balanced and respectful treatment of the issue Ignats75.

The first part of Archbishop Müller’s remarks about the seamless garment, indeed, strikes a similar critical note:

. . . [T]he “seamless garment” image was used to great effect to root the Church’s response to various moral issues—from nuclear proliferation to poverty—within the overarching teaching on the sanctity of human life, from natural conception to natural death. Unfortunately, however, it is also true that the image of the “seamless garment” has been used by some theologians and Catholic politicians, in an intellectually dishonest manner, to allow or at least to justify turning a blind eye to instances of abortion, contraception, or public funding for embryonic stem cell research, as long as these were simultaneously accompanied by opposition to the death penalty or promotion of economic development for the poor

But then he takes his criticism in a bolder direction, suggesting that Catholic teaching on contraception is the biggest victim of illicit application of the seamless garment. . . .

catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/unraveling-the-seamless-garment

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