Soul

When does the catholic church teach on the soul entering a human. Is it on conception or is it when the child is born or sometime in between. Just wondering!!!

The Church says that a person is ensouled immediately (that is, ‘without mediation’) by Godf at conception. However, it doesn’t categorically state a ‘timeframe’ in which that happens. However, the clear implication is that this is something that doesn’t only happen at birth.

If this is the case it also brings in a whole lot of other questions? With abortions and also end times with rising from the dead and losing the child mid term etc etc!!! Would it not be easier to say we just do not know instead of trying to come up with an answer???

We do not know. It is safest to assume it begins at the moment of biological conception, but even if it didn’t, abortion would still not be justified.

Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk (“Father Tad”) of the National Catholic Bioethics Center and the Donum Vitae Center for Bioethics has written some interesting articles on this topic, for instance:

Do Embryos Have Souls? *People are sometimes surprised to hear that the wrongness of destroying a human embryo does not ultimately depend on when that embryo might become a person, or when he or she might receive a soul from God. *Read more.]

WE DO KNOW. No one is trying to come up with an answer “because we do not know.” That would be stupid. We have 2000 years of the Sacred Tradition (big T) of the Church (big C), which is revealed by God, just like Holy Scripture. This also happens on this matter to also be 100% consistent with the moral theology of the Church.

Let me spell it out for you:

The human person becomes infused with a soul at the moment of conception. That is an extremely short time frame and before a woman can possibly know she is pregnant (ie: has conceived) by a test or other methods.

I see no question about abortion. It’s always wrong since it always destroys an innocent and defenseless human life.

I see no question about midterm miscarriages, the human being is in the hands of God and we entrust his soul to God’s mercy.

I don’t see how End Times in this context has any relevance to the Divine Truth of the Church.

That is what I like about Catholics! Have an answer for everything, you might now want to explain Limbo??? End times we will be raised up remember!!!

Please cite a Church document in support of your assertion. I am only repeating what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in the 1974 Declaration on Procured Abortion:

This declaration expressly leaves aside the question of the moment when the spiritual soul is infused. There is not a unanimous tradition on this point and authors are as yet in disagreement. For some it dates from the first instant; for others it could not at least precede nidation. . . . It is a philosophical problem from which our moral affirmation remains independent for two reasons: (1) supposing a belated animation, there is still nothing less than a human life, preparing for and calling for a soul in which the nature received from parents is completed, (2) on the other hand, it suffices that this presence of the soul be probable (and one can never prove the contrary) in order that the taking of life involve accepting the risk of killing a man, not only waiting for, but already in possession of his soul.

You know more than the Catholic Church. :shrug:

The Catholic Church does not say precisely when the soul becomes infused, only that it happens.

Sarah x :slight_smile:

True, but we can conclude that if the soul is the form of the body, whenever a human being has a body (i.e. DNA), he or she has a soul. If such matter is present at conception (and it is), then the human being has a soul at conception.

The Link to Father Tad above was an interesting read.

It lines up very nicely with my own thinking, but without all the theology :smiley:

My logic has always been that from the exact, precise moment of conception, the very moment the chemical and biological process starts, what is developing within me is a human being.

It’s not a cat, or a horse, or a fish.

So for me to hurt this development at any stage, I would be hurting a human being, even if that human being was 2 cells wide.

Father Tad makes a fascinating point that if the infusion of the soul is in fact delayed past conception, to destroy the soulless being at that point would be even worse, because you’re denying that being the chance of a soul and final unity with God.

Of course, that bit is irrelevant to me.

It’s good enough knowing that what was developing within me, and what I was nourishing, at any point on the development line you chose, was a person, and not a cat.

Sarah x :slight_smile:

Agreed, it’s good Aristotelian thinking.

The Church teaches that a human person is a body/soul unity.

The Church teaches that life begins at the moment of conception.

So, all here can put the two together and figure out that if we are a person at the moment of conception and a person is a body/soul unity then the soul is created at conception.

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