When does the embryo have a soul?

My well-educated daughter tell me that we really don’t know exactly when the soul becomes part of the human embryo. I thought that the Church had a teaching that the soul is part of the embryo from conception. What is the correct Church teaching on this?


Maybe your daughter doesn’t know when the soul is present, but the Church does. The soul is the life-principle of the body. The embryo comes about as the result of the union of the sperm and the egg and is very much alive. From the moment of conception the soul is present. Without the soul there could be no human life.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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