Expert Answer Forum
good and evil QUESTION from savannah February 28, 2000 Hi,
I was reading your answers on a question about good and evil the question went something like this people should be open to all beliefs and not to condemn anybody for them Your answer was spot on as I am a christian and was you said was right to the point but one thing you did say I was a bit worried about.
You said that christian worldview does not allow for murder which is correct. It is objective to sin. So is abortion, adultery. fornication etc. Well I am a true believer I believe in God and Jesus I don't go to church but I pray all the time and I know that God listens to every word I say and that he is always by my side sometimes I think if I didn't truly believe in him I would be a very unhappy person. But I have had an abortion and you said that it was wrong by the christian belief. I personally don't believe that it was wrong for me to do it as the timing was wrong can you explain in more detail.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 5, 2000 Dear Miss Savannah:
Yes I can go into more detail by quoting directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism gives a great explanation of what has ALWAYS been the belief in Christianity – that abortion is a grave sin. Not only has the Church always believed and taught this from the First Century to today, but the Bible also teaches this as well going all the way back to the Old Testament times.
There are no black and white areas here. Abortion is the unwarranted killing of a human life. The seriousness of abortion is at the same level of murder, and in many ways is a worse sin that the typical murder because it is the utter depraved indifference to a life more innocent and vulnerable that any other human life. There is no human more vulnerable or innocent than that of an unborn child.
If you have been reading my essays in response to people’s questions you know that I call a spade a spade, that I don’t pussy-foot around but go straight to the issues.
I must to that here too. I hope that you will take this answer in the love and truth in which it is given. What I am saying and going to say is the hard Truth -- it is God's Truth.
Not only is abortion inherently wrong and equivalent to murder, but the level of depraved indifference in killing an innocent child, because the timing was wrong is so depraved and selfish a reason to abort as to be nearly beyond words.
If we are to kill our children because the pregnancy is ill timed, why not kill our kids when they are 2, or 6, or 11, or 15 when we find that the children are in our way and having them is ill-timed for whatever it is we want to do with our life at that moment.
If does not matter if the ill timed pregnancy is because the mother is 12 or other such situation. That is not the baby’s fault.
And before anyone pompously tells me that I cannot speak on this because I have never been in such a situation, think again.
When my marriage was falling apart, my wife became pregnant with our fourth child. Although I will admit that abortion was a fleeting thought -- given the ill-timing of the pregnancy right before we separated and divorced -- it was only a fleeting thought. We had the baby. That baby is now 21 years old, she has an IQ probably around 160+, and if psychological factors from our divorce and my ex-wife’s bad mothering doesn’t keep her down, she has the smarts and talent to do ANYTHING she wants.
However, she would have still been just as valuable and just as much a gift from God had she been a Down’s Syndrome child.
Also, as a father, I was faced with a pregnant 15 year old daughter. The issue of abortion wasn’t even considered. In this case, there was a miscarriage, so there was no live birth. But had that not happened the child would have been born.
Despite how my children ended up so screwed up due to our divorce, some sense must have been passed to my daughters. My oldest daughter got pregnant out-of-wedlock. When at the doctor’s office, the nurse tried to convince her to have an abortion like the nurse’s daughter did when she got pregnant. Finally, my daughter got tired of the propaganda and the strong-arm methods to convince her to have an abortion. She told the nurse, Look, I can’t help it if you’re daughter didn’t have the guts to take responsibility for her child, but I am not going to do that. I got myself pregnant, and now I will take responsibility.
I have to say that regardless of anything else my daughter has done, I am proud of her for standing on integrity and responsibility on that score.
If in our wildest dreams there was any excuse for an abortion, aborting due to ill-timing is the most irresponsible, selfish, and evil of reasons. I am sorry, but truth is truth.
Despite this, forgiveness is possible for you. You must realize your serious sin, repent, and confess that sin.
If you are Catholic you must confess your sin in the Sacrament of Confession and be thereby be reconciled to the Church (you are automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church by having an abortion – that is how serious this is).
If you are not Catholic, then you must still realize your sin, repent of it, and confess it before God.
There are NO excuses for the deliberate and intentional killing of a baby. God is the author of life. All life belongs to HIM alone. NO ONE has the right to take the life of an innocent person. No one has the right to kill a child, or an old person, or a sick person, or oneself. Life belongs to God. Only He has the right to end the life of an innocent person.
Here is what the Catehcism says on this subject:
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you -- Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth -- Ps 139:15.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish. -- Didache 2:2 and others
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,(Canon Law #1398) by the very commission of the offense, (Canon Law #1314) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.(#1323-1324) The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.
The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined.... As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights.
2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.
We will pray for you that you will receive this message in the love and truth of which it is given that you may find freedom from the bondage this abortion has placed upon you. We pray that you will be enlightened to these truths, repent of the sin, ask forgiveness, and be restored to the fellowship of God.
God does love you despite what you did. He is loving you now. He waits for you to come to Him in repentance and sorrow for your sin that he might cleanse you of that sin.
As for your baby. He is in heaven now praying for you too.
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