Homosexual acts is a SIN. Some say that we could vote for a supporter of legal abortion over an opponent of legal abortion if we thought he would better address abortion’s “root causes.”. Why aren’t, to this day, miscarriages and stillbirth not baptized for over 2000 years? Catholic Cardinal Joseph Tobin is facing criticism for saying voters can support Joe Biden “in good conscience” despite the pro-abortion Democrat’s radical pro-abortion stance. On parallel issues, only 29 percent of American Catholics said that abortion should be as widely available as it is now; this is compared to 40 percent of non-Catholics. In 1679, Pope Innocent XI condemned the writings and teachings of two theologians, Thomas Sanchez and Joannis Marcus, who believed that abortion was lawful if the fetus was not yet animated or ensouled and the purpose of the abortion was to prevent shame to the woman. In fact, the penalty for Abortion was less than that of non-vaginal sex or birth control use in Church penitentials. But what should we do if two viable candidates in an election both support legal abortion? Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed or not.”. Dear Chibi, thank you for your question. This is truly confusing; a Church law can change in what it dictates is a sin. The only reason that could justify voting for someone who endorses an intrinsic evil like abortion would be in the super-rare case that the alternative candidate endorsed even worse evils. So just because Abortion is a SIN, doesn’t mean it is or should be ILLEGAL Are we simply free to vote for whatever candidate we prefer, for any reason that’s in our conscience? The only time that the Church has ever addressed this question is when Pope Innocent XI officially condemned the theory that animation took place at birth. [3] Ruth Barnett. The Catholic Church would argue on behalf of the unborn child that it should be cared for and looked after. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” [¶2271]. We are guessing you have not been catechized in the Catholic Church, so we will explain some basics to help. Of course, Catholic moral teaching holds that abortion is the unjust taking of an innocent life. Though Scripture has not called out this particular sin by name, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has specifically identified this particular sin as most grievous.. What does the claim that “”the Church has never endorsed abortion.” have ANYTHING to do with “The Church has NOT, for 2000 years, considered Abortion Murder” This is NOT a good record of Consistency. II, 2, translated by J.A. The Author Next year will they allow it? Roma:  1885, I, pages 36 to 38. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. Every Catholic should know that abortion is a gravely serious evil, and as such is never to be supported. The Declaration on Procured Abortion tells us that “It is true that in the Middle Ages, when the opinion was generally held that the spiritual soul was not present until after the first few weeks, a distinction was made in the evaluation of the sin and the gravity of penal sanctions. The Catholic Church opposes and condemns any and all direct abortions. We will clarify this article in the editing so it is super clear but no, the Church has never endorsed abortion. This interpretation is by necessity objective and permanent. Not going to Sunday Mass is a SIN I urge all Catholics to trust and have faith that there is a more significant reason God wanted that innocent child to live. A reader called my attention this morning to the strange history of the Church’s position on abortion found on the Catholics for Choice website (The History of Abortion in the Catholic Church). The Catholic Herald is a London-based magazine, established as a newspaper in 1888 and published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church. I suspect that they are probably Catholics who rarely attend Mass and some of them probably do not believe that abortion is necessarily a grave sin. taught that abortion is a sin, the reasons for judging abortion sinful have changed over time. If the Church had always supported that Abortion was Murder then those fetus were babies/people. Traditionally, the belief handed down is one unbaptized cannot see the Kingdom of God. But what if a Catholic thought that the candidate who supports legal abortion would nonetheless, thanks to his other policies, do a better job at reducing abortion rates? The Church is not unaware of the difficulties involved in the decision to have an abortion, particularly when the life of the mother is in danger, but those difficulties cannot change the truths of divine and natural law. This article will address a number of common questions regarding the teachings of the Catholic Church on abortion. It said, “You shall not murder .… You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a newborn child.”[4]. The Church first adopted the belief of Aristotle, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas that ensoulment occurs several weeks after conception. In 1588, Pope Sixtus V tried to discourage abortion by reserving absolution to the Holy See alone. For 2000 years it was a SIN, but NOT murder. The good being sought must outweigh the harm caused by our relatively negligible cooperation. Basil the Great, priest (c. 329-379), First Canonical Letter, from the work Three Canonical Letters. https://www.catholic.com/tract/abortion The Church had previously believed in delayed ensoulment and therefore wasn’t murder until ensoulment. Abortion is a grave sin. Adultery is a SIN, it is not ILLEGAL. It was not until 1869 that the Church prohibited abortion at any time and for any reason.”[1]. To be baptized, one has to be born. Or does our right to vote come with objective moral responsibilities that we must consider before casting our ballot? Nor need you tell it in confession since, in your case, abortion is not a sin… In this case, the pro-abortion candidate is merely tolerated in order to prevent the election of a … They Weep On My Doorstep [Beaverton, Oregon:  Halo Publishers], 1969, pages 106 and 107. The popes have always taught — in accordance with Church teachings — that abortion is murder. In this case, the pro-abortion candidate is merely tolerated in order to prevent the election of a candidate who endorses even more evil. The church has not always called women or abortionists murderers nor called for them to be subject to judicial secular laws (Or even religious justice systems) of the time. To forbid birth is only quicker murder. The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. Even little decisions we make in life can bring us into contact with evil done by others. Formal cooperation is when I intend to promote the evil—for example, by giving money to Planned Parenthood so it can perform abortions. At different times, early Christians held different beliefs about abortion, while yet considering it a grievous sin. We are not saying that the church ever thought it wasn’t a SIN. This means that Catholics could not vote for a candidate who endorses an intrinsic evil such as legal abortion merely because they prefer that candidate’s party or because they find the other candidate unlikeable or even morally reprehensible in his personal conduct. The Church does not take a “position” on abortion, nor does she have a mere “opinion” on it. Loeb Classical Library, Volume III, pages 20 to 23. We may never directly vote to support it or vote for a candidate because he will support it. Any Catholic politician who casts a vote with the intention of legalizing abortion, or of protecting laws allowing abortion, or of widening access to abortion, commits a mortal sin. For example, a Catholic could vote for a candidate in spite of his support of legal abortion if the other pro-abortion candidate also wanted to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. This is shown by the fact that theologians who held these views consistently condemned abortion in the strongest possible terms. HuffPost reached out to a broad range of Catholic women for their reactions to Pope Francis’ announcement. Rome, 1923 to 1939, specification number 552. Positions and opinions are temporary decisions based on a subjective understanding of current circumstance, and therefore are liable to change. The Church interprets the natural law, which she cannot change any more than she can repeal the principles of magnetism and gravity. You raise issues of abortion as sin, implying that it is only “recently” the case. However, if the only relevant difference between two candidates were that one supports the legal killing of unborn human beings and the other does not, then there would be almost no chance there is a proportionate reason to vote for the pro-legal-child-killing candidate. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice (GS 27 § 3), gravely contrary to the moral law. The earliest Christian texts on abortion condemn it with "no mention of any distinction in seriousness between the abortion of a formed foetus and that of an unformed embryo". As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) put it, “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”, These proportionate reasons would have to show that the candidate who is an alternative to a pro-abortion candidate actually supports more evils of a gravity equal to abortion than that pro-abortion candidate. Abortion supporters allege that, in the year 1869, Pope Pius IX condemned abortion for the very first time. St. John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Clement of Alexandria, known as “The Father of Theologians”. Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. [7]  This act showed decisively that the Church did not tolerate abortion, and was willing to correct those who spread error regarding child-killing. In the Vatican's "Declaration on Procured Abortion" (Cardinal Seper, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1974) there is a discussion of "Morality and Law" (#19-23). She wrote: “Until the end of the 16th Century with the reign of Pope Sixtus V, the Church did, indeed, permit the termination of pregnancies within 40 days of conception for a male and 80 days for a female — the old Aristotelian concept … But I believe that a case can be made — and many intelligent Catholics have agreed with me — that the Church’s attitudes towards abortion have varied in past history, are not always consistent and can, like other elements of Catholic dogma, be changed to meet man’s increased enlightenment and changing social conditions.”[2]. But glancing at the article, because “Misconceptions” is at the top of the list, if read quickly, it can sound as if the Church endorsed abortion. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life. 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