Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Points of Conception

See hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere and here on assisted suicide.

Meanwhile, consider two questions in relation to the old chestnut, dutifully revived in relation to the Irish referendum, that the Catholic Church has not always been opposed to abortion at every stage of pregnancy.

First, is deference to some supposed shift in Papal teaching the reason why the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, is also absolutely opposed to abortion from the moment of conception?

And secondly, so what? The writers cited, however eminent, are not part of the Magisterium, but rather resources for it. As soon as the Church, as such, came to a view on this question, then She came to this view. What any individual might have thought before that point became entirely beside the point. The same is true of what any individual might think after it. The number of practising Catholics who might vote Yes in this referendum has absolutely no bearing on the Teaching of the Church.

Moreover, it is possible that the Popes and their advisers knew more about, for example, Saint Augustine or Saint Thomas Aquinas than even the contributors to the London and Dublin newspapers and broadcasting networks of the present day can claim to know. A staggering thought, I appreciate. But do try and consider it.

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