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Sunday, November 23, 2008



Of course, Doug Kmiec will argue this away...


Catholic bishops will have to face squarely the problem that they have abjectly failed to convince parishioners in their diocese that aborting a baby for reasons of embarrassment or convenience is nothing but murder. The Bishops are trying to conscript the government in a vain attempt in stopping immoral mothers from murdering their own babies.

The Bishops want a government bailout for their failed leadership. Other then medically necessary abortion, murdering one's child is not natural, normal or moral. In spite of all of that the Bishops have failed in cultivating a celebration of life in the local parishes.

To deflect blame, the Bishops want to blame the government and democrats when their republican supporters failed to give abortion a higher priority than tax cuts for the wealthy, illegal wars, spying and torture.

So far the Bishops have only shrilled 5th grade verbage. Are they avoiding the hard work of separating medically necessary abortions from immoral abortions? Where is their plan for celebrating the life of a new baby in their diocese without regard for how it came to be?

How many sermons are there for husbands who will parent a baby fathered by another man? How many parents take their teenagers to the abortion clinic to avoid the life changing circumstance?


If Bishops as a group are ineffectual, if Republicans as a group use us and throw us away the morning after, and if theologians (other than those published by Ignatius) are rarely dependably orthodox, what should one do?

I, for one, may try to catch up on B16's , substitute EWTN for cable news, and consider praying for all the Catholics who apparently don't believe what the Church says we are supposed to practice.


"Other then medically necessary abortion, murdering one's child is not natural, normal or moral. "

Really? I thought there was no exception to the evil of abortion. Has there been a change in Church teaching I am not aware of?



My comment was that in spite of everything in nature going against abortion, the Bishops have been unable to 'drop a rock even with the law of gravity working for them.'

In response to your comment, you are correct on the Church's position and unless they recognize medical and scientific advances, the Church would rather kill a few innocent lives in a naive and vain to save the immoral from themselves. By this the bishops are focusing everyone on conscripting and blaming the government than wondering why Catholic women with the support of parents or spouses continue to murder their children to protect their reputations and other immoral reasons.

As one example of a necessary abortion would be twins but only 1 has a heart. Maybe in the future some day they will be able to add a heart. But unless the Church gets Vatican II, they will continue to worship the rules and chance killing all 3.

Dan Deeny

Turfkiller has an interesting problem when he mentions twins only one of which has a heart. What would the Church say about a problem like that?


One surely does not need to be a prophet to see where the USA will go. I used to think in regards to moral dissolution, Canada limps behind Europe about 1o years in "development" and the states another 10 or so. I think the states are now in the passing lane. Thank goodness for all our Catholic hierarchy. Their strong stance on teaching unapologetically orthodox faith made it all possible (in the majority of the dioceses). Obama should give a good sized donation in gratitude to the conference of bishops for the help in his election, no?

El Zorro

I do not present myself as an expert in moral theology, but no one else has jumped in to answer the questions of Skyhawk and Dan Deeney, so here is a beginning, at least:

Of course, the Church's teaching on abortion is one that cannot change, because abortion is an intrinsically evil act (i.e. evil always and under every circumstance). Also, a person may never perform an evil action such as abortion in order to achieve a good end (goal, purpose).

Whether particular acts fit the definition of an abortion is a question on which the Church's understanding can develop, however. I do not know enough about the medical circumstances of the situation Turfkiller raised (only one of two twins having a heart) to say whether or not the early removal of one of the twins is an abortion per se.

What I can say is that the pertinent question here and in ectopic pregnancies is whether the unborn child in question is "innocent". Here, of course, I am not referring to FORMAL innocence or guilt, but rather to MATERIAL innocence or guilt. Obviously, a baby can't be morally guilty for the threat he poses to another. But is the baby where he is supposed to be? Doing what he is supposed to do? If the answer is yes, then removal of the child is abortion and therefore unacceptable, because the baby is innocent and not an "aggressor" (again, I mean this in a very particular, nuanced sense).

If the answer is no, then depending on the circumstances it may be legitimate to describe the baby as an unwitting "aggressor", and in such a case I believe that some Catholic moral theologians would say that the removal of the baby may not an act of abortion ("killing of an innocent unborn child") per se, but an act of defense of the life of another innocent party--the mother or twin. I don't want to drag anyone into my explanation, but a professor of moral theology, whose name I won't reveal, once compared an ectopic pregnancy to a hypothetical child under the age of reason who is armed with a gun and begins shooting people in a public place. The child is not morally guilty of murder, but he is, materially speaking, an aggressor threatening the lives of innocent people, and so a bystander would be justified in using lethal force to stop the child if lethal force is the only reasonable way to protect the lives of the people in the crowd.

Getting back to the issue of a dangerous pregnancy, the questions would be--is the threat a mortal threat? with what degree of certainty do we know this? what is the least forceful way this threat can be reasonably reduced to an acceptable level? is the baby who poses the threat an "aggressor", materially speaking? Each of these questions will make an impact on the morality of any action, or inaction, in the case presented, and it seems fair to say that in the absence of clearly persuasive evidence to the contrary, one must take the side of refraining from taking anyone's life.

Also, to be clear, I think there are other Catholic moral theologians who would reject the removal of a baby even under the "aggressor" circumstances referred to above. And the "shared heart" scenario presents perhaps a unique challenge, since both children may be said to have a legitimate claim on the heart. Again, I don't know enough about the medical circumstances to say much more about this.

Again, this is not meant to be the final say on this issue, only the first attempt to answer a couple of questions that have come up. I leave this open to all legitimate correction.

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