DEFINING AN ABORTION
1. What is an abortion? The most commonly used dictionaries define an abortion as an "induced termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus is capable of survival" on its own.
2. Since the embryo stage of pregnancy involves the earliest stage of development, this course will adopt this first stage in its presentation. At the same time, the content of this course is meant to include the fetus stage of development.
QUESTIONS REGARDING ABORTION
3. The moment a mother to be has an unwanted pregnancy, for whatever reason it may be, someone will come along and suggest an abortion as an easy solution. This fact cannot be ignored because many clinics and hospitals, including government financially operated facilities, offer abortion services.
4. Arising from the previous suggestion to have an abortion, the mother to be is faced with many questions. "Should I or should I not have an abortion?" "Is the embryo considered a life or not?" "Is abortion murder or not in the eyes of God?" "When does life begin?" "Am I too late?" Speculative questions and answers are endless, no one scientifically knowing with certainty!
5. Science, its scientists, including the medical profession cannot answer these questions because the embryo has two attributes, physical and spiritual. The human being is created with a body, soul/spirit. [2 Thess. 5:23] The medical profession can only identify the presence of the physical attribute within the mother, that being the embryo. It cannot dedect the existence of the soul because of its spiritual attribute that is beyond human capabilities.
6. Because of this conclusion, it becomes necessary for those who are considering an abortion to turn to the Church for answers regarding the life of the embryo as a person.
THE POSITION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
7. The position of the Roman Catholic Church is that all human life must be respected and protected from the first moment of conception. The Church maintains that from the moment of existence at conception, the embryo is a human being. It must be recognized as having all the rights of a person. This includes protecting the right of every innocent being to life. (C.C.C. # 2270)
8. The Catholic Church upholds that the embryo should be treated with respect as a person. Because of this, it must be defended in its completeness, given the necessary care and healed just like any other human being. (C.C.C. # 2274, 2323)
9. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, every human being, from its first moment of conception until its last moment of breath at death, is sacred. This sacredness originates from man's creation. God willed that the human being be created in His image and in His likeness. [Gen. 1:26] (2319) So God created humankind in His image [Gen. 1:27], in the likeness of God. [Gen. 5:1]
10. The Catholic Church supports the truth that God created human life with a 'spiritual and immortal' soul for His own glory and for the supreme blessedness of these human beings. (C.C.C. # 1704) To interfere in the development of the embryo at any stage is to interfere with the Divine Plan of creation for mankind.
11. The Catholic Church recognizes that the human being, created in the image of God, has every right to be treated with dignity as a person, not just as something, but as someone. He is blessed with self-consciousness, is able to live independently and capable of giving of himself generously into communion with others. Each and every human being has been called by the grace of God before creation to a covenant with Him, to draw towards Him in faith and to love as no other creature can do in his place. (C.C.C. # 357)
THE CHURCH OF THE PAST
12. Going back to the early Church of the first century, in those days, it was maintained that it was morally evil to procure an abortion. This position of the Catholic Church has not changed, remaining unchangeable. Any intent to procure an abortion as an end or as a means, gravely opposes the moral law which the Church upholds. (C.C.C. # 2271, 2322)
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION
13. In the view of the Catholic Church, prenatal diagnosis is morally lawful when it respects the life and integrity of the embryo, being motivated by the need to protect it and heal it as an individual.
14. But, the Church opposes any and all prenatal diagnosis for the purpose of inducing an abortion based on the findings of the medical testing when its end result in a death sentence. (Donum vitae I)
15. The Church supports lawful procedures which are carried out on the human embryo for its healing, the betterment of its condition of health or its individual survival. (Donum vitae I,5) (C.C.C. # 2275)
THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT
16. The belief of the Catholic Church is that civil society and political authority must respect the absolute fundamental rights to life of every human being. These rights do not belong to an individual, the parents, society or the state as a means of compromising. They were placed within human nature at the time of creation as an inborn gift from God Himself. These fundamental rights include from the moment of conception until death. (Donum vitae III)
17. By failing to protect these fundamental rights, denying equality to all before the law, the more vulnerable suffer. In this instance, the respect and protection that the unborn child deserves from the moment of conception is denied through abortion. The civil legislation is required by moral law to apply the necessary penal sanctions when such rights of the child are violated. (Donum vitae III) (C.C.C. # 2273)
18. The Catholic Church disproves of all intended exploitation of the human embryo which results in their disposal as biological material, such being immoral. (Donum vitae I,3) (C.C.C. # 2275)
19. The Church also condemns scientific research that influences chromosomic and genetic inheritance for the purpose of selecting the sex or other predetermined characteristics. Such opposes the personal dignity of the person, interfering with the uniqueness of each human being as determined by God Himself. (Donum vitae I,6) (C.C.C. # 2275)
THE PENALTY FOR DISOBEDIENCE
20. The Catholic Church considers it a grave offence for anyone to provide formal cooperation with an abortion. The penalty which the Church attaches to the commission of this offence against human life is the automatic excommunication of those involved, subject to Cannon Law 1323-4. (Cannon # 1314, 1398) (C.C.C. # 2322) "Formal cooperation" includes the person who has the intent of having an abortion, the person(s) who perform it, and the person(s) who suggest or promote such as evil act.
21. Because of the seriousness of this offence, the Catholic Church has no intent to be more merciful in its decision. The Church wishes to make it clear that the harm that has been done to the embryo, the given death penalty, cannot be undone. Nor can the harm done to the parents or the whole of society be undone. (C.C.C. # 2272)
THE CONSEQUENCE OF EXCOMMUNICATION
22. Since abortion is a serious offence, the persons who are excommunicated can no longer receive the Sacraments or exercise certain ecclesiastical acts of the Holy Catholic Church. This means that they will not be able to have their confessions heard because it would not be valid. Living in sin, those persons who consented to an abortion, would be forbidden the right to receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist because of their loss of state of grace. Nor could these persons receive the Sacrament of Marriage in the Holy Catholic Church.
23. The mere fact of being forbidden to participate in the Holy Communion would deny the person the blessing of spiritual growth in Christ. While their desire may be there, wanting to know the Lord, grow in Jesus and share in the eating of His Body, it would be forbidden. This clearly shows the severity of an excommunication!
24. Once applied, the excommunication can only be lifted by the Pope, the bishop of the Diocese under the authority of the Pope, or a priest who has been authorized by one of them.
25. In a situation where a person is dying, by the grace of God, any priest can forgive every sin and excommunication, even a priest who does not have the faculties to hear the Sacrament of confession.
26. For further information on this subject, individuals are advised to contact their parish priest.
THE CREATION OF THE WHOLE HUMAN BEING
27. As previously stated, God created the first human being [Gen. 2:7] with a body, soul/spirit. [1 Thess. 5:23] The spirit, of a spiritual attribute, gives life to the physical body. The physical body without a spirit is dead. [Jas. 2:26] When the spirit departs from the person's physical body, the person dies. When the spirit returns to the physical body, it once more returns to life. [Lk. 8:55]
(For further details on this matter, read about the girl that Jesus restored to life. [Lk. 8:49-55] Jesus took her hand and called out, "Child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and she got up at once.)
28. The creation of man was perfect. With it, man received the gift of eternal life from God. But when Adam sinned by disobeying God, he lost this gift! Through sin, his physical and spiritual attributes were condemned to experience physical and spiritual death!
29. Following the sin of disobedience, Adam lost the gift of eternal life, whereas his physical body would no longer live forever. Previously, he could not experience death; now, his person was subject to death. Because all his descendants, with the exception of our Lord Jesus and the Virgin Mary, have inherited his sinful nature, being born in his image, they also became subject to death. The Catholic Church calls this sin that originated through Adam the "original sin".
30. "Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the 'death of the soul.' (Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512) Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin." [Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1514]
31. Only the 'living' shall never see death. [Ps. 89:48] That is why it is said, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones." [Ps. 116:15] From the moment of their physical death, they enjoy eternal life, the assurance of the eternal blessed vision in His Kingdom.
GOD'S NEW COVENANT
32. God did not desire the spiritual death of His people. To change this, He promised a New Covenant with mankind. [Jer. 31:31] God's New Covenant held a promise that He would write His laws in the hearts of His people. [Jer. 31:33] That would ensure that they would always know what is right and and what is wrong.
33. God also promised to create a new heart and spirit within man. With this new heart and spirit, the people would become God's people again and He would be their God. [Ezek. 11:19-20; 18:31]
34. Over and above all of this, God promised to place His Holy Spirit inside them to help their new hearts and spirits to obey His Holy ways. [Ezek. 36:26] The people would become living Temples of the Holy Spirit. [1 Cor. 3:16] Once more, God would live with His people. [Jer. 31:33]
(Note: To live with His people has two meanings here. It refers to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and in the Sacred Tabernacles where the people can visit God in the Churches. It also refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within each person, God dwelling within.)
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
35. Now, you may wonder, "What does all of this have to do with abortion?" It has to do with the Sacrament of Baptism which the unborn are denied through death. Let's review what the Sacrament of Baptism does to the person.
36. Remember what was previously said, that because of Adam's disobedience which led to the original sin, all his descendants were called to experience physical and spiritual death. The physical body would die and decay. The spirit of man would be denied the eternal blessed vision of God.
37. But, when a person is baptized, he receives a new heart and a new spirit. [Ezek. 36:26] That means that when his physical body will die, his newly received spirit of the godly seed [1 Jn. 3:9] has hope of the blessed vision. Having been born again of water and Spirit, [Jn. 3:5] the soul, providing it lives its faith in Christ through the Church Sacraments, will qualify to inherit its Heavenly joy while awaiting the resurrection of the dead when all the physical bodies will rise again.
38. This is the miracle that the individual receives through the Sacrament of Baptism! This is the new birth which is spoken about throughout the New Testament. A new heart and spirit is created within the newly baptized person. [Jn. 3:3, 5, 7; 1 Jn. 4:7, 5:1, 4]
39. This transformation, through faith in Christ, removes all traces of original sin and personal sin within the human being. The old heart and spirit experience a spiritual death with Jesus on the cross, the individual receiving God's promised gift of a new heart and spirit.
40. "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new! All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ." [2 Cor. 5:17-8] This new life was "created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." [Eph. 4:24]
41. The above passage does not state that the baptized individual enjoys a 'spiritual' experience. It clearly says that there is a new 'creation'. That new creation involves a new heart and spirit within the baptized person.
42. "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." [Tit. 3:4-7]
THE OUTCOME OF AN ABORTION
43. So what is the outcome of an abortion? It is all of the following:
43.1 The pregnant mother takes it upon herself to change the Divine plan of God, deciding that her body is hers. It no longer belongs to God Who created it!
43.2 The pregnant mother seals the physical death penalty of the unborn child. This child will never grow in a physical body to enjoy all what God has created for him/her.
43.3 The pregnant mother seals the spiritual (soul/spirit) death penalty of the unborn child. Because of the trace of original sin, the unborn child will be denied the eternal beatified vision of God.
43.4 This death, the Council of Trent refers to as a "death of the soul.":
"If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema (Inf.: "anathema" means "excommunicated"): -- whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.
(Council of Trent; The First Session; Celebrated on the seventeenth day of the month of June, in the year 1546; Number 2.)
44. Only through the mercy of God can this poor soul ever be admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water (the Sacrament of Baptism) and Spirit." [Jn. 3:6] Did Jesus not warn us to, "Fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."? [Mt. 10:28]
45. When Jesus was murdered on the cross, mankind not only cast Jesus out of the physical world, but it also cast out the fullness of the Divine Presence of the Holy Trinity that dwelled within Jesus. The Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit were both cast out of the world, shaking the foundation of the earth, the heavens and the 'unknown beyond' where the Father existed prior to creation.
46. The approval of an abortion once more shakes the physical and spiritual worlds by condemning the unborn child to a physical and spiritual death of the soul as defined by the Council of Trent. Let him be excommunicated who denies the death of the soul as a result of the sin of Adam that has been passed upon all men.
JESUS AS AN EXAMPLE
47. One may argue that there is no proof that the soul/spirit enters the body at the moment of conception. Contrary to this belief, there is proof right in the Holy Bible itself.
48. One example is from the Book of Jeremiah. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." [Jer. 1:5] This passage clearly refers to God forming (creates) the individual in the womb. The word 'form' means 'create'. The complete creation of man in Genesis 2:7 also used the word 'form'.
49. Using the moment of Jesus' conception as an example, the Bible states, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you (Mary)..." [Lk. 1:35] The work of the Holy Spirit was finalized at conception itself, nine months prior to the birth of Jesus. And when did the Holy Spirit leave the physical body of Jesus? It was when He died on the cross, commending His Spirit to the Father. [Lk. 23:46]
50. It is the same with every living human being. The soul/spirit enters the physical body at the moment of conception, remaining within the body until the moment of physical death.
51. How sad it is that those who have been aborted will never be able to be baptized, nor have the right to say the prayer of the children of God, the "Our Father". (C.C.C. # 1243)
MARY AS A MODEL OF FAITH AND HOPE
52. Many pregnant mothers claim that they are not understood, that they have a valid reason for not wanting to carry their pregnancy, justifying ending the life of the unborn child.
53. The Virgin Mary was and continues to be a perfect model to all mothers. While every mother knows how they got pregnant, the blessed Virgin Mary had every reason to be confused. When the angel told her that she would have a child, her response was, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" [Lk. 1:34] This was not a comment of denial. It was an enquiry as to how this was possible.
54. What did Mary do once the angel explained to her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her? She accepted God's Divine Plan of carrying the Living life within her. She said, "Let it be [done] according to Your Word." [Lk. 1:38]
55. The blessed Virgin Mary placed all of her trust in God. She had faith in God's Divine Plan. She hoped against hope that the best would come out of it! She truly walked in blind faith. Do the results not speak for themselves?
56. Now, let us look at another point of view. Is it not true that Christians accept the Bible as God's inspired Word and they believe that Mary was the Mother of Jesus? They further believe that Jesus died for their salvation.
57. Now, what if Jesus had never been born to Mary because she would have decided to have an abortion? What would have happened to God's Divine plan of salvation? How would Mary have been judged by God for her action of obstructing the salvation of the entire human race?
58. How would you have felt about Mary if you had learned that through her personal decision to obtain an abortion, you would have been denied the right to a new heart and spirit that God had planned to create in you during your baptism as your assurance of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven?
59. Now ask yourself, "How does the unborn child feel regarding his mother who has denied him the Church Sacrament of Baptism as an assurance of admission in the Kingdom of God, this being God's second greatest gift after the creation of life itself?"
60. You see, the issue is not only, "Is it life", but rather "What is God's plan" for the unborn? Ponder on the potential of Jesus never having been born and determine for yourself, "Abortion or not!"
THE GUILT OF THE PAST 61. The issue of having an abortion does not end there! Mothers who have procured an abortion have to live with their consciences throughout their lives. They will never escape the guilt, no matter how hard they try to. They will carry that guilt every day, week and year of their lives.
62. This type of guilt is no less than the guilt of mothers who have given up their children for adoption. At least, those who gave up their children for adoption, they have given them the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and a chance of becoming adopted children of God, this leading to their eternal salvation.
63. When it comes to a mother wanting an abortion, there is one witness who knows her heart and all her actions. It is her own spirit. Is it not said that if there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body." [1 Cor. 15:44]
64. Regarding all human actions, the Spirit of God bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. [Rom. 8:16] Or, that we are not! The fact that our spirit bears witness to our actions is a clear indication that our spirit can testify for or against our actions. This proof is found in the following passage.
"For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also." [1 Cor. 14:14-5]
65. The above passage clearly teaches that for one's prayer to be fruitful, there is a necessity for the spirit to pray with the mind. Such a goal can only be achieved through the Sacrament of Baptism when through faith in Jesus, the person has received a new heart and spirit.
66. If anyone knows what is human, not being spiritual, it is the spirit within the person himself. "What human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within?" [1 Cor. 2:11]
67. These Biblical truths must be accepted! It is sad that some prefer to accept other non-Biblical truth. "If someone comes and proclaims that you received a different spirit from the one your 'actually' received, you submit to it readily enough." [2 Cor. 11:4] By denying the teachings of the Catholic Church, one denies the truth. Then, this evil reasoning gives a just reason to proceed with an abortion.
68. The attitude of the Christian must be to serve God with his spirit. [Rom. 1:9] It must also be to worship God in spirit. Did Jesus not say, "The hour is coming and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." [Jn. 4:23-4] Accordingly, the Christian must live according to the Holy Spirit, setting his mind on the things of the Spirit. [Rom. 8:5] To set one's mind on the Spirit is life and peace. [Rom. 8:6]
69. Those seeking an abortion can search for an abortionist who will support their evil plan. They can even search for false Christians and non-Christian associates who will sympathize with them. But it should never be forgotten that their conscience will convict them. Their spirit will convict them. The Holy Spirit will convict them. And, in view of the abundance of witnesses, God will condemn them!
70. Based on these facts, the Catholic Church is obligated to morally uphold that abortion is murder, of the body and soul as proclaimed by the Council of Trent. Not only is this a grave offence against the unborn child, society and nature, but it is first of all a grave offence against God Himself. The Church has not been instituted to please the people. One of its Divine mandates is to uphold God's moral laws.
71. Finally, Jesus did not come into the world to please the people. He came to save the people! Many did not like what He said because He spoke the truth! Because of the truth, He was crucified!
72. Today, things have not changed! Many still do not like what the Catholic Church teaches because the truth hurts! The truth interferes with their worldly desires and pleasures. Through persecution and rejection, they make every effort to silence the living Christians, those who defend the unborn!
This completes the course "Abortion or Not!" Our ministry hopes that this course has helped our students to appreciate the value of life. Sometimes, the conveniences and comforts of life that oppose the will of God, appear to be the easy answer. Worldly comforts frequently oppose the spiritual law of love, resulting in disobedience to the commands of God. The eternal result is disastrous! To learn the truth is a blessing by the grace of God. Having learned the truth, it is a greater blessing to walk in the truth! Our ministry prays that all those who read this material will perceive the will of God and live by His righteousness. Students are encouraged to continue their spiritual growth by registering in another course so they can further enrich their lives. All knowledge of the Word enriches the Christian so he can shine as a light where the truth is covered by darkness.
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