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Political Apologetics, Part III

  /   Wednesday June 02, 2004  

While I believe that abortion is sinful, not all sins should be made crimes.
I believe that abortion should be illegal, but it is not necessary for all Catholics to believe this.

First, read this, from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. This document was written specifically about the responsibility of Catholics in public life. It was written to clarify some points in which ambiguities have arisen. For those of you who don’t have the time to read the entire document, take a look at this:

John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a “grave and clear obligation to oppose” any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.

So, it is clear that we do have an obligation to oppose abortion politically as well as “personally.” Abortion is the taking of an innocent human life. We have laws against other kinds of murder which are clearly necessary. Therefore, laws against abortion are also necessary. The statement of the Congregation did not come out of thin air, nor did it generate new teaching. It reiterated what was already there. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that the Church does not teach that Catholics do not have to support making abortion a crime.

Those who use this argument often invoke the straw man of “infallibility,” or rather lack thereof. A Church teaching need not be ex cathedra to be binding. One may correctly assert that the teachings on the war in Iraq and capital punishment are not “infallible.” This isn’t the issue. As stated in previous posts, capital punishment and waging war can be morally permissible in the proper circumstances. Whether these circumstances have been met calls for prudential judgment. This is not true of abortion, which is an intrinsic evil.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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