Why the theology of Rome will never end abortion.

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Last week we went to Washington, D.C. to assist CrownRights.org with filming on the upcoming Babies Are Murdered Here documentary. Our goal was to gather interviews from participants in the March for Life. Frankly, it was stunning to see the crowd of more than 500,000 people marching on the National Mall to protest abortion. The march is organized mainly by Roman Catholics. It is quite a testimony to the organizational ability of the Roman Catholics and the March for Life that they are able to mobilize this many people on one day (one c-c-c-old day) in DC.

This has been the story of the pro-life movement from the beginning. The Roman Catholics have mobilized and the evangelicalProtestant church has either hemmed and hawed or they have supported abortion (in the case of the mainline denominations). Forty years later churches in the evangelical community which are sound theologically (and many that aren’t) are loathe to do very much about the slaughter of the innocents in the womb. Why? The “elephant in the room”, whenever the topic is discussed, is the Catholic church. If we stand with Catholics in front of the abortion clinics, aren’t we somehow supporting their doctrine? In good churches, doctrine matters.

After seeing the March for Life, conducting interviews, and our own experience with pro-life Catholics I can only conclude that while we can stand in front of clinics while Catholics are present, we cannot join hands with them intentionally for the purpose of: 1) proclaiming the truth about abortion or 2) doing sidewalk counseling ministry. The theological tension between the Catholic church and the leadership of the pro-life movement effectively neuters the pro-life cause. Worse, it offers no real hope to women who have had abortions.

At this point, Catholics reading this blog will get up in arms and point to their long record of standing against abortion. I am grateful for their willingness to act when so many of us have been silent. It is to our shame. Some will say that this kind of message will fragment the pro-life community, weakening it. I disagree. The way that truth works in the Kingdom of God is that it sets people free. Besides that, the pro-life community is already fragmented. It is fragmented into groups that call abortion murder in no uncertain terms and those that equivocate.

Two Important Questions

At the March, we asked the participants two important questions. 1) Is abortion murder? 2) Is a woman who has an abortion a murderer? The answers were not what we expected at a pro-life event.

To question #1, the results were split. Some would say, yes, it is murder and not bat an eye. Others would hem and haw a bit and use just about every euphemism you can imagine to describe what a woman does when she has an abortion. To question #2, the results were much more uniform. I do not believe we had one person respond in the affirmative. In every case, the woman having an abortion was portrayed as a victim.

Watch the video below and see some of the responses that will appear in the film.

We did a lot more filming that day, but on the way to dinner we began talking about the disconnect. Why could some say it was murder and then not call the woman having an abortion a murderer? This isn’t a great leap of logic. Further, how could you be anti-abortion, march against Roe v. Wade, and then not be clear about abortion being murder in question #1?

As we chatted, Marcus finally asked, “What do Catholics believe about mortal sin?” This question and its answer is the keystone to not only this disconnect between the two questions, it is the keystone to understanding the present pro life movement and how ministry is done amongst women who are potentially abortive.

Mortal Sin

Let’s answer Marcus’ question. What do Catholics believe about mortal sin? In order to find the answer, you have to go to their documents. You do not go to writings which are not formally endorsed. You do not go to a Catholic friend or relative to find the answer. For our purposes, we will use the Catechism of the Catholic Church (hereafter referred to as the CCC) which was published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (the publishing arm of the Vatican). The copy in my library is the Second Edition published in 2000 and appears to be the 7th printing of this edition.

In the CCC, (section 1855) it states, “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.” In contrast, venial sin “…allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.”

The big question is, “What is a mortal sin?” According to the Roman Catholic church it must meet three conditions: 1) it is a grave matter, 2) it is committed with full knowledge and 3) it is committed with deliberate intent (Section 1857). Murder falls under the “grave matter” condition according to section 1858. I submit that murder is always committed with full knowledge of its evil since Romans 2:14-15 says that the law of God is written on the hearts of all men and their conscience bears witness that this is so. Finally, murder is committed with deliberate intent whenever it is committed except in cases of self defense (Ex. 22:2-3). The CCC states, “Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest” (Section 1860). Note the use of the terminology “grave” and “gravest.” In the Roman Catholic understanding, a mortal sin is worse than the average sin.

What is the penalty for a mortal sin? The CCC answers, “If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of Hell…”.

Therefore murder is a mortal sin and is deserving of Hell. This is the clear teaching of the CCC.

The next question for the CCC is, “Is abortion murder?” The CCC answers in the affirmative. It states, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable” (Section 2271). The same section goes on to cite the Didache and other early writings as proof. In the next section, it states, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life” (Section 2272).

So what’s the problem? Abortion is murder and murder merits Hell in Roman Catholic theology. Why don’t Roman Catholics speak more plainly on the issue of abortion if this is all that there is to it?

Theological Loophole

It suggests the question, “Is there a theological loophole in the CCC which allows a Roman Catholic the freedom to sidestep the question, “Is a woman who has an abortion a murderer?” It turns out that there is.

Section 1860 reads, “Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders.” It is worth noting that in this section, there are no footnotes. There are no cross references to Biblical passages because the Bible does not teach this.

So here is what is happening. In the pro-life movement, if you can deem the woman who has an abortion to be “unintentionally ignorant” or a victim of their own “feelings and passions”, you can conclude that she is indeed a victim, not guilty of mortal sin, and is therefore not a murderer. This is the only theological rationale that makes sense in light of the answers we received in DC at the March for Life. This victim mentality is evident at a March for Life. The vast majority of signs, usually provided by the Catholic organizers, emphasize a positive message. Their own website states, “Purposefully, the Life Principles are not framed in the negative tone of “thou shalt not,” and are framed in the positive tone of duty and responsibility of each human being and of society.” The signs at the march which state that abortion is murder are usually made by individuals and not mass produced and handed out to marchers.

The problem is that the Bible teaches the exact opposite. We cannot plead temporary insanity regarding our sin. In Exodus 21:22-25, the situation of two men fighting in a heated emotional argument is given. If in the course of their fight, they hurt a woman who is with child unintentionally and the baby miscarries, the death penalty is given for the man who is guilty, in spite of his emotion. It is eye for eye, tooth for tooth and life for life. In the context, it does not appear that it is their intent to murder the baby in the womb. If they do, intentional or not, they are given the death penalty.

In short, Roman Catholics who are pro-life who will not call abortion murder or women who abort, murderers are NOT in conflict with their own catechism. They ARE in conflict with the Word of God. By the way, so are evangelicals who adopt this same victim mentality of the woman at the abortion clinic.

The Law

Listen, if we ever have the opportunity to repeal Roe v. Wade and abortion is illegal in this nation, then what will a woman be guilty of if she has an abortion after that point? She will be guilty of murder. I am quite sure that lawyers will plead mental duress or temporary insanity, but the charge will be murder. The law will be right to say so. Marching at the March for Life and stopping in front of the Supreme Court to protest Roe v. Wade while equivocating on abortion being murder is a contradiction in the same act of protest. It doesn’t make any sense logically and even less sense theologically.

The Gospel

I’m not Catholic. I believe in sola Scriptura, the Reformation doctrine of Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice. The CCC carries no weight in my theological thinking. The Bible defines sin as transgression (rebellion) against God’s Law (1 John 3:4). It does not distinguish between mortal and venial sin. All sin condemns people to Hell: murdering and disobedience to parents all fall under the scope of God’s law. There is no free pass for being emotionally traumatized when you commit it.

Therefore, with this right view of sin we’re all in the same boat. We are also dealing with an extremely urgent situation at an abortion clinic. Carrying this truth to the abortion clinics, I can minister to women going in AND coming out of the clinics without internal conflict. I can say, “Please don’t murder your baby” and “You can be forgiven if you repent and believe the gospel” because I too am a sinner who has sinned grievously before God. I can talk about the gospel without referring her to the priest for the sacrament of penance (which includes confession to a priest and whatever reparation he prescribes) or requiring them to become Catholic. These things are not the gospel. They forgive no sins. What I have to offer is the righteousness of Jesus Christ credited to them in place of their sin via repentance and faith (2 Corinthians 5:21). I can tell them that Jesus Christ has satisfied God’s wrath against them and we can be declared innocent on the basis of true repentance and trust in Him, not the sacraments.

All sin is mortal sin. All of it. It’s not just the “really really bad” people who deserve Hell. We are all really really bad: totally depraved (Romans 3:10-18). If you consider murder to be a worse sin than the average venial sin (or skate around it altogether) you’re not going to refer to abortion as murder or the woman as a murderer. What matters in most pro-life counseling ministry is the life of the baby and if you have to lie to get a save, then so be it. I want to see the baby saved AND the woman who was planning on murdering it saved from Hell. This requires plain speaking.

If you deny total depravity and want to see Roe v. Wade overturned you win support by following the cultural trend of soft-selling sin. Yet we all know that abortion is murder. It’s self evident to anyone who doesn’t have an agenda. Our nation will not repent of a choice. No one will. It might repent over a sin. If the March for Life was a call to this nation to repent, it tried to do so without naming the sin we’re guilty of, just as it does not use the word “murder” on their website.

The Victim Lie

This may seem harsh to those who have been trained to do Crisis Pregnancy Center ministry by Roman Catholic activists, but if you have spent any time outside of an abortion clinic pleading with the women going in to save the life of their baby, you know that these women are not victims. They may be very emotional but they are not deceived by their emotions. They are murderers and in most cases, they act like it. They cuss you out, they spit at you, they threaten you and in some cases they attack you. The men who sometimes have the guts to bring them are just the same. When they come out of the clinic they often joke about having just murdered their baby. Abortion is murder. Period. No equivocation, no compromise.

To my evangelical friends who either are doing abortion clinic ministry or plan on it: you do not help a woman find forgiveness in Christ by soft-selling what she is doing at the clinic. Biblical repentance includes an acknowledgement of the sin: they will call it what God calls it. When women justify their actions based on circumstances or emotions you are not looking at Biblical repentance. You might be able to talk them out of the abortion by sympathizing with them, but until they admit that what they were planning on doing was premeditated murder there is no repentance. Biblical repentance looks like Psalm 51 and not a session with a psychologist.

If you have been doing pro-life ministry with Roman Catholics and have adopted their victim mentality of the women who are having abortions, you need to repent. Open your eyes to the behavior that you are seeing and call it what God calls it: murder. Only then will you have the ability to offer real forgiveness and hope to those whose lives have been wrecked by their decision to murder their child in the womb.

Jon Speed & Marcus Pittman

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40 Responses to "Why the theology of Rome will never end abortion."

  1. Hugh says:

    Godspeed, Pittman & Speed!
    Pastor Ralph Ovadal, a man deeply involved in the pro-life movement, pleads with Evangelical Pro-Lifers: http://www.pccmonroe.org/Ecumenism/morethanthese.htm

  2. Sam says:

    The argument of this post beggars belief, though I should not be surprised knowing that it is in vogue among reformed baptist circles to be confrontational, shocking, and in-your-face in the name of boldness. Despite my own reservations about doing so, I want to answer you briefly.

    First of all, I should state that I am convert to Catholicism from Reformed Christianity. I was a fiery blogger and follower of men like Paul Washer and Todd Friel. The reasons for my conversion to the Catholic Faith are beyond the scope of this post, but I say this simply to clarify that I am in no way ignorant of the reformed brand of “the gospel” or reformed teaching and preaching. That was my entire world for years.

    Those things said, I will now briefly answer your critique.

    1. Mortal sin – Mortal sin is not an invention of the Catholic church (as if the church just invents doctrines when convenient). Just because it does not align with your interpretation of scripture does not mean it does not have scriptural support. This doctrine does indeed have scriptural support. I would be happy to provide verses, but you would no doubt explain them away as they do not agree with your interpretation of them.

    Anyway, I believe the burden of proof is on you to provide scriptural support for the extraordinary assertion that there are no degrees of sin in God’s eyes. The idea that forgetting to pray is on par with mass murder is without scriptural foundation.

    2. A Theological Loophole – The idea that mortal sin is a theological loophole is also unfounded. If a woman is fully aware of what she is doing, then she indeed has committed murder. Catholic pro-lifers are often reluctant to proclaim every woman a murderer, however, because we simply don’t know the reasons a woman is getting an abortion.

    There fact is, that there are a tremendous amount of lies women are told about abortion, meaning they may not always understand the gravity of the situation. Many women are also placed under tremendous pressure to commit an abortion against their own will.

    Out of charity, Catholics often assume ignorance or coercion, but there is no doubt that some women do choose abortion willfully and knowingly–a gravely evil choice. No doubt, some go to far in assuming all women are ignorant of what they are doing, but it is out of compassion. If I were to err on the side of too much compassion or too much judgement, I would much rather err on the side of too great a compassion.

    At any rate, to equate a terrified teen girl forced by her statuatory rapist with a proud feminist willfully murdering what she knows to be a human life is gravely foolish. Jesus himself did not make such brash claims based on appearance, but rather judged with righteous judgement.

    Therefore, it is an incredible error to say that Catholic teaching causes abortion to flourish. A more absurd statement I have never heard. Only one completely ignorant of what the Church actually teaches could say such a thing.

    • Jon Speed says:

      Thanks for your reply Tyler. You may want to go back and read the article again. I didn’t say “mortal sin” was the theological loophole. I said that the unsubstantiated Section 1860 is the theological loophole. It’s the loophole that you seem to embrace when you allow for your charitable disposition when it comes to the aborting mother. I am well aware of the party line that you cite regarding the lies told to women, etc., etc. It’s standard issue in the pro-life camp right now. And that’s the point. It has a source and this is it–your new catechism.

      Flat denials without substantiation will get you nowhere. In fact, your flat denials while citing Catholic dogma will also get you nowhere. Sola Scriptura.

      I have heard a more absurd statement. It goes like this: “I am a convert to Catholicism from Reformed Christianity.”

      So let me ask you a question, Tyler. Is abortion murder?

    • Hugh says:

      Ex-RB Sam,

      You confuse possible extenuating circumstances surrounding a woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy with what the termination is (regardless of the pressures, lies, terror, etc.): Murder of an innocent, infanticide. I know you cum-papists enjoy nuancing and loopholing, but a deceived or coerced* person is just as liable as a knowledgeable one.

      You have abandoned the gospel, Christ’s word, and sanity regarding sin & salvation, man. You are an unreliable source of information. A blind follower of your new-found blind leaders.

      * Unless the abortion were literally physically forced upon her.

    • Sam says:

      Jon,

      My name is Sam, not Tyler.

      Sola scriptura is very simply unscriptural. Saying something loud and long does not make it more true. And you do not really mean sola scriptura. You mean the Bible PLUS your personal interpretation of it. I would love to engage you on the fallacies of Protestantism, but that is beside the point.

      As for abortion being murder, anyone with a modicum of sense recognizes that murder implies certain conditions. Killing is not always murder (war, manslaughter, self-defense, etc.). So what makes murder what it is? I would answer that murder requires malicious intent and knowledge. Not every women may possess malicious intent, indeed she may have sincerely believed the lie that her baby is not a human life but is rather a clump of cells.

      If a woman does know that her baby is a human life and is killing it accordingly, then yes, she is guilty of murder. Because an abortion “doctor” most certainly is aware of what he is doing, he is always guilty of murder.

      Now, lest you misunderstand me, abortion is always objectively evil. What I am discussing here is the culpability and guilt of the woman involved.

      You can simplify and engage in ethical reductionism if you so choose. But it is counterproductive and harmful in the end.

      As for whose teaching causes abortion to flourish, I would argue that protestants, who condone and approve contraceptives, which inevitably lead to abortion, are really the ones who cause abortion to flourish.

      • Guest says:

        2 Timothy 3:16-17. Sola Scriptura is Biblical. Just read the verses.

        So you disagree with the CCC? It is pretty clear that abortion is murder and does not allow for exceptions in their statements regarding excommunication. You really can’t have it both ways. Unless, of course, you are just trying to make my point about equivocation.

      • TLP says:

        “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

        Two problems with your reading of this scripture.

        First, the scripture referred to here by Paul is the Old Testament canon (a canon that was not closed until AD 100). There are no New Testament books that were established as scripture when Paul wrote this.

        Second, Paul said “All Scripture is God-Breathed and is useful…” he did not say, “Only Scripture…”

        In fact, several times he says just the opposite. For instance 1 Corinthians 11:2 “Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you”

        1 Thessalonians 2:13 speaks of the word being heard, not read, “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”

        and 2 Thessalonians 2:15 which says, “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

        There are dozens others, but you’ve quit reading by now. Sola Scriptura is not recognized or encouraged by scripture, perhaps you should start reading it.

      • Kim says:

        Sam,

        who are you to use Scripture to make an argument? You reject it.

      • TLP says:

        Kim, I’m not Sam.

        It is also a wild assertion to say that I reject scripture. I was a Protestant Pastor for 10 years. I read the scripture in Greek and Hebrew, study the context and the meta-narrative of scripture, and have a fair bit memorized.

        I believe that all Scripture is inspired by God, and is infallible regarding Faith and Morals. I believe it contains no error.

        But I do not believe that God put everything we would ever need inside. I don’t believe that Scripture is plain and unable to be misread or misunderstood. There are over 35,000 different denominations because we can’t agree on what it says. I believe he gave us the apostles and their successors as an authoritative voice to help us interpret scriptures correctly.

        This is not a rejection of scripture, but an elevation of it.

        Who are you to deny my use of Scripture to make an argument? You think it is enough to guide your whole Christian walk.

        Either scripture is plain or it isn’t. If you’re right, and scripture is plain, then you have to listen to scripture (which I’ve posted above for you).

      • Guest says:

        TLP,

        If you accept the magisterium as your authority, rejecting Scripture is exactly what you have done. Sola Scriptura. Being a turn coat Protestant does not give you any special qualifications to speak to this issue. It simply means that you may be one of those that Jesus refers to in Matthew 7:21-23.

        In the meantime, dig up your hermeneutics notes and ask yourself, “Do I interpret the vague with the clear, or the clear with what is vague?” Instead of doing either, you are reading the doctrine of the Catholic church into the text. Classic eisegesis.

      • TLP says:

        Guest,

        I do not reject Scripture, I reject the concept that Scripture is the ONLY rule of faith. I get this idea from scripture. I believe scripture is infallible, But our interpretation of it is not.

        You can call me what you like. But answer me, how did the Church survive for the first 325 years without scripture? By witness of the Apostles and their successors. I accept the authority of both Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

      • Jon Speed says:

        They had Scripture. The manuscripts date back to late 1st century.

      • TLP says:

        And you’ve turned this into whether I reject scripture or not, but this isn’t the issue. The issue is that YOU don’t reject scripture, and I have posted passages OF scripture that you supposedly use to guide your life. Passages that reject the notion of “Sola Scriptura.”

        How can you ignore that, you who do NOT reject scripture?

      • Jon Speed says:

        There is a vast, vast difference between rejecting Scripture and exegeting it. All you have done here is eisegete the text by reading Roman Catholic tradition into it rather than comparing Scripture with Scripture (not Scripture with magisterium).

      • Guest says:

        Sola Scriptura: 2 Timothy 3:16-17. No interpretation required. Just read it.

        On murder, it seems that you are doing exactly what I talk about here. Thanks for the example. The CCC regards abortion to be murder, to the point that someone can be excommunicated for it. Yet you use the loophole to make an exception for the woman who is uninformed. It is equivocation.

        Question: since the Law of God is written on the heart of every man (Romans 2:14-15), just how is anyone uninformed?

  3. Hugh says:

    God’s speed, men. Whether you allow me to post or not! :)

  4. Candy says:

    I had an abortion as a teenager. Later, after becoming familiar with the Bible I understood that what I’d done was wrong, and I considered myself a murderer. All this to say, I don’t disagree with you on that
    issue. Nor am I Catholic. What I do find objectionable is your harsh criticism of your fellow pro-lifers and those you confront at abortion clinics. You come across as being less concerned fo the women and their babies and more passionate about your own theology. Remember that it’s God’s KINDNESS that leads us to repentance. And that mercy triumphs over judgment.

    • Guest says:

      Candy, I am very thankful that you recognize that. On my criticisms, they have to do with truth. Truth matters. Unless there is a sweeping repentance in the pro-life movement over the issues of the gospel and absolutes, we will be doing Marches for Life when my grandchildren have grandchildren. We’ve already had pro-life presidents, senators, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices and yet 1 million will be murdered in the womb this year. 3500 tomorrow. It is not kind or loving to either the babies in the womb or

      • Guest says:

        to the pro-lifers to pretend that we are all saying the same thing when our remedies are vastly different. Our evangelical leaders have conditioned us to sing kumbayah with Catholics and to shut our mouths at pro-life events. No more. 40 years is long enough to keep silence.

  5. Doug Beaumont says:

    Whether RC theology is correct or incorrect, there is a major flaw in your reasoning. You say, “if you can deem the woman who has an abortion to be ‘unintentionally ignorant’ or a victim of their own ‘feelings and passions’, you can conclude that she is indeed a victim, not guilty of mortal sin, and is therefore not a murderer.” This commits the classic fallacy of illicitly converting universal statements: arguing that if abortion is murder, then it is a mortal sin; but if abortion is not a mortal sin, then it is not murder. But this does not follow.

    Further, you confuse objective truths with subjective knowledge, and thus miss the whole point of there being more than one condition for the guilt of mortal sin. The moral law does not deal in particulars. Knowing “murder is wrong” does not necessarily tell us what counts as murder. There really are people who really do not believe abortion is murder. Now, if they have one, that does not change abortion into a non-murder, but it mitigate the guilt of the person (for example, someone led astray by Norman Geisler’s first edition “Christian Ethics” book would be less culpable than one who only read his second edition.)

    Either way abortion is murder, but this only fulfills condition 1 for mortal sin. If one has an abortion in ignorance, then condition 2 is not met. Thus, an abortion could be a murder without being a mortal sin. Since this is at least logically possible, your argument fails.

    • Guest says:

      Doug,

      The CCC says, point blank, that “Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man.
      The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary
      and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or
      pathological disorders.” (Section 1860). You seem to have missed the point of the theological loophole. The way Catholics get out of the woman being a murderer is by hiding behind section 1860, not by dancing around Section 1857.

      It is not possible to commit a murder in ignorance. The Law of God is written on every heart (Rom. 2:14-15).

      • Doug Beaumont says:

        First, what Sam said, below.

        Second, while the act of a murder may be fairly straightforward (the unjustified, intentional killing of an innocent human being), the *guilt* of murder requires more than that objective act. Suppose a hunter intentionally kills an innocent human being because he thought the human was a deer. Objectively he has committed “a murder,” but does that make him a murderer? Subjectively he is in a different category than someone who intentionally kills an innocent human just because he wants that human dead. This is not a “loophole” – it is just recognizing that intent and knowledge matter when judging an act. So IF someone aborts a baby because they REALLY don’t think it is a person, then that is different than killing what they knew was a person.

        As to the law written on the heart – this law deals in general cases not particulars. “Do not murder” may be clear enough, but the necessary and sufficient conditions for a murder are not built in (try asking the man on the street for a precise definition of murder), and neither is biology, philosophy, or theology. Yet all of these must be in agreement for a right judgment to be made.

        Now, if some Catholics are using that distinction as a loophole to excuse abortion, then they need to be slapped around, but I doubt that a knowledgeable priest would do so, because it does not flow from legitimate Catholic theology (hence they’re fighting abortion for 2,000 years). The implication of your article was that the loophole was just part of Catholic thinking.

      • Guest says:

        Doug, since you do not claim to be Catholic, I am not sure how you can be so confident regarding what a priest will do. If they have not slapped around the RC leadership of the pro-life movement at this point, it’s doubtful they ever will because the victim mentality is just about everywhere as of late, especially since ministries like ours have been pointing out the logical and theological inconsistencies.

        Furthermore, read Exodus 21 on the case of two men fighting and then causing an inadvertent miscarriage. The law requires the death of the offender if the baby dies as a result (life for life). In this case, neither man was intending on causing harm, but the law requires soul for soul if the baby dies, regardless of intent. So, yes, we have God’s Word on it and it is objective.

      • Jonathan says:

        “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

        The Baby would have to have been born first. Which our laws make the case for murder of a fetus if it is in a certain gestational period. I am Pro-Choice not because i agree with it. But because I believe in Free-Will.

        I believe in the sanctity of human life and that there should be a balance
        between the rights of the woman and her unborn child. I oppose elective
        abortion for convenience. I also recognize that there are unfortunate
        circumstances under which abortion may be justified.

  6. Angela says:

    I do love .. Said with sarcasm how you point to what you call a loophole but in John 6 it clearly states unless you eat the flesh and drink His blood you can’t have everlasting life. I’m a Catholic and abortion is murder of an innocent, having an abortion puts you outside of the church, excommunicated. As well as separated from God. The only way back is through a sincerely contrite heart, and the Sacrament of Penance. In no place is it outwardly referred to the “loophole”. All persons who have had or assisted in an abortion are recommend to the Sacrament of Penance. There is the only place where forgiveness can be found.

  7. Hugh says:

    Rome has the gospel wrong, the canon wrong, the Church wrong, soteriology wrong, sacramentalism wrong, prayer wrong, Mary wrong, just about everything wrong involving God, sin, Jesus, and redemption.

    Just why are Christian folks looking to them for leadership in the abortion holocaust? Oh yeah, the gold.

    • Hugh says:

      and depravity wrong, election wrong, atonement wrong, the Spirit wrong, and perseverance wrong.
      The wrong Bible, the wrong gospel, the wrong Jesus, and false gods. Absolutely no hope in Rome.

  8. Ken Scott says:

    There are different ways of witnessing and sometimes it has to be harsh with love to be effective like what Jude shows in verse 23, see the following Jude 21-23, 21 keep
    yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
    unto eternal life.22 And on
    some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the
    flesh.

  9. Ken Scott says:

    Whether witnessing to the woman and men going into the abortion clinics or to the Catholics out there saying the rosay sometimes you have to be harsh, if you want them to go to heaven. You can’t work your way to heaven, it is all by Grace that we are saved!!! (Ephesians 2:8-9) There is no hope in the Pope, good job Hugh and I know what you say it in love for them to repent. God Bless!!!

  10. [...] anti-abortion powerhouse 40 Days for Life is sinful, deceitful, and a stumbling block), Jon Speed at Crown Rights (who argues that Catholicism does not consider abortion to be murder), or Toby Harmon at [...]

  11. TLP says:

    No distinction between mortal sin and venial sin in scripture?

    Ever read 1 John 5:16 & 17

    If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

    • Guest says:

      Drunkenness and greed are listed in the same sentence with adultery and homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. More pertinent to this conversation, also idolatry.

      • TLP says:

        Kim, it must be hard on you, having to resort to logical fallicies to win your disagreements.

        All of those you listed are mortal sins… and Catholics do not worship idols.

      • Guest says:

        TLP, yes they do. The commandments say NOT to make ANY graven image to worship it. The Catholic church knows this so well that they restructure the Ten Commandments to ignore this one.

  12. TLP says:

    … referring her to the priest for the sacrament of penance… These things are not the gospel. They forgive no sins.

    Better not read John 20:21-23.
    “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

    • Guest says:

      TLP,

      To interpret this as the sacrament of penance is about as forced an interpretation as there is. It would also be a denial of other clear teaching in the Word of God. Only God forgives sin and there is only One Mediator between God and man–Jesus Christ alone. In hermeneutics, clear teaching interprets the unclear, not the other way around. With that in mind, it is possible that under the influence of the Spirit of God, modern day church leaders can say with confidence, “Your sins are forgiven” when they repent and believe the true gospel. As they exercise church discipline, they may also say that people’s sins are not forgiven as long as they reject church discipline.

      • TLP says:

        “With that in mind, it is possible that under the influence of the Spirit of God, modern day church leaders can say with confidence, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ when they repent and believe the true gospel. As they exercise church discipline, they may also say that people’s sins are not forgiven as long as they reject church discipline.”

        Which is precisely what Catholic and Orthodox Priests do.

      • Jon Speed says:

        No, they do not. The Vatican does not teach the Biblical gospel, but a warped version of it which has been corrupted and perverted by many years of political and theological twisting.

  13. Mary says:

    I can’t believe I just wasted my time reading this blog. Catholics know abortion is murder. Whether they want to admit it or accept it can be another story. There are weak people in this world, and weakness doesn’t follow the lines of religious or christian beliefs. My problem is the level of arrogance displayed by author. Call it pride. Hmmm…I smell sin. Innocent babies should not be murdered. As a Christian community, let’s figure out how to come together to save lives vs. splitting straws. Unfortunately, articles such as this one causes me to sin. What is it with this hatred towards Catholics? I smell sin. Thank God for being a loving God, a forgiving God, and also a God that holds you accountable.

  14. alliek says:

    Great post! I have been to clinics and the March for Life and I have noticed the catholics don’t like to engage with people. They usually pray their rosary or at the walk for life one of the girls we were with was confronted by a protester and she tried to talk to him and a catholic woman told her not to talk to him. I don’t know the reasoning but we feel it is better to witness or at least attempt to change peoples minds. They also don’t like graphics and this war on the preborn will never be won without showing their bloodied little bodies! I agree the woman is not the victim but an active participant in murder against he offspring. There might be special circumstances but that isn’t the norm. Christian pastors who are afraid to offend are “loving” their congregations right into hell by not speaking of this horrible act.

    In the words of Dr. Martin Luther: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition, every portion of the Truth of God’s Word, except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I’m not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace – if he flinches at that point.”

  15. As a pro-life atheist I strongly believe that in an increasingly secular world, it’s time we leave religion out of this fight for human rights. Secular arguments for life are solid, and unlike “the Bible says” they cannot be brushed off by someone who isn’t religious. While we bicker about religion and theology, preborn babies are dying today.

    It’s time we begin to fight for prenatal human beings strictly on the grounds that they are
    human beings. Allow your theology to motivate what you do, but do not allow it to become a stumbling block to working with others or to being heard by those who do not share your faith.

    Catholic theology won’t end abortion, but neither will any religious argument.