Soulless Embryos?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  LARobert 6 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #1838

    Victor
    Member

    [color=darkblue:4xcvgaeb]Last week I participated in a discussion on abortion; the usual arguments on both sides were made and what particularly sparked my interest was a quote from St. Augustine and his comment about ensoulment occurring some time after conception (I’ll have to dig for the exact quote). Now, St. Augustine was both a genius and a weirdo at times (IMO). He held some pretty wild ideas about sexuality, authority, and number of other areas. So my initial reaction to St. Augustine’s comments to when ensoulment occurs was “this is the weirdo in him speaking”. I don’t say “weirdo” to be offensive, the man doesn’t need my praise to warrant his accomplishments and contributions to the Church. However, as some of you are aware, even Church Fathers got it wrong.

    Now, to my surprise, after some digging, St. Augustine was actually not alone. While there has been constant general agreement that abortion is almost always evil and sinful, the church seems to have chosen to stay silent about when ensoulment occurs. I didn’t know this and since I’ve leaned so heavily against abortion (irregardless of the time it was held) due mainly because of the ensoulment of the body. I hadn’t realized the question was still open. This paralyzed me immensely in dialogues with other non-catholics.

    What arguments are used without ensoulment?

    Is it that God doesn’t get an oportunity to ensoul? Is that it?

    I hope I’m missing something but doesn’t this weaken our argument against abortion if what is being aborted is not a person?[/color:4xcvgaeb]

    #8900

    Bernardine
    Member

    Did you ask your priest of bishop about this? It would be interesting to hear what their opinion on this would be. I wouldn’t know how to answer it without opening up an angle for a pro-choicer. That’s a hard one.

    #8901

    LARobert
    Participant

    The understanding of when conception ensoulment etc occur has varied throughout the ages. Ss. Thomas Aquinnas, and Augustine both espoused what their ages knew and believed about conception and ensoulment.

    The Church however does hold that as the earliest possible time that a soul is infused into the body can be at what we understand today to be conception. As we don’t know when that occurs, we default to the earliest possible point that it could occur.

    #8904

    Victor
    Member

    [color=darkblue:1mscigle]Robert, check this out:

    http://www.ncbcenter.org/FrTad_MSOOB_33.asp

    We obviously know now and the Church has had opportunity to put the matter to rest and has chosen not to.[/color:1mscigle]

    #8905

    LARobert
    Participant

    Good link, gives a comprehensive look at what the Church teaches.

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