A Letter to Catholics who Support Abortion

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By: Jonathan Fessenden, Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

Faith involves humility, because it is impossible to know all that God reveals to us. A part of this humility is to submit our assent to authorities and so He gave us the Magisterium.

Fr. Brian Mullady

It is increasingly apparent that modern Catholics do not adhere to the Magisterium but instead acquiesce to what is dictated by government standards and the various secular powers within society. We, as Catholics, should ask ourselves what means more to us: what the Church believes or what our societal “leaders” believe? As Christians, we already have a set of rules that not only dictate how we as persons should live but lay the groundwork for Natural Law itself. So, let us refresh ourselves with the Fifth Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Kill.” Most people in society agree with this commandment, but for some reason we continue to wage war with the media and the modern zeitgeist that continues to sanction one of the greatest persisting holocausts of human history. And make no mistake, abortion is a holocaust. 

Before you continue reading, I would like to share that I once adhered to a more post-modern secular mindset: one that not only shoved away tradition and ripped apart family values but one that admittedly had no problem with seeing abortion as a reasonable practice. Today, although I consider myself far more traditional, I must stress that abortion goes so much deeper than political parties, ideologies, nuances, and personality types. Catholicism transcends all of this. So, if one believes in their Catholicism more than their political philosophy or party, they are taking the right route. Seekers of truth get on board, and let us read an excellent excerpt that some may have forgotten and many have never read but faithfully resides in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. … no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.

CCC 2258 

So far, so good, and I expect that people from every political ideology can generally agree with this statement. Of course, I might draw some objections from those who do not believe in God, but even if that may be the case, we must still agree that human life is our bond.

Perhaps some of you are not aware of what is written in the Catechism. To be fair, I must acknowledge that many parish priests are not doing a very thorough job at speaking about this topic. The Catechism then talks about the Fifth Commandment in other ways, and this is where Church teaching seems to lose favor with modern man. 

Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you (Jer 1:5, cf. Job 10:8-12, Ps 22;10-11).”

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth,” (Ps 139:15).

CCC 2270 

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: 

“You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish,” (Didache 2,2: SCh 248, 148, Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320).

“God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes,” (Guadiam et spes 51, 3) 

CCC 2271

As a very social guy who is not afraid to talk to fellow Catholics, I get the feeling that many of my peers have not read much of this before. Some of us simply put our hour a week into Mass and do not feel the need to examine Catholic Social teachings. As a test, I asked ten random Catholics if they knew what the Catholic Church says about abortion in the Catechism, and only 1 of those 10 knew that the Church was against it. I urge all Catholics to trust and have faith that there is a more significant reason God wanted that innocent child to live. Let us now humbly consider and reflect on what God is clearly teaching us: 

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you.

(Jer 1:5) 

7 Responses

    1. Hi Katie.

      You know that’s a very interesting fact. A laptop from a fellow student at Franciscan University had a sticker that said, “You can’t be both pro-life and pro-death penalty.” And I kinda agree with that. I mean I think the death penalty is NOT an intrinsic evil and abortion IS, but at the same time we should not be so determined to kill those who broke the law and were caught, and then say we are for life. Yes, there could be circumstances where the death penalty is allowed in extreme situations, but we should certainly not be advocates for the death penalty the way that some are for gun control/pro-guns etc.

      But honestly, the reason for the huge contradiction that you described is actually a movement, or better said, an ideology. What originally started with economic policies and stuff turned into an ideology against the family and the human person. I learned this in class last semester. Some of the key things of the liberal movement are 1) Unlimited sexuality; we are meant to be free, so there should be no laws whatsoever in the way of doing whatever we please, and if anyone tries to tell us otherwise, they should be prosecuted. 2) Globalization; All nations are equal. 3) The environment is god; we humans are destroying the sacredness of Nature and of the species given to us by Mother Earth.

      Also, because the liberal movement rejects authority for the purpose of license, obviously Christianity, the Ten Commandments and the authority of the Church are very low on the list. You will find some liberals who try to turn Christianity toward their side, but in general nowadays many are simply leaving Christianity altogether.

      However, it’s really important to remember not to go in the other direction either. The whole liberal movement, at its very core is a rejection of Christian moral principles. But at the same time, the focus of our faith is Christ. We are submissive to authority BECAUSE WE LOVE CHRIST, not for the sake of rules. The goal of our faith is the person of Jesus Christ, and everything else falls into that. Because we are in love with Him, we are for life–for the unborn. And we are for the pregnant moms and post-abortion moms, too! Being prolife but totally not caring about the woman is wrong. And as to the death penalty, look at St. John Paul II. He did not say it was an intrinsic evil, but he STRONGLY encouraged against it. And when someone shot him, shot the pope, he went up to the man, embraced him, and completely forgave him and eventually they became friends. The goal: Hate the sin, but love the sinner. This applies to everything: abortion, fornication, homosexual unions–hate the sin, but love the person, remembering that all we do, with every person that we interact with on the street–this will have eternal consequences, either leading them closer to Christ, to love and forgiveness, to Heaven, or to the prince of darkness, the deceiver, the father of lies, who is full of hate, evil, and cunning.

    2. Catholics who support abortion have a misplaced emphasis on the avoidance of suffering. They see a woman who is forced to carry her unwanted pregnancy to term as being a victim. Women told to wait until marriage to have sex “suffer” abstinence. They see the flaws in the justice system and see most people sentenced to death as a victim. They do not see the unborn as a victim because they do not see the child as suffering.

      They justify abortion by saying, “It is the best thing for everyone involved” because abortion shows favorable socioeconomic outcomes that help achieve outcomes championed by Catholic teaching on social justice. It is the typical “the end justifies the means” reasoning. There is a good end, women having more socioeconomic opportunities and less suffering, but the evil means, killing their own children, is seen as a proportionate cost.

      I think if more Catholics learned to embrace suffering, we would have fewer abortion supporters in the Church.

  1. I would recommend those who either support legal abortion or who are blaze about its morality, view one on the dark web. I especially recommend this to our legislators. If the remain with their beliefs, I would urge contacting an exorcist immediately for they are surely minions of perdition.

  2. “It is increasingly apparent that modern Catholics do not adhere to the Magisterium but instead acquiesce to what is dictated by government standards and the various secular powers within society.”

    I believe the author answered his own question in his first sentence. Not only do most Catholics not know what “Magisterium” means in any context, they wouldn’t be convinced they should care what it decrees if they knew.

    Catholics are no longer terrorized by the Church’s supposed power to save or damn a soul. That was the source of the Church’s power, and most no longer believe it to be true. Certainly the constant efforts of the “Trads” to discredit Pope Francis just encourages skepticism about Church authority in general.

    But let’s face it, when young Catholics moved by the millions out of their home parishes in the sixties and seventies, and realized that no one was watching anymore, the parish priest lost his power. Salvation is obtainable through personal “spirituality.” A Catholic heritage is a cool, preferably ethnically interesting (Irish, Italian, Polish) bit of one’s personal culture. But it’s decorative, not defining.

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