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Catholics opposing views on abortion over History - Research Paper Example

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Catholics opposing views on abortion over History

The early Christians were opposed to abortion because it exposed the unborn babies thus making them die. Abortion was condemned with disregarding to what stage of the pregnancy it was carried out in the first three centuries of Christianity. This can be captured in Tertullian writings in 197AD that” it does not matter whether you take away life that is born or destroy one that is coming to birth. In both instances, destruction is murder.” The council of Ancyra (314) is said to have referred to an ancient law that excommunicated women that aborted their children deliberately. (, 2011) The second mention of abortion is in a theological tract known as the Epistle of the pseudo-Barnabas which was written in about 138 and highly regarded by the theologians of Alexandria. The author of this publication treats abortion as corollary to the law of fraternal charity which was in existence. This can be captured in the written statements that, “You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not slay the child by abortion.” (, 2011) Athenagoras who was an Athenian philosopher states in a letter he writes to Marcus Aurelius (177) that “All those who use abortifacients are homicides and they will have to account to God for their abortions as well as the killing of men”. ...
arly church councils established strong precedents in history in relation to matters of abortion which were later ratified and strengthened by the council of Chalcendon in 415 and Consillium Quinisextum in 692. During the early period of foundation of Christianity, there were many writers who condemned abortion as a gravel evil. These include Christians writer like Hippolytus (235), Cyprian (258), St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (375), St Jerome (d. 420), St Augustine(d. 430), Caesarius, the Bishop of Arles(d. 543), and St Martin of Braga(580). The first collection of church laws that were promulgated with the authority of pope for the universal church was The Decretals of Pope Gregory IX in 1324. These laws list one canon that describes a murderer as one who procures an abortion. The decrials emphasized the idea of formed and unformed so as to determine the kind of penalties that applied for this type of crime. From the 13 century and the other succeeding centuries, the council of churches in existence continued to condemn abortion. (, 2011) In 1588, the first papal legislation that was meant to bring into play penal sanction against abortion came into existence and was referred to EFFRAENATAM of Pope Sixtus V who reigned in the period 1585-1590. In 1591, Pope Gregory XIV altered slightly the constitution of Sixtus V so as to apply harsher punishments among those that caused abortion of animated fetus (a fetus whose movement could be felt). In spite of the changes to the constitution, the seriousness of abortion offences were emphasized (Haney, 2008, p 24). Not until in the 18th century when Martin Luther king led a reformation from the Catholic Church, most Catholics were united and accepted the Magisterium authority and condemnation of abortion. In ...Show more


Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Catholics opposing views on abortion over history This study will seek to examine the views of catholic churches in relation to abortion over history. The study will utilize ideas in the past and the present times. The Catholic Church since its foundation has always spoken out against abortion…
Author : aturner
Catholics opposing views on abortion over History essay example
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