For Those Who Claim Church Teaching on Abortion Is of Recent Origin

by Fr Richard Heilman | June 20, 2018 7:48 pm

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “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” (No. 2271).

From earliest times, Christians sharply distinguished themselves from surrounding pagan cultures by rejecting abortion and infanticide.  The earliest widely used documents of Christian teaching and practice after the New Testament in the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) and Letter of Barnabas, condemned both practices, as did early regional and particular Church councils.

In response to those who say this teaching has changed or is of recent origin, here are the facts:

 

For more information:  Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974), nos. 6-7; John R. Connery, S.J., Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (1977); Germain Grisez, Abortion: The Myths, the Realities, and the Arguments (1970), Chapter IV; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, On Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2008); Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (1995), nos. 61-2.

Source URL: https://www.romancatholicman.com/for-those-who-claim-church-teaching-on-abortion-is-of-recent-origin/