UNBORN WORD of the day

‘When does human life begin?’: Apparently above Nancy Pelosi’s pay grade too!
August 25, 2008, 11:49 pm
Filed under: Pro-life

During the Meet the Press interview on August 24, Nancy Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

For the entire transcript click here.

Denver’s Archbishop Chaput and the Auxilary Bishop James D. Conley issued a statement this morning refuting Nancy Pelosi’s terrible lie. Below is their statement –


To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the “separation of Church and state.” But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a “political” issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them. Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue “for a long time,” she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery’s Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here’s how Connery concludes his study:

“The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion.”

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended tocreate a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or “ensouled.” But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide.

In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong. Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today’s religious alibis for abortion and a so-called “right to choose” are nothing more than that – alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief. Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it – whether they’re famous or not – fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the “separation of Church and state” does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it’s always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. Archbishop of Denver

+James D. Conley Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

3 Comments so far
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If Nancy keeps playing theologian, my eyes are going to be stuck in the back of my head; her latest foray into theology was a real eye-roller. Thanks for the drink of clear water from Archbishop Chaput and
Bishop Conley.

Comment by S. Moore

Republican’s have given lip-service to ending abortions for 35 yrs. When did McCain decide life started at conception? Not until after he lost the primary to Bush in 2000.

In 1999, McCain did not care about murdering babies

GovWatch 1999: Don’t force women to have illegal operations Top McCain Flip Flops: #4. Roe vs Wade:

Aug 1999, McCain told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would “not support repeal of Roe vs Wade” because it would force women to undergo illegal operations



Dr. Chuck Baldwin 8/22/08

Once again, “pro-life” Christians are doing back flips to try and justify their compromise of the life issue by trying to convince everyone (including themselves) that McCain is truly pro-life. However, these same people know in their hearts that McCain shares no fidelity to the life issue in any significant or meaningful way. Like many in the Republican Party, McCain’s commitment to life is about as deep as a mud puddle

the “pro-life” GOP controlled the entire federal government from 2000 to 2006 and nothing was done to overturn Roe v. Wade or end legal abortion-on-demand? When Bush took the oath of office in January of 2001, over one million innocent unborn babies were being murdered in the wombs of their mothers every year via legal abortions in this country. When Bush leaves office in January of 2009, over one million innocent unborn babies would still be murdered in the wombs of their mothers every year via legal abortions in this country

Had McCain & his fellow Republicans truly wanted to end legal abortion, they could have passed Congressman Ron Paul’s Sanctity of Life Act.

How can McCain, & his fellow Republicans in D.C., look pro-life Christians and conservatives in the eye in 2008 and expect that we take them seriously when they say that they are “pro-life”?

The reason they did not do it is because they did not want to do it. They merely want to use “pro-life” rhetoric as a campaign tool to dupe gullible Christian voters every election year. The disgusting thing about it is–it works

Comment by Jim

To S. Moore,
I almost fell off my chair when Nancy Pelosi rehashed that old argument. I was delighted that Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Conley jumped on it. Happily since then Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Wuerl and the National Catholic Conference of Bishops have all come out condemning her statement.

To Jim,
I am one of those pro-lifers whom you are criticizing. If I thought he could have won I probably would have voted for Mike Huckabee, whose pro-life views most closely mirror my own.

I believe that John McCain is the only Republican candidate who could beat a Democrat at this time. As someone who has been involved in the pro-life movement for many years I do know John McCain’s voting record which while not perfect has been 90% pro-life.

At the March for Life only two of the candidates thought to send pro-life messages to the crowd. One was Ron Paul who showed up and the other was John McCain who had Sam Brownback read his message to those gathered on the Mall.

You can vote for Barak Obama (the most pro-abortion candidate to date and that’s saying a lot) by not voting but you bet I am supporting John McCain and then I will support holding his feet to the fire when he gets elected.

Comment by unbornwordoftheday

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