Rorate Caeli

A new human being, from conception

Believing in Jesus Christ also means having a new outlook on man, a look of trust and hope. Moreover, experience itself and reason show that the human being is a subject capable of discernment, self-conscious and free, unique and irreplaceable, the summit of all earthly things, that must be recognized in his innate value and always accepted with respect and love. He has the right not to be treated as an object of possession or something to manipulate at will, not to be reduced to a mere instrument for the benefit of others and their interests. The human being is a good in and of himself and his integral development should always be sought. Love for all, if it is sincere, naturally tends to become a preferential attention to the weakest and poorest. In this vein we find the Church's concern for the unborn, the most fragile, the most threatened by the selfishness of adults and the darkening of consciences. The Church continually reiterates what was declared by the Second Vatican Council against abortion and all violations of unborn life: 'from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care'.

... With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary's womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb…there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception.
Benedict XVI
November 27, 2010

14 comments:

wheat4paradise said...

In this vein we find the Church's concern for the unborn, the most fragile, the most threatened by the selfishness of adults and the darkening of consciences.

I appreciate how the Pope doesn't pull any punches here. I also like how calls upon the testimony of science in support of the Church's moral doctrine.

Hugo Mendez said...

Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!

May the angels and saints intercede for him!

May the Immaculata defend him at every turn!

May his reign be long and promise great things for God's Church!

Anonymous said...

Why always citing Vati2 docs? It appears that there is nothing beyond that...

Anonymous said...

Powerful. "Darkening of consciences" was chilling.

Anonymous said...

What is one to do with what the Catechism of the Council of Trent says: "According to the order of nature the rational soul is united to the body only after a certain lapse of time"? (The section on the 3rd article of the Creed.) It doesn't bother me here that the embryology is mistaken but rather that this is in an authoritative catechism. Should one simply regard the catechism as fallible on this point? God bless the Holy Father for stating the matter correctly here.

Tom Piatak said...

Amen!

Jordanes said...

The Roman Catechism is not infallible on each and every point. The opinion it expresses regarding delayed ensoulment was the generally accepted theological opinion and, I believe, the common teaching of the Church, but was never taught infallibly or irreformably. It is based on the infallible teaching that the rational soul is the form of the body. In the past, it was believed that the body was "formless" or "unformed" in its earliest stages of existence, and that therefore the soul could not yet have been infused. (Delayed ensoulment was also based upon how God created Adam -- body first, then "breathing" in the soul after that -- and upon an erroneous Septuagint translation of a passage in Exodus that referred to an "unformed" fetus.) Today, however, we know that the human body is never at any time formless or unformed, but exhibits form from the moment of the fusion of the genetic material of sperm and ovum produces a new human organism (what is normally called conception). Consequently, even though the Church has not defined "soul infused at the formation of pre-embryo" as correct, the old delayed ensoulment opinion has fallen out of favor as logically and philosophically unsupported.

wheat4paradise said...

Why always citing Vati2 docs? It appears that there is nothing beyond that...

Uh ... how about because the most recent Ecumenical Council of the Church reaffirmed the Church's perennial condemnation of abortion?

Why always the same knee-jerk reaction anytime the Pope mentions Vatican II?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a sad and pastoral (if the case) council still weighs more than the perennial teachings on the rich Magisterium of the Church.
Benedict is father of that Council, obviously, and won't miss the chance to align with Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

well... liberal and modernists are happier when a line or two from Vatican II is mentioned. Keep'em happy!

Anonymous said...

Wheat,
It is not knee jerk....not for me. I wonder these same things; there is no reference to the perennial teachings, no buttress of support, no illustration of the hermeneutics continuity.

This is a disservice to Catholics and especially NO Catholics who know nothing but V2 even though this particular area of teaching is in harmony with the Catholic faith.

V2 is divorced from the past, in my thinking. Pope Benedict says this isn't so but he has to show me.

Wheat, with all due respect, after reading your posts these last days, to me you are the knee jerk person. You are becoming the stereotype conservative defending the Pope with blind obedience, perhaps trying to make the Pope into a Trad.

In my opinion you posted better content when you were the other person, prodino... but that is just my opinion.

It seems to me that you need to find your own voice, perhaps a middle ground where you can reason things out using both online personae - that is prodino and wheatforparadise, as it were.

Perhaps this only comes with age and experience.

God Bless you during Advent.
Reader

Anonymous said...

"What is one to do with what the Catechism of the Council of Trent says: "According to the order of nature the rational soul is united to the body only after a certain lapse of time"? (The section on the 3rd article of the Creed.) It doesn't bother me here that the embryology is mistaken but rather that this is in an authoritative catechism."

It seems to me that there is no contradiction here. I cannot quote it exactly from memory, but you should check the encyclical Evangelia Vitae by John Paul II. I seem to remember a statement to the effect that an act against something that could be is morally equivalent to the act against what really is. Thus killing an embryo without a soul would morally be equivalent to killing one with a soul. NO DIFFERENCE HERE THEOLOGICAL OR OTHERWISE. I cannot repeat the arguments because my memory fails me and it is heavy theological stuff (but easy to understand once you hear it). The encyclical mentioned is probably the most powerful one by late Jonh Paul II. Well worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11/29 10:12: Not so sure. To say that "Killing a fertilized egg is tantamount to killing a human being" is in no way different from saying "Killing a fertilized egg is killing a human being" in a way is a homo-ousios vs homoi-ousios sort of question. I am not convinced that there is no difference. (I am convinced that the human identity begins concomitantly with conception, though.) If the two statements are really equivalent, what makes them equivalent?