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Thou Shall Not Kill I: What the Catholic Church Declares on Abortion

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Part one of a comprehensive compilation of the church's teaching on abortion from the earliest years of Christianity to today

A sacrifice to the false god Molech. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

My people have been a lost flock, their shepherds have caused them to go astray, and have made them wander in the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. (DRV) Jeremiah 50:6
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed; (ASV) Deuteronomy 30:19
Thou shalt not kill. (ASV) Exodus 20:13
Thou shalt not give any of thy seed to be consecrated to the idol Moloch, nor defile the name of thy God: I am the Lord. (DRV) Leviticus 18:21
Thou shalt not do in like manner to the Lord thy God. For they have done to their gods all the abominations which the Lord abhorreth, offering their sons and daughters, and burning them with fire. What I command thee, that only do thou to the Lord: neither add any thing, nor diminish. (DRV) Deuteronomy 12:29–32
The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. (NIV) Genesis 4:10


Good Hath Become Evil, Evil Hath Become Good

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (KJV) Isaiah 5:20

Just as the Father and the Son are joined, bringing about the Holy Spirit, which is the love between them, so too are a husband and a wife joined together to bring about the result of their love, a child.

Whoever denies the unborn child denies the love, blessing, and grace of God.

Before I became Catholic, I was of the belief that abortion was not fully immoral. Of course, there have to be special circumstances where an abortion is called for, I thought.

What if the mother’s life is at risk from complications? What if the child will have defects? What of rape, incest, and all those other apparently common cases we hear about?

Though these cases mentioned are few, only around 1–3% of all cases of pregnancies do these things apply, we so often hear about them because they circumnavigate around the real issue.

These arguments are a distraction.

They withhold and drag efforts of the pro-life, anti-abortion movements from attacking abortion as it truly is: evil.

Abortion is evil in all circumstances.

As we will see from the Early Church Fathers, Scripture, the Magisterium, and the Christian church at large for the first few hundred years of its foundation, abortion was a serious offense, murder, worthy of immediate excommunication from the church.

Code of Canon Law 1398:

“A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

[“Latae Sententiae” refers to an automatic excommunication at the moment a law is broken and sin has been committed against God]

Even after my conversion, I did not immediately realize the abject horror of this culture of death which we find ourselves in. My virtue was still weak; I was still entrenched in the world and blinded by the evil all around me. Evil whispered into my ears and into my eyes was cast illusion.

Though I did not realize it, I was still far away from God. In recollection, this time reminds me of the Orthodox concept of prelest: a state of spiritual deception. Though I believed I fully believed Jesus was God, I still held many erroneous beliefs. Thus, I was living the dilemma of prelest, where one is growing closer to God whilst still growing further away from God.

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity (DRV) Matthew 7:21–23

The man who is closest to God is the man furthest away from God.

When Jesus spoke in agony on the Cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ([NIV]Mt. 27:46),” Jesus, though always fully human, had reached the furthest ends of the human condition. At that moment, a moment to never be surpassed in all eternity, the Son was the furthest away from the Father.

Though Jesus struggled with knowing, the Holy Spirit, the love between the Father and the Son, was, though stretched apart, closest to his heart than ever before.

The Psalm from which Jesus recalls, the twenty-second Psalm, is initially one of despair, a despair that is ultimately redeemed by hope.

(…) O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. (DRV) Psalm 22:1

It is interesting that King David, who wrote this psalm, said: “the words of my sin” are far from his salvation.

In a time of lies, words are imperative. Words can lead to sin. Complicity is a basis for the Sin of Scandal.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2284) states that:

“Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.”

The Inquiry summarizes the gravity of this sin succinctly: “The sin of scandal consists not only in directly advising others to do evil, but also in inducing them indirectly by acts to the commission of sin. Scandal is thus defined by St. Thomas and other theologians: ” Every word or action, more or less inordinate, that constitutes for the neighbor an occasion of falling into sin.” To understand the grievousness of the sin of scandal, it is enough to know, that according to St. Paul he who offends against a brother by leading him into sin, offends against Jesus Christ: When you sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. St Bernard assigns the reason, saying, that the author of scandal robs Jesus Christ of the souls redeemed”

St. Francis de Sales once said: While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal — who allow scandals to destroy faith — are guilty of spiritual suicide.”

Catholics are complicit in abortion if they are not of the stance that it is an absolute evil that is not allowed in any circumstance. Self-proclaimed pro-choice Catholics are walking towards the edge of a cliff. They must repent!

Returning Paganism

It is not only a moral failure of society but a grave disaster of the Church to not take a hard stance against abortion. Any leader, priest, or clergy, who is afraid to speak out, misleads with ambiguous language, or is supportive of abortions, are leading their sheep off a cliff.

How many souls have been damned by the lack of courage to stand against the evils the world encourages?

How can nearly 48% of Catholics today say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases?

Source: Pew Research Center

These progeny would be unrecognizable to their ancestors. Their earliest Catholic ancestors separated themselves from the barbaric culture of the Pagans. The superior morality of the early Christians separated them from the Jews and Greeks.

Jewish Law:

Justin Buzzard, in his essay Abortion & the Early Church, wrote about the Jewish stance on abortion:

“Thus, while the Jews possessed a strong moral opposition to abortion (presumably holding moral outrage at the destruction of even unformed fetuses), they simultaneously evidence a notable degree of legal permissiveness. Jewish law did not ascribe legal rights to the fetus. Consequently, Jews recognized that when a mother’s life was in danger, therapeutic abortions were necessary”:

If a woman was in hard travail, the child must be cut up while it is in the womb and brought out member by member, since the life of the mother has priority over the life of the child; Babylonian Talmud, Niddah

Does this old Jewish law sound any different than the barbarity of modern abortion?

It is reprehensible to murder an innocent life to save another life.

Greek Law:

The question arises whether children should always be reared or may sometimes be exposed to die. There should certainly be a law to prevent the rearing of deformed children…a limit must be placed on the number who are born. If a child is then conceived in excess of the limit so fixed, abortion should be induced before sense and life have begun in the embryo Politics, Aristotle
A woman, I said, at twenty years of age may begin to bear children to the State, and continue to bear them until forty…and we grant all this, accompanying the permission with strict orders to prevent any embryo which may come into being from seeing the light; and if any force a way to the birth, the parents must understand that the offspring of such an union cannot be maintained, and arrange accordingly The Republic, Plato

As we can see, though these “virtuous” Pagans were relatively close to the truths of Christianity compared to other nations, they still held evil as good.

“In concert with the Greeks,” Justin Buzzard writes, “is the ancient Roman view of abortion. Indeed, “That the fetus is not a person was fundamental to Roman law.” Not until the 3rd century, and likely due to the influence of the early church, did the Roman Empire enact forms of legislation against abortion.”

We are not Jews, we are not Greeks, we are not Romans, we are not Pagans, we are Christians. Our moral character should be greater than theirs. Our level of virtue should be greater than the Greeks and Romans could ever achieve because we have Christ, who is the example, the king, the God of virtue.

False Christians

To be pro-choice is to be pro-abortion. Pro-choice advocates commit the Sin of Scandal. They are not rising up to the virtue of Christ, they are falling back down to the level of the old Pagans.

What is Catholics For Choice beside a Pagan temple, espousing false doctrines and encouraging evil?

Perhaps the Mark of the Beast is being verified by Twitter

Perhaps an even greater failure of virtue is that of the Catholic president Joe Biden. Since he is entrusted by God to lead America, he is more culpable for the evil that results from his Sin of Scandal.

A prime example of pro-choice choosing the world over God. Source: Twitter

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (ASV) John 15:18–19

Catholic Church In Boulder, Colorado vandalized

80% of Americans say abortion should sometimes be legal.

Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. (DRV) Matthew 17:13

Abortion supporters demonstrators take part in a Women’s March in Chicago, 2021

I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (KJV) Luke 18:8
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (ESV) 2 Timothy 4:3

“Many of the nation’s largest mainline Protestant denominations — including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Methodists — also support abortion rights, although several of these churches temper this support with the call for some limits on when a woman can terminate her pregnancy,” Pew Research Center states.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (NIV) John 8:44

God said “Thou shall not kill”. He did not say it is okay up until a certain number of weeks. He did not say it was okay if the mother’s life was in danger; or if the unborn child had defects. He did not say it was okay if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. He did not say it was allowed if the mother believed she couldn’t provide for the child, or even worse, didn’t want the child.

God said:

Thou shalt not kill. (ASV) Exodus 20:13

Leaving the Catholic Church because one personally disagrees with its teaching on abortion is akin to rejecting the truth. It is a selfish rejection of the Truth, which is God.

It is hard to live as a Catholic. Protestantism may seem easier, more in line with the beliefs and advancement of modern society. Note: Protestantism does not have set doctrines. The Catholic Church does. God does.

The prevailing Protestantism in America is one of the reasons for this culture of death. The Protestant churches supported contraceptives, birth control, and abortion in the 20th century, conforming not to the Will of God, but to the rising evil of the world. There are not many denominations who call themselves Christians still taking a stand against the world.

Those who support abortion, by involvement or complicity by the Sin of Scandal, think not of God, but of the flesh.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (KJV) Romans 8:5–8

The Horror of Abortion

In 2021 alone, 42.6 million abortions occured worldwide.

In America, there is around an average of about 890,000 abortions per year.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states, summarizing the demographics, that:

“50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25. Women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17% [of them].”

This next statistic from USCCB shows that around half of the women in America who have abortions are using contraceptives, a method of denying life. By this prevalent use of contraceptives, we can see that those who face the immediate consequence of their action of partaking in unordered sex, perhaps outside of marriage or within it, that is not open to life.

"54% of U.S. women who had an abortion in 2000–2001 had used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant."

There is no such thing as consequence-free sex.

The purpose of sex is not pleasure, but to bring about life.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (NIV) Galatians 6:7–8

This culture of abortion and contraceptives both deny the faculty of rightly ordered procreation within marriage. Both are sinful. Both are pillars of this culture of death.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) Romans 6:23
“The Church counters the culture of death with the culture of love.” St. Pope John Paul II

The doctrines of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, can not lead obedient followers to fall into sin. One enters a dangerous realm of death when they venture from the straight path forged by the Church.

America Magazine, speaking of a study done by Pew Research Center on views of contraceptives amongst Catholics said: “This teaching is rejected even among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, who tend to hold views on other social issues that fall more in line with official teaching when compared to the wider Catholic population.”

Guttmacher details the problem further:

“Among all women who are at risk of unintended pregnancy, 69% (including 68% of Catholics) are currently using a highly effective contraceptive method — male or female sterilization, the IUD, the pill or another hormonal method. Another 14% (15% among Catholics) are relying on condoms, and 5% (4% among Catholics) are relying on other methods, such as withdrawal. Only 1% of all women at risk of unintended pregnancy (2% of Catholics) use natural family planning, the only method of contraception sanctioned by the Catholic hierarchy.”

When rightly ordered, when sex is open to life, there is scarcely anything more beautiful. It is a prayer, an act of worship. The sexual embrace, when open to life, is a renewal of the Sacrament of Matrimony, of the wedding vowels.

St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote: “As often as a husband and wife enter into the sexual embrace in a state of grace, they are growing in grace and in glory.”

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (NASV) Genesis 2:24

Disordered sex, on the other hand, is an abomination. The denial of life so commonplace today is a rejection of the Will of God; just as eating food and spitting it out is a rejection of the faculty of hunger.

Contraceptive culture is precedent to abortion culture.

Since the possibility of a child is the result of a love between a husband and a wife, the denial of the possibility of a child is a rejection of that love.

Just as the Father and the Son are joined, bringing about the Holy Spirit, which is the love between them, so too are a husband and a wife joined together to bring about the result of their love, a child.

Whoever denies the possibility of a child denies the love, blessing, and grace of God.

Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is “on the side of life,”151 teaches that “it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life.”152 “This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.


Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man’s eternal destiny.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2366, 2371

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

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2258

Abortion is murder, a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. It is the taking of innocent life. Life begins at the moment of conception.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord Jehovah! behold, I know not how to speak; for I am a child. (ASV) Jeremiah 1:5–7

“The majority of abortions in 2019 took place early in gestation: 92.7% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation,” the Center for Disease Control found.

“With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

“Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women — close to 100 percent — who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy,” CBC states.

It is a mark of evil to genocide the developmentally challenged. It is not done for the “woman’s right to choose”, choose how her child shall be, it is a symptom of the disease a society concurs when it separates itself from God.

For God has the kindest eyes for the weak and looks upon them not as something to kill, but as someone to extend greater love to.

Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (BSB) Matthew 19:13–14

These next couple verses, directly connected to the previous excerpt, show Jesus’ thoughts on abortion, the hindering of children:

Just then a man came up to Jesus and inquired, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?”…Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ (BSB) Matthew 19:16–19

Do not murder the unborn.

Do not commit unlawful sex.

Do not steal life.

Do not bear false witness and claim abortion is sometimes justifiable.

Honor your father and mother who didn’t decide to kill you.

And love the unborn, your neighbor, as you love yourself.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion. Epistle of Barnabas 19.5 (Circa A.D. 70-132)

For mothers who still have not realized the gravity of abortion, look to Our Mother, who was at first afraid upon hearing she was to bear a child.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee. But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.(ASV) Luke 1:26–31

For those who are pregnant or considering an abortion: However much the prospect of a child frightens you, I urge you to remember this — you are not alone. God favors you: “The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!”

And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (ASV) Luke 1:41–42

The unborn child cries out to God the same as the newborn does upon his entrance into the world!

For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother. I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother’s womb thou art my God, Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me. (DRV) Psalm 22:10-11

Love the unborn as you love yourself! Love the unborn as God loves you!

For all the law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (DRV) Galatians 5:14
And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him. There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made. (DRV) Psalm 22:31–32
Let us all hear together the conclusion of the discourse. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is all man: And all things that are done, God will bring into judgment for every error, whether it be good or evil. (DRV) Ecclesiastes 12:13–14

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