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He keeps going

That Brazilian Archbishop I knuckleheaded should quit while he's behind-

"They took the life of an innocent," Sobrinho told TIME in a telephone interview.
The doctors and the mother of the pregnant girl took the life of the twins. Exactly how innocent were those twins? Aren't we all born into original sin?

Why I ask this, is because of what the Bishop says next

"Abortion is much more serious than killing an adult. An adult may or may not be an innocent, but an unborn child is most definitely innocent. Taking that life cannot be ignored."
Why should the taking of any life be ignored. If the doctrine of original sin is true, the babies aren't innocent just like adults who get murdered. Someone out there explain to me why I shouldn't think this holy man has lost his marbles? Isn't all life sacred or is some more sacred than others? If a unborn baby is innocent, why have there been theologians dating back to St. Augustine who proposed unbaptized children who died didn't go to heaven but instead go to limbo? If they're innocent, they should go to be with God. Aborted babies weren't baptized, and those who commit that act can be excommuicated for taking their lives. It would seem to reason the babies get entry to heaven, right?


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Comments (14)

Okay Bill - here's a story ... (Below threshold)

Okay Bill - here's a story from my long-ago days (and I do MEAN long ago) in Catholic high school, wherein our 4th year religion teacher (a rather wizened old biddy) boldly stated one day in class that if an "ordinary person" and a nun died at the exact same instant, the nun would achieve heaven ahead of the ordinary person because "look what the nun gave up" whereupon, pious creature that I have always been, I fell off my chair laughing quite boisterously (and bringing the whole class along for the ride, I might add). Got sent to the principal's office (hardly an uncommon trip) whereupon I was asked to explain the source of my laughter. I explained, quite logically I think, that in fact, never having achieved (or apparently desired) sexual congress, it was no big deal for a nun to give it up, whereas us ordinary folk, having it around every corner, might find temptation a bit daunting! To my astonishment, the principal almost smiled and send me back to class with an admonition to "not hurt sister's feelings so often". Which of course, because she was basically a naif, none of us in that class were able to avoid. The class was comprised of the entire student government, staff and management of the school paper and the whole debate team! What were the odds of that nun's survival? Zero!

I would have treated this bumbling bishop pretty much the same way I treated that hapless nun - and I'm not even sure I should be proud of that - but that's who I am! Irreverent at the drop of a hat! The babies go to limbo (not the dance, the place) and you're correct, they aren't innocent in one sense of the word, although they are innocent in another. The important concept is that they are a LIVING human being, hence the sin of murder has been committed (twice).

Original sin is not the sam... (Below threshold)

Original sin is not the same thing as personal sin. It is inherited and does not imply personal guilt, as other sins do.

If you'd bother to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Bill, you'd have more credibility when "knuckleheading" Catholics.

Of course, the Catechism being so difficult to find, I'll provide you the courtesy of a link:


It's best read without the sneer though.

Teflon,So you agre... (Below threshold)


So you agree with the Archbishop that some (unborn) lives are more important than others ?

Limbo is a temporary state.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Limbo is a temporary state.


Original sin is no fault of anyone (unless you count Adam and Eve).

Unborns are innocent in that they have committed no sin on their own.

Yeah, but until they're abs... (Below threshold)

Yeah, but until they're absolved of original sin through baptism, they are not innocent full stop. They supposedly bear some sort of shared guilt, which is utter nonsense.

If you want to view unborn babies as persons--and there are very good reasons to do so--then Catholicism actually commits you to a very perverted conception of humanity; namely, that humans are born with inherent flaws, which can only be addressed through baptism. That is obviously not true, and it's f*cked up to tell people otherwise.

What would it take for people to stop defending this *sshole and the Church hierarchy in general? And what would it take for you, Bill, to act upon your obvious loathing for this organization and to advocate openly for its dissolution? Does your wife's faith provide that much of a counterbalance to your reasons for categorically rejecting the Church as a legitimate moral enterprise?

You don't have to reject belief in God to see that the Catholic Church is run by a fundamentally immoral pack of dogmatic vampires that don't give a whit for the Earthly well-being of their membership.

You don't have to ... (Below threshold)
You don't have to reject belief in God to see that the Catholic Church is run by a fundamentally immoral pack of dogmatic vampires that don't give a whit for the Earthly well-being of their membership.

Which could also be applied to the Falwell family, Pat Robertson, and that annoying Joel Osteen

Doesn't that kind of go wit... (Below threshold)

Doesn't that kind of go without saying, Doug? :)

Hyper"If you want ... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"If you want to view unborn babies as persons--and there are very good reasons to do so"

You say this and yet you fully support abortion. Congratulations, Hitler would be so proud.

Your hatred of the Catholic Church is clear. Yet you dont mention other religions, Islam, Methodist, Buddhism, etc

You have made it clear you have an axe to grind with the Catholic Church.

I don't see what the proble... (Below threshold)

I don't see what the problem is.

Is the problem with some perceived hypocrisy in the Catholic Church (Of which I am not a member) or is the problem with those who believe babies are innocent but adults who have been convicted of crimes are not?

Nope, I agree with the Cath... (Below threshold)

Nope, I agree with the Catholic Church that life is sacred and one cannot countenance murder.

The archbishop's point was that even if you believe in the death penalty for the guilty it is clearly inapplicable for the unborn, who have committed no crime other than being an inconvenience.

Bill conflates original sin---a heritable trait one cannot help but have, unless you happen to be the Messiah or his mother---with mortal or venial sin, committed by one's free will. The archbishop was quite correct in making the distinction---the unborn are innocent of personal sin, we all have original sin. Bill was wrong.

This is an issue of what the Church teaches. Bill has his own reasons for despising the Church, but that does not give him license to misstate the teachings of the Church, much less to accuse an archbishop of being unfaithful to it in the defense of the unborn.

The Church has opposed abortion from the beginning. Look up the Didache, which dates from the 1st century of the Church, and you'll find a stark prohibition against abortion.

But don't take the archbishop's word for it, take St Paul's, articulated in Romans 9:

1: I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2: That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3: For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5: Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9: For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
10: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Note verse 11---the unborn children haven't had a chance to do good or ill. So how are they worthy of the death penalty?

This is the archbishop's point, one worth considering.

And since some of those fol... (Below threshold)

And since some of those following the thread may not bother to look up the Catechism on original sin, I'll buttress my and the archbishop's point contra Bill's by quoting the relevant paragraph:

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

This is to be contrasted with other types of sin, for which we are fully culpable:

1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.

1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.

Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.

1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."134

Mortal sin requires the sacrament of penance and reconcilitation---aka Confession. Venial sins we confess each Mass.

The Catholic Church does not treat all types of sin as equal by any means. But then, neither does God.

Bill,The logic you a... (Below threshold)

The logic you are trying to use falls apart on its self and seems contradictory and at first glance a little crazy. Are you trying to imply that an unborn baby CANNOT be considered innocent of all things? Or are you trying to say that since the Catholic Church holds original sin to exist it must therefore advocate abortions because the 'little bastards had it coming to them'?
You say that the death of an adult should be no different than that of an unborn and that all life is sacred. But what if that adult is Ted Bundy? Or what if it is a person who selflessly helped others their entire life? Should we say that Ted Bundy's life is just as sacred as anybody else's? But the important thing is that each and every adult has had their chance to make choices for good or for evil. An aborted baby never gets that chance.
You say that an unborn baby has original sin and thus cannot be innocent in the eyes of the Church. But under that logic if one is concerned for that salvation of souls they should be even more against abortion as an aborted baby does not have the chance to be babtized and remove that original sin.
In the end an aborted baby is a soul that had no chance to prove its worth in the world or embrace life because of the (usually) selfish actions of another.

Perhaps you should recuse y... (Below threshold)

Perhaps you should recuse yourself from commenting on any catholic-based stories

in general: since one cann... (Below threshold)

in general: since one cannot 'know' in the absolute sense, it only makes sense for one to err on the side of life (even if - especially if - one rejects religion-based prohibitions)

i would gladly trade capital punishment for an end to abortion.






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