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The Catholic Church not only opposes abortion but strongly opposes the conditions that lead to the need for abortion: discrimination against women in the workplace, poverty, lack of adequate health care and child care. The church cannot take a stand against abortion unless it is also willing to take a stand against the conditions that lead to it.br> Moreover, the book says, “The arguments used by the church [against abortion] are not religious ones at all. There is no appeal to faith or the commandments or to Jesus.” So the commandment not to kill has nothing to do with abortion. The Compendium of the Catholic Church, in question 470 — “What is Forbidden by the fifth commandment?” — says differently. Forbidden is murder or cooperation in it, euthanasia, suicide — and “direct abortion, willed as an end or as means, as well as cooperation in it. Attached to this sin is the penalty of excommunication because, from the moment of his or her conception, the human being must be absolutely respected and protected in his integrity.”
So at long last, the fog of forty years of obfuscation may be lifting — that is, if the liberals agree to teach what the church teaches. I won’t hold my breath. If the orthodoxy of the new Compendium doesn’t drive them away, the prayer pages will — the prayers are not only in English, but Latin.
Mark Gauvreau Judge is the author of God and Man at Georgetown Prep: How I Became a Catholic Despite 20 Years of Catholic Schooling (Crossroad, 2005) and Damn Senators: My Grandfather and the Story of Washington’s Only World Series Championship (Encounter, 2003).
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