Vaccines and Catholic doctrine: Teaching of the Church Fathers on Abortion

Vaccines and Catholic doctrine: Teaching of the Church Fathers on Abortion


Athenagoras
 (A.D. 177–while defending Christians against murder charges): “What reason would we have to commit murder when we say that women who induce abortions are murderers, and will have to give account of it to God? For the same person would not regard the fetus in the womb as a living thing and therefore an object of God’s care [and then kill it].” (A Plea for the Christians, 35.6)Tertullian (A.D. 197–while defending Christianity against charges of child sacrifice): “In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in the seed.” (Apology, 9.6)Clement of Alexandria (A.D.150-215): “But women who resort to some sort of deadly abortion kill not only the embryos but, along with it, all human kindness.” (Paedagogus, 2.10. 96.1.)Basil the Great (374 A.D.): “Moreover, those, too, who give drugs causing abortion are [deliberate murderers] themselves, as well as those receiving the poison which kills the fetus.” (Letter, 188.2)The Didache: “You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn.”The Epistle of Barnabas: “You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn.” (Didache)Apocalypse of Peter (describing a vision of hell): “I saw women who produced children out of wedlock and who procured abortions.”

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