Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pelosiís spokesman responds with more gobbledygook, quotes Augustine again
WDTPRS blog ^ | 8/26/2008 | Fr. Z

Posted on 08/26/2008 6:58:53 PM PDT by Pyro7480

Speaker Pelosi is deep in it now.

I am still looking for a link, but Amy reports that Brendan Daly, Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman issued a statement about her remarks on Meet The Press:

“The Speaker is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren and fully appreciates the sanctity of family. She was raised in a devout Catholic family who often disagreed with her pro-choice views.

“After she was elected to Congress, and the choice issue became more public as she would have to vote on it, she studied the matter more closely. Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)

While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.

“The Speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace.”


She still does not get this, does she.

The teachings of St. Augustine, as esteemed and important as they are for the formulation of the Church’s teachings on many issues, are not equivalent in authority to the Church’s Magisterium.

Let’s put this more simply for Speaker Pelosi and her office:

Madame Speaker, you can’t reduce the Church’s teaching to a 1500 year old sound bite which you don’t understand.

What was Augustine’s understanding of abortion?

Keep in mind that Augustine was working with the scientific knowledge of his day.

I think we can admit that we have progress since the 5th century.

A quick reference is found in the entry by John C. Bauerschmidt, "Abortion", in Augustine Through The Ages: An Encyclopedia, edited by Fr. Alan Fitzgerald, OSA, p. 1.

Abortion Augustine, in common with most other ecclesiastical writers of his period, vigorously condemned the practice of induced abortion. Procreation was one of the goods of marriage; abortion figured as a means, along with drugs which cause sterility, of frustrating this good. It lay along a continuum which included infanticide as an instance of "lustful cruelty" or "cruel lust" (nupt. et conc. 1.15.17). Augustine called the use of means to avoid the birth of a child an "evil work": a reference to either abortion or contraception or both (b. conjug. 5.5).

Augustine accepted the distinction between "formed" and "unformed" fetuses found in the Septuagint version of Exodus 21:22-23. While the Hebrew text provided for compensation in the case of a man striking a woman so as to cause a miscarriage, and for the penalty to be exacted if further harm were done, the Septuagint translated the word "harm" as "form," introducing a distinction between a "formed" and an "unformed" fetus. The mistranslation was rooted in an Aristotelian distinction between the fetus before and after its supposed "vivification" (at forty days for males, ninety days for females). According to the Septuagint, the miscarriage of an unvivified fetus were vivified, the punishment wa a capital one.

Augustine disapproved of the abortion of both the vivified and unvivified fetus, but distinguished between the two. The unvivified fetus died before it lived, while the vivified fetus died before it was born (nupt. et con. 1.15.17). In referring back to Exodus 21:22-23, he observed that the abortion of an unformed fetus was not considered murder, since it could not be said whether the soul was yet present (qu. 2.80).

The question of the resurrection of the fetus also exercised Augustine, and sheds some light on his views on abortion. Here again he referred to the distinction between the formed and unformed fetus. Though he acknowledged that it was possible that the unformed fetus might perish like a seed, it was also possible that, in the resurrection, God would supply all that was lacking in the unformed fetus, just as he would renew all that was defective in an adult. This notion, Augustine remarked, few would dare to deny, though few would venture to affirm it (ench. 33.85). At another point Augustine would neither affirm nor deny whether the aborted fetus would rise again, though it it should be excluded from the number of the dead, he did not see how it could be excluded from the resurrection (civ. Dei 22.12).

Take note that Speaker Pelosi rests her position on Augustine.

But Augustine also thought that males were vivified at 30 days and females at 90 days.

Does Speaker Pelosi like that position too?

Or is she content simply to cherry-pick ancient Patristic sound-bites she does not understand?

TOPICS: Government; Health/Medicine; Politics; Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: abortion; augustine; democrats; nancypelosi; pelosi
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last
A hard-hitting piece in response to a dim press release.
1 posted on 08/26/2008 6:58:54 PM PDT by Pyro7480
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; NYer; Salvation; american colleen; Desdemona; StAthanasiustheGreat; ..

Catholic ping!

2 posted on 08/26/2008 6:59:43 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

So is SanFranNan’s position going to be “who ya gonna believe, me or that lying [choose one:] Bishop / Cardinal / Pope?”

3 posted on 08/26/2008 7:07:12 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Rest In Peace, Capt. Ed "Too Tall" Freeman (1928-2008))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

She has no idea of where she is going. The Church has not defined when ensoulment takes place. (See Declaration on Procured Abortion, footnote on page 4), but that is not the same as saying there is no human life. St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Plato and Aristotle would describe the life as having a human animal soul. The “quickening” part was an understanding of the science/philosphy at the time of when the RATIONAL soul develops and has no pertinence to the question at hand anyway. (In her case, you could argue the rational soul still hasn’t developed.) Most abortions occur after quickening, and Roe allows abortion for all nine months.

When St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas suggest not having a civil penalty for an early abortion, that might be related to the fact that miscariages often happen early on with no intent, and there’d be no way to sort the whole thing out.

4 posted on 08/26/2008 7:12:40 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
Hey, Madam (apologies to respectable bordello manageresses) Speaker:

When you're in a hole, stop digging!

5 posted on 08/26/2008 7:16:00 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies Auxiliary (recess appointment))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

So what if the speaker has 5 kids. That doesn’t tell us if she ever aborted any. Just saying she has 5 kids, like that makes her a “good” Catholic doesn’t prove anything.

6 posted on 08/26/2008 7:21:08 PM PDT by basil (Support the Second Amendment-buy another gun today!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
Odd that so much of Augustine's reasoning was based on a mistranslated word in the Septuagint.

St. Jerome avoided the error, presumably because he was translating directly from the Hebrew text.

The Vulgate of Exodus 21.22-23 reads:

22. si rixati fuerint viri et percusserit quis mulierem praegnantem et abortivum quidem fecerit set ipsa vixerit subiacebit damno quantum expetierit maritus mulieris et arbitri iudicarint.

23. sin autem mors eius fuerit subsecuta reddet animam pro anima.

The Douay translation reads:

22. If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child and she miscarry indeed, but live herself he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman's husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award. 23. But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life.

7 posted on 08/26/2008 7:32:23 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus
The 14th word in Ex. 21.22 in Latin should have been sed, not set.
8 posted on 08/26/2008 7:33:59 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

LOL! She really stepped in it this time.

9 posted on 08/26/2008 7:37:32 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana

In Luke 1, shortly after the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and she agrees to be the mother of Jesus, she visits her kinswoman Elizabeth. When Elizabeth greets Mary, she says “blessed is the fruit of your womb” and calls her “the mother of my Lord.” Luke must have assumed that ensoulment took place at conception—the visit to Elizabeth seems to have taken place immediately after the annunciation (since Elizabeth was in her 6th month, and Mary stays with her about 3 months but leaves before the birth of John the Baptist).

10 posted on 08/26/2008 7:39:29 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
Nice to see that Nancy Pelosi has established St. Augustine as the foundation of her work as a Catholic public servant. Using the logic of this great Father of the Church, and the practical applied logic of another great European thinker, Vladimir Putin, regarding moral equivalence in Kosovo and South Ossetia, we can now enforce her line of Augustian reasoning to its logical extent.

For instance, here is another one of Augustine's gems, which Pelosi is now obligated to support:

15. Can it ever, at any time or place, be unrighteous for a man to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind; and his neighbor as himself? [74] Similarly, offenses against nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and should be punished. Such offenses, for example, were those of the Sodomites; and, even if all nations should commit them, they would all be judged guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which has not made men so that they should ever abuse one another in that way. For the fellowship that should be between God and us is violated whenever that nature of which he is the author is polluted by perverted lust.

- Confessions, 3:8:15

11 posted on 08/26/2008 7:39:35 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
Pelosi was born in 1940 and was 32 years old when Roe vs. Wade was handed down. I really doubt that when she was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s she argued with members of her family in support of abortion on demand, the position now called "pro-choice."
12 posted on 08/26/2008 7:41:54 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vince Ferrer

Love it! Had forgotten that passage. Danke sehr

13 posted on 08/26/2008 7:55:15 PM PDT by RobbyS (Ecce homo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

Where’s Laura Ingraham? She can’t stand it when Pelosi goes off on her mother/grandmother rants... “I’m a mother and a grandmother”... How many times are we going to hear that?

14 posted on 08/26/2008 8:12:34 PM PDT by Krista33
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480

LOL. She keeps getting better and better. I wish the Pope would fly over here and smack her with his fist.

15 posted on 08/26/2008 8:23:19 PM PDT by RedRedRose
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobbyS
Both Nancy and Augustine are against birth control as well:

It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin. For although propagation of offspring is not the motive of the intercourse, there is still no attempt to prevent such propagation, either by wrong desire or evil appliance. They who resort to these, although called by the name of spouses, are really not such; they retain no vestige of true matrimony, but pretend the honourable designation as a cloak for criminal conduct. Having also proceeded so far, they are betrayed into exposing their children, which are born against their will. They hate to nourish and retain those whom they were afraid they would beget. This infliction of cruelty on their offspring so reluctantly begotten, unmasks the sin which they had practised in darkness, and drags it clearly into the light of day. The open cruelty reproves the concealed sin. Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or, if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born. Well, if both parties alike are so flagitious, they are not husband and wife; and if such were their character from the beginning, they have not come together by wedlock but by debauchery. But if the two are not alike in such sin, I boldly declare either that the woman is, so to say, the husband's harlot; or the man the wife's adulterer.

- On Marriage and Concupiscence (Book I) Chapter 17

16 posted on 08/26/2008 8:31:59 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480
"for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’"

This is preposterous. It was based on ancient, outdated theories of the nature of the soul and mind, of ensoulment. If she really believes that, then obviously she would want Augustine and other dead western males studied in schools, but she doesn't. And they don't. Does she realize that women were also considered the property of men in ancient times? That slavery was permitted? That the state could murder live, adult human beings by crucifixion?

The sanctity of human life is not based on "sentience" or "quickening" in Catholic ethics. Even pagans in antiquity opposed abortion. It was prohibited the Hippocratic oath. That they did not know anything about embryos and did not have Ultrasound then seems to have escaped her notice.

17 posted on 08/26/2008 9:19:24 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus
... really doubt that when she was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s she argued with members of her family in support of abortion on demand...

Maybe, maybe not.

Keep in mind that abortion on demand did not begin with Roe. It was legal in some States and in the District of Columbia years before Roe. We certainly did discuss the issue in Catholic High School in the late 1960's. At that very time, as a matter of fact, there was a lot of reference to the 30/90 day fetal question. The claim that the early Church was "flexible" on this issue has been a talking point among confused Catholics for a long time. I was glad to see it brought up by Stretch Pelosi: it should've been smacked down publicly and authoritatively a long time ago.

18 posted on 08/26/2008 11:20:01 PM PDT by FredZarguna (Now where is the bishop of the archdiocese of San Francisco?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus
Luke must have assumed that ensoulment took place at conception

Our Lord's conception and birth is different than other men's in many ways (1. His Divine Nature pre-existed His conception. 2. He had no Original Sin. 3. His conception was through the work of the Holy Ghost). I would not be willing to make a universal statement about all men's conception based on His.

The ensoulment question is tricky. To give but one example, identical twins are formed after a single fertilized ovum splits in two. If ensoulment took place at initial conception (fertilization), what happened to that soul? Did it "stick" with one of the new twins? It can't have been annihilated. I don't see how it could be divisible (despite some of the marvels that identical twins can perform). The church simply hasn't ruled on these things.

Some like to define conception as implantation (this also reduces the number of murders caused by IUDs and low-estrogen birth control pills). That seems to be the weasel's way out.
19 posted on 08/27/2008 4:03:37 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Marie Antoinette

Follow-up Ping! The slapdown part II.

20 posted on 08/27/2008 4:38:13 AM PDT by Big Giant Head (I should change my tagline to "Big Giant penguin on my Head")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson