EWTN Catholic Q&A
the consistency of pro life doctrine in the church
Question from carol freeborg on 09-20-2012:

In an argument against the catholic position, I was told that the church wasn't consistent in it's position because 1. Agustine in his writings suggested that the soul enters the body on the 46th day and 2. Aquinas said," as long as the fetus exists in the womb of the mother, it cannot be subject to the operation of the ministers of the Church, as it is not known to man". and 3. We don't baptize unborn babies in danger of miscarriage. How do I answer.

Thanks I am supposed to respond soon.

Answer by Judie Brown on 09-20-2012:

Dear Carol

The information you have been given is wrong. The person telling you these things is simply not informed. Here is the right information.

The Church fathers have been very clear on Catholic teaching on the subject of abortion and when a human being is to be protected from abortion; this teaching goes all the way back to the first Catechism, known as the Didache, which dates back to 100 years after Christ.

Here is an article that explains Augustine, Thomas and others: http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MjQzOQ/

On the subject of baptism for babies in danger of miscarriage or for that matter abortion, the guidelines provided by the Archdiocese of Boston (an example) should be helpful to you. See http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And- Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=12540&pid=464

I hope you have the chance to share the facts with your friend.

Judie Brown