Live Mike
6652
What sort of things might a false prophet (false teacher) say? Perhaps something like this, “I do not say a person, because this is debated"

Pope Francis just said he won’t comment on unborn children as ‘persons’ - LifeSite

Mon Nov 28, 2022 - 9:18 pm EST (LifeSiteNews)…
Live Mike
The real point of emphasis here is for us to remember that this kind of confusion can be used by the forces promoting death to continue the confusion. “See? Even Catholics do not know when a fetus is truly a person.”
Even though this is an obvious red herring argument, I believe that the antidote is a clear presentation of the truth as presented by none other than Horton the elephant. “A person …More
The real point of emphasis here is for us to remember that this kind of confusion can be used by the forces promoting death to continue the confusion. “See? Even Catholics do not know when a fetus is truly a person.”
Even though this is an obvious red herring argument, I believe that the antidote is a clear presentation of the truth as presented by none other than Horton the elephant. “A person is a person, no matter how small.” Yes, from the moment of conception.
Does anybody agree with me that it is time to put these lame “ensoulment” arguments to rest? Forever?
Now, I should say here that it is true, the Church has not yet infallibly spoken on the matter of “ensoulment” at the moment of fertilization. But that does not mean Catholics are free to speculate either. The Church does teach, at the very least at the level of the Ordinary Magisterium, that “ensoulment” occurs at the moment of conception. There is no human being without a human soul. And there is no human soul joined to a body that is not a human person.

Thus, as the instruction from the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Donum Vitae (I., 1), which I will quote in a moment, makes very clear, at the moment of conception, or the moment of a human being’s existence at conception, he possesses and is a body/soul composite and should, therefore, be treated as a human person. Of course this is true because without a soul you don’t have a human being. And, according to the infallible teaching of the Council of Vienne of 1312 (Decrees, 1), it is the soul that is the “form of the body,” or that which makes the body a living human body and along with the body makes the person a living human person. From the moment of conception, then, there exists a human person with all of the essential rights—especially the right to life, I might add—that are afforded to all human persons. In fact, Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Vitae (para. 60), says very clearly:

Some people try to justify abortion by claiming that the result of conception, at least up to a certain number of days, cannot yet be considered a personal human life. But in fact, “from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers clear confirmation…”
More recently, in what is considered to be a follow-up to the Instruction of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Donum vitae – promulgated of Feb. 22, 1987 – we have Dignitas Personae – On Certain Bioethical Questions – promulgated Sept. 8, 2008. In this document the Church made an even clearer statement with regard to the personhood of an embryo from the moment of conception. It begins by quoting Donum vitae, using it as its foundational principle and then it makes the conclusion that from the moment of conception the embryo possesses “the dignity of a person.” That means it’s a person folks! This is not just to say the embryo should be treated like a person, or even that the embryo is merely a human being; rather, it is a person. I will begin in section 4:

It is important to recall the fundamental ethical criterion expressed in the Instruction Donum vitae in order to evaluate all moral questions which relate to procedures involving the human embryo: “[quoting Donum vitae I, 1] Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from the same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.”

5. This ethical principle, which reason is capable of recognizing as true and in conformity with the natural law, should be the basis for all legislation in this area. In fact, it presupposes a truth of an ontological character-, as Donum vitae demonstrated from solid scientific evidence, regarding the continuity in development of a human being.
If Donum vitae… did not define the embryo as a person, it nonetheless did indicate that there is an intrinsic connection between the ontological dimension and the specific value of every human life. Although the presence of the spiritual soul cannot be observed experimentally, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo give [quoting Donum vitae I, 1 again] “a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?”
(Now the document makes a new and more definite conclusion, when it says) Indeed, the reality of the human being for the entire span of life, both before and after birth, does not allow us to posit either a change in nature or a gradation in moral value, since it possesses full anthropological and ethical status. The human embryo has, therefore, from the very beginning, the dignity proper to a person.

What Do We Conclude?
The reason why it drives me crazy when I hear well-meaning and Catholic pro-lifers say one could “kill” a “pre-ensouled human,” depriving “him” of the possibility of eternal life, is that scenario is impossible from a Catholic perspective. If there is a truly “human” life to be “killed,” there is a hylomorphic, or “body/soul” composite, human person that will be killed.
1. There can be no “pre-ensouled” human being. You don’t have a human body, a human being, or a human person without a soul. If he’s alive and human, “he” is a human being and a human person. As Pope St. John Paul II said, “It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers clear confirmation…” (EV, 60)
2. From the moment there is human life, then, at the moment of conception, there is a human soul, a human being, and a human person.
3. Though the Church has not stated infallibly the newly fertilized ovum “is a human person,” the Church has stated it must be “respected and treated as a person,” it “demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality,” and it possesses “the dignity of a person.”
4. Not only is the necessary conclusion to all of this that the human being that comes into being at the moment of conception is a human person, but this is the teaching of the Church. The idea of a “pre-ensouled” human at the moment of conception “becoming” a human person at some later time is contrary to Catholic teaching.
In the final analysis, I guess Horton really does have it right: “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
A Person From the Moment of Conception
Live Mike
22 February 1987 — The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception;
vatican.va/…cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html
occasnltrvlr
@Live Mike Dear Live Mike, I think you are actually illustrating the essence of my point.
I personally don't think there is any question whatsoever about the personhood of the conceived embryo. To me, it's kind of a "duh".
But the staunch abortionist (i.e., the strawman I'm setting up here) does believe it is a legitimate question, and argues that the protection of law applies to a person, but …More
@Live Mike Dear Live Mike, I think you are actually illustrating the essence of my point.

I personally don't think there is any question whatsoever about the personhood of the conceived embryo. To me, it's kind of a "duh".

But the staunch abortionist (i.e., the strawman I'm setting up here) does believe it is a legitimate question, and argues that the protection of law applies to a person, but not to a clump of cells that may or may not "become" a person.

Then, in arguing against the murder of the unborn, it makes sense to intentionally sidestep (not concede) the entire issue of personhood, because then the support upon which the abortionist's argument rests disappears altogether.

In sum, insisting upon personhood from conception (even though it is the truth) actually fuels the abortionists' argument. I can then readily understand why it makes sense to remove that fuel in public discourse. [To the abortionist]: "I'll never convince you that it's really a 'person', but I'll never concede the truth that it has a soul from the instant of conception."

Now, is that what Mr. Bergoglio is thinking? This, I would never try to defend.
Live Mike
occasnltrvlr
I am not a fan of the fellow sitting as Pope Francis, but this is one instance where I think he may be using great caution to be precise, and not necessarily for a negative purpose.
He isn't denying that there is a soul from the moment of conception. What he is doing is choosing to not use the term or "label" of "person".
He may be doing this because that is a specific argument of abortionists, …More
I am not a fan of the fellow sitting as Pope Francis, but this is one instance where I think he may be using great caution to be precise, and not necessarily for a negative purpose.

He isn't denying that there is a soul from the moment of conception. What he is doing is choosing to not use the term or "label" of "person".

He may be doing this because that is a specific argument of abortionists, that "personhood" doesn't actually exist until some subsequent event or time, such as movement, heartbeat, birth, thought, etc. (i.e., personhood is debated). By side-stepping the use of "person" it essentially negates the "it's-not-a-person" argument altogether without ever wading into the "personhood debate" at all, but is not denying the truth of the need for the redemption of the associated soul, and not denying the dignity due to the conceived entity.

Maybe I'm being a little too generous here, and perhaps I'm ignorant of some specific motive or modus operandi here, but I sometimes get the impression that Francis would be accused of heresy for picking his hangnails.
Live Mike
10. Therefore, every human being, beginning at the first instant of conception, is a human person, having both a body and a soul.
11. The first instant of conception is the single cell stage of development.
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the …More
10. Therefore, every human being, beginning at the first instant of conception, is a human person, having both a body and a soul.

11. The first instant of conception is the single cell stage of development.

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life."[20]

Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "The human being must be respected -- as a person -- from the very first instant of his existence."[21]


12. Therefore, from the moment of conception, even when the human being is only a single cell, and at any time from conception to birth, the killing of a human being is the sin of abortion, which is a type of murder. For murder is the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being, and all human beings prior to birth are certainly innocent.

There should be no debate among the faithful about the time of 'ensoulment', or about when a prenatal becomes a human person. The dogmas of the Incarnation and of the Immaculate Conception necessarily imply that, in the very same instant, the body is created, and the soul is created, and body and soul are one. A human being, at any stage of life, in any condition whatsoever, has a body and a soul; every human being with a body and a soul is a human person. The soul in particular is made directly by God, in the image of God. Therefore, human life must be protected from the moment of conception. All prenatal human beings are innocent human persons created by God and in the image of God.
Life Begins at Conception - a Roman Catholic theological argument

Human Personhood Begins at Conception
Peter Kreeft


The Sacredness of Life: An Overview of the Beginning - William E. May

How St. John Paul II used science to argue against abortion