The Church teaches that … human life must be protected absolutely from the moment of conception (fertilization). From the first moment of his (or her) existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. (Catechism, 2270 p 547)
The very fact that we are living a life expresses some semblance of value to that actuality. The universal dread of non-being surely adds emphasis to the reality of our own existence. Reasoning individuals know that they are human. It is a fundamental truth simply reflected in our unique sensibilities.
It’s human to love the good. We have an intrinsic, subliminal memory of the good as observation seeks order, calmness, wholeness and relatedness.
We are never alone, we are of others and others are of us. We are in the class of Mammal, of the genus Homo and of the species Sapiens, which means wise or judicious. We make rational decisions based on our intellectual capacity to understand things “as they are”, hopefully with as little personal bias as possible. We are persons in a completely relational milieu.
True meaning and the meaning of truth is what matters most. Though Absolute Truth is quite beyond our earthly grasp, most know that there is a center which is Truth without fault; a place where all the answers are. It is our Ultimate Other, the ground of all being where no misunderstanding exists.
We are freedom personified, but we are not and have never been our own person – exclusive of all others. We live total relational lives. What we say, what we do or do not do, or even what we think has a kinetic effect. We send out “waves” by our thoughts and our actions which intersect with others; we are not solitary creatures.
Life has a history on earth; there is a physical, biological connectedness from the first chemical reactions out of the “slime” to Homo Sapiens, and for all we know that lineage will continue. There is also an understanding that if anything in the process had been minutely out of order, man would not have appeared. We were logically arranged for; ordered.
The word create, from the Latin creatus, pp of creare “to make, produce”, related to crescere “arise and grow”, pertains to the preexistent, uncreated power whom Jesus called “Father”. The Creator, who most people believe to be the “prime mover” of the philosopher. The initiator of the Big Bang, God.
The Big Bang model is a broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe. While scientists wrestle with pre-bang hypotheses, most of us trust that the Creator is revealed in what has already been created, and miraculously in the person of Jesus Christ. Many, including scientists, see the work of God in all of Nature, especially in man. For this reason we have concluded that we are not solely our own person. The “I” does not exist without the “thou”, nor the “I and thou” without the “we”. Persons are souls – wave and particles at once. A person is meaning in the flesh, even in the earliest stages of life. Not tiny, vacuous dead meat.
We are “involved in mankind” as John Donne put it:
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;” …
A person is a person only as related to it’s source. Prosopon (role) – persona. One cannot know what “person” truly means without fathoming it’s origin. The immediate origin of a person is :
when spermatozoa and ovum combine; life begins! To destroy that life is to destroy the inherent actuality of coming into being. Destroying that reality is, obviously, the destruction of a prenatal person.
Life is not ours to give or to take. The life of a person is not privately owned, not even our own lives. Life appears to be a gift from an Ultimate Source at the beginning.
The “implicit” right to privacy has much more to do with goods and property than with individual freedom to avoid “other”.. Privacy suggests hiddenness, seclusion, concealment or secrecy, but privacy can never be separated from morality. Although a person has a right to be secure against ‘unreasonable searches and seizures” what persons do under the aegis of privacy does not escape prescribed judgment. This is precisely why privacy is not as inviolable as life. The privacy of an act does not give it approval. History has shown, time after time, that a presumed right to privacy has often been used to conceal a fact or crime, or to hide ill will that would collapse upon scrutiny.
Reserving the right of a woman to choose between the life and death of her offspring, for what ever reason, or for no reason except to save her own life, is incredibly bizarre to say the least. What right does the State have to extend to any woman ultimate power over human life? The State receives its power from the consent of those it governs, but it must be admitted, the collective conscience of the polis may be grossly in error. Consensus ought not be the license to permit the premeditated destruction of a prenatal person, or an innocent person having partially or fully emerged from the birth canal. This may be expected in the uncivilized societies of the distant past, but surely not from the genus Homo, and the species Sapiens; the wise and judicious “human race”. We have put ourselves in the place of the Creator, and must have some trepidation with that transferal. We all should be ready to suffer the consequences.
Approximately 42 million souls are deprived of life each year worldwide.
In the United States, 93% of all destroyed prenatal persons are for “social” reasons;
6% for potential health risks; 1% for rape and incest.
Pentecost, The Feast of the Holy Spirit, 2009