Life is the most beautiful gift God can give us. It is under these topics that the world is scandalized by what the church teaches. Nearly every controversy, no matter how technical the questions may be, is based on whether or not we are going to trust in Jesus. The world chooses against life because of fear. The Church chooses life because of her hope. It is well known that when we choose something in the state of high emotions, such as a crises pregnancy for example, we usually choose the wrong thing. The people who sell abortions want people to choose in the high emotion of fear and despair. If they do not achieve this, the sale is much more difficult. Choose hope. Choose life. Choose a clear conscience.
There are many different questions one may have about life in its many aspects. Here is a basic list of the topics that are broken down: Abortion, Euthanasia, Theology of the Body, Marriage, Chastity, NFP, Contraception, Pornography, Homosexuality, In-Vitro, Amniocenteses, Stem Cell Research, Organ Donation, Capitol Punishment, Church and State, Voting, and Politics. These short answers are not meant to be comprehensive. Therefore, They may cause more questions. After each very brief explanation, there are some links that can explain more fully if you so desire that.
The Church condemns this as a mortal sin. The Church acknowledges that life begins at the traditional time of conception and therefore the object in the womb is in fact a human baby. Because it is in fact a human baby in the womb, to procure an abortion would end the life of the innocent baby. The church declares that this is offensive to God.
The Church condemns Euthanasia as a mortal sin. It is the taking of a life where God has given it. It is driven by the thought of having a superior race, like that of the Nazi Regime. Since that ideology has come out, people have tried to exploit others in difficult situations to get them to “choose death”. It tears down the dignity of the human person by placing undue importance on ideas of false humility, self image, and low self worth.
Theology of the Body
The Church tries to encourage the faithful to learn as much as possible about this teaching. John Paul II systematized this teaching in his Wednesday audiences from 1979-1981. He taught about how we were created as male and female in a new way. Many people have taken what he taught and made it much easier to understand at the level of children, teens, adults and theology majors.
The Church teaches that marriage was instituted by God. It was not something human beings made up for convenience or merely for survival. Marriage is for the good of having children as God has made us to have children. Marriage is for one man and one woman who have not given themselves in marriage yet. Marriage is for life.
Chastity is the greatest gift one can give their spouse. It respects the dignity of the spouse and teaches self control. This self control allows the couple to truly love each other as God is love. It allows the couple the be physically intimate, yet pure of heart.
NFP (Natural Family Planning)
NFP is a natural way to space the births of children if a couple is called to do so. It allows God to enter into the marital act and respects the dignity of the spouse. There are times when the couple needs to be chaste to avoid pregnancy and there will be times to know when to get pregnant when trying. This respects God’s design and promotes love of the spouse. Click here to get more information.
Contraception is condemned as a sin by the Church. The marital act as God designed it; is to communicate God’s love to each other. Therefore, it is holy and powerful. Contraception takes God the creator out of the marital act and therefore takes love out of the act, because God is love. Thus it turns into an act of lust. It teaches the couple to look at each other as objects to be used and therefore many times causes the marriage to end in divorce.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials. (CCC # 2354)
For those need healing from this addiction, click here to visit Reclaim’s website.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (CCC#2357)
It is a disorder and is something they suffer from and are deserving of our support to overcome this unfortunate cross. In Her love for them, Mother church offers help for those who no longer wish to live this lifestyle in meetings of Courage and Encourage for those who are friends of these people. Please visit Courage’s Website here.
The Church teaches this as an immoral act. This does not mean that the child conceived is an evil. Rather, all life is good, no matter how the child came to be and Jesus loves them very much. There are a couple reasons why mother church teaches what it does on this. First, it twists procreation as God designed it into something that was not meant to be. It also comes from a view where the parents view the child as an object, rather than a gift from God. The parents pay for the in-vitro to get the child. This may or may not be the thought of the parents; nonetheless, it is what is happening.
The Church does not condemn amniocenteses. However, we do have to ask why we want this. The church believes that we should accept the child God gave us unconditionally. Some people want to know to prepare for difficulties, and this can be good. But if parents are thinking they will abort if they do not approve of the baby, this is very bad and is based on the idea of a “pure race” that euthanasia would promote.
Stem Cell Research
The Church does not condemn “adult stem cell research” but does condemn “embryonic stem cell research”. This is because embryonic stem cell research requires the death of an embryo to do the research. This embryo is in fact a human being and deserves the protection of the government to defend its life like any other citizen or person. The Church views stem cell research as good and beneficial to society, but is careful about the means by which science does its research.
Cloning is condemned by the Church. It goes directly against the dignity of human beings. It attempts (falsely) to make man the creator. The intention for some cloning is to produce parts for the DNA donor.
The Church teaches that organ donation is generally good. However, caution must be taken as to how it is done. Certain organs demand that the person be suspended to live while the organ is taken out and therefore dies. There are arguments about brain death or pulmonary death. The church waits for scientists come to more conclusions before making further decision. How we define death may change in the future. The important thing is that the organ is taken out which would cause the death of the donor.
Capital Punishment is not out rightly condemned by the Church. It is meant for the protection of the society, not to get back at somebody that did a very bad thing. For this reason, it is really not “punishment”. We leave that to God. The legitimate use of Capital Punishment is when, even in jail, the person is still a danger to society, where the person can still do harm. John Paul II noted that since we have the technology today to protect citizens by putting people in jail; we no longer need Capital Punishment. This is why the Church prefers not to have it. As a Catholic, we can argue from both sides, but we need to understand the basics of what the church teaches on this subject. (Click here to get more information on the his subject)
Church and State
The Church does not believe that the separation of Church and State is absolute. Just by the fact that citizens who attend church live in a state show that there is a relationship between the two. The Church has an obligation to be the moral compass within the state. The Citizens who hold office in the state keeps these things in mind while governing. The Church does not directly tell the state what to do. In turn, the state has an obligation to protect the citizens and therefore the churches within that state. Freedom of religion must be protected by the government. The state serves the people, not the people serve the state.
We have a responsibility to vote for those who uphold God’s way. Economics is negotiable, but morals are not. If a candidate believes that the taking of an innocent human life is good, then we have an obligation not to vote for that person. We would not vote for a candidate if they admitted they thought terrorism was great. That would disqualify them automatically no matter how they stood on other issues. So it is with candidates who support abortion, since it is in fact the taking of an innocent life.
The Church tries to educate the politicians on moral issues and let them absorb these realities and let them make the decisions. The church does not endorse one partisan over another; though she has condemned communism.