The Early Church’s Teaching On Abortion:

HINT – Christianity has ALWAYS (until recent times) viewed abortion as murder.

From the Letter to Diognetus: “They marry, as do all others; they beget children but they do not cast away their fetuses.”

From the Didache: “You shall not slay the child by abortions.”

From the Letter of Barnabus: “You shall not destroy your conceptions before they are brought forth; nor kill them after they are born.”

From Clement: “Those who use abortifacients commit homicide.”

From Tertullian: “The mold in the womb may not be destroyed.”

From Basil the Great: “The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. The hair-splitting difference between formed and unformed makes no difference to us.”

From Augustine: “Sometimes their sadistic licentiousness goes so far that they procure poison to produce infertility, and when this is of no avail, they find one means or another to destroy the unborn and flush it from the mother’s womb. For they desire to see their offspring perish before it is alive or, if it has already been granted life, they seek to kill it within the mother’s body before it is born.”

From John Chrysostom: “Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit? Where there are medicines of sterility? Where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well. Indeed, it is something worse than murder and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gifts of God, and fight with His laws? What is a curse you seek as though it were a blessing? Do you make the anteroom of slaughter? Do you teach the women who are given to you for a procreation of offspring to perpetuate killing?”

Canon XCI: “As for women who furnish drugs for the purpose of procuring abortions, and those who take fetus-killing poisons, they are made subject to penalty for murderers.”

Canon II: “A woman who aborts deliberately is liable to trial as a murderess. This is not a precise assertion of some figurative and inexpressible conception that passes current among us. For here there is involved the question of providing for the infants to be born, but also for the woman who has plotted against her own self. For in most cases the women die in the course of such operations, but besides this there is to be noted the fact that the destruction of the embryo constitutes another murder…. It behooves us, however, not to extend their confessions to the extreme limit of death, but to admit them at the end of the moderate period of ten years, without specifying a definite time, but adjusting the cure to the manner of penitence.”

Canon XXI: “Regarding women who become prostitutes and kill their babies, and who make it their business to concoct abortives, the former rule barred them for life from communion, and they are left without resource. But having found a more philanthropic alternative, we have fixed the penalty at ten years, in accordance with the fixed degrees. …”

“As for women who destroy embryos professionally, and those non-prostitutes who give or take poisons with the object of aborting babies and dropping them prematurely, we prescribe the rule that they, by economy, be treated up to five years at most.”

Sins that Children and Teens Should Take Care to Confess

It may seem to us as parents to be obvious, but there are many things which we have the responsibility to properly catechize our children on. One of the most important is the sacrament of reconciliation/confession, for the sake of their immortal souls. This list should serve as a starting point for those of you who wish to ensure that your children remain in a state of Grace. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I would recommend going over it with your children and discussing any related items that they can think of. At the end is an “Examination of Conscience” for children.

  • All use of illegal drugs or alcohol
  • Blasphemy: disrespect toward God or toward His Holy Name
  • Breaking promises deliberately
  • Bringing dishonor to family, school, community or the Church
  • Calumny: Telling lies about others
  • Despair: to believe that God will refuse to forgive you
  • Destruction of other persons’ property
  • Detraction: telling an unkind truth about another
  • Disobedience toward parents/teachers
  • Excessive materialism – Wanting many things for yourself
  • Gluttony: eating or drinking to excess
  • Gossip: talking about others
  • Greed: wanting more and more of a thing, such as money
  • Hatred of others
  • Impure thoughts
  • Indifference to good or evil (not caring if it’s wrong or right)
  • Ingratitude to providers or to God
  • Intentional violation of rules
  • Jealousy of others
  • Laziness or refusal to do what you know should be done
  • Lying to stay out of trouble
  • Malice: the deliberate choice of evil
  • Missing Mass on any Sunday or Holyday
  • Murder: Even thinking about / wanting to kill someone in anger
  • Not giving to the poor and the Church
  • NOT PRAYING EVERYDAY
  • Not reciting grace before and after meals
  • Presumption: sinning and saying God HAS TO forgive me
  • Pride: behaving as if you are better than others
  • Reckless behavior that endangers you or others
  • Rudeness to others
  • Selfishness
  • Sneaking around to do or get what you want
  • Stealing of other persons’ property
  • Superstition: Any dealing with un-Christian spirituality
  • Unjustified anger toward others
  • Using others for your own personal gain
  • Watching or looking at or thinking about inappropriate things


EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR CHILDREN

I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
Do I give time every day to God in prayer?
Do I put my trust in superstitions, good luck charms, rather than God alone?
Have I rejected any Church teaching or denied that I was a Catholic?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I used the words “God” or “Jesus” in anger or irreverently?
Have I used foul or ugly language? Have I wished evil on another?

Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
Have I missed Mass on Sunday or any holy day of obligation?
Do I arrive at church late or leave early?
Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Mass?
Do I avoid unnecessary work on Sunday?
Do I make Sunday a day of prayer or rest?

Honor your father and your mother.
Do I respect and obey my parents?
Have I dishonored or mistreated them by word or deed?
Am I willing to help around the house or must I be nagged a hundred times?
Do I try to get along with my brothers and sisters?
Am I a tattletale or a bully?
Do I give a good example, especially to younger siblings?
Do I respect others in authority: priests, nuns, police, old people, baby-sitters?

You shall not kill.
Do I beat up others or hurt their bodies?
Do I say cruel things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings?
Do I say mean things about others behind their backs?
Have I stopped speaking to anyone?
Do I encourage others to do bad things?
Do I try to love all people, born and unborn?

You shall not commit adultery.
Do I treat my body and other people’s bodies with purity and respect?
Do I look at television shows, movies, or pictures that are bad?
Am I modest in my speech and the clothes I wear?

You shall not steal.
Have I taken things that were not mine from a store or another person?
Have I destroyed or misused another person’s property for fun?
Do I return things that I borrow? In good condition?

You shall not commit false witness against your neighbor.
Am I honest in my school work?
Do I tell lies to make myself look good?
Do I tell lies to protect myself from punishment?
Do I tell lies that make another person look bad or get them in trouble?

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Do I allow my parents to spend time with one another, or do I get jealous and want them to pay attention only to me?
Do I get mad when I have to share my friends?
Are there kids I will not play with or be mean to because they look different?

You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Am I jealous or envious of the things or abilities that others have?
Am I thankful to God and my parents for what they have given me?
Do I share the things I have with my family, friends and poor people?