Let us first quote the "Jesuit":
“Faith has motivated people to be involved in politics,” he said*, noting the abolitionist movement. “At the same time, theologians since Augustine and Thomas Aquinas have argued that all of the moral law should not be enacted as part of civil law. For example, both Augustine and Thomas Aquinas were in favor of legalized prostitution, because they thought it would protect good women from bad men. So each politician has to look at the moral law, look at what’s good for society, and actually also have to look at what’s possible, what can be implemented as part of law.”
A harlot who repents can go to Heaven. An aborted fetus dies without baptism.
Therefore avoiding to abort is a lot more serious than avoiding prostitution.
Abortion has risen considerably due to lowered possibilities of poor and young (as in teenage) mothers to raise children without them being taken away.
In order to make it possible to forbid abortion, it is probably necessary ALSO to restate the dignity of poor and young parents, including the right to marry.
But the question of whether abortion "can" be forbidden is not as simple as whether such a ban would be sufficiently popular. For one thing, in the time of Constantine, perhaps half the Romans were Catholics. The rest presumably accepted abortion. And still, he forbade it. So, presumably, authorities had to do some persuasion in not always totally gentle ways. Burying women alive who had aborted was one way. In our days, too many young girls have been pushed into it, so burying some teachers, parents and perhaps doctors alive would perhaps be more adequate, if the mothers were young - or in other ways in positions to be pushed around.
So, if that can absolutely NOT be done, even that, our nations are FAR worse off than Roman Empire just before 313.
But another point is, our nations are not all equal. Ireland is better than France. Alabama is better than New York.
Someone argued Putin could not forbid abortion - what does that say of Russia? And can Putin in any way shape or form be said to be a "son of Russia"?
If he cannot in Russia forbid abortion - is not the Russia he rules and which he grew up in something quite other than the Swiataja Rus one sometimes hears of?
If Russia is an apostate nation and Kirill an apostate bishop, is not Putin then the "son of a false virgin and an apostate bishop"?
And if Russia cannot forbid abortion, if Russia was a nation that was Christian and where abortion was forbidden up to 1917, how is Russia NOT an apostate nation?
If Kirill calls the calls of the Tea Party for forbidding abortion a lingering for a "Christian Sharia" - wasn't that Kirill's phrase? - how is he NOT an apostate bishop?
Yes, the theologian St Thomas Aquinas has argued not all moral law should be civil law. Let us have a look at the exact words ....
First we look up I-II. Then Human law QQ 95 seq., then when what I looked for was not in Q 95, Question 96. The power of human law AND we find an article Article 2. Whether it belongs to the human law to repress all vices?
Here** St Thomas first lists arguments it should, then says why it shouldn't, then answers the arguments he first listed.
Objection 1. It would seem that it belongs to human law to repress all vices. For Isidore says (Etym. v, 20) that "laws were made in order that, in fear thereof, man's audacity might be held in check." But it would not be held in check sufficiently, unless all evils were repressed by law. Therefore human laws should repress all evils.
Objection 2. Further, the intention of the lawgiver is to make the citizens virtuous. But a man cannot be virtuous unless he forbear from all kinds of vice. Therefore it belongs to human law to repress all vices.
Objection 3. Further, human law is derived from the natural law, as stated above (Question 95, Article 2). But all vices are contrary to the law of nature. Therefore human law should repress all vices.
Here is his reason from authority and his reasoning why they should not:
On the contrary, We read in De Lib. Arb. i, 5: "It seems to me that the law which is written for the governing of the people rightly permits these things, and that Divine providence punishes them." But Divine providence punishes nothing but vices. Therefore human law rightly allows some vices, by not repressing them.
I answer that, As stated above (90, A1,2), law is framed as a rule or measure of human acts. Now a measure should be homogeneous with that which it measures, as stated in Metaph. x, text. 3,4, since different things are measured by different measures. Wherefore laws imposed on men should also be in keeping with their condition, for, as Isidore says (Etym. v, 21), law should be "possible both according to nature, and according to the customs of the country." Now possibility or faculty of action is due to an interior habit or disposition: since the same thing is not possible to one who has not a virtuous habit, as is possible to one who has. Thus the same is not possible to a child as to a full-grown man: for which reason the law for children is not the same as for adults, since many things are permitted to children, which in an adult are punished by law or at any rate are open to blame. In like manner many things are permissible to men not perfect in virtue, which would be intolerable in a virtuous man.
Now human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of whom are not perfect in virtue. Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.
Did you note that human law prohibits murder?
Abortion is murder, and so it should be forbidden by human law. Even killing in a duel is murder and it still IS forbidden in human law - and yest killing in a duel is far less evil than aborting. Abortion IS one of the more grievous vices, from which it IS possible (at least by removing certain feminist types of pressure) for the majority to abstain, it DOES hurt another person than those committing it, it DOES if not prohibited tend to dissolve human society and human peace, notably between generations. It is, with state promoted contraception and state protected sodomy, one cause of the bad numeric relations between retired and those who will support them.
Now, here are his replies to the objections earlier listed:
Reply to Objection 1. Audacity seems to refer to the assailing of others. Consequently it belongs to those sins chiefly whereby one's neighbor is injured: and these sins are forbidden by human law, as stated.
Reply to Objection 2. The purpose of human law is to lead men to virtue, not suddenly, but gradually. Wherefore it does not lay upon the multitude of imperfect men the burdens of those who are already virtuous, viz. that they should abstain from all evil. Otherwise these imperfect ones, being unable to bear such precepts, would break out into yet greater evils: thus it is written (Psalm 30:33): "He that violently bloweth his nose, bringeth out blood"; and (Matthew 9:17) that if "new wine," i.e. precepts of a perfect life, "is put into old bottles," i.e. into imperfect men, "the bottles break, and the wine runneth out," i.e. the precepts are despised, and those men, from contempt, break into evils worse still.
Reply to Objection 3. The natural law is a participation in us of the eternal law: while human law falls short of the eternal law. Now Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5): "The law which is framed for the government of states, allows and leaves unpunished many things that are punished by Divine providence. Nor, if this law does not attempt to do everything, is this a reason why it should be blamed for what it does." Wherefore, too, human law does not prohibit everything that is forbidden by the natural law.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Martha of Bethany
and St Olaf of Norway
* Thomas Reese, S.J. in this story:
Jesuit priest on abortion: Not all moral law should be civil law
Eric W. Dolan, 15 Oct 2012 at 17:06 ET
** St Thomas Aquinas in:
Summa Theologiae I-II, Q 96, Article 2. Whether it belongs to the human law to repress all vices?