My thoughts today are pulling me in the direction of the holy innocents of our time, the children lost through abortion. We are a country divided on this issue and the passions on both sides run very deep. This post is not meant to judge those for or against this issue but to try and help everyone understand why I believe in what the Catholic Church professes on this most serious topic. As I said, these passions run very deep and divide not only our country but the people who govern it and the families who live in it; my family is not exempt from these passions.
Today’s argument defending the stance of the Church is where does the Church gain its authority to speak out against abortion. I will start with Matthew 16:18…
“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
I am also adding this hyperlink if you would like to read some historical views of this quote from scripture.
So from this, we received from the Apostles The Didache. This document dates back to the first century as noted in the Catholic Encyclopedia. Below is an excerpt from that article…
The Didache is mentioned by Eusebius after the books of Scripture (Church History III.25.4): “Let there be placed among the spuria the writing of the Acts of Paul, the so-called Shepherd and the Apocalypse of Peter, and besides these the Epistle known as that of Barnabas, and what are called the Teachings of the Apostles, and also . . . the Apocalypse of John, if this be thought fit . . .” St. Athanasius and Rufinus add the “Teaching” to the sapiential and other deutero-canonical books. (Rufinus gives the curious alternative title “Judicium Petri”.) It has a similar place in the lists of Nicephorus, Pseudo-Anastasius, and Pseudo-Athanasius (Synopsis). The Pseudo-Cyprianic “Adversus Aleatores” quotes it by name. Unacknowledged citations are very common, if less certain. The “Two Ways” appears in Barnabas, cc. xviii-xx, sometimes word for word, sometimes added to, dislocated, or abridged, and Barn., iv, 9 is from Didache, xvi, 2-3, or vice versa. Hermas, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen seem to use the work, and so in the West do Optatus and the “Gesta apud Zenophilum”. The Didascalia Apostolorum are founded upon the Didache. The Apostolic church ordinance has used a part, the Apostolic Constitutions have embodied the Didascalia. There are echoes in Justin, Tatian, Theophilus, Cyprian, and Lactantius.
From the Didache, we receive the following instruction(s) from our first 12 Apostles…
1. There are two Ways, one of Life and one of Death, and there is a great difference between the two Ways.
1. But the second commandment of the teaching is this:
2. “Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt not commit adultery”; thou shalt not commit sodomy; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use magic; thou shalt not use philtres; thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide; “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods”;
If you would like to see the entire Didache, here it is.
I will continue on this topic over the next couple of days.
Do something great for our Lord today – pray for life.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.