Catholic Answers Forums promotes abortifacients

Whenever anyone asks a certain type of question in Catholic Answers Forums, the same false and gravely immoral answer is given by numerous different members of that Forum.

Q: Is it moral for a woman to use abortifacient contraception, for a medical purpose, while continuing to have marital relations?

Whenever this question is asked, many longtime members of Catholic Answers Forums will emphatically assert that it is moral. They claim that a woman can morally use abortifacient contraception, while she is sexually active, despite knowing that this choice causes her sexual acts to be contracepted, despite knowing that over time some early abortions of her own prenatal children will occur. They claim that this use of abortifacients is moral and is approved by the teaching of the Church, as long as this use is for a medical purpose.

This false teaching is easily refuted. The end does not justify the means. The intrinsically evil acts of contraception and abortion are not justified by the good intention to treat a medical disorder. The intrinsically evil acts of contraception and abortion are not justified by the circumstance that the woman is afflicted with a difficult medical condition. For a full explanation of why abortifacient contraception is never justified by a medical purpose, see my article: Abortifacient Contraception for a Medical Purpose

Some persons, sincerely seeking an answer to this grave moral question online, are being led astray by Catholic Answers Forums (CAF). Some of these false teachers have an official position with Catholic Answers as an Apologist.

Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Apologist
his answer

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
Catholic Answers Apologist
his answer

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers Apologist
her answer

Other apologists at CAF give much the same answer, but only by providing links to the answers of the above apologists. These persons are doing much harm to souls and to unborn children. This type of question is not merely theoretical. They are influencing other persons to commit the grave sin of using abortifacient contraception while sexually active. This use, over time, results in the very real deaths of many prenatals of the women who follow this false teaching, which is made to seem reliable by the use of the terms “Catholic Answers” and Catholic.com and Catholic Answers Apologist.

[James 3]
{3:1} My brothers, not many of you should choose to become teachers, knowing that you shall receive a stricter judgment.

In addition to the harm done by official apologists at Catholic Answers, many of the forum members use the Forum to speak with pretended authority, and to convince other Catholics to adhere to grave errors on morality. They encourage women to use abortifacient contraception, if their intention is to treat a medical disorder. They also assert that the woman does not have to refrain from marital relations while using abortifacient contraception. They claim that contraception can be used because the intended end is not to contracept, but to treat a medical disorder.

Some go so far as to openly admit that this use of abortifacients will result in multiples deaths of unborn children. And yet they show no concern for the deaths of these innocents. Some of these persons have been encouraging the use of abortifacient contraception in many different posts, over the course of many years of membership at CAF. And if anyone disagrees, they argue incessantly, lest some woman who supposedly needs abortifacient contraception decide not to use it. The amount of time and effort they put into convincing women to use abortifacients is very disturbing. And all these persons claim to be pro-life.

Many Catholics are not well-informed about the ethical teachings of the Catholic Church. But what is happening today in the Church, especially online, is that persons are teaching, without first having learned. And many of them teach under cover of anonymity.

Some examples of members at CAF who approve of and promote the use of abortifacient contraception for a medical purpose:

puzzleannie [example posts here and here]
Debora123 [example post]
smichhertz [example post]
markomalley [example post]
pamnbam [example post]
PRmerger [example post]
Leegal [example post]
Nate13 [example post]
manualman [example post]
ryecroft [example post]

Br. Rich SFO who posts at Catholic Answers Forums and is a moderator at Catholic Community Forms promotes the same false teaching.

And many other posters make similar false claims about abortifacient contraception at Catholic Answers. See the forum called Moral Theology for further examples.

I notice that most of these false teachers are anonymous. They adamantly insist that they are offering the true teaching and sound moral guidance of the Church. But they hide behind a username and a CAF account. They are, or at least they should be, ashamed to put their real names on their many posts encouraging women to use abortifacients while continuing to have marital relations.

When I used to attempt to correct them, as a member of CAF, they would ignore my theological arguments, and quickly turn to making personal attacks. Even now, though I have not posted there in many months, whenever anyone mentions the theological arguments in my articles, their response is much the same. They have various excuses which they use to dismiss my theology without any consideration for the content. They behave this way because they are unable to refute my arguments.

All of these false teachers have badly misunderstood Roman Catholic moral teaching on the basic principles of ethics. They don’t mention the three fonts of morality. They have no understanding as to what a moral object is, and they don’t even mention the concept. And yet they are teaching others, on grave matters of morality, concerning intrinsically evil acts. They mistakenly think that a good intention makes any act not intrinsically evil, and somehow changes the moral object into an unintended consequence. Some mistakenly think that unintended bad consequences can never make an act immoral. So they reduce morality (without even realizing it) to nothing but good intentions.

They quote Humanae Vitae, but they have not understood it. They reject the teaching of the Magisterium that intrinsically evil acts are never justified by intention or circumstances. They claim that the intention of treating a medical disorder makes contraception and abortion — actual abortions in which prenatals are killed by abortifacients — morally permissible under Catholic teaching.

As for the oft-quoted passage from Humanae Vitae:

Pope Paul VI: “On the other hand, the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from — provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever.” (Humanae Vitae, n. 15.)

This passage only permits a moral means to be used toward a moral end. It is not an exception to the magisterial teaching that the end does not justify the means. The phase “provided such impediment is not directly intended” excludes any intrinsically evil means (second font of morality) to the end of curing or treating medical disorders, no matter what the motive (first font of morality). Every intrinsically evil act is an intentionally chosen act that is inherently and directly ordered toward an evil end (its moral object). But the intended end or purpose or motive for which the act is chosen cannot justify the intentional choice of an intrinsically evil act.

Thus the passage specifically condemns what they use the passage to claim to justify. The good intended end of treating a medical disorder does not justify the choice of an intrinsically evil means, nor does it cause that intrinsically evil means to become not intrinsically evil.

Humanae Vitae condemns contraception as an end or a means. Evangelium Vitae condemns abortion as an end or a means. An intrinsically evil act can never be moral, whether as an end or a means. And neither intention nor circumstance can transform an intrinsically evil act into another kind of act, one that is moral.

Pope John Paul II: “Consequently, circumstances or intentions can never transform an act, intrinsically evil by virtue of its object, into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice.” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 81).

Pope John Paul II: “I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.” (Evangelium Vitae, n. 62).

Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” (CCC, n. 2399).

No intention, no matter how legitimate, can justify using abortifacient contraception, even as a means to a good end, such as treating a medical disorder.

Pope John Paul II: “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.” (Evangelium Vitae, n. 62).

Therefore, Humanae Vitae cannot possibly be saying that abortifacient contraception — abortion and contraception — are both justified merely by a medical intention (or purpose). Humanae Vitae even specifically says: “all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded….” (Humanae Vitae, n. 14.)

And yet foolish persons at Catholic Answers Forums continue to claim that abortifacient contraception, which combines both contraception and abortion in one convenient pill, is moral for therapeutic reasons. The teaching of the Magisterium on this point is clear and definitive. And yet false teachers continue to convince innumerable married Catholic women to use abortifacient contraception, and thereby to murder their own prenatal children. Whoever argues otherwise is treated with disdain and contempt at CAF.

This dispute is not merely theoretical. The apologists and many of the members at Catholic Answers Forums are succeeding in convincing women to use abortifacient contraception while sexually active, thereby convincing these women to commit the grave sin of aborting their own children. These are actual deaths of prenatals caused in part by the words of Catholic Answers apologists and forum members. They are literally convincing women to obtain direct abortions.

[Matthew]
{23:27} Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed sepulchers, which outwardly appear brilliant to men, yet truly, inside, they are filled with the bones of the dead and with all filth.
{23:28} So also, you certainly appear to men outwardly to be just. But inwardly you are filled with hypocrisy and iniquity.

Formal Cooperation with Abortion

“they were doing works hateful to you, through unjust medicines and sacrifices, and the merciless murderers of their own sons….”
(Wisdom 12:4-5).

Now I would like to say a few words to those persons at Catholic Answers who use the internet to spread the false and gravely immoral teaching that the use of abortifacient contraception by a woman who is sexually active is moral.

When a woman asks a question about her own life, whether she can both use abortifacient contraception for a medical purpose AND remain sexually active with her husband, the question is not merely theoretical. If she believes your false claim that it is moral and acts accordingly, then she commits the objective mortal sin of using contraception. You thereby commit the objective mortal sin of formal cooperation with the grave sin of contraception.

Moreover, if she believes your false teaching and uses abortifacient contraception while sexually active, over the course of time it is likely that one or more early abortions occurs as a direct result of her choice, based on your claims. These are actual direct abortions, the very real deaths of one or more innocent prenatals, which occur as a result of your false teaching that the use of abortifacient contraception is sometimes moral. Abortifacient contraception is a type of murder; it is never moral. Pope Paul VI: “all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded….” (Humanae Vitae, n. 14).

You are telling women that they can obtain direct abortions, by means of abortifacient contraception, as long as they have a therapeutic reason. Your claim is contrary to the explicit teaching of Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae. A therapeutic reason (i.e. medical purpose) can never justify contraception or abortion, neither as an end, nor as a means, regardless of the circumstances.

When you tell a woman she can morally use abortifacient contraception while continuing to have marital relations, you are also committing the objective mortal sin of formal cooperation with direct abortion. You are morally responsible for those abortions, those murders, before the eyes of God. And when you repeatedly, over the course of many years, tell many different women that they can morally use abortifacient contraception, you are committing formal cooperation with many direct abortions. Your words remain online for many women to read, at any time, and so your words continue to cause grave harm to souls and to influence women to kill their own unborn children with abortifacients.

Which organization kills more innocent prenatals: Catholic Answers Forums or a local abortion clinic? It’s a close call. The false Answers to grave moral questions at Catholic Answers are literally resulting in the deaths of many innocent prenatals.

Formal cooperation with direct abortion is intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral; it is an objective mortal sin. Spreading the false teaching that abortifacient contraception becomes moral for a therapeutic reason is also a grave sin. The many unborn children, who die as a result of your grave sins, stand in Heaven before God as perpetual witnesses against you.

[Matthew]
{18:6} But whoever will have led astray one of these little ones, who trust in me, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to be submerged in the depths of the sea.
{18:7} Woe to a world that leads people astray! Although it is necessary for temptations to arise, nevertheless: Woe to that man through whom temptation arises!

{18:10} See to it that you do not despise even one of these little ones. For I say to you, that their Angels in heaven continually look upon the face of my Father, who is in heaven.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic moral theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

For a full explanation of why abortifacient contraception is never justified by a medical purpose, see my article: Abortifacient Contraception for a Medical Purpose

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