Abortion and Early Church Teaching

Dear Father:

I am in Church HistoryI at St. Mary's Grad School of Theology near Cleveland. I'd like to do a paper on how the Church's teaching was first formulated about abortion. Can you point me to any early documents or suggest any other resources.

Thanks so much.



Dear Debbie,

Thanks for the e-mail & the important question. A good book for putting it into a perspective is Mark P. Shea's By What Authority. (pp. 93-100) He takes an honest look at the Biblical teaching on abortion, then gives some important references from early Christian teachers. They witness to the clarity of the Church's teaching from the earliest times. A key text is from the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (the Didache) "You shall not procure an abortion. You shall not destroy a newborn child." Both were practiced in the Graeco-Roman world. Shea cites about ten other early Christian documents.

Let me know what you come up with. I would enjoy seeing the final result.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

Abortion and Free Choice.

Post Abortion Healing

Germaine Greer on Birth Control

Stem Cell Research: Teaching of Bible & Catholic Church

Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)

Home Page