To Fall Into The Hands of The Living God
by Thomas A. Droleskey
 For if we sin wilfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins,  But a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries.  A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses:  How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath
trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the
testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an
affront to the Spirit of grace?  For we know him that hath said: Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people.
 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 26-31.)
It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Each of us must remember this truth, contained in Saint Paul the Apostle's Epistle to the Hebrews. We are, after all, in the penitential season of Lent, a time during which we must call to mind the horror of our sins as we seek to live more penitentially so as to make reparation for them to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lord us that we do not know the day or the hour of the time He will visit us at the moment of our deaths:
Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not, the Son of man will come. (Luke 12: 40.)
Many of us have much for which to answer. The hour of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's visitation is something for which we must ask His Most Blessed Mother to prepare us each and every day as we examine our consciences nightly and make a perfect Act of Contrition in the morning and before we go to sleep, availing ourselves of the Mercy of the Divine Redeemer on a weekly basis, if at all possible, in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance. We must never seek to minimize our sins or the debt that we owe to God for them.
It is, however, one thing to sin and to be sorry for one's sins as one seeks to live penitentially in reparation for them. It is quite another to persist in sin and/or the support for grave sins unrepentantly until the moment of of one's death, which is what so many pro-abortion Catholics who have served in public office have been able to do while maintaining their "good standing" in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Perhaps a brief reprise of what I wrote on this subject two months ago is in order following the death of just one such person, former United States Representative Geraldine A. Ferraro-Zaccaro, who remained a supporter of baby-killing under cover of the civil law until the moment of her death yesterday at the age of seventy-five:
Public sinners, though, constitute an entirely
different case than those Catholics not in the public limelight who
present themselves for Holy Communion even though they know themselves
to be in a state of Mortal Sin. To admit a public sinner to the
reception of what purports to be Holy Communion after all due warnings
have been issued to persuade the sinner to amend his life and abjure his
errors is to instruct other Catholics that the unrepentant, public
support for two of the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance do not
disqualify one from the reception of the Sacraments, that such people
are in "good conscience" and that they can be admitted to Heaven upon
their deaths (or after doing a little time in Purgatory, if, that is,
there is such a place, whose existence is denied by more than a handful
of conciliar clergy).
Look at all of the praise heaped upon the late United
States Senator Edward Moore Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) following his
death on Tuesday, August 25, 2009. Various American "bishops" praised
him for his commitment to the poor and his determination to enact a
Federal takeover of the health care industry. Never mind that Kennedy's
"commitment to the poor" championed one statist "solution" after another
as the poor became enslaved to and engaged in the mesh of bureaucratic
regulations that convinced them they were the "victims" of circumstance
who needed to have their every need provided for by the civil state.
Never mind that Kennedy's "determination" to enact a Federal takeover of
the health care industry was unjust and in violation of the Natural Law
principle of subsidiarity. No, Teddy Kennedy was a "hero" to the poor
and the downtrodden, to the uninsured, to women and to those steeped in
unrepentant sins of perversity. Abortion? Well, isn't that just one itsy
bitsy little issue that ought not to get in the way of praising him for
his alleged "virtues"? (See Another Victim of Americanism; Behold The Free Rein Given to Error; Behold The Free Rein Given to Error; Unfortunate Enough to Be A Baby; Unfortunate Enough to Be A Baby; Beacon of Social Justice?; Spotlight On The Ordinary; What's Good For Teddy Is Good For Benny; Sean O'Malley: Coward and Hypocrite: More Rationalizations and Distortions.)
Pro-abortion Catholics in public life can live and
die as "Catholics" in perfectly good standing in what they think is the
Catholic Church but is actually her counterfeit ape. And they can be
lauded by alleged prelates and clerics long after their deaths.
You want another review of some of the more notorious examples of Catholics in public life who received the Novus Ordo "Mass of Christian Burial" despite their support for baby-killing
and/or perversity? Why, of course, I am more than happy to oblige the
twelve of you who will be reading this article:
he late New York State Senator Edward Speno was
permitted to have a "Mass of Christian Burial" at Saint Raphael Church
in East Meadow, Long Island, New York, in 1972, two years after he had
voted in favor of the bill to permit surgical baby-killing-on-demand in
the first trimester of pregnancy following his death from a sudden heart
attack. (See the appendix below for material I unearthed about Speno in
an article published six months ago now.)
The late Thomas P. O'Neill was eulogized as a
splendid Catholic by the man who is now the conciliar archpriest of the
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the protector of perverted priests,
including one who started an organization to promote something so
unspeakable that it will not be repeated here, by the name of Bernard
"Cardinal" Law, in 1994 despite O'Neill's constant support for abortion
The "late" Father Robert Drinan, S.J., known as
"Father Death," who served in the United States House of Representatives
from January 3, 1971, January 3, 1981 (endorsing one Barney Frank to be
his successor when the conciliar Vatican forced him to refrain from
seeking a sixth term in 1980), remained a priest in "good standing" in
the conciliar church until his death on January 28, 2007 despite his
unrepentant support of surgical baby-killing under cover of law,
including the procedure known as "partial-birth abortion."
Drinan was also
instrumental in helping the Kennedy clan to plot a strategy to separate
their "private" beliefs about abortion from their public policies ( See WSJ.com - Opinion: How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma.)
Drinan even received an award from Saint Joseph's College in Patchogue,
New York, in the late-1990s for his work in behalf of "peace and
justice," a travesty that I covered for The Wanderer at the time.
Drinan's "Mass of Christian Burial" was held at the Jesuit church in
downtown Washington, D.C., Saint Aloysius Church, on February 1, 2007.
Edward Moore Kennedy was one of those who "eulogized" "Father Death.
Nancy Pelosi was another:
Sen. Edward Kennedy noted, "Here on earth, God's work must be our
own" and said that Drinan did that work "armed with moral clarity and
courage." Speaker Pelosi said of Drinan, "It was because of his faith
that he was one of our greatest champions for human rights," and she
quoted him as telling Georgetown students "to go forth into society not
as mere legal tradesmen, but as moral architects." (Robert Drinan, Infanticide, and the "Unthinkable" | First Things)
Edward Moore Kennedy believed
that supporting abortion was "God's work." Ah, yes, just some more of
Kennedy's "accomplishments" praised by Sean "Cardinal" O'Malley (see Sean O'Malley: Coward and Hypocrite).
The late Associate Justice William Brennan of the
Supreme Court of the United States of America was given a "Mass of
Christian Burial" at Saint Matthew's Church on July 29, 1997. This was
permitted by the then conciliar "archbishop" of Washington, D.C., James
"Cardinal" Hickey, despite the fact that Brennan cast one of the seven
affirmative votes in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, January 22, 1973, and despite te fact that Brennan served also as one of the seven affirmative votes in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut,
June 7, 1965, that invalidated a long-unenforced Connecticut state
statute that banned the sale of contraceptives to married couples, a
case that provided a good deal of the "legal reasoning," such as it was,
for the Roe and Doe cases, especially by inventing
the so-called "right to privacy" as found in what were called the
"penumbras" (little shadows of emanations) from could be found various
provisions of the Bill of Rights and made applicable to the states
through the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty and due process of law
William Brennan's "Mass of Christian Burial" was a
travesty from beginning to end. The pro-abortion, pro-Communist,
pro-Fidel Castro, pro-South Central Los Angeles rioters United States
Representative Maxine Waters was so impressed by that travesty, which
featured an auxiliary "bishop," William Lori, now the conciliar "bishop"
of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in attendance as the official
representative of the archdiocese, that she asked that its program be
inserted into the Congressional Record.
One of those who gave a "eulogy," a tribute that is
forbidden, at least formally, even by the rules of the counterfeit
church of conciliarism, at this travesty was then President William
Jefferson Blythe Clinton. United States Senator Edward Moore Kennedy did
so as well. Another feature eulogist was none other than Father "Death"
himself, the pro-abortion Reverend Robert Drinan, S.J., who was himself
buried as a Catholic priest in "good standing" in the conciliar
structures following his death on January 20, 2007.
The late United States Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan (D-New York) was permitted to have a "Mass of Christian Burial"
at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in the Borough of Manhattan of the City of
New York, New York, in 2003 despite his consistent support for abortion
"rights," mitigated, some believe, because he did vote to partially ban
partial-birth abortions. To oppose a particular form of child-killing
while maintaining the "right" of women to murder their children by other
means does not constitute a "mitigation" of one's support for a sin
that cries out to Heaven for vengeance.
Get the idea? Sure, I knew the twelve of you would.
Those pro-abort Catholics in public life today know that they can
live and die without any penalty being imposed upon by the spiritual
robber barons of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Vice President
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi
(D-California), the Minority Leader of the United States House of
Representatives, United States Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Susan
Collins (R-Maine), John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Jack Reed (D-Rhode
Island), Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland),
Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Thomas Harkin (D-Iowa), and Patricia Murray
(D-Washington) are just some of those who know that they will
never suffer any penalties in this life for defying the binding precepts
of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law by their support of the
chemical and surgical assassination of innocent preborn children in
their mothers' wombs. (See "Lucky" Mario May Not Be So "Lucky" In The End.)
Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro, who never abjured her support for chemical and surgical baby-killing under cover of the civil law, has now joined the pantheon of dead Catholic politicians who died in "good standing" in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism without once publicly abjuring their support for one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, willful murder. Having had the Particular Judgment rendered on her immortal soul by our exacting Judge Who gives us until our dying breath to repent of our sins, the "ground breaking" vice presidential candidate of twenty-seven years ago has come to face to face with the truth of the following words contained in Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930:
Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother's womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cried from earth to Heaven. (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930.)
May it have been within the Providence of God for Mrs. Ferraro-Zaccaro to have repented of her betrayal of the preborn and thus of the immutable laws of God before she died. As we have no evidence that she, a notorious public sinner who lived and died as a supporter of grave evils, repented of her sins, it is necessary once again to point out that the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism think nothing of the scandals they cause by permitting supporters of baby-killing such as Mrs. Ferraro-Zaccaro to have stagings of what is called, blasphemously, a "Mass of Christian Burial" according to the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service.
Some would protest that Geraldine Ferraro-Anne Zaccaro used the "I'm personally opposed" slogan to justify her support for baby-killing under cover of the civil law. Such people, and, sadly, I have a few formerly close friends and once-respected colleagues who remain among their number, have zero Catholic ground on which to stand before God on that one, something that Pope Leo XIII made clear in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:
Hence, lest concord be broken by rash charges, let this be understood by all, that the integrity of Catholic faith cannot be reconciled with opinions verging on naturalism or rationalism, the essence of which is utterly to do away with Christian institutions and to install in society the supremacy of man to the exclusion of God. Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue.
Few in number are the conciliar "bishops" who dare to speak truth to power, who dare to remind those who support chemical and surgical baby-killing and special rights, including "marriage," for those engaged in unrepentant perverse sins in violation of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments of these terrible words of Our Divine Redeemer, Christ the King, as contained in the Gospel according to Saint Mark:
For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For he that shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8: 36-38.)
It does not matter how much Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro was loved by her family and friends or in what great esteem she was held by friend and foe in the naturalistic farce and sideshow that is American electoral politics. What matters is that Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro died without publicly abjuring her support for one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, and that makes her death very tragic, a cause of genuine sadness when we consider the great price that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ paid to redeem just one soul by suffering all that He did during His Passion and Death, including shedding every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro made public statements in behalf of the nonexistent "right" of women to sin mortally by killing their preborn babies. Sin is what caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer fearfully in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer in perfect union with Him as those Seven Swords of Sorrow pierced her Immaculate Heart through and through. One must put aside all empty sentimentality and maudlin emotionalism in order to remember that Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro lived and died reaffirming women in their "civil right" to sin in violation of the binding precepts of the Fifth Commandment. That is no way to prepare for eternity.
Alas, which "bishop" in the conciliar structures warned her that she could face eternal damnation for her persistent support for chemical and surgical baby-killing? Although the late John "Cardinal" O'Connor, the conciliar "archbishop" of New York from March 19, 1984, to May 3, 2000, criticized her during the 1984 presidential election campaign, he demurred shortly thereafter by saying that he didn't mean to criticize her, saying in 1985 at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that Mrs. Ferraro-Zaccaro was his "good friend." More to the point, though, Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro was enabled directly by a now retired auxiliary "bishop" of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Joseph Sulivan, who was also an enabler of a former Governor of the State of New York, the infamous Mario Matthew Cuomo, who is the father is the current pro-abortion Governor of New York, Andrew Mark Cuomo (see Memo To Howard Hubbard: Public Scandal Is Never A Private Matter).
What applies to the likes of the late Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro applies as well to a man who was just a little over eight years her senior, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who is persisting in the promotion of sins of apostasy even as he approaches his eighty-fourth birthday on April 16, 2011, and the sixtieth anniversary of his priestly ordination on June 29, 2011. With what great boldness does this man approach the end of his life as he continues to blaspheme God by praising false religions and failing to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of all non-Catholics to the true Faith as he denies the very nature of dogmatic truth in order to justify his embrace of one condemned proposition after another.
Then again, a man who has projected one condemned Modernist proposition after another into the the very mind of God has no conception of Who He has revealed Himself to be. A man who can place a Protestant syncretist such as Roger Schutz in Heaven after his murder even though Schutz never converted to the true Faith before his death and who has called a mountain on which Buddists worship their devils as "sacred" and has used the same term to refer to Mohammedan mosques has no understanding of Who God is as He has revealed Himself to be through His true Church. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI knows full well the anathematized propositions that he advances, which is why he has had to invent his dogmatically condmened and philosophically absurd "hermeneutic of continuity and discontinuity" to justify his multiple defections from the Holy Faith.
The commentary provided in the Bishop Challoner English translation of the Douay-Rheims Bible speaks directly about the sort of willful sin common to the late Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro and the octogenarian Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI: apostasy:
 "If we sin wilfully"... He speaks of the sin of wilful
apostasy from the known truth; after which, as we can not be baptized
again, we can not expect to have that abundant remission of sins, which
Christ purchased by his death, applied to our souls in that ample manner
as it is in baptism: but we have rather all manner of reason to look
for a dreadful judgment; the more because apostates from the known
truth, seldom or never have the grace to return to it. (Bishop Challoner's commentary is cited in the Haydock Commentary as definitive of this verse in Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews.)
Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro did not return to the truth before she died. Neither did Edward Speno or Edward Moore Kennedy or Daniel Patrick Moynihan or Robert Drinan or William Brennan or Thomas P. O'Neill. Will Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI be as stubborn and proud as these unfortunate souls who went to meet Christ the King at the moment of their Particular Judgments without having publicly abjured their open support for sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance? The current conciliar "pontiff" is giving no evidence that he is in the least bit apologetic for what he has taught throughout his life that he is continue to teach as "Pope" Benedict XVI. It is indeed fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Can't we "sift" through what Ratzinger/Benedict says and does?
In addition to the Pope Pius VI's condemnation of the Gallicanism found in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1694, that is at the very heart of the false "resist but recognize" approach taken by the Society of Saint Pius X, Father Emile Bougaud, a French priest, noted the fallacy of this position in his biography of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque:
The violent attacks of Protestantism against the
Papacy, its calumnies and so manifest, the odious caricatures it
scattered abroad, had undoubtedly inspired France with horror;
nevertheless the sad impressions remained. In such accusations all,
perhaps, was not false. Mistrust was excited., and instead of drawing
closer to the insulted and outraged Papacy, France stood on her guard
against it. In vain did Fenelon, who felt the danger, write in his
treatise on the "Power of the Pope," and, to remind France of her
sublime mission and true role in the world, compose his "History of
Charlemagne." In vain did Bossuet majestically rise in the midst of that
agitated assembly of 1682, convened to dictate laws to the Holy See,
and there, in most touching accents, give vent to professions of
fidelity and devotedness toward the Chair of St. Peter. We already
notice in his discourse mention no longer made of the "Sovereign
Pontiff." The "Holy See," the "Chair of St. Peter," the "Roman Church,"
were alone alluded to. First and alas! too manifest signs of coldness in
the eyes of him who knew the nature and character of France! Others
might obey through duty, might allow themselves to be governed by
principle--France, never! She must be ruled by an individual, she must
love him that governs her, else she can never obey.
These weaknesses should at least have been hidden
in the shadow of the sanctuary, to await the time in which some sincere
and honest solution of the misunderstanding could be given. But no!
parliaments took hold of it, national vanity was identified with it. A
strange spectacle was now seen. A people the most Catholic in the world;
kings who called themselves the Eldest Sons of the Church and who were
really such at heart; grave and profoundly Christian magistrates,
bishops, and priests, though in the depths of their heart attached to
Catholic unity,--all barricading themselves against the head of the
Church; all digging trenches and building ramparts, that his
words might not reach the Faithful before being handled and examined,
and the laics convinced that they contained nothing false, hostile or
dangerous. (Right Reverend Emile Bougaud, The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. Published in 1890 by Benziger Brothers. Re-printed by TAN Books and Publishers, 1990, pp. 24-29.)
We cannot "choose" to disobey the teachings of a true Successor of Saint Peter any more than anyone can "choose" to support the "right" of women to kill their preborn babies. It is impossible.
 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 26-31.)
Yes, it is a very fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It is a sinful thing to presume that we are "saved" because others like us or that we have been successful in the world, which is, of course, a trick of the devil.
It is also sinful to despair of our salvation, to believe that our sins have been so numerous and our resolutions to reform our lives so weak and poorly kept that God could never forgive us, which is yet another trick of the devil. Our Lord wants us to persevere as we continue to make efforts to reform our lives in cooperation with the ineffable graces He won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces. He offers to make us sharers in His Easter victory over the power of sin and eternal death if we persevere until the end in a state of Sanctifying Grace as members of His Catholic Church:
 But call to mind the former days, wherein, being illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions.  And on the one hand indeed, by reproaches and tribulations, were made a
gazingstock; and on the other, became companions of them that were used
in such sort.  For you both had compassion on them that were in bands, and took with
joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better
and a lasting substance.  Do not therefore lose your confidence, which hath a great reward.
 For patience is necessary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise.  For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come, will come, and will not delay.  But my just man liveth by faith; but if he withdraw himself, he shall not please my soul.  But we are not the children of withdrawing unto perdition, but of faith to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10: 32-39.)
Are we willing to suffer reproaches from our relations and friends now for our embrace of the truth of our ecclesiastical situation as we make no concessions to concilairism or the officials of its false church?
Are we willing to pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits to maintain our confidence that God does not indeed reward those who are patient in their sufferings for the cause of truth, that He will come to rescue them without delay?
May it be, my good and very few readers (and fewer donors, I should add!), that we will be found not as "the children of withdrawing unto perdition, but of faith to the saving of the soul" as we live always as the consecrated slaves of Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Four more weeks until Easter Sunday! Let us continue to walk our own personal "Via Dolorosas" each day during this season of Lent so that the joys of the Easter season that will be upon us soon will be but a foretaste of the eternal glories reserved for those who bear their fair share of hardship which the Gospel entails with patience and gratitude and love.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
The Catholic Church's Consistent Opposition to Abortion, Something That Was Misrpresented in Life by Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro
(Citations found on the Priests for Life website and included in my own
Fact and Fiction)
"The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following....Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born" (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74] ). The Letter of Barnabas
"Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed" (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400] ). The Apostolic Constitutions
On therapeutic abortion:
And therefore the following question may be very carefully inquired into and discussed by learned men, though I do not know whether it is in man's power to resolve it: At what time the infant begins to live in the womb: whether life exists in a latent form before it manifests itself in the motions of the living being. To deny that the young who are cut out limb by limb from the womb, lest if they were left there dead the mother should die too, have never been alive, seems too audacious. Now, from the time that a man begins to live, from that time it is possible for him to die. And if he die, wheresoever death may overtake him, I cannot discover on what principle he can be denied an interest in the resurrection of the dead. -Enchiridion 23.86
Therefore brothers, you see how perverse they are and hastening wickedness, who are immature, they seek abortion of the conception before the birth; they are those who tell us, "I do not see that which you say must be believed." - Sermon 126, line 12 Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? where there are many efforts at abortion? where there is murder before the birth? for even the harlot thou dost not let continue a mere harlot, but makest her a murderer also. You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing [fornication] seems to belong to things indifferent, aye, and to many that have wives, too. -Homily 24 on Romans John Chrysostom (347-407)
You may see many women widows before wedded, who try to conceal their miserable fall by a lying garb. Unless they are betrayed by swelling wombs or by the crying of their infants, they walk abroad with tripping feet and heads in the air. Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder. - Epistula 22 Jerome (347-420)
Indeed there are those women who cut off the word prematurely born/aborted, before they give birth, there are those who have Christ in the womb but they will not yet have formed (him), to whom it is said: my children, whom I desire to bring forth again and again until Christ be formed in you. Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam, lib. 10, line 252 [private translation]
[Thomas A. Droleskey interjection at this point: One can see in this previous quote, which comes from Saint Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, the same language that many, including yours truly, have used for decades now to describe abortion as attack mystically upon Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the persons of preborn child. I digress. Back to the sources quoted on the Priests for Life website]:
But why the eye or the hand, since the aborted child has both a hand and an eye which has already been formed? -Ambrose, Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam, lib. 10, line 283 [private translation]
And elsewhere the same Ecclesiastes, being an old man, guarded him better whom his mother had cast out by abortion, because he did not see these bad things which they make in this world, he neither came into these shadows nor walked in vanity, and for that reason he who did not come into this life will have more of a rest than he who came. - De bono mortis, cap 2, par. 4, line 11
The poor get rid of their small children by exposure and denying them when they are discovered. But the rich also, so that their wealth will not be more divided, deny their children [when they are] in the womb and with all the force of parricide, they kill the beings of their wombs [while they are] in the same fruitful womb. In this way life is taken away from them before it has been given. -Hexameron V.18.58 [private translation] Ambrose (c.340-397)
To Anfilochius, Bishop of Iconia:
She who has intentionally destroyed [the fetus] is subject to the penalty corresponding to a homicide. For us, there is no scrutinizing between the formed and unformed [fetus]; here truly justice is made not only for the unborn but also with reference to the person who is attentive only to himself/herself since so many women generally die for this very reason. -First Letter 2
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years' penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not. - The First Canonical Epistle of Our Holy Father Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium.
…those who give the abortifacients and those who take the poisons are guilty of homicide. -First Letter 8 Basil (c.329-379)
That the unborn child is alive:
How are they dead unless they were first alive? But still in the womb an infant by necessary cruelty is killed when lying twisted at the womb's mouth he prevents birth and is a matricide unless he dies. Therefore there is among the arms of physicians an instrument by which with a rotary movement the genital parts are first opened, then with a cervical instrument the interior members are slaughtered with careful judgment by a blunt barb, so that the whole criminal deed is extracted with a violent delivery. There is also the bronze needle by which the throat - cutting is carried out by a robbery in the dark; this instrument is called and embryo knife from its function of infanticide, as it is deadly for the living infant.
This Hippocrates taught, and Asclepiades, and Erasistratus and Herophilus, the dissector of adults, and the milder Soranos himself, - all of them certain that a living being had been conceived and so deploring the most unhappy infancy of one of this kind who had first to be killed lest a live woman be rent apart. Of this necessity of crime, Hicesius, I believe did not doubt, as he added souls to those being born from blows of cold air, because the word itself for "soul" among the Greek relates to such a cooling. - De Anima 25.5 - 6
They [John and Jesus] were both alive while still in the womb. Elizabeth rejoiced as the infant leaped in her womb; Mary glorifies the Lord because Christ within inspired her. Each mother recognizes her child and each is known by her child who is alive, being not merely souls but also spirits. Tertullian (c.160-240) - De Anima 26.4
Council of Elvira (c. 305)
Canon 68: If a catechumen should conceive by an adulterer, and should procure the death of the child, she can be baptized only at the end of her life.
Council of Ancyra (314)
Canon 21: Women who prostitute themselves, and who kill the child thus begotten, or who try to destroy them when in their wombs, are by ancient law excommunicated to the end of their lives. We, however, have softened their punishment and condemned them to the various appointed degrees of penance for ten years. Quotes from Early Councils
The Lord's Teaching to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles:
1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death; and between the two ways there is a great difference.
2 Now, this is the way of life:…
The second commandment of the Teaching: "Do not murder; do not commit adultery"; do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate; "do not steal"; do not practice magic; do not go in for sorcery; do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant. "Do not covet your neighbor's property; do not commit perjury; do not bear false witness"; do not slander; do not bear grudges. Do not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double tongue is "a deadly snare." Your words shall not be dishonest or hollow, but substantiated by action. Do not be greedy or extortionate or hypocritical or malicious or arrogant. Do not plot against your neighbor. Do not hate anybody; but reprove some, pray for others, and still others love more than your own life. Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles
The Priests for Life website also includes several citations from pagan authors who condemned abortion. Both of these quotations were found in that book called Abortion in the Early Church:
Of what avail to fair woman to rest free from the burdens of war [i.e. pregnancy], nor choose with shield in arm to march in the fierce array, if, free from peril of battle, she suffer wounds from weapons of her own, and arm her unforeseeing hands to her own undoing?
She who first plucked forth the tender life deserved to die in the warfare she began. Can it be that, to spare your bosom the reproach of lines, you would scatter the tragic sands of deadly combat? -De Nuce, lines 22-23; cf. Amores 2.13 (Ovid, 43 B.C.-65 A.D.)
Poor women…endure the perils of childbirth, and all the troubles of nursing to which their lot condemns them; but how often does a gilded bed contain a woman that is lying in it? So great is the skill, so powerful the drugs, of the abortionist, paid to murder mankind within the womb. Pagan Sources
Mrs. Geraldine Anne Ferraro-Zaccaro has come to face to face with the truth in the Person of the One Who became Incarnate in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb, where He spent nine months, placing Himself in solidarity with every child in every mother's womb. Only He, Christ the King, knows whether she repented of her support for baby-killing under cover of the civil law before her death yesterday as it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.