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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture. Sept. 09, 2021
Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org.
President Joe Biden laid a trip, and Cardinal Wilton Gregory walked right into it.
“The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that life – human life – begins at conception,” Cardinal Gregory told the National Press Club yesterday.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Well, all right, the Catholic Church says that human life begins at conception. But only for the same reason that the Church says 2+2=4. These are facts: realities. And the Catholic Church bases her moral teaching on reality.
But it is not the Catholic Church that teaches human life begins at conception. It is science. The existence of human life in a fertilized human ovum is observable, verifiable, undeniable.
To say that the Church teaches when human life begins is to allow the possibility that someone outside the Catholic communion— someone who does not feel himself bound by the authority of the magisterium— could disagree. It is a suggestion that this is religious belief, a sectarian position that other reasonable people might not embrace. …