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Pro-Choice Nun Says Mary Expressed "Choice"

This may be the most disturbing thing you read all day.

A Catholic nun said that the defeat in the Senate of the pro-life Nelson amendment on the feast of the Immaculate Conception was "providential" and that Mary was the first woman in the bible to express "choice."

As you have probably heard by now the Nelson amendment to the health-care bill, which would have restricted federal funds from being used to fund abortions, has been defeated 54-45. This should be a sad day for all Catholics, but it is not.

In fact, one Catholic nun is downright giddy over the defeat. Sister Donna Quinn is pro-choice. In fact she was rebuked by her order for escorting women into abortion clinics. That is horrible enough. But what she had to say about the defeat of the Nelson amendment on the feast of the Immaculate Conception is monstrous.

On the day the church honors the Immaculate Conception, or conception of the Virgin Mary, Quinn sent a thank you note to those who lobbied their senators to vote against the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, which lost in a 54-45 Senate vote earlier today.


“The Amendment lost today but now the work will be to take this Bill and come out with the same good news when the Senate and House work together,” Quinn said.

Citing a poem about the Virgin Mary, Quinn noted the providential date of the amendment’s defeat.

“I was reminded of being with men and women from the Unitarian faith tradition last year as they celebrated Mary who by her [ascent], they believed, was one of the first women in the New Testament to express Choice,” Quinn said.

These outrageous comments should draw the attention of her superiors in the Dominicans and of her Bishop. These comments are not only a direct affront to life but an affront to all that Christians hold dear. To suggest in any way that the defeat of this amendment on the feast of the Immaculate Conception is "providential" is simply depraved. To compare Mary's fiat, her acceptance of God's will, to the "choice" to kill one's own child is even more horrible.

Donna Quinn should not be allowed to represent herself as Catholic in any way.

To express your outrage you can contact:

Cardinal Francis George
Office of the Archbishop
Archdiocese of Chicago
PO Box 1979
Chicago, IL. 60690-1979
Phone: 312-534-8230
E-Mail: archbishop@archchicago.org

Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP
Prioress - Sinsinawa Dominicans
E-mail: Spatmul@aol.com

Your Ad Here


Early Riser said...

I share your outrage. But do you honestly think Cardinal George will do ANYTHING? He's the Barny Fife of the US Bishops.

Subvet said...

Even Barney Fife will move if you goose him often enough.

Kate said...

This news made my blood boil.

May we remind Sister (it's hard to call her that) Donna Quinn that Mama Mary said YES to having the baby despite difficult circumstances that surrounded her.

1) Mary knew she could be STONED TO DEATH if found with child by someone other than her bethrothed, Joseph. And yet she DID NOT ABORT.

2) Mary was 14 at the time. And yet she DID NOT ABORT.

3) Joseph could have left her (and in fact he thought about divorcing her). And yet she DID NOT ABORT.

How many women, facing similar circumstances, would CHOOSE what MAMA MARY did?

MARY exercised HER RIGHT TO CHOOSE by making the RIGHT CHOICE! LIFE! Let's not forget that!

Rachel B said...

As opposed to the first woman in the old testament who expressed Choice, which was of course, Eve. Just sayin'.

Rick said...

Mother Mary was not yet pregnant at the Annunciation. Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit WILL come upon you," So, the choice was not to have Jesus live or die in her womb. It was to conceive or not to conceive the Lord. There was never an abortion option.

Anonymous said...

Why is this imposter , wolf in sheep's clothing still allowed to remain in the Order ?. Why wasn't she kicked out ?.

Why is this smoke of Satan allowed to remain in the Church ?.

What did St. Paul said in 1 corinthian 5: 9 - 13 ?. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

Anonymous said...


The Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate

Joseph J Wagner

Craig said...

I like the quote from the Tribune article that Sr. Quinn cited:

“Faithful and respectful dissent is vital to the life of the church. It enables the church community to think, to deliberate, to debate and to grow in relationship to one another and in relationship to God. We cannot afford to let our dissenters be silenced. They are a gift to our church."

taad said...

What an outrage to Our Lady and St. Anne. To think the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day Mary was Concieved. The day St. Anne was pregnant with Mary, is being used to promote abortion!!!

Anonymous said...

At the lowest levels of hell are the priest and nuns who have led souls astray.

Kara Hawkins said...

I cannot believe that the Vatican as well as this site has found one more way to attack the women in the Church. I might remind you that despite what the Vatican upholds, the catechism of the Catholic Church allows for free choice. That a woman, a Catholic nun, has quoted the word "choice" is not to mean that the Catholic Church can appropriate the word for its own ends, which truly are, the continued oppression of women. Why isn't this site, or the Vatican going after the men who have continued to remain in the church after their abhorent abuse of the innocent children. Why is there no stand for the murder of the innocents, the babies and the mothers with child, pregnant who are slaughtered in war. We must stand together, not pick each other apart. I hope you will issue an apology.

Mike in CT said...

Craig, do you say that as a faithful, ardent Catholic?

Okay, donkey, two things: Shut. Up.

Mike in CT said...

Kara Hawkins, I'm going to say this and use small words:

The Church does not and has never, ever, allowed abortion. Period.

Either you cite an actual text from the "Vatican" that you mentioned or you issue an apology.

Otherwise, may I suggest reading my response to Craig?

SarahL said...

It says plenty about the real spirit behind government-sponsored health care that the abortion restrictions were shot down, but is anyone surprised? If the Hatch-Nelson amendment had passed, we would have had plenty of people deciding, on that basis, that the bill was okay, now that it had some abortion restrictions penciled in. The fact that it won't have any such restrictions is consistent with the overall spirit of the bill, and it has to be fought tooth and nail by anyone who takes Catholic teaching on abortion and euthanasia (as well as genuine social justice) seriously.

nightfly said...

Just like Rick said - the choice came BEFORE the conception. Even what little theology Sister thinks she has, she gets wrong. Perhaps she shouldn't hang out with Unitarians so much. ("Unitarian faith tradition," heh.)

Likewise, Kara... technically speaking, Sister is not really a woman *in* the Church. Supporting abortion, and helping others to procure one, is pretty much an automatic excommunication. By the same token, most of the people you mention are probably fooling themselves as far as their Church membership, at least unless they repent - which you cannot know unless they should say so; Sister Donna has very obviously and publicly not repented, so she gets to be the outrage du jour, and it's little use getting mad at Patrick for pointing it out. If she didn't want to be held up to public scorn, she shouldn't have issued a public press release.

Rick said...

Kara: The statement "Vatican upholds, the catechism of the Catholic Church allows for free choice." is a lie. Abortion is an intrinsic evil. You with your choice are the oppressor of the females who are aborted or those who have been injured in the procedure.

Mike: Ditto

Anonymous said...

Is "Sister" Quinn confusing the Annunciation with the Immaculate Conception? What a dope. Not a surprise that she can't get even this basic distinction.

Susan P.

SarahL said...

To Kara Hawkins,
"Despite what the Vatican upholds, the catechism of the Catholic Church allows for free choice..."

Are you confusing "free choice" (i.e. the so-called right to choose to murder one's own children--or someone else's) with free will? And why do you set "the Vatican" against the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? I know that some bishops and priests--in Rome and elsewhere--have even publicly thumbed their noses at Church teachings, but their transgressions do not justify a blanket condemnation or arrogant dismissal of "the Vatican" (which would include the Holy Father himself).

Secondly, this nun committed a serious sin, not only with her words but with her actions, scandalizing the faithful and actually encouraging mothers (by her actions) to murder their own children. How is it "oppressing women" to point out that simple fact? If you see no sin in what this woman has done, then I suppose no one here can convince you to lay off the liberal Kool-Aid and study up on what the Catholic Church really teaches. For all we know, you and Sister Wormtongue are one and the same--or maybe you just think along the same lines--but I hope you haven't completely abandoned the Truth.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

She has excommunicated herself. Nuf said

P. Button said...

This is just great. Now I'm gonna be deppressed all day.

Anonymous said...

Sarah L hit the nail on the head.

Geoffrey Miller said...

"Faithful and respectful dissent is vital to the life of the church. It enables the church community to think, to deliberate, to debate and to grow in relationship to one another and in relationship to God. We cannot afford to let our dissenters be silenced. They are a gift to our church."

I will be highly amused when the folks who said this find out God's reaction to their point of view on judgment day.

Things may be giddy and good for dissenters today, for the "enlightened" brights among us dims. But when day dawns upon the night of this world, and in an instant they realize the terrifying reality that all they fought against during life is absolutely true, the time for mercy will have passed. At that moment, all their banal catch-phrases, tired cliches, and juvenile rally chants will be consumed once for all by an eternal, relentless flame.

And they will be no more. And no one will care. That will be their greatest torment.

Pray for dissenters. If unrepentant, in light of their fate, it would be better had they never been born.

Craig said...

Sorry, Mike in CT, you are neither the arbiter of Catholic street cred nor the arbiter of this site.

Geoffrey Miller said...

"Faithful and respectful dissent..."

How can "dissent" be "faithful?" This is the most ridiculous contradiction I have ever heard.

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.

Dm. (demon) Quinn would be very much at home in Mr. Orwell's Oceania of 1984. She could even add some slogans.

Dissent is loyalty.
Death is life.
Good is evil.

May God have pity on your soul, Dm. Quinn. I am incapable of accomplishing such a feat.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cardinal George and Sister Mulcahey,

If Spirit Daily's "Creative Minority" article is accurate, I suggest to you:

Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men (and women) do nothing.

Edmund Burke (attributed):

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

Which part of slapping God’s face and Thou shalt not kill does one not understand?

Lucifer often comes disguised as an angel of light-but here it is clear-he has arrived. Please stop confusing people by allowing this atrocious attitude to continue and remove the denial. Please pray for discernment and stop this atrocity in our clergy and religious (including yourselves by not speaking up sooner). We, as the secular public, cry out for religious authorities to assist us with stamping out killing babies. Here is one obviously blatant chance to promote God's Will. In some professions (vocations), freedom of speech is a red flag to remove obvious evil from perpetuating.

Outraged for Christ,


Anonymous said...

It is evident why the Vatican felt it was necessary to investigate the convents. One wonders why her order merely rebuked her, rather than kicking her out, as should be the case.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Craig's comment about dissent:
The act of faith is believing revealed truths on the authority of God revealing them. Faith is reasonable because we have cause to trust God and can know this through a reasonable study of revelation.
When we "dissent" from a truth of faith, we are placing our own opinions in preference to the truth revealed by God. In other words, we are making our own fallible judgments the arbiter of truth. Such an act is a sin against the virtue of faith, and St. Thomas teaches that such a sin destroys the virtue.
I'm speaking of the truths of faith here. There are plenty of issues that Catholics can disagree about, but not the doctrines of the faith. Such "dissenters" have actually abandoned their faith.
And if they think they can dissent from the truths of faith the Church teaches, why do they think other people will follow their views? Others will "dissent" from them as well-just look at the proliferation of Protestant sects.

Mike in CT said...


way to ignore the substance of my concern.

Dissent to the teaching of the Church does not enable us to grow in our relationship to God.

Dissent from God's will has a word: sin.

One doesn't need to be an arbiter of Catholic street cred to understand that.

Anonymous said...

Note that the Sinsinawa Dominicans are located in the Diocese of Madison Wisconsin.
Please contact the Bishop of Madison.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy about it as well, hopefully this will mean the end of federal meddling in health-care. The government should not be taking care of the poor-the Church should.

Craig said...

Mike in CT,

The "substance of your concern" was that I am a "donkey" and should "Shut.Up."

You are correct, I ignored it.

The fact that you pretend to know God's will has no bearing on my, or any other person's, relationship with God.

vin said...

This woman needs prayers badly. I cannot call her a catholic in any sense of the word. All I can say is that something apparently has gone terribly wrong with her mentally to think our Blessed Mother would even think of the word choice in response to her taking on the most glorious obedience to God EVER!!! Is she jealous? Seriously, those who are offended by this article, please remember Jesus promised the devil will not defeat the church and it's continuous existence through so much persecution has proved it over and over. Just pray for those in jeopardy.

Mike in CT said...

I don't pretend to know God's will. I rely upon the Church's infallible teachings to guide me in God's will.

And anyone who advocates dissenting from the infallible teachings of the Church could rightly be called a donkey. Or any synonym thereof.

Rick said...

It is sometimes rightly pointed out that no pope has proclaimed the Church's teaching on abortion in
a specific ex cathedra statement declaring it as an essential matter of faith and infallibly true, and
that there are degrees of authority in magisterial pronouncements. But Catholics believe that even
when he does not speak ex cathedra the pope's authoritative teachings must be accepted with
respect and sincere assent, and that the consistent teaching of the Church must be adhered to "with
the loyal and obedient assent of faith" (Vatican II, The Church (1964), §25). The Church's teaching
on abortion has been unfailingly proposed throughout the centuries by popes, bishops and
theologians, and restated in the clearest possible terms by the Second Vatican Council of all the
bishops, as well as by all the popes of modern times and the bishops' conferences of many
countries (including almost annual statements by our bishops). The gravity with which the Church
views this matter is demonstrated by the fact that the procurement of abortion is one of the few
offences which still incurs an automatic excommunication under the new Code of Canon Law (CIC

Sometimes it is said that a person might publicly dissent from Church teaching on a matter like
abortion and still remain a bona fide Catholic. But those who do are, of course, dissenting from a
grave teaching of the Church. Scholars and teachers may withhold assent provisionally from non-
infallibly proposed teaching under certain stringently defined conditions; they may still debate such
issues as 'ensoulment'; and they may wish to clarify and re-present Church teaching in this area in
contemporary terms. But they do not serve the Church as authentic teachers if they publish views
contrary to the Church's unambiguous, explicit and highly authoritative teaching. The vocation of
other Catholics, such as politicians, lawyers and judges, is a fortiori to take the initiative in civilising
and making more humane and moral the affairs of human society. 6

from Fr Anthony Fisher OP

To sum up the official teaching of the Church:

l. If it is a teaching proclaimed by the extraordinary magisterium,
a good Catholic must assent under pain of heresy.

2. If it is a teaching proclaimed by the ordinary magisterium, e.g.
the 10 Commandments, a good Catholic must assent under pain of
serious sin.

3. If it is a teaching seriously proclaimed by the magisterium in a
non-infallible way, on a non-infallible topic, a good Catholic
must assent under pain of sin, possibly mortal. Canon 752 covers
this case, (see below).

In brief, when the official Church teaches, we must assent. If we
dissent, the gravity of the sin will depend on the gravity of the matter


Anonymous said...

Those who 'excommunicate' themselves must, once and for all, be publicly shown the door.

John Hetman said...

Sister Donna is advocating and celebrating the murder of innocent unborn children. And so as an apostate, she is also a rather rabid crackpot who needs to be disciplined by the Sinsinawa Dominicans and by His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George. The Sinsinawa Dominicans, by the way, are not exactly exemplary models of faithful Catholic nuns -- not when they are long-term members of the highly heterodox Eighth Day Center for Justice in Chicago which has been undermining the Church for three decades.

Hidden One said...

To Whom it May Concern:

Whatever happened to the virtue of charity being exercised in combox discussions?

Sincerely in Christ,
A faithful, orthodox, defiantly pro-life Catholic.

Anonymous said...

"Oh Mary, CONCEIVED without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee."

Anonymous said...

It is our job,the Catholic Church, to get women to say "yes". Not the US senate.

kimberly said...

If you were Satan, who would you try to destroy -- souls who are already evil and, therefore, going to hell anyway, or good consecrated men and women. I believe that every scandal facing the Church right now is an orchestrated effort on the part of Satan to destroy Mother Church. Please pray for our men and women religious. As for Our Lady, she said "yes" to God and that is all He asks us to do. It is never our choice to begin with.

Rick said...

Re: "It is our job,the Catholic Church, to get women to say "yes". Not the US senate."

While we cannot force the woman to say yes, we should not let her kill her child. We should stop the murder through the Senate, the Courts, the White House, the system, the people.

Anonymous said...

All I can do is pray ... and weep.

Anonymous said...

This woman is depraved and should be excommunicated.
She is NOT a Catholic - how did she become a
"Sister" - she has tainted the sacred
OUT with her!!

Anonymous said...

Choice......The right to choose.....choose what? The right to choose to kill the baby in the mother's womb....or choose to bring this precious life to birth.


Anonymous said...

I live in Canada....that women should be drove
out of her order....perhaps the people of God
should take action.

Mary Liz said...

Good luck to anyone who writes to the prioress...I don't think you'll get very far.

It would be more effective to write a little higher up and put pressure on the order to take a look at that place. It's not everyday you find a Dominican congregation with an Office of Peace and Justice and multiple labyrinths.

Anonymous said...

Please support the Institute on Religious Life in its 35-year effort to support faithful religious communities. Contact at: religiouslife.com.

Anonymous said...

Rick, Mary was pregnant at the end of the Angel's visit; when Mary said yes; Jesus became flesh in her womb. Rick you are no better than this nun; you must be out of your mind if you think this way. Have you forgotten your baptism and first Holy Communion promise? promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion. We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths, of our Holy Faith,and to live as Catholics who are duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's day. We likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able to do so.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but there is nothing faithful or respectful about what Donna Quinn had to say. It is pointedly disrespectful to our Blessed Mother and entirely unfaithful to the teachings of the Church which, by the way, consistently promote the dignity of women unless your standard for this is women becoming priests which doesn't dignify women at all.


Rick said...

PadrePio2: "Rick, Mary was pregnant at the end of the Angel's visit; when Mary said yes; Jesus became flesh in her womb."

My point exactly. Note at the END of the visit but not BEFORE. So the choice was to conceive or not to conveive. The choice was not to abort or not to abort. Where are we disagreeing?

We're not; you probably just want to beat me up because you didn't like my point that the choice to murder one's child is not a law in moral and civilized societies and that the woman does not have any right to murder her child even if it grows within her body.

Like the liberals who obfuscate, you start with something acceptable like a truth then twist it and insert a lie.

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as "defrocking" a nun? It's time these so-called Catholic nuns (which are the same ones making such a fuss about the Vatican's inquiry) were disciplined and made to follow their vows or leave. No, they won't leave because they have no place to go now that they are old, unhappy, and disillusioned after so many years of following not THE TRUTH, but the father of lies. God have mercy on us all!

Kevin said...

Religious in the church who dissent and undermine Catholic teachig like Sr. Quinn and remain in their orders, supported by faithful Catholics are parasites. If someone in my home who I was feeding and clothing was undermining all that I held dear they would soon be out in the street fending for themselves.

Mike in CT said...

To Hidden One,

if you're speaking to me, I think that telling someone who is advocating active dissent from Church teaching regarding the grave matter of participating and enabling the murder of innocent babies in the womb to "Shut up" is a perfectly charitable response. As for the donkey, it was a line from a movie and only intended as a throw away line, but the donkey in question then proceeded to show that he is perfectly befitting that name.

Craig said...

Mike in CT,

The church's stance on abortion is not infallible and has not been proclaimed so as Rick pointed out above and, as such, is still able to be discussed.

Also, did you know that the Immaculate Conception of Mary was not made an infallible teaching until 1854. Before that, it was an excommunicatable offense to accuse either believers or non-believers in Mary's Immaculate Conception of heresy. That means prior to 1854 there was actual dissent and discussion about Mary's state of grace and neither side was allowed to accuse the other of heresy.
Imagine that.
(Although, I'm sure plenty of synonyms for donkey were bandied about.)

Anonymous said...

This is NOT a real nun. It is a DEMON. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Pope John Paul II stated in his talk to the Bishops in Los Angeles in 1987:

"It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the clear position on abortion. It has to be noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church's moral teaching. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the magisterium is totally compatible with being a "good Catholic," and poses no obstacle to the reception of the Sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching of the Bishops in the United States and elsewhere."

Anonymous said...

Citing a poem about the Virgin Mary, Quinn noted the providential date of the amendment’s defeat.

“I was reminded of being with men and women from the Unitarian faith tradition last year as they celebrated Mary who by her [ascent], they believed, was one of the first women in the New Testament to express Choice,” Quinn said.

Well, it is clear here that Quinn has mistaken the Immaculate Conception with the Annunciation which is when Mary said "Yes" to conceiving the Christ child. The Immaculate Conception is when MARY was conceived--without sin and full of grace. Attempting to use the Blessed Mother, even mention of her name, to promote abortion is a terrible insult to Mary. On the tilma of Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe imprinted her image and on it, she's wearing a sash around her waist denoting her pregnancy. Mary is about life. Mary is called the Blessed "MOTHER." Where do you find the choice of abortion in the term "mother"?

Satan is using many priests and religious to promote his cause but there are Bishops and priests who are finding courage and speaking out, refusing communion to those who promote abortion. I believe this will snowball. Our duty is to pray for them to have courage to lead their flock in the way of Christ. Abortion is intrinsically evil, always will be. Killing a defenseless child who is at the mercy of his mother's love and care is abhorrent. Those who protest the loudest also know this--know it in their hearts--but want only do do their own will, thinking only of themselves and how a child might inconvenience them. This is rebellion to God's laws and what got Lucifer thrown out of heaven and into hell.

Yes, we need to somehow convince women to say "yes" to life. But if this bill passes with funds for abortion, it somehow tells people, once again, that abortion is okay, it is their right and it goes hand-in-hand with Roe vs Wade, making it even harder to overturn Roe vs Wade; don't you think?

I believe, however, the abortion issue is a diversion and that the road being paved for us now (and fast!) by the President, the House and Senate is far worse. The time is short and few will make it. Pray for all and be ready.

John F. Kennedy said...


Abortion IS MURDER. Murder has ALWAYS been wrong. The Church's stance has never changed on this.

It has NOT taken a stance on many things. Day follows night. 2+2=4 These are all true whether or not a Pope teaches them infallibly. But it HAS ALWAYS taught Abortion was murder, wrong and evil. To deny that is to deny ANY teaching Authority of the Church .

Do you deny the 10 Commandments too?

Mike in CT said...


not to impune your Catholic street cred, but surely you can see the difference on a theological development that for a long time the church did not make a definitive declaration and a moral point that the church has stated since the beginning is intrinsically wrong?

Dogmas, as the Immaculate Conception, have to be defined. The moral repudiation of participating in murder, however, is a direct consequence of the Ten Commandments.

But surely you already knew that.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

Donna Quinn is not only completely wrong and causing scandal, but she's failing to use any clear logic. It should be blatantly obvious that if God's asking Mary if she will have his child, she isn't pregnant, just as it should be obvious that there can be no comparison or link between Catholic and Unitarian teachings, mainly because we actually have some that are quite firm.

I do think, however, that there can be "faithful dissent"-- but it doesn't look like scandal, it looks like pentitence and obedience. Sometimes people really just can't understand, but if they are truly faithful, they'll obey because they trust that there are things they won't understand and yet can rely on God's church for guidance. Those people may struggle, but it's private- it's the struggle of the 2nd man in the synagogue; it's not the struggle of an abortion sidewalk counsellor.

Anonymous said...

The US nuns are upset to be investigated by the Vatican. Everybody wonders why.

Anonymous said...

In addition to my earlier emails to both Cardinal George and Prioress Mulchey,I wrote to the news release people in the diocese of Madison, Wisconsin to enlighten Bishop Robert Morlino of this article. I included the Pope's email as well just to be sure every level is aware of this atrocious article.


Please relate to Bishop Robert Morlino an article on Spirit Daily (12/9/09 spiritdaily.com) regarding a religious Sisinawa Dominican, Sister Donna Quinn. If accurate, it is creating havoc in the Catholic community.

Please reference the many responses indicating outrage which needs addressing if not by your Bishop, then by our Holy Father at the Vatican, to whom this is also addressed.


Stella said...

The idiocy of this woman's logic shows you how little she understands Mary's "choice". It also demonstrates the confusions that reigns in some orders of nuns (rebellious, nuns I might add). I am glad the Vatican is visiting them and I hope that they will be able to be humble and obedient enough to get back to their charism. If not - boot them from the Catholic Church! I've had it with these superior acting hags in nun's clothing.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I do think, however, that there can be "faithful dissent"

Maybe it's just semantics, but faithful dissent seems to be an oxymoron. It implies expressed disagreement with established teaching. There can be faithful discussion, perhaps even opposition, to proposed teaching (that is, somehting that is not yet defined, such as limbo or a myriad other things). But abortion is simply not in the "undefined" category. It has been consistenly, completely and unanimously condemned by those with authority since the didache.

Anonymous said...

Sr Quinn is leading women into committing grievous sins that violate the 10 commandments. Quinn preys on these pregnant woman in their moment of need, weakness and confusion. Sr Quinn has lost her way and is not espousing Catholic faith. There is no choice left, but to swiftly oust Sr Quinn from her sisterhood order to halt any misperceptions that her immoral guidance aligns with teachings of the Church.

Anonymous said...

If we destroy a flower before it blooms we say we killed it. It has not yet become what is was meant to be and, still, we regard it as something that is alive. Yet, we destroy a fetus before it becomes what it is meant to be, a human being, we say nothing. May God have mercy on the Sister's soul and the Church hierarchy for not addressing this issue sooner. Pray for the lost souls that met their end by the hand of someone who swore to protect them.

Rick said...

Craig re: "The church's stance on abortion is not infallible and has not been proclaimed so as Rick pointed out above and, as such, is still able to be discussed."

Please read the statements re: dissent in their entirety and conclude within that context. Re: the application of dissent to abortion Anonymous @3:28 said it best.

Craig said...

Why do people persist in saying that Sr. Quinn is confusing the Immaculate Conception with the Annunciation?

She simply said that it was fitting the bill was defeated on the day on which Mary's perfect state of grace is celebrated since she was the first woman mentioned in the Bible that was given the right to choose. She did not say the Immaculate Conception was the day she made the choice.

Also, calling her a demon or Satan's minion really goes beyond the pale.

Anonymous said...

"Thou Shalt Not Kill" says it best.


Gretchen said...

This is how I responded to Sr. Quinn:

Dear Cardinal Francis George and Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, O.P.,

As a post-abortion woman, and a new Catholic convert (2008), I am devastated by the words and actions of Sr. Donna Quinn. To even suggest that the Virgin Mary would or could be in agreement with pro-abortion politics is unthinkable. This type of heresy shreds the fabric of Catholic unity and promotes views and actions that are in direct opposition to our Savior's and the Church's teachings on the sanctity and dignity of human life--from conception to natural death.

Has Sr. Quinn had an abortion? Does she understand the effects, psychologically and physically on women? How I wish I could sit down with Sr. Quinn and tell her of the guilt, shame, regret, and agony I and many other post-abortion women suffer on a daily basis. Sometimes our comfort comes from prayers ascending to Our Mother, begging her to care for the little babes we killed. The terrible act of abortion reverberates unceasingly in the lives of those who assent to an abortion--from the women, to their partners and living children, to say nothing of the babies whose lives were ended. In such a case imagine the horror of being told the Virgin Mary is pro-choice, pro-abortion.

People need strong shepherding on these life and death issues. If Catholic nuns feel free to spread such heinous viewpoints openly, what does that mean for a world full of people who are in desperate need of a life-affirming foundation upon which to base their decisions? How does that reflect on Sr. Quinn and her Order, and ultimately the Catholic Church, that she cannot discern between good and evil?

I implore you to take appropriate action with Sr. Quinn and to stand by me (and other post-abortion women) in support of life, not death. If you stand with us, support us, comfort us, urge us to action, I am convinced that the pro-life movement will be infused with the strength of millions of women who will join together to stop the murder of unborn babies. The soul-killing effects of abortion on women cannot go forever unanswered by the bankrupt idea of 'choice' that Sr. Quinn advocates so horribly in connection with the Mother of Jesus.

I ask my Church to stand with me in solidarity and to fight anew the culture of death.


al g. said...

Pray for this lost soul! It is Christmas!
She is confused! Her order is to blame for letting her garbage go on! Very sad!

Charlie said...

I hate to sound old-fashioned or "ungracious", but this woman should not be in a religious Order.
Sadly, there are all too many nuns (and male religous and clergy, just to keep things fair) who hold equivalent or worse ideas in contradiction of their faith.
That's what happens when the Church denies her own authority, I guess...

nightfly said...

Craig - I think the big problem here is that Ms. Quinn is using Mary as a prop to celebrate something abhorrent and intrinsically evil, not to mention an inherent contradiction: if she had her way, Mary could be destroyed in utero, which is a bizarre way to honor her state perfect grace. Her statement is akin to the Klan holding a big parade on the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

It's so mind-boggling and infuriating as to make it difficult to avoid violating Godwin's Law, much less God's.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The answers are clear:
1. God the Father said "Thou shall not kill"
2. Jesus said "love your neigbor as yourself" including your children
3. Our Blessed Mother has told us of the utter disgust of heavan at the act of abortion.
4. The Holy Father, Pope Bennedict XVI has been clear on the stance of the Church, and our obligation of obedience to that stance.

You can't call yourself Catholic and go against God, his Son, the greatest saint, and our Pope. We all need to pray for the sister, not condemn her. That is God's work.

William said...

Mary made the choice of Obedience so that we may find Obedience easier, NOT SO THAT WE MAY CHOOSE DISGUSTING SINS.

The fact that this woman gave poor, misguided souls like Craig ammunition for their grave scandals is so horrible that it's no wonder there are so many Protestants in the world.

This is completely beyond sick.

Anonymous said...

I will pray she leaves the church, reflects while not having a platform to further embarass the Catholic faith and then after asking GOD for forgiveness, return and convert thos with simialr views of abortion.

hal said...

They are both cowards, I say to them - St. Dominic, who gave up the Rossary, and was the first to give us this prayer, "Blessed is the fruit of your womb", now has a beloved sister who believes that the premeditated, cold blooded murder of innocent babies is sanctioned by our Father, God. Nice going. I'm a prolife worker and we are giving it our all and have beed since 1972. Where have you been all that time? This woman should be gotten rid of - the only reason you have her in your blood and on your alter is because you buy into Planned Parenthood's euphamistic use of the word, "Killing" "or it was merely, "an abortion". Abortion is a good medical procedure that saves lives when used correctly. Killing is what you do to a chicken, not a human baby!
This is happening to us because you are too cowardly and comfortable to call abortion by its correct name, MURDER! Give the babies a little dignity - stop comparing them to chickens and Pigs! They are as human as you are! Stop comparing them to merely slaugtered animals. Until you do, I withhold my peace from you! Hal BARTON - T.O.P. Just once, call it for what it is! Give the Babies a little dignity! Ha, Fat Chance!

Anonymous said...



Blackrep said...

Typical crap from a typical modern nun. What is not typical is that this farce of a woman isn't thrown out on her fat polyester-swathed tushie and nebbishes like us get to make calls and write letters pleading for the dorks who run this church to do their jobs. Do your freaking jobs, you morons in miters!

paladin said...

Craig wrote, in reply to Mike from CT:

The church's stance on abortion is not infallible and has not been proclaimed so as Rick pointed out above and, as such, is still able to be discussed.

Forgive me, Craig, but--at least on this particular point--you have no idea what you're talking about. Did you miss this bit from the Catechism?

"Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or as a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law [...] abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes." (CCC 2271, including a quote from Gaudium et Spes, 51, sec.3) Check out the entire section (2270-2275), if you'd like to remedy your errors in this matter. Heck, read the entire Catechism; it could only do you good!

Also, did you know that the Immaculate Conception of Mary was not made an infallible teaching until 1854. Before that, it was an excommunicatable offense to accuse either believers or non-believers in Mary's Immaculate Conception of heresy.

(??) I'm sure you can give a reference for that stunning and sweeping statement (in your second sentence)? It'd be one thing (and true enough) to say that a denial of Mother Mary's Immaculate Conception couldn't be considered a formal heresy before 1854, since Rome hadn't clarified that true doctrine beyond all doubt; but to say that *accusations* of heresy on that point were excommunicable offenses? Sorry, friend, but you've just swerved into la-la land, there. Accusations of heresy (or of any other crime) have never been an excommunicable offense in the Catholic Church.

That means prior to 1854 there was actual dissent and discussion about Mary's state of grace

I think you mean "dissension" (as in controversy), not "dissent (which is rebellion against a clear truth). But this is apples vs. oranges; while Catholics were, at one point, morally free to debate the Immaculate Conception, there was never a time when people were morally free to believe (or teach) that abortion was anything other than a grave evil.

Anonymous said...

Why do all allow yourselves to be sifted like wheat? No other options exits in the presence of Truth, no other reality prevails except the principles set by God. These are immutable: the truth and it's principles. It does not bulge because a man and his motives dare to say otherwise. If the greatest of fools understands
the impossibility of more than One Truth. Even a fool knows that another reality must concur to be valid with Truth; anything else is a contradiction and a lie and non-existent. There are no Pontius Pilates who pretense truth is relative and thus who can say what it is...have you forgotten he was rebuke by his wife for trampling upon the holiness of Truth and was exhorted to let Truth be. Be sure the wicked like Satan reconize God, know Truth well...they the wicked study it well...so ever to deceive and cloud the light and lamp of Truth of the weak and
uninformed. The victorious people of God know what to do and they will not be wasting grace or time arguing with the ever condemned whom stubbornly fights to gain entrance to his eternal torment.

Anonymous said...

Mary wasn't pregnant yet. She made the choice to carry the Son of God, though she didn't know fully what it mean.

Unlike women today, who make the choice to have sex but don't want their child.

This woman is sadly trying to justify an evil.

LukeOneTwentyEight said...

With all due respect to those who are living a consecrated religious life, I have to scratch my head and wonder where people like Sister Donna Quinn are allowed to 'wear a habit' at the very least - and more so - allowed to call themselves Catholic at all. Now while it isn't my right to judge anyone as damned because we all have to answer to God alone in the end, I think as a fellow Catholic trying like mad to live out his Faith, I do have the right to say "Whoa - how's come that lady can say all those things and get by with it without some HEAVY repercussions?" And why is the media allowed to even associate her with being a "sister"? I think she forsake the 'habit' long ago when the spirit of dissent first entertained her and she succombed. It's no wonder there are things like "Apostolic Visitations".

I am sure it must be hard to alienate and possibly lose the soul of a person, but being an addict in recovery, I know that sometimes our screwball behaviors must be dealt with with tough love if we addicts are every going to change. I would suspect that it's not too much different with the dissent addicts...someone like Donna Quinn. It is true that we should love people like her. But if we keep on "loving" them like we always have in recent times - out of "tolerance", then they won't change for anyone and their souls will be lost anyway because we will have "loved" them to death. In reality we aren't loving anyone by continuing to let them abuse themselves or others around them. It's called enabling instead. Instead of enabling them to death then, shouldn't we love them back to Life?

Maybe from a different perspective like this the Church can handle the struggling like Donna Quinn differently. I don't know - I am just a layperson and no expert .....just trying to do what I need to do myself to stay in the state of grace - incidently a more than full time job. But I think I do and should have a voice in this Body of Christ that joins us most completely through reception of the Holy Eucharist. May God have mercy on us all.

Anonymous said...

Don't give these kinds of people the time.... It is what she lives for, i.e. to glorify herself. In being a nun, and being provacative, she does just this (gets attention!). A pity, yes. But if we (as Catholics and Christians and Religious in general) get mired in the muck of one person's ego, what will we attain. Shake her dust from your boots..Move on.. There are those that love to remind Catholics that Adolph Hitler was Catholic (at one point, at least), too... So what?

Anonymous said...

Do not scorn the person, scorn the problem. We are all children of God. She has strayed, but remember that story they tell in Bible school about the shepard who lost one lamb and went to find it. Pray for her soul's safe return to the Lord, so there can be much rejoicing in Heaven.
And on abortion... there is much to say. Much I can't say here. But no one has the right to extinguish a light that might have shone bright for the world. That life might change the course of history, and by choosing abortion, the mother of that child might be responsible for the history their aborted child can't create. What if George Washington's mother had chosen to abort him? Then America might not be a country. What if Elvis' mother had aborted him? There might never have been such a thing as rock-and-roll. And what if Moses' mother had chosen to let the Egyptians kill her son? Then the Hebrew people might still be Egyptian slaves, and there might not even be such a thing as Christianity! Do you see? Every life has the potential to do something great. Why should anyone have the ability to annihilate that future? Only God should decide when someone's time is. And no one should "play God."
Please don't call anyone an abomination. People are people are people are people, whether they're white, black or purple, boy or girl, Catholic or not, and(you all will most likely want to kill me for saying this) straight or gay. The way you are is the way you are, and God loves all his people, no matter what they think of each other. One is not better or worse than the other, we are all equal in His eyes. Those who say they know His will are being foolish. No one except God knows His will. But we can guess. Perhaps we are all wrong. Perhaps we are all right, all at once. But none of us will know the true God until we are with him in Heaven. That is the God I believe in. If you don't like my idea of God, that is fine with me. I did not write this to change anyone's views. I wrote this to share my beliefs with the world, and to remind us all to love.

Anonymous said...

May God have mercy on Donna Quinn

Anonymous said...

A media that hates the religious, and a nun that loves to be reactionary and stomp around in her own mess like a vainglorious piglet... What a wonderful match ! Her ego is stroked, and the media attains their goal, i.e. the erosion of religion. She must be very, very happy. Her fifteen minutes of fame are turning into more like twenty or thirty. What a life she must be living !

Early Riser said...

I think one of the biggest issues here is that no matter what happens at this point, the damage is done. If Cardinal George were to do anything here (and once again, this is about as probable as Pelosi doing anything about the "transfer tax" on Catholic church property proposed in SF), or if Sr Patricia Mulcahey were to ask Donna to finally leave the order, we might get a headline like "Pro-choice nun leaves order" or something to that effect which gives the impression that there is room for debate within Catholicism on this subject since there are "so many" people who believe this. What we WON'T get is an explanation and affirmation of church teaching on how wrong this thought process is.

So, once again, thank you all you lackluster leaders of our church who promulgate such scandal by your sin of omission. And to those of you who actively defend the faith and safeguard the faithful (Archbishop Tobin, I'm looking in your direction) may God continue to bless and guide you for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Your Eminence,
As a Catholic, it is beyond belief that you have in your archdiocese an individual, a so-called religious, who points at the Blessed Virgin Mary and flatly refers to Her as being ‘the first women in the New Testament to express Choice." Let's be clear and direct. Our Blessed Lord must be shedding tears that someone speaks so murderously and scandalously against His mother. Such language and reference of this immaculately conceived vessel of sinlessness and purity, totally free of any tendency toward sin is disgusting. This witch needs to be caste out into the world she so embraces. What a scandal this murderous monstrosity you have in your jurisdiction brings to your archdiocese. Have you no standards that are acceptable and unacceptable for continuance in religious life within an order under your jurisdiction?

It is now high time you expel this lose foul mouthed anti-Catholic renegade from the order she no longer deserves to be associated with by default.

For the love of the true Church of Jesus Christ expel this devilish filth over the walls to the secular world to preserve the City of God your Eminence is so famous for defending.

Anonymous said...

The Almighty created women to be the one to set the tone for faith and morals. Adam clearly sinned because Eve advised him incorrectly, since she was coaxed by one other than the Holy Spirit. Our Blessed Mother who was created pure, and full of grace from the moment of her conception, said yes to the Father, "be it done unto me according to They Word." Our Lady has become our heavenly Mother, and model, since Her existence. I'm afraid Sister Donna is following in the footsteps of Eve not Our Lady, and will have much to answer for come her judgement day.

Anonymous said...

I wish to add that you must know that the devil makes fun of those these days who are chaste. The devil has no greater insult to lay against Jesus' mother than to insult Her virginity. Quinn has a queer understanding of Mary's virginity and Jesus' divine wisdom!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that anyone is surprised. As a convert, I have heard and seen with my own eyes how little "Catholics" believe or even know what their religion means. Sorry... I'm just tired of all the shocked reactions... like "are there really sweatshops in Chinatown?" Face it, the Church is at a crossroads... the social Catholics want to come to church and play "catholic" (mainly on Christmas and Easter and send their kids to good Catholic schools), the nuns and priests are running amok chasing after every secular notion or magic (Enneagrams, Reiki) and the U.S. has become numb to the whole debate over abortion...Jesus help us!

Craig said...


The church's teachings have not been proclaimed ex cathedra on this matter.
If it is so cut and dry, why has it not been done at some point over the last 1900 years?

RE: "(??) I'm sure you can give a reference for that stunning and sweeping statement (in your second sentence)? "



"By a Decree of 28 February, 1476, Sixtus IV at last adopted the feast for the entire Latin Church and granted an indulgence to all who would assist at the Divine Offices of the solemnity (Denzinger, 734). The Office adopted by Sixtus IV was composed by Leonard de Nogarolis, whilst the Franciscans, since 1480, used a very beautiful Office from the pen of Bernardine dei Busti (Sicut Lilium), which was granted also to others (e.g. to Spain, 1761), and was chanted by the Franciscans up to the second half of the nineteenth century. As the public acknowledgment of the feast of Sixtus IV did not prove sufficient to appease the conflict, he published in 1483 a constitution in which he punished with excommunication all those of either opinion who charged the opposite opinion with heresy (Grave nimis, 4 Sept., 1483; Denzinger, 735)."

I recommend you read the whole thing. It is highly entertaining.

RE: "I think you mean "dissension" (as in controversy)"

According to Webster, dissension means "partisan and contentious quarreling".

And, in case you missed it, this post is about a pro-choice Catholic named Sister Quinn.

Gutterball Master said...

Please read the following from "Evangelium Vitae": in which Pope John Paul II made a few ex cathedra (as I read it) statements:

"Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.
"The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. It is in fact a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and indeed to God himself, the author and guarantor of that law; it contradicts the fundamental virtues of justice and charity. 'Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action'."


"Given such unanimity in the doctrinal and disciplinary tradition of the Church, Paul VI was able to declare that this tradition is unchanged and unchangeable. Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops-who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine-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. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God, is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.
"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."


If abortion is "intrinsically evil", how can it become un-"intrinsically evil"? How can an abomination become a non-abomination?

Anonymous said...

I seriously think the nun is possessed. A thorough exorcism by the holy priest, father Grabriel Armoth, should do the job.

Alice Gunther said...

If Ms. Quinn (I won't say "Sister") needs a new testament figure to exemplify her worldview, she should invoke King Herod and his cohorts, not our Blessed Mother.

Anonymous said...

....How come this nun is still able to stay in her religious order with such evil thoughts re abortion, which are very much against the teachings of our church. All my life I have been working in the medical profession trying to save lives... These unborn babies that are killed are alive, and could have made this world a better place for others.This very misguided person requires many prayers to set her feet upon the right path....let us all pray for her.. Maureen

paladin said...

Craig wrote, in reply to my comment:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm [re: penalty of excommunication for those who accuse each other of heresy over the matter of the Immaculate Conception]

All right, fair enough; my mistake. I'd not heard that one, before.

Re: abortion:

The church's teachings have not been proclaimed ex cathedra on this matter.

Why on earth would you expect it to be? The vast majority of Catholic dogma hasn't.

If it is so cut and dry, why has it not been done at some point over the last 1900 years?

Precisely because it's so cut-and-dry! For 1900+ years, the Church assumed that no one in his right mind would deny the horrifically evil nature of murdering children in the womb. (This assumption was quite true, by the way.) It's only when people start to deviate from an established truth that Rome needs to "define" it beyond all possibility of (even muddle-headed) debate. You'll note that the doctrines of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth of Christ, and thousands of other teachings (and attendant details) have not been proclaimed ex cathedra. Why are you under the impression that ex cathedra pronouncement is necessary for anything to be taken as undeniably true, and that everything else is up for grabs?

And, in case you missed it, this post is about a pro-choice Catholic named Sister Quinn.

I'm quite aware of that (though the word "Catholic" may not describe her, anymore); I'm also aware of the fact that your ideas of Catholic doctrine are quite muddled. You're under the impression that "the moral evil of abortion isn't undeniable Catholic teaching", and I reply that you're speaking nonsense. You might as well suggest that the doctrine of God's existence is "not an undeniable truth of the Faith", since God's existence hasn't been pronounced ex cathedra! Please try to understand: ex cathedra definitions are sufficient to establish an undeniable fact of the Faith, but they're not necessary; they're only one possible way by which dogma is settled and clarified. Literally thousands of undeniable articles of the Faith are contained in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and in dogmatic pronouncements of the various Councils of the Church... none of which involved formal ex cathedra statements.

Beyond that, read Gutterball Master's quote from Evangelium Vitae (I'd not had time to dig it up, when I found the Catechism reference--but his is the real money quote.)

Anonymous said...

Liberalism is a mental decease and any nun making a statement like this has to be mental.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that this nun does not believe in consequences. Had The Blessed Mother chose "No" to "Life" the gates of Heaven would have remained "Closed" and this nun would go straight to "Hell". When a woman gets pregnant, it is God's Will, no matter the circumstances. The problem with this nun is that she has more compassion for the adult human (teen or not) than Jesus dying on the Cross for all the horrible sins. Or, for the helpless innocent baby. God comes first and misplaced commpassion is not going to get you into Heaven.

Craig said...


RE: For 1900+ years, the Church assumed that no one in his right mind would deny the horrifically evil nature of murdering children in the womb.


Contrary to popular opinion, abortions are not a recent secular liberal construct created by the fictional "culture of death". Abortion procedures pre-date Christianity by some 5000 years.

In fact, the church's stance on when abortion became murder has fluctuated throughout it's history. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas believed abortion was fine until the fetus became "animated" (was in the shape of a human). The church didn't require excommunication for abortions at any stage until 1886 under Pope Leo XIII.

Sam. said...

Aquinas and Augustine were working with the science they had at the time. To the best of their knowledge, that was when life began, as they could not tell before the time of quickening (when it could be felt moving in the womb). With our scientific knowledge today, we know that the embryo at the moment of its conception is an individual organism with its own DNA, and as a human organism it must be an individual human person.

The Church has always taught, in accordance with Commandment #5, that killing an innocent human being is murder, and punishable by eternal damnation. The teaching has remained the same, as the science has improved. If Augustine and Aquinas had today's scientific knowledge on hand to write their theological masterpieces, they would agree.

Indeed, the Didache (the earliest Catholic writing after the New Testament to be found) holds that abortion is wrong, viz.:

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.
[emphasis mine]

These passages are at the very beginning of this writing. This is evidence from Tradition that the Church has always taken the 5th Commandment to include the killing of a baby before birth.

paladin said...

Craig wrote:

Contrary to popular opinion, abortions are not a recent secular liberal construct created by the fictional "culture of death". Abortion procedures pre-date Christianity by some 5000 years.

Er... yes. So do murder, rape, torture, etc. Are you seriously trying to suggest that, since abortion (and other grave crimes) are old, they must have been "okay" in the eyes of the Church at one point (somewhere during that "1900+ years)? If so, all I can say is that you're spectacularly wrong.

In fact, the church's stance on when abortion became murder has fluctuated throughout it's history. St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas believed abortion was fine until the fetus became "animated" (was in the shape of a human).

(*sigh*) Where do I begin...?

First: you should already know that "animation" means "movement" (called "quickening", in older English), and it has nothing whatever to do with "shape of a human", or shape of any sort. Error #1.

Second: When you say that St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas "believed abortion was fine" until quickening, you obviously haven't read what they actually wrote on the subject. St. Thomas, for example, was uncertain about the "age of ensoulment" of the fetus (which they associated with "quickening"--something which we now know to be inaccurate); but he condemned abortion as a terrible crime, anyway... which even the New York Times consented to admit on its op-ed page (complete with references).

Ditto for St. Augustine, I'm afraid.

The church didn't require excommunication for abortions at any stage until 1886 under Pope Leo XIII.

Murder isn't an excommunicable offense, even in 2009... but it's still mortally sinful (which is ultimately the point). The mere fact that this-or-that is an excommunicable offense doesn't mean that other acts are "okay" or "morally allowable", or any other such nonsense.

Anonymous said...


You missed the ex cathedra ("Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church ..." and "Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops ...") from the statement by JPII at "December 9, 2009 10:28 PM" above.


John F. Kennedy said...


May you continue to defend the Church with your weapons of reason and Truth.

maryclare said...

Please, please all pray for this woman. What she says is absolute heresy.. I fear for her immortal soul.
Please pray for the whole Church... perhaps this is symptomatic of the Great Apostacy that was prophesied. There are many people, lay, religious clergy (including bisops)who either tolerate this sort of thing or who indeed preach,teach, and indeed live out their heretical beliefs. And worse, spread this poison to others.
I pray she may be given the grace to see the error of her views and come to true repentance before it too late. She may have the (notional) freedom in this life to speak/believe as she does, but woe betide her when she is in front of the Lord on the day of Judgement...He is not going to have a debate with her....

Craig said...


Because of the belief in delayed ensoulment, the church did not consider abortion = murder at any time during the pregnancy until relatively recently.

While abortion was considered a sin, as you say, it was not treated very harshly.
The Penitential of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), for example, said that the sin of oral intercourse required from 7 years to a lifetime of penance, whereas an abortion, if conducted early enough, required only 120 days.

In 1869, Pope Pius IX officially removed the distinction between the animated and unanimated fetus from the penal legislation of the Church and in 1917, the Code of Canon Law states:

"One who procures abortion and all those who cooperated in procuring an effective abortion incur latae sententiae excommunication".

Mike in CT said...


What you are not seeming to understand (on purpose, I believe) is that once ensoulment has taken place, the Church universally rejected abortion as murder.

The lack of clarity as to when human life begins has historically been a consequence of the limits of science at the time. (Hence the Penitential of Theodore probably viewed such "abortion" at an early enough time as a form of contraception, I guess) But as others here have clearly pointed out, modern science leaves no room for doubt that human life begins at conception, so abortion at any time after conception is rejected outright.

Anonymous said...

From Craig:
"Because of the belief in delayed ensoulment, the church did not consider abortion = murder at any time during the pregnancy until relatively recently."

Huh? From the 1st-2nd Didache which is cited in CCC 2271, "You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish [ie, murder]."

Soul talk was mostly regarding the seriousness of the sin (where on venial-mortal spectrum of sin) by St. Aquinas et al. based on (partially flawed) Aristotelian science(in the modern bio sense)/ethics. Abortion (and infanticide) was (were) still considered a sin(s) from the beginning.


Anonymous said...


That's "1st-2nd *century* Didache" (see above at 3:41 PM).


Charlie said...

"Anonymous said...


December 9, 2009 9:32 PM"

This fellow is right.
I'm a convert, too, but I noticed real quickly how ridiculous the whole "modernized Church" thing is.
I joined the Church because I was convinced by Scripture and personal study of history that the Roman Catholic Church truly is the "true Church".
It wasn't until after I got baptised that I really experienced the utter faithlessness of many lifelong Catholics.
I've actually come to the conclusion that there isn't a single theory or conjecture that doesn't have a cult following in the Church.
As a former Protestant I know that there is much counter-evidence against Evolution that needs to be seriously accounted for on the Evolutionist side, but a religious education teacher I know routinely and casually uses Evolutionary theory to interpret Scripture as though Evolution were a solid unshakeably proven fact.
The old Church would never have pretended that all religions can please Christ.
Christ was the most self-centered man who ever lived for God's sake!
And almost worse than that, the Roman Catholic Church who has for almost 2000 years believed that she was especially blessed to be called the sole Bride of Christ, and knew how much God loves her (more than the entire world) pretty much thinks of herself as a single member of a sort of "harem of Christ".
I actually pity cradle Catholics who deny Christ's particular love for them, when throughout history, from the day God covenanted with Abraham to this day, God has always shown that the spiritual Israel (the Church) is beloved by him more than the entire world (though it too he loves).
No wonder our Church is in a drought of priests throughout the World.
No one would give their lives for a man or woman who belongs to all their suitors.
But I have faith in this Church.
I've lost too many friends in the Protestant churches and the respect of my entire family for my decision, and I'm not about to sell out the value of my Baptism now.
Brother and sister Catholics, please remember yourselves.
Christ loves you more on a bad day than the World ever can...
Anyway, my point is that it's a bigger problem than just this one sister.
(Also, I should mention that I don't mind being accused of "sanctimony" when it comes to serious problems like this.)

Linus said...

As Dr. Savage says, liberalism is a mental disorder. Sr. Quinn and at least one commentator above have serious mental problems. That being said, even if the health care bill becomes law and has all the pro-life protections demanded by the USCCB and most pro-life groups it would still be a grossly immoral Law and it should have been opposed on that basis from the beginning. We had one chance to kill this beast in the House but the USCCB intervened at the last hour with the Stupak Amendment. See my comment at DWFCatholic.org under " SBA List Statement on Senate Vote to table the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment. "

Anonymous said...

I worked for a Sinsinawa Dominican school for 2 years. Good luck getting them to do any real reprimanding of Donna.

Unfortunately, the Masses held at the school looked very similar to those at parishes around the country.

Not that people who read this don't already know, but we have a lot of work ahead of us to right this ship.

maryclare :-) said...

Amen brother (4:45pm). I too am a convert and there are so many catholics who have not been through correct and thorough catechesis who simply dod not know their faith and the love that Jesus bears them. I agree this is way bigger than one sister, but dealing with her would be a start. We need to pray for her and others like her, and for the whole Curch.

paladin said...

Craig wrote:

Because of the belief in delayed ensoulment, the church did not consider abortion = murder at any time during the pregnancy until relatively recently.

I could quibble with your claim of "relatively recently", but: let's assume you're completely right on that point. So what? The Faith is about uniting to God and avoiding sin--especially mortal sin, which (if not rejected through true repentance) condemns the sinner to eternal hell! Would you really feel better if, while in Hell, you can say, "well, at least I wasn't technically guilty of murder, and I wasn't technically excommunicated (though Sr. Quinn probably is, all things considered)"? You rightly note that this story is about Sr. Quinn; and I'll remind you that her soul is in grave danger, right now... your mistaken protestations of "pluralism" and "lack of infallibility" notwithstanding.

While abortion was considered a sin, as you say,

(*ahem*) Doesn't this rather contradict your earlier position of, "St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas believed abortion was fine" (December 10, 2009 12:03 PM)?

it was not treated very harshly. The Penitential of Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), for example, said that the sin of oral intercourse required from 7 years to a lifetime of penance, whereas an abortion, if conducted early enough, required only 120 days.

Oh, good grief...

You've cited an example (if correct) of a particular Archbishop--even a notable one--treating the sin of abortion less than "harshly". Well and good. St. Ambrose (bishop of Milan, and Father of the Church) mitigated the public penance of the Emperor Theodosius who slaughtered 7000 men, women and children in Thessalonica; would you argue, on the basis of that leniency, that the slaughter was any less grave? Surely you can see that the policies of one Archbishop (and attendand circumstances which formed his position, about which we know little or nothing) say nothing about the objective wrong of abortion?

My point is this: if abortion is a mortal sin, then abortion is a mortal sin. The Church (through scientific advances, and through continued reflection) now understands the gravity of that abominable crime more thoroughly than in the past. You seem to be using that as a way to undercut and question the authority of Church teaching (on the ground that "it could be wrong, since it seems to have changed before!"). In that, you are not being faithful to the Catholic Church, and you're being appallingly illogical. Are you in possession of a document which says that, as neonatology advanced, the Church's position on abortion grew more *lax*? Otherwise, your insinuations about "church teaching being unsettled/arbitrary" are self-serving smoke, blown in the wind.

In 1869, Pope Pius IX officially removed the distinction between the animated and unanimated fetus from the penal legislation of the Church

...and rightly so. The science had advanced to the point where the Holy Father could make a decision based on more accurate information. I fail to see how this advances your mistaken idea that "those who tolerate abortion aren't necessarily defying the Church (and Christ, Who speaks through Her)".

P.S. To JFK: as long as I can still hold a sword, I will! :)

P.P.S. To Charlie: that was the best comment I've read in a long time! Never fear the "sanctimony epithet hurlers"! :)

Craig said...


This post is about Sr. Quinn, indeed.

You are the one who decided to challenge my assertion that the Church's stance on abortion has been far from "infallible" throughout it's history.

RE: Ambrose, you will get no argument from me about the Church's magnanimous stance on mindless slaughter.

paladin said...

Mm-hmm. The "infallible" kick, again.

Craig, for once and for all: your idea that "unless it's ex cathedra, it's up for grabs" is blithering nonsense. Your very gripes about "infallibility" are pure red herrings, since they have nothing specifically to do with the fact that abortion is now, and always has been, a grave evil--and has always been considered so by the Church, regardless of the laxity of this-or-that prelate.

Beyond that, your own muddled understanding of Catholic teaching (whether made by "infallible" definition or otherwise) is really running you in mental circles. Didn't your own example of "Pope Sixtus IV forbidding pronouncements of 'heresy' between opposing factions of the Immaculate Conception debate" clue you in on the fact that people (including Sr. Quinn, whom you admire) *can't* simply dismiss what the Church (through the Pope, or otherwise) commands and teaches--and that they're being unfaithful when they do? You showed this (aforementioned Pope Sixtus IV) example triumphantly, as if it proved your insinuation that "no one should call Sr. Quinn a heretic"; but do you seriously not see that your defense of "dissent" would undercut that very Papal pronouncement? What of those who might have dissented from Pope Sixtus IV's command, and called each other "heretics" anyway (in a way that would allegedly have been "a gift to the Church, and vital for its life", according to Sr. Quinn)? Why have you no sympathy for dissenters who run *against* your personal tastes? In fact, why start snarking against those who decry Sr. Quinn's rebellion, if you truly believe (with Sr. Quinn) that dissent in either direction is such a good thing?

(Yes, I know: your original praise of Sr. Quinn, especially on this forum, was made mainly to be inflammatory; but consistency is consistency, even while trolling.)

I do note, in addition, that you've studiously ignored all the (many) references to "abortion being infallibly declared to be gravely evil". (E.g. Craig says that the Church has not always considered abortion to be a grave evil; the Catechism of the Catholic Church directly and flatly contradicts Craig, and Pope John Paul II directly and flatly contradicts Craig. Guess who wins? Hint: it's not Craig.)

In short, your entire point (to the extent that you had one)--and the sum-total of everything you've written on this thread--is balderdash.

Anonymous said...

To Early Riser's comment about Cardinal George of Chicago being the "Barney Fife" of bishops. Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is the See No Evil, Hear No Evil of American prelates. Who else would allow such a lavish public faux canonization (aka, funeral) of a notorious public sinner: Ted Kennedy? He is just one in a long line of spineless Boston prelates who wimped out when it came to the Kennedys.

Craig said...


My first post was a direct quote from the article cited in the original post. You really need to get your snark-meter checked.

Calling Sr. Quinn a demon/minion of satan/insane is not dissent, its a personal attack.

RE: Sixtus, he obviously had no problem with dissent on the Immaculate Conception issue, he just said they couldn't accuse each other of heresy for either believing in it or not. There was obviously a raging debate going on about it and both sides were getting carried away.

And if it is cathartic for you to offer your unsolicited opinions of my comments to the uncaring tubes of the interweb have at it, Mr. Quixote.

It matters not to me.

paladin said...

My first post was a direct quote from the article cited in the original post.

Right... and you said that you liked it, without expounding. Given that, are you really surprised that (after saying that you liked her outspoken defense of dissent, especially in the context of defending the so-called "right" to kill unborn children) I, or others, take it as either your deliberate attempt to goad orthodox Christians into a fight, or your striking ignorance of Catholic teaching, or both?

You really need to get your snark-meter checked.

:) Sorry, friend. Mine is functioning quite nicely. If something walks like a troll, talks like a troll, and snarls like a troll... well...

Calling Sr. Quinn a demon/minion of satan/insane is not dissent, its a personal attack.

Calling her a demon is a personal attack, true... though I can understand the exasperation which would lead someone to say it. Calling her a minion of Satan is perhaps closer to home (if perhaps she's an unwitting one). Calling her insane may well be an act of charity... since it assumes that she may not be responsible for her inhuman behaviour.

RE: Sixtus, he obviously had no problem with dissent on the Immaculate Conception issue,

Point of information: if there is as yet no established Church teaching, there can't be "dissent" against it.

You really need to get this straight. The Church was certainly disposed toward believing the truth that the Blessed Virgin was conceived without sin of any kind, but it was not--as you rightly pointed out--put forth as doctrine in a conclusive way. So long as neither side sinned incidentally in its debates on the matter, they were quite free, morally speaking, to go on debating (perhaps within additional local guidelines) until Rome settled the matter conclusively.

But abortion is completely different; it was condemned as a heinous sin from the dawn of Christianity (which you can easily see, if you take the time to scroll back on this thread alone, and read the references that people took such care to offer you). It can be derived from the natural law. It's not at all dependent on Divine Revelation, as such, to be known (whereas the Immaculate Conception cannot be derived solely from the Natural Law).

And if it is cathartic for you to offer your unsolicited opinions of my comments to the uncaring tubes of the interweb have at it, Mr. Quixote. It matters not to me.

Believe it or not, I have no personal animus against you (though you've annoyed me a bit, with many of your comments); I merely find it necessary to correct you when you speak ignorantly and/or mistakenly about Catholic doctrine... for the sake of listeners who might otherwise be led astray by your mistakes.

A suggestion: Catholicism is a discipline about which you don't know nearly enough to "teach", declare, etc., yet. If you must be inflammatory on blogs, stick to politics. Opinions are much more the currency of choice, there.

Craig said...


Just because I am not trying to preach from the combox, as you apparently are, do not assume I am not Catholic.

While there has been general agreement that abortion is almost always sinful, the church has not been as consistent as you suggest. While various members of the Catholic hierarchy have opposed abortion as evidence of sexual sin, they have not always viewed abortion as homicide, as I demonstrated with the Penitential of Theodore.

The Didache itself is not some document that was universally accepted throughout the history of Catholicism. It was rejected as spurious and not accepted into the New Testament (except in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church). After being suppressed, it was not "rediscovered" until the late 1800's.

Have a nice day.

paladin said...

do not assume I am not Catholic.

I didn't assume anything of the sort, one way or the other. I merely said that you were strikingly ignorant of Catholic doctrine and of general Catholic principles. Given the sad state of catechesis in our culture, I know--full well--that many Catholics are almost completely ignorant of their Faith's teachings (to say nothing of their training in virtue).

Perhaps this will help: what you are now, I was, once... and not so long ago. I do not call you ignorant to insult you, nor to pronounce you "intrinsically hopeless" or the like; I know, firsthand, what it's like to be ignorant of the Catholic Faith (as a cradle Catholic). I say it to encourage you to fix what's broken, as I did with myself. You have a great many things wrong (including your attitude); now, do something constructive about it.

While there has been general agreement that abortion is almost always sinful, the church has not been as consistent as you suggest.

Spoken as a true outsider! Don't you even listen to yourself? You chafe when I rebuke you with what you consider a "preachy" style, but then you turn around and arrogantly undercut the very Church you claim to embrace! Which part of "this teaching has not changed, and remains unchangeable" do you not understand, Craig? Is the English unclear? Or are you calling Pope John Paul II, who approved the Catechism (and everyone who helped to write it), a liar, while you are the only one who's correct? And if the Church is as uncertain as all that (and not the voice of Christ in the world), then whyever are you still Catholic? Why follow such a dubious guide? (Is it for the donuts on coffee-and-donut Sunday?)

While various members of the Catholic hierarchy have opposed abortion as evidence of sexual sin, they have not always viewed abortion as homicide, as I demonstrated with the Penitential of Theodore.

And I've said, again and again: that's irrelevant. St. Thomas didn't think it to be homicide, but he condemned it as a grave sin, nonetheless. Likewise with St. Augustine. (Think, man: masturbation and fornication, and even willfully missing Sunday Mass are mortal sins, but none of them are homicide, in the physical sense!) Your point, even if I granted it, would not help your case, one jot.

The Didache itself is not some document that was universally accepted throughout the history of Catholicism.

Nor were the books of Revelation and 2 Peter "universally" accepted throughout the history of Catholicism (until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage settled the matter, and the Council of Trent defined it to the point of being completely idiot-proof), etc. That scarcely helps your point.

It was rejected as spurious and not accepted into the New Testament (except in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church). After being suppressed, it was not "rediscovered" until the late 1800's.

This makes for somewhat diverting theatre, Craig, but it's virtually meaningless. (Do you truly live the rest of your life like this: by prolific insinuation?) The fact that an artifact is belatedly recognized as genuine does not thereby make it "not genuine", even temporarily; the fact that the Blessed Trinity was not well-defined in the early years of the Church does not somehow disprove the raw fact. Just so: the fact that the evil of abortion hasn't been appreciated and proclaimed with the completeness that we know today, says nothing about the fact that it was always condemned as evil. You'll find that I asserted nothing more or less than that, on that point.

Have a nice day.

:) Work on being less sarcastic, friend; then perhaps I'll have an easier time believing that such well-wishes are sincere.

Craig said...

Gee, paladin, its good to know your derision is well-intentioned.

See you in the funny papers (or whatever passes for humor around here).

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will shed any light on the matter of why the Church ALLEGEDLY did not condemn abortion in ancient or medieval times as strongly as it does now... but here's my understanding for what it's worth.

What we know today about the process of conception -- that a new human being is created when a male sperm and female ovum join in the fallopian tube -- wasn't discovered until the 19th century, when microscopes and other scientific instruments became widely available. Prior to that, of course, people knew that sexual intercourse led to pregnancy but did not know exactly HOW that was accomplished.

Back in Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas' time, the prevailing theory of how conception occurred was that the male "seed" alone contained the ENTIRE potential for new life, and the female simply provided the environment in which it could grow (the womb). If conditions were right, so they assumed, the "seed" sprouted and she became pregnant; if not, the seed and the lining of the uterus were sloughed off with her next menstrual period.

Since there were no such things as pregnancy tests, stethoscopes or ultrasounds in those days, the only way to know for sure that the "seed" had taken "root" in the womb and received a soul/spirit of its own would be when it began to move and grow in the womb (quickening). Prior to that, there was simply no way to tell for certain if the "potential" human life contained in the male seed had started to grow or not. A woman might certainly suspect that she was pregnant if she had missed a menstrual period, started having morning sickness, etc., but other conditions, such as disease, hormonal imbalance, or malnutrition could mimic those symptoms.

Under this theory, also, any deliberate act that led to destruction or waste of the male seed (masturbation, withdrawal, etc.) was seriously sinful not only because it involved indulgence in sexual pleasure outside of its intended place (marital intercourse) but also because it destroyed potential human life. These acts were regarded with somewhat the same level of moral condemnation then, as some of today's moral theologians regard the potentially abortafacient properties of the Pill.

The bottom line is that abortion and contraception were BOTH regarded as grave offenses against human life from the earliest days of Christianity. The main difference now is in our more precise knowledge of how conception occurs, when a new, separate human life begins, and what actions genuinely destroy new life.

Augustine and Aquinas' theories about ensoulment and the relative sinfulness of abortion before vs. after quickening were based upon the scientific knowledge available to them at the time. That "knowledge" is now long outdated and has about as much relevance to today's abortion controversy as Ptolemy's theory of an earth-centered universe has to modern space travel.


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