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Letters

Human life (letter)

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 Contents - Mar 2004AD2000 March 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Archbishop Wilson's challenge for educators - Michael Gilchrist
Red Mass Homily: Can Lawyers Be Saints? - Bishop Anthony Fisher
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Ad limina 2004: The 'Statement of Conclusions' five years on - Michael Gilchrist
Archaeology: Macquarie University's latest papyrus fragments shed light on early Christianity - Peter Westmore
USA: American bishops critical of their RE texts - Zenit News Service
USA: Pro-abortion politicians put on notice - AD2000
HIV/AIDS: A Catholic approach to AIDS: value-based behaviour change - Sr Miriam Duggan
World AIDS Day: A Cardinal, AIDS and the BBC - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Virtue ethics: Challenging our contemporary culture's flawed worldview - Hayden Ramsey
Wisdom from the 17th century: an anonymous nun's prayer
Letters: Tabernacle (letter) - Rosemary Chandler
Letters: Human life (letter) - Robert Prinzen-Wood
Letters: Social Justice Statement (letter)
Poetry: TERESA : A tribute to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta - John Meston
Letters: Inspiring (letter) - Fr Joseph Medwin
Letters: Scripture and the Magisterium - John Frey
Letters: Missal (letter) - John Rayner
Events: Albury-Melbourne Life Walk (letter) - George Simpson
Letters: African Rosary and Prayer Book Appeal (letter) - Obour Isaac
Books: John Henry Newman on the pre-eminent place of the Blessed Virgin in Christianity - Leo Madigan (reviewer)
Books: Lord, Have Mercy : The Healing Power of Confession, by Scott Hahn - Paul Russell (reviewer)
Books: Archbishop Fulton Sheen : A Man for All Media, by Gregory Joseph Ladd - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
CD Review: FOLLOW ME : The life of Jesus for children, by Zak Zreikat - Joe Padero (reviewer)
Books: THE HEADLONG TRAFFIC : Poems and Prose 1997 to 2002, by Bruce Dawe - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Music: Reflections for Peace, Joy and Serenity, by Melanie and Christopher Duluk - Paul Russell (reviewer)
Books: AD Books - More new titles for 2004
Reflection: Scholarship, truth and Divine Revelation - Fr John O'Neill

I was very interested in the article by Fr Angelo Serra SJ titled "Human life: precious from conception" (February AD2000). He showed scientifically that we are human beings from the moment of conception.

However, many pro-abortionists would agree with this proposition, yet they would still deny personhood to these very small human beings.

The problem is that they believe one can reduce the person to subjectivity. They believe our existence as persons having precious value only begins with the beginning of subjectivity - although they run into great problems here themselves as they posit all sorts of criteria for personhood, e.g., quality of life, consciousness, ability to perceive and feel, etc. Some even would say that the new born baby is not yet a person and can be validly killed.

In fact it is a philosophical and spiritual problem.

Phenomenologically they fail to make the fundamental existential distinction between ontological existential personhood and selfhood lived through in self-presence or in other forms of subjectivity.

We have a substantial being (which provides us with our personhood) and this substantial being exists in advance of any self-presence or other form of subjective life such as the ability to perceive or feel.

No human being can be reduced by referring to a life "not worthy of living" as was said by some doctors during the Nazi era in Germany.

ROBERT PRINZEN-WOOD
Chambers Flat, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 2 (March 2004), p. 14

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