Pope Stephen V, 888 A.D., on Abortion and Infanticide

In a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz, about the year 887 or 888, Pope Stephen V writes:

“for since it is homicide for a [child] conceived in the womb to be destroyed by abortion, how much more will the one who has killed a little baby of at least one day old be unable to excuse himself of being a murderer?”
[Denzinger 670]

I had never seen this ancient text condemning abortion before. I happened to run across it in Denzinger today.


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4 Responses to Pope Stephen V, 888 A.D., on Abortion and Infanticide

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Thank you very much, Ron, for drawing attention to this important statement from Pope Stephen V.
    This passage is not found in the 30th edition of Denzinger co-edited by Karl Rahner, S.J.,in 1954. It is, though, found in the 32nd edition co-edited by Adolfus Schönmetzer, S.J. in 1963. Fr. Schönmetzer lists him as “Stephanus V (VI) because of the possibility that “Pope Stephen II” elected sometime around March 22-25 of 752 (but died before being consecrated a bishop) was a valid Pope. Editions of the Annuario Pontificio since 1961 question whether Pope Stephen II of March, 752 was ever a valid Pope because he died before his consecration as bishop. In any case, we are grateful to Fr. Schönmetzer for including the strong condemnation of abortion and infanticide of Pope Stephen V (VI) in the 32nd ed. of Denzinger, and we are likewise grateful to Fr. Peter Hünermann for retaining this text in the 43rd edition of Denzinger.

  2. Philip says:

    On june 23 2021 the European Parliament holds a vote on the Matic resolution or report. Including:
    – abortion becomes “human right”
    – abolition of right to conscientious objection of medical personnel when requesting abortion
    – abortion & contraception for all girls regardless of age, and without parental consent or knowledge
    – gender surgeries for ‘transgender minors’, at state expense
    – …

    Please pray

  3. Philip says:

    I’m sad….The Matic resolution was passed without much difficulty in the European Parliament last Thursday…

    • Ron Conte says:

      They voted for abortion as a human right. In many lists of human rights, they leave out the right to self-defense and the defense of others’ lives.

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