February 5th, 2013
02:02 AM ET

Catholic hospital says it was 'morally wrong' to argue fetus is not a person

By CNN Staff

(CNN) - A Catholic hospital in hot water for claiming in a Colorado court that a fetus is not a person backtracked on Monday, saying it was "morally wrong" to make the argument while defending itself in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The flip-flop concerns the case of Lori Stodghill. She was 28 weeks pregnant with twins when she went to the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, vomiting and short of breath.

She went into cardiac arrest in the lobby and died. That was New Year's Day 2006.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith & Health

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Chick-a-dee

    This story broke quite a while ago. Here is a much more detailed piece of journalism.


    Upon reading it, I nudged the better half and said something like "Wait till this gets picked up by the mainstream media outlets. The crap's gonna hit the fan." I still think that someone made a major error in pursuing this line of defense....unless they were actually hoping to loose on appeal – in order to get a precedent making ruling that would support the Church's position on where the legal definition of when life begins should be. This is the sort of case that makes me wish I had gone to law school. It is going to be fascinating.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yeah, the old "let's use this defense strategy cuz it's financially beneficial to us, but really we hope we lose" ploy. Nonsense.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  2. fernace

    It's morally wrong but legally right!? That is the law & this RCC hospital is using the law to their advantage! The issue of the babies should have been moot, then, not discussed as if it had relevance! Many premature babies are saved at 28 wks, which is roughly 10 wks early as 38–40 wks is full term! These twins were viable babies, probably weighing about a pound each! The man's wife died in the lobby! What did the hospital do to save those babies after it was clear the mother had passed on? How did they treat the dying woman? Who missed the dangerous condition that killed her? Did she have a preexisting heart condition or contract eclampsia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure)? The hospital proves what I'v said about Religious Insti.tutions all along; they're in it for the $$$! Therefore they should not be exempt from providing all-encompassing healthcare for women on "moral" grounds! They can't have it both ways!!

    February 5, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "What did the hospital do to save those babies after it was clear the mother had passed on? How did they treat the dying woman? Who missed the dangerous condition that killed her? Did she have a preexisting heart condition or contract eclampsia (pregnancy induced high blood pressure)?"

      "Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb."


      February 6, 2013 at 3:34 am |
  3. Blending religions

    When are you humans going to wake up. There is no such thing as "morality" and everyone really is out to get you.

    February 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  4. Yes the RCC would

    Bill Deacon, you go from
    Selling indulgences? Really? Even I can' believe I am being accused.....
    Yes, indulgences are available.....
    The "selling of indulgence" is not a deplorable thing in itself.
    Please read your own BS before calling someone else a moron. You are typical of those of your faith you can defend the ugly history of the RCC both past and present no matter how much you have to lie.

    February 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  5. HotAirAce

    Religion is morally and intellectually wrong.

    HBO will be releasing a docu.mentary later this month detailing the previous and current pope-a-dope's involvement in covering up priestly pedophilia. Watch for Mea Maxima Culpa.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      LOL HBO, the new standard!

      February 5, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      HBO is every bit as credible as The Babble. Why are you discounting this program before you have seen it? What are you afraid of?

      February 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • really?

      As has been said many times before, if an international corporation systematically hid crimes like this, the president and board of directors would be in jail. I personally hope that the Pope and most bishops get arrested for their involvement.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Why haven't they then? Which is more plausible, that they have not committed the crimes you accuse them of or the vast Catholic conspiracy? Morons.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • What?

      Bill Deacon
      Would you be willing to show the following in your church...
      Deliver us from Evil
      One World: The Shame of the Catholic Church
      The Boys of St. Vincent
      All Gods Children
      Mea Maxima Culpa
      probablt not. Perhaps unlike Boston and Las Angles that have had their cover ups revealed, maybe your diocese has not yet been outed.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


      Last week you said you were interested in a topic and posted a lengthy reply to something I said. I then replied to you and you ignored it. Are you going to make a habit of that?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sorry Cheesy, Depending on the time of day it was and other demands, I may have logged off.

      What was the thread?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What? Personally I haven't seen any of those movies and while we do not have a "movie night", if that is what you are asking, I am sure anyone could see the films you are advocating if they choose.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Here you go Bill, I will check it later tonight.


      February 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bill, Mahoney has admitted to the cover-up with the pathetic excuse that he wasn't trained to deal with it! So yes it did happen and it says a lot about the RCC that people in high positions place the RCC's reputation above morals and ethics.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • The Definition Of

      Consisting of official pieces of written, printed, or other matter
      A movie or a television or radio program that provides a factual record or report

      Hide your head in the sand all you want, Bill Deacon; these pedophiles tarnishing the RCC need to go DOWN, and as a Catholic, you should be fully behind getting to the bottom of these heinous rapes of children. That you laugh at all attempts to expose them speaks volumes about your integrity.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oh, I am completely for thorough and stringent investigation and consequences for all involved. I think every accusation should be run to ground, I think every criminal should be prosecuted. I just don't discount the political motives of some of the detractors of the Church and I, in no way, think that faith is impugned by the activities of those who violated our trust and usurped our ordination for their vile atrocities. See the difference?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Yes we all see the difference. Those who aren't part of the moronic mindset you have have actually read the papal orders, and don't try to just make excuse after excuse, even going so far as to delude yourself into thinking that the vatican has done nothing wrong.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Cheesy, yes, I recall.

      First I am not shoring up Livefor's argument. I don't even know what it is. I am interested in the topic of objective proof for God. I maintain that such is impossible. Please understand, I do not indiict your efforts or application of faith. I suspect that greater saints than you or I both have driven to the edge of reason and faith and drawn their conclusion as best they could. Regardless of whether they recognize God in their discovery or come up empty handed, they, like you and I are still making a temporal judgment with an insufficient amount of data. It has nothing to do with whether one is the right denomination of says the right words. We, in this plane, are simply incapable of comprehending the infinite, whatever that may be. I want to make a short comment about your statements regarding inconsistencies in various dogmas and the confusion which various individuals apply to them. Largely, the major Christian religions of the world are more consistent than disparate. Though denominational emphasis varies, at the core, there are not many differences. Those you can legitimately identify, I would ascribe to the "Blind men describing and elephant" problem. Religion tries to know God but by virtue of it's limitation is bound to report only a portion of the reality. I believe Paul said something like that, somewhere.

      Next your claim that comprehension outside of intellect is unreliable. I am tempted to agree with you, in this regard. Modern man has developed a dependency on intellect that many see as progress but may not especially be so. Ancient man with his more immediate connection to nature, more precarious existence and less indoctrination by "isms" may have held an advantage which we have lost. I am skeptical of discounting intuitive, emotional and spiritual input just because we are now supposedly beyond that. Why limit ourselves to such a strict interpretation of existence? I admit that non-intellectual data can be hard to quantify and reconcile but I do not think that diminishes its import. Intellect is useful for exploring existence and even for inquiring into the essence of God but it is wholly inadequate to experience that ultimate being.

      I am not advocating Pantheism. I am referring to God as the "maker of all things seen and unseen" You should be familiar with this so please do me the courtesy of not constructing a straw man from it. You know I mean that God pervades our universe and therefore simply cannot be objectively observed. It is also not God's need to be discovered that matter, it is our own need to discover Him. This is probably a topic all it's own but my argument resides essentially in that God has no obligation to make Himself known to us and He is complete unto Himself. It is we who seek for completion in Him. So the argument that He could make it easier if He wanted to is self centered and logically false.

      I'll check back tomorrow.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What if they did do something wrong Hawaii? What if for centuries men in the Vatican have lied, stolen, and waged wars on mankind? In what way does that make faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind wrong? Answer. It doesn't. It merely shows that man will corrupt, by his sin. Answer me this. I know you like to answer questions: Why the fascination with the failures of the Church and not the successes. Why not post something about Theresa of Liseaux? Or Martin Kolbe, or Thomas A'Kempis or the myriad multiitudes of people who have rendered service to mankind through the Catholic faith as well as other Christian denominations? Why the bitter hatred over the failings of weaker men?

      February 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Because these self-righteous, hypocritical, immoral fucktards want to dictate how everyone else, including those people who AREN'T IN THEIR FUCKED UP DIVISIVE, EVIL RELIGION LIVES! Then they want to claim the moral highground and pretend that they're sooooo fucking amazing! Because these fucksticks want to HIDE PREDATORS!

      How the fuck do you even live with yourself Bill? You're a sick person to completely brush off the blatant criminal acts from these evil piles of shit, and guess what Bill. They don't give a shit because they aren't beholden to ANYONE here and believe they're still going to be going to heaven. And guess what, the right rituals, and that's it, it's heaven for them according to the doctrine that you follow.
      Guess what Bill, you are just as immoral as every one of those fucks.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • really?

      So Bill,

      Your arguement is : Forget the thousands of children we violated. Just forget that because we think we did some good stuff too?

      February 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • What?

      Bill, you really are quite paranoid about people out to get the RCC? Do you possibly think that if you preached to your own flock of sheep and butted out of everyone elses business people would leave you to practice your cult as long as you did not commit crimes and cover ups?

      February 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Which is more plausible, that they have not committed the crimes you accuse them of or the vast Catholic conspiracy? Morons"

      Covering their a$$es is more plausible. Sycophant

      February 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      What's wrong Bill? Nothing more to say? Go on you immoral pile of shit, defend your criminal organization again!

      February 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Science

      Come on Bill the talking snake and creation it is in a test tube ... as of Jan 30 2013

      NO JOKE

      February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Really, I'm not saying forget about victims of abuse. Why would you misconstrue my statement on purpose? Agenda much? What I am asking in light of Hawaii's vulgar, ranting, unsubstantiated accusations is where does the vitriol against the Catholic faith and Christians at large come from, given that the good Christians have done probably does outweigh the bad? Being politically oppositional I can understand but this irrational fear that Christians are trying to run everyone's life is A. blatantly false, B. not pragmatically possible and C. not even in evidence. I am left with one of three conclusions. A. Scripture says we will be hated in the world so maybe that is all there is to it. B. Secular liberals are incapable of having reasoned discussions with people who don't conform to their views (often alleged but somewhat incredible) C. A phenomenon known as psychological projection is at play wherein an attacker projects their own motives onto their opponent.

      In any case, I reiterate. A. Catholicism does not condone the abuse of children and has taken steps to eradicate it while, at the same time preserving the body of the faithful. B. Is a viable, respectable religious avocation deserving a place at the table of civil social discourse. C. Has very concrete, productive and deliberate life guidance for those who are willing to explore it.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • What?

      You defend everything your rather ugly religion wants you to defend. You talk about the good the RCC has done but how much more good could they have done if the greed of the church was not more important than good works? Even Mother Teresa had a crisis of faith over how the RCC was dealing with the cash flow, going into the coffers of the vatican instead of where it was needed. Wealth, power, mafia=RCC.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "I am interested in the topic of objective proof for God. I maintain that such is impossible."


      If your god is under no obligation to "show" himself and give proof of his existence then why should any human be under an obligation to believe he exists. A god who would set up such requirements and punish those that you seem to admit are resonable to dismiss that god on lack of evidence is neither loving nor moral.

      "I admit that non-intellectual data can be hard to quantify and reconcile but I do not think that diminishes its import."

      Actually it does because it is as you admit it is unreliable. Unreliable data IS less important to the point and is not relevent.

      " I am referring to God as the "maker of all things seen and unseen" You should be familiar with this so please do me the courtesy of not constructing a straw man from it."

      God of the bible, of christianity can and does interact with the world in a detectable way, or so goes the claims. Saying god is of all things natural and therefore cannot be detected by us is a cop out. It is the type of non-answer Catholacism is and christianity is known for. None of the Catholic leaders I was familiar with would have argued that god cannot be detected. If I am "straw manning" your position by calling it Pantheism maybe you should clarify how the 2 are different.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  6. Rusty Yates

    So god kills the mother and two fetuses. God does that all the time. He killed a lot of other people that day too. The doctors could have used science to thwart god but chose not to on moral grounds and then decided to change the morals for the secular court.

    We are talking about the Catholic Church right? Makes perfect sense.

    I wonder how they are doing on their real estate investments on New Bond Street with the money they got from the poor?

    February 5, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  7. troll

    You people will reply to anything, won't you?
    This blog is amusing, but it amazes me how so many posts are generic and repeated on almost every article, almost every day, and the same idiots have the same replies over and over and over .....
    The people with something to say on topic are driven away almost as soon as they arive.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • LinCA


      Or should I have said "@Thiest". Let me guess, you realized you made a spelling error in your handle on your previous post and decided it was more prudent to abandon that thread and try to deflect from it by posting some more garbage under a new name?

      You said, "You people will reply to anything, won't you?"

      You said, "This blog is amusing, but it amazes me how so many posts are generic and repeated on almost every article, almost every day, and the same idiots have the same replies over and over and over ....."
      If the nonsense is left unchallenged, some impressionable youngster might think it is true. It is a public service to address the religious nonsense.

      You said, "The people with something to say on topic are driven away almost as soon as they arive."
      Nope. The people with substance are the ones debunking the religious nonsense.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Say something on topic, let's discuss.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • troll

      yes, the spelling of 'thiest' was intentional.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • the AnViL

      i think it's great that you've found a simple way to feel superior to others.

      substance be damned!



      February 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "yes, the spelling of 'thiest' was intentional."
      Why? What is the point of intentionally misspelling it? How does that help your argument?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  8. Thiest

    You people are the hypocrits! Not the church.
    You made abortion legal, not the church. You defined a fetus as not being human, the church disagreed.
    The church has been fighting to change that law since the court luled in Roe vs Wade.
    However, when the law You wrote works in the church's favor – you all throw a fit and blame the church!
    Seems, like poetic justice to me.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • LinCA


      Don't you mean "Theist"?

      You said, "However, when the law You wrote works in the church's favor – you all throw a fit and blame the church!
      Seems, like poetic justice to me.
      No, you dimwit, of course they have the right to defend their position as being within the law.

      They were not required to use the argument that a fetus is not a person under the law. They chose to use it. They only used it because it suited them at the time. They abandoned their convictions for financial gain.

      They are hypocrites because they dropped their "convictions" like a hot potato as soon as it would harm them financially.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Umm, "our" position has not changed. The RCC changes based on what suits them. The RCC claims morality does not change and comes from a god and yet changes it's morality based on convenience. I would say that is pretty hypocritical.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  9. the AnViL

    this is, in my opinion – the funniest story of the decade.

    i've cracked over 9000 ribs in the process of laughing my perfectly round, rock-hard, italian ass off over this.

    thank you, catholicism... thank you. if you weren't so repugnant – i'd hug you warmly.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  10. Yes the RCC would.

    Bill Deacon has been a stalwart defender of the RCC, even to the point of saying the criminal offences of the church is only a few bad apples and the none reporting of these crimes to the civil authorities was forgivable. Not just child abuse but money laundering and sale of indulgencies at the vatican among others, Picking and chosing between cannon law and civil laws make Bill an expert hypocrite.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Akira

      I kind of got that, thanks.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Just to clarify, not that you seek clarity but,
      1> Statistically abuse rates in the Catholic Church are lower than in other similarly sized organizations. That is the undisputed fact. At which point detractors move the goal post of their argument to the coverup. To which I would point to Archbishop Gomez's public censure of Mahoney. Catholics do not support, condone or deny the criminal activity that has taken place in our midst. We see it as a subversive attack on our faith from the inside and we see outside vilification of our religion for what it is, seizing advantage of inner difficulties to pile on bigotry.

      2. While technically legal and professionally proficient, the lawyers for St. Thomas More Hospital have rightly been called to the carpet by the Archdiocese. These lawyers have vigorously defended their client using the LAW. The law applies equally to all U.S. citizens. If anything this situation points to the moral hazard of current right to life restrictions placed on the unborn. It may be unsavory to you that this is how the legal profession operates and you may wish you could hang the Church but you cannot. If you want the law to be different ( as pro-lifers do) then advocate for a change in the law.

      3> Selling of Indulgences? Really? Even I can't believe I'm being accused of advocating the selling of indulgences. This was a mid 15th century practice that resulted in, among other things, the Protestant reformation, the enforced orders of celibacy for the priesthood and other canonical laws written to prevent empire building amongst the Bishops. No one I have ever known has ever, in any way seen this practice as other than corrupt. Catholics acknowledge the fact of it as a historical aberration which, again, does not invalidate the Church, the Gospel or the Christina way of life.

      So hate on haters. There are still over a billion Catholics on the planet who live lives of quiet, decent, moral, commitment to the faith and we will not be dissuaded by cancer from within or arrows from without.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Yes the RCC would

      Bill Deacon. Dogma can change as easily as the direction of the wind in vatican city. Nice to see you defending your delusion again but you really know it is all about wealth and power. In ireland for example the church had such a large influence on the society that it took decades to finally bring the criminals to justce while they kept on offending. I believe Ratzinger was part of the attempt to protect the RCC reputation, we shall soon find out. BTW did you take a look at the secret papers that the butler divulged, they tend to make your defence even more dilusional.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Yes the RCC would

      Bill Decon
      Cardinal Roger Mahony was not censured by Gomez untill after the court ordered the production of 12,000 doc uments involving about 190 priests that were accused of abuse and that the good Cardinal did his best to cover up the scandal, knowing what he did and not informing the police makes him an accomplice. Of course you do not condone or support the crimes but funny how that works, it is not untill the perps are caught by the justice system that any action is taken.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Yes the RCC would

      Bill Deacon, catch up.
      New york Times Feb 9/2009 Catholic church allows indulgences again.
      Daily Telegraph Dec 7/2007 to Dec 8/2008 Indulgences offer by Pope, to get more pilgrims to visit Lordes.
      World Youth Day...Indulgences offered to those that attend.
      While maybe not an out an out sale, indulgences given to get better business at the Disney type end of the RCC.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, indulgences are available. It is part of our faith. They are not, however, for sale. They are acquired through the action of saying certain holy prayers, making pilgrimages and attending to other religious duties. Do you have any idea what an indulgence actually does or are you just mad because they exist? I ask because many Catholics don't even understand them.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I haven't seen the actual papers, can you provide a link? I would hate to remain dilusioned.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Yes the RCC would

      Bill Deacon
      Just google, vatican sale of indulgences, many sites to chose from. Here is another I found: Vatican grants 700 club authority to sell indulgences online. April 6/2005. Never got any info from the RCC while they had influnce over me but what I understand it is something that can help reduce the amount of time one spends in purgator, close?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Googled your link:

      The "selling of an indulgence" is not a deplorable thing it itself: the indulgence could be had for a donation, which amounts to an almsgiving, which is a very virtuous thing. What happened was a corruption: the indulgences were offered in such a way as to make buyers feel free from the consequences of sin as well as charging fixed prices and rates with the alms going to less than worthy causes at times.
      Indulgences are still attached to certain prayers and virtuous acts, and to this day any Catholic may receive them, providing they are in the correct dispositions, for free.

      February 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      OK, the 700 club thi8ng proves my first comment. You're a moron.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • lisa

      I wonder if they would sell me some of those distinctive Pepperidge Farm chessmen cookies. Only with the pointy hat instead of the chess design. Where is their online store – I need to check this out.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Yes the RCC would

      What a pompous a$$ you are. The RCC hustles it followers into attending services, pilgrimages and selling this as an indulgence and you call me a moron. What a sad pathetic delusional fool you are. The 700 club was given permission to SELL indulgences on the internet, deny the truth all you want, deceit is your strong suit.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      So at first selling indulgences was a bad 15th century practice that was bad, and now it's good if the money goes to the corrupt corporation called the RCC. Not to mention set prices for sin, because hey we should all pay more depending on the sin. Wait, I thought according to doctrine, all sins are the same in the eyes of god. Wouldn't that mean that indulgences and the "almsgiving" (christian code for fleeced money that gullible morons just give away) shold all be the same? Oh that's right, double standards are a christian staple I forgot.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Yes the RCC would

      Bill you said, this was a mid 15th century practice but later back off and say the selling of indulgences is not a bad thing. That is why you are such a hypocrite, when backed into a corner you try to lie your way out. That is the same tactic the vicars of christ on earth have used for 2000 years, pathetic.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      @BillyD: consider that the vitriol the Church receives because of abuse scandals has less to do with "piling on bigotry" and more to do with broken assurances of piety. While the average person doesn't expect or condone child abuse in an average setting, I do believe an average person might have expected less than average abuse in a church. The church does advertise a "better way" of life, a "true" way, filled with love and all the other holier than thou hogwash.

      The public doesn't expect the Church to have an average number abuse incidents. I find it hard to believe you don't find it shameful that the Church is average. While I'm sure a religious person will say "we're only human, we're all sinners" it is becoming more clear to more people the actual answer is "religion is a fraud." People are upset because they're finding out only now the Church has hoodwinked them.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints". Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471):

      The doctrine and practice of indulgences which have been in force for many centuries in the Catholic Church have a solid foundation in divine revelation[1] which comes from the Apostles and "develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit," while "as the centuries succeed one another the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her."[2]
      Pope Paul VI
      Solemnly Promulgated By His Holiness, On January 1, 1967
      1. Cf. Council of Trent, Session 25, Decree On Indulgences (DS [Denzinger-Schonmetzer] 1835); cf. Matt, 28:18.
      2. Vatican II, Dogmatic Consti.tution Dei Verbum on Revelation, n. 8 (AAS 58, 1966, p 821) cf. Vatican I, Dogmatic Consti.tution Dei Faius on the Catholic Faith ch. 4 On Faith and Reason (DS 3020).

      Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
      – "General remarks on Indulgences" from Gift of the Indulgence

      February 6, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • End Religion

      My daughter came home from school today to tell me she learned about indulgences in history class today while covering the Inquisition. Her take-away was that it was just more hypocrisy by the church to trade money for a "get out of jail free" sin card. Religion is in for a world of hurt as kids grow up no longer hoodwinked by the shell game called religion.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  11. the AnViL


    February 5, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  12. WASP

    this is hiliarious. they didn't want to pay for a wrongful death suit, so they argue that fetuses aren't human; however when a woman has to walk through a crowd of RCC followers that fetus IS a human.

    talk about TWO FACED.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Science

      More than 2 if you add in the talking snake

      February 5, 2013 at 10:07 am |

    I claim farming subsidies for my tomato garden too, it is morally wrong, but legally right.

    February 5, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  14. the gang needs to get out and have some fresh air and stretch a bit

    Thomas Jefferson (POTUS #3, principle author of the Declaration of Independence)

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    John Adams (POTUS #2, Patriot of the American Revolution)

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    James Madison (POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights)

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    Thomas Paine (Patriot of the American Revolution)

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 5, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • truth be told

      All atheists are liars as proven by the above post taking remarks out of context wherein the persons misquoted were using debate techniques pf their day to defend their faith. Issuing first a statement then logically taking the same statement apart. America was founded by Christians for Christians not for lying so called atheists.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but all of your assertions to date have been unfounded and exhibit desperation. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Akira

      Truth be told: please refute what the founding Fathers wrote. How are any of these wrong?
      The United States has no official religion, and never has.
      Sorry, troll, but on this one-you lose.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      "The Gang..." is committing an Appeal to Authority fallacy. Naming some famous people and what they said means no more than what non-famous people think.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • ¿¿lol

      That's mushy, fallacy spotting. Appeal to Authority can also just be a form of argument. How much it is deemed or interpreted as fallacy vs. argument depends on how much the authority is seen as being authoritative.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  15. truth be told

    On the other hand there would be no problem arguing that a so called atheist is not a person. We know by constant proofs that all so called atheists are liars, what needs to be firmly established is the fact that the so called atheist has murdered its own soul. Lacking a soul a so called atheist also lacks the quality to be human and as such is a useless and unnecessary burden on mankind.

    February 5, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Cal

      If atheists don't have souls, how will they be punished in hell?

      February 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Soul

      On bottom of shoe can be replaced or repaired.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • truth be told

      They will be cast bodily into the abyss. I did not say so called atheists do not have souls, I said they murdered them. They are already as good as physically dead in their sins, hell is the second death – spiritual, perpetual and unending, all traces of them will be there in unbelievable torment knowing they consigned themselves to their own fate.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • truth be told

      I love to troll....blah blah blah bad atheists, blah blah blah, horrible sub humans atheists, blah blah blah.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • truth be told

      Truth is proven when a so called atheist steals a name showing just how useless and unnecessary the so called atheist is.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 5, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • John

      I don't know about others, but why do I have no issues seeing images of Truth Be Told sitting in his little apartment (alone), picking the legs off spiders or abusing some other helpless creature likely giggling while he does it. I figure anyone filled with such hate likely takes it out on something to make himself feel powerful.

      February 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  16. Mohammad A Dar

    morally wrong, but legally right !!

    February 5, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • SImran

      Ah, the irony of it all!

      February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  17. 1 step forward, 2 steps backward

    Bob and weave, a little rope a dope when needed, the RCC has been camilion like for 2000 years, why change now?

    February 5, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • frank

      agreed if you 're saying "chameleon"

      February 5, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • 1 step forward, 2 steps backward

      Your right, frank, google tricked me. Pictures of chameleons under camilion search.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Pray without ceasing in 2013
    Prayer changes things

    February 5, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your repeated assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 5, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  19. Saraswati

    It llooks like they hope they can succeed with thr first use of this defense and yet still look like they're taking the moral " high ground" by saying they won't use it again.

    February 5, 2013 at 6:46 am |
  20. John Stefanyszyn

    First they said it was "legally right".
    Now they say that it was "morally wrong".
    ....but are they still defending it to be "legally right"?
    Note: they do not refer to what the One Creator, through Christ His Son, declares to be right.
    ...They turn to the protection of the "god of fortresses" (freedom of self rights) to protect their self-interests.
    BUT CHRIST ONLY WILL RULE and all will bow their knee to The One True Way, the Will of Him who gives existence.

    February 5, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • Science

      To John Stefanyszyn

      What is RIGHT the talking snake and creation lost.

      EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE Jan. 30 2013

      News Release

      3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

      University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

      Thanks Doc.

      February 5, 2013 at 6:50 am |
    • Logic

      According to current law, it is still "legally right". The Church doesn't have the ability to change the law, and the judges must use the law that's on the books to rule in cases. By the hospital admitting that it was "morally wrong" to defend the case using that law, they are taking responsibility for their action. That still doesn't give the widower a case in court, though. If you want him to win the lawsuit the way he has submitted it, then peti.tion to change the law (certainly fine by me). Regardless of what you think, I'm guessing that this won't be the last we hear about this case. (midwest rail, you still out there?)

      February 5, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Akira

      .....or they can quit fighting the lawsuit....wouldn't that be the moral high ground?

      February 5, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Akira If I sued you for breaking a law that doesn't exist would you fight it?

      February 5, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • What?

      Bill Deacon
      Please tell us where you can file a law suit sgainst someone for breaking a law that does not exist? Your question does not make sense.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • ME II

      I suspect that the RCCs position is that the fetus' were persons but that the hospital is not responsible for the "wrongful death" of those persons.

      February 5, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Akira

      Bill deacon, would you scrap you whole catholic dogma, like this hospital did, to save a few bucks?
      Hilarious how they throw the whole "life begins at conception" idea out the window when it comes to money; suddenly it's convenient to use "man's law" instead of "God's law". If you do not see how extremely hypocritical this is...

      February 5, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • What?

      ME II
      You seem to have some knowledge of the lawsuit, is the death of the mother part of the lawsuit or just the two fetus'? The law seems to state that the fetus' were not persons and should not be included in the lawsuit but are the RCC lawyers fighting the case on the death of the mother?

      February 5, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • ME II

      I don't really know any more than what's in the articles.
      The "Full Story" linked article says:
      "Her husband, Jeremy Stodghill, sued the hospital and its owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, for the wrongful deaths of his wife and their unborn sons."

      February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Akira


      This is if Mr. Stodghill pursues it in a higher court.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • What?

      ME II
      Thanks, missed the link. The full story also states that the hospital lawyers "would not cite the Wrongful Death Act in any future hearings." That would seem to indicate game over and the only decission left to be made is the amount of compensation to be awarded.

      February 5, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Logic

      Actually no, it wouldn't. Not defending a case based on a current law does not mean that the judge is not responsible for doing his job to safeguard the legal rights of everyone involved within the courtroom. Are you suggesting a judge ignore his job requirements? There's a reason that lady justice wears a blindfold... justice is supposed to be objective.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Seems as if I read somewhere that the case on the mother was dismissed for "other legal problems". I think one thing we can agree on here is that the Catholic doctrine and U.S law are divergent when it comes to right to life issues. In this case, it served the hospital and while the Archdiocese and Church detractors both find it morally hazardous, it is U.S. law which prevails in U.S court. Drone strikes against U.S citizens anyone? Apparently they are legal.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So at the end of the day, what did the RCC cult do to provide solace to their victims? For example, did they drop their counter suit for legal costs (over 100K?) against the husband?

      February 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Akira

      Yes, the hospital dropped the counter suit.
      Mr. Stodghill, in addition to losing his wife and children, also had to declare bankruptcy.
      The doctor that would not answer his page, thus resulting in the deaths of the twins, didn't drop his.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Akira

      "I think one thing we can agree on here is that the Catholic doctrine and U.S law are divergent when it comes to right to life issues."

      Yes. That is a convenient stance to take when is suits the RCC. I will also remind you that Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal, and that it will stay that way, no matter what waffling stance the RCC takes.
      I don't, in particular, want to hear about "God's Laws" anymore as a defense against man's laws, particularly when you just admitted that IS man's law that takes precedence in the United States.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      "This is if Mr. Stodghill pursues it in a higher court."

      In September, the Stodghills’ Aspen-based attorney Beth Krulewitch working with Denver-based attorney Dan Gerash appealed the case to the state Supreme Court.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:10 am |
    • Akira

      Hi, Mary! Up late?

      February 6, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      What are you trying to say about this number?

      General IP Information
      Geolocation Information
      Country: Sri Lanka lk flag
      State/Region: Western
      City: Colombo

      February 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
1 2
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.