Slavery, The Gospel of Life and the Magisterium

Linus F. Clovis FAITH Magazine July-August 2006

"The promise to Peter has not failed. His successors were criticized for speaking against slavery. Today his successors are ridiculed for defending human life. Peter will not fail."
The Magisterium Did Condemn Slavery

History’s uncanny facility for repeating itself is manifest in the recurrence not so much of the same events as of the same individual and collective responses to the challenges of the time. Human nature does not change, it is a time traveller encumbered with the seven deadly sins. History is the record of humanity’s striving to become more human by the cultivation and exercise of the cardinal virtues. From this perspective moral challenges are simply part of the divine mechanism to civilize and divinize us. As such we should expect the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, to be at the heart of this process, as Christ Himself was at His final Passover Feast, bearing witness to the Truth.

The modern world faces the same moral challenge of yesteryear, namely, to acknowledge the inherent dignity of the human person. Previously manifested as the rights of workers, the just wage, the (im)morality of slavery, etc., it is now articulated through the right to life of the pre-born, the aged, disabled, the (im)morality of embryonic experimentation, etc. Against the modern assault on human life and dignity, the Catholic Church has mounted a determined opposition which has such striking parallels with her 400 year struggle against slavery and the slave trade.

As we shall see the Papal Magisterium, the Church’s highest teaching authority, to its honour and credit, did consistently condemn slavery and the slave trade from their first appearance in the fifteenth century. The impact of this prophetic stance was lessened by its lack of reception amongst some Bishops and priests. This will have fuelled the common but false perception that not only did the Catholic Church do nothing to halt slavery but that she even supported it until the end of the nineteenth century when she ‘changed her doctrine to suit the times’. This latter claim has been a too convenient basis on which to argue, as some Bishops, priests and religious do today, that Catholic doctrine in regard to contraception, abortion and other life issues can likewise be modified to suit thetimes in which we live.

Hence the durability of the scandalous impression of official Church collaboration, support and participation in that most heinous institution of rapine, murder, exploitation and greed.
The Papal Magisterium’s clear and unequivocal condemnation of slavery was not echoed, supported, preached on or translated into action by the generality of local hierarchies, clergy and laity. It is similar today with abortion and especially with that other aspect of the Gospel of Life, condemnation of contraception, which teaching is, in at least partial consequence, ignored by many Catholics today.

Types of Slavery

Slavery, as generally understood, is the condition of involuntary servitude in which one human being is regarded as no more than the property of another, a creature without any rights; in other words, as a thing rather than a person. Under this definition, slavery is intrinsically evil, since no person may legitimately be regarded, or treated, as a mere thing or object. This form of slavery is properly called ‘chattel slavery.’ 

There is however, a legitimate form of slavery called ‘just servitude’ which may be voluntary or involuntary. The former is a system of indentured service where people sell their labour for a period of time, or even for an entire lifetime. The modern equivalent is the situation in which many immigrants and foreign workers living in developed countries find themselves: they accept harsh conditions and low wages in order to obtain the necessities of life. Historically, debtors and children of indigent parents who might otherwise have been left to die by exposure also fall into this class. The latter, or ‘just involuntary servitude’, arises from circumstances in which a person can legitimately be forced into servitude against his will.

It could be argued that criminals and prisoners of war justly lose their freedom and can be forced into servitude within certain limits. This policy was initially adopted as a humane substitute for death. Although the enforced servitude of criminals is proscribed today, the 1949 Geneva Convention still recognizes the right of detaining powers to utilize the labour of prisoners of war.

‘Just servitude’ differs not only in degree but also in kind from what is called ‘chattel’ slavery. Although prisoners of war and criminals lose their freedom against their will, they do not become the mere property of their captors, even when such imprisonment is just. They still possess basic, inalienable human rights and may not justly be subjected to certain forms of punishment—torture, for example. Similarly, indentured servants sell their labour, not their inalienable rights, and may not contract to provide services which are immoral. Moreover, since they freely agreed to exchange their labour for some benefit such as transportation, food, lodging, etc., their servitude is not involuntary.

Vatican II Proscribes Modern Slavery

The Second Vatican Council[1] condemned slavery (i.e., chattel slavery):

“Whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery... the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed... they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator.”
Slavery, as a social institution, is found in all cultures and in every quarter of the globe and from ancient times has received wide social acceptance. This, of course, does not make it moral any more than abortion is made moral by its existence in antiquity or its current gradual universal proliferation.

Scriptural Teaching

Servitude, as a punishment imposed on criminals and prisoners of war and as a condition freely embraced for economic reasons, has biblical approbation. The first instance of slavery is that of Noah punishing his son Canaan for some serious sexual sin: “Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.” (Gen 9: 27). This text has been widely used by racists to justify their oppression of Negroes. Thieves and enemies of the Jews could be enslaved, (cf. Ex.22:1; 2 Chr 28:8-15) but a Jew who arbitrarily enslaved a man would be punished by death (Ex.21:16).
Mosaic Law afforded the slave certain rights and corresponding protections, such as his master being punished for killing him (Ex 21:20). If the master were responsible for a woman slave’s miscarriage, he would be liable to a fine determined by the woman’s husband, and “If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” (Ex 21: 2223) Slaves could rest on the Sabbath day (Ex 20: 8-11) and be liberated after six years of servitude (Ex.21:2).

The Law, however, forbade the practice of slavery based upon poverty: “When, then, your countryman becomes so impoverished beside you that he sells you his services, do not make him work as a slave. Rather, let him be like a hired servant or like your tenant, working with you until the jubilee year, when he, together with his children, shall be released from your service and return to his kindred and to the property of his ancestors.” (Lev 25: 39-41) In view of the Israelites reluctance to release non-Jewish slaves after six years, Moses permitted their detention until death with the caution: “You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex 23:9)

Servitude Not the Same as Chattel Slavery

ithin the Mosaic dispensation slaves were never the objects of contempt, since manual labour was regarded as a noble work. In fact, every educated Israelite had a manual trade: Our Lord was a carpenter and St. Paul was quite proud of being a tent maker. The New Testament teaches that despite the inequalities of this life, in God’s eyes, there is a fundamental equality: “There is neither slave nor free… you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:27-28). St. Paul made no general defense of slavery, but rather equally exhorted slaves to obey their masters (Col. 3:22-25; Eph. 6:5-8) as he appealed to masters to treat their slaves justly and kindly (Eph 6:9; Col 4:1), implying that slaves are not mere property for masters to do with them as they please (Philem.16).

The early Church ameliorated the harsher aspects of slavery in the Empire, even promoting legal protection for slaves. Several of the early Popes were themselves manumitted slaves. As a social condition, servitude is not ideal, but it is not contrary to the Scriptures or to the natural law.

Modern Slavery and the Magisterium

Slavery, on the other hand, the total and arbitrary subjugation of a group of people, is without moral foundation. It was described in 1557 by Pope Paul III as a crime “unheard of before now”. Neither natural law nor Scripture sanctioned it since the people captured and enslaved were not at war; neither were they guilty of any crime; nor was there any economic pressure on them to sell themselves into slavery as they were not only free and in possession of their own goods but they also had the means for earning their livelihood. Modern or chattel slavery is a total violation of natural and divine law since it targets a specific group of people because of their colour or race, and unjustly deprives them of their liberty and goods.

Sixty years before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, Pope Eugene IV, responding to news of the Portuguese enslavement of the Canary Islanders, condemned this activity with the Bull Sicut Dudum (1435). This was the first papal condemnation of modern slavery and its significance lies in that it:

1. identified the crime, namely, the deprivation of the natives of their property and their being enslaved and sold;

2. was addressed to all Christians, lay and clerical, regardless of rank;

3. called on them to desist from “illicit and evil deeds” against the natives and to prevent others (and, if necessary, to “restrain them rigorously”) from taking advantage of them;

4. ordered the liberation of all the unjustly enslaved natives within 15 days of the Bull’s publication without any payment or reception of money; and

5. imposed an excommunication[2] ipso facto, reserved to the Roman Pontiff, on the recalcitrant.

Successive Popes Ignored

Thus Sicut Dudum condemned unjust racial slavery in the strongest terms possible as soon as it was discovered. But the sorry business continued even though two other Popes, Pius II and Sixtus IV, both likewise protested against it. This showed not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery but rather the weakness of papal authority at this time and the rejection of papal teaching by European Christians operating in Africa and the New world.

The age of exploration was initiated by Portugal and Spain and since it was the norm for explorers to declare newly found lands the dominion of their sovereigns, papal intervention was sought primarily to avoid war between these two nations. Pope Alexander VI’s Bull Inter Caetera (1493) is one such intervention though it has been interpreted incorrectly as “giving away” the New World to Spain. As Paul III subsequently made clear, Alexander VI was neither giving away newly discovered lands nor yet was he giving Spain and Portugal the right to make war on and to enslave the peoples of the New World. Inter Caetera merely gave Spain and Portugal the Church’s authority to bring both the Catholic faith and their own civil authority “to those people who are freelywilling to accept them.” Alexander and his successors repeatedly express concern about maintaining the free will of the Indians.

Since the Church had ruled in favour of the Indians, it was not long before an attempt was made to circumvent that teaching by questioning the Indians' humanity. It was argued that if they were not rational men capable of receiving the faith, then they could be conquered. Spain actually suspended further conquests to debate the ethics of colonization, something never done before or since by an expanding empire,. Theologians meeting at Valladolid examined Aristotle’s dictum that some people are “slaves by nature”. Following St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching that “one man is not by nature ordained to another as an end”, Aristotle’s dictum was rejected and it was established, once and for all, that the natives were, in fact, rational and capable of self-government. And even if theyweren’t, they could be governed by others only for their own advantage and benefit, and not for the advantage of the rulers. Thus to Spain’s credit, the Law of Burgos (1512) decided in favour of the Indians’ humanity and initiated ambitious programmes for their conversion. Human perversity, however, soon kicked in and hijacked this good start with the fallacious argument that the Indians could be justly conquered and enslaved not because they were “slaves by nature” but because they would not peaceably accept the Christian faith.

No Human Being Inferior by Nature - Echoes of Abortion

Again, there is a striking similarity with abortion. The humanity of the pre-born child is debated by highly intelligent individuals and prestigious institutions of learning, in desperate cases, with the invocation Aristotle’s antiquated biology. It is worth noting that the countries of South America constitutionally recognise the full humanity of the pre-born.

The questions raised about the Indians’ humanity were addressed by Paul III’s Bull Sublimis Deus (1537) which, as the Church’s central pedagogical work against slavery, is the most important papal pronouncement on the human condition of the Indians. Sublimis Deus’s teaching was supported by two other bulls. While the first imposed sanctions on those who rejected the teaching, the other expounded on the sacramental consequences of the teaching of the Indians' humanity.

Sublimis Deus, addressed to all the faithful, taught the only qualification for receiving the faith is the possession of human nature which is common to all the different peoples of the world. Thus the specious theories that the Indians lacked a rational nature and consequently were “slaves by nature” are definitively rejected. Then because some argued for the conversion of the Indians by any means necessary and so would used the faith as an excuse for war and enslavement, the Pope, without any mincing of words about the evils of slavery, declared that Satan,

“the enemy of the human race … has thought up a way, unheard of before now, by which he might impede the saving word of God from being preached to the nations. He has stirred up some of his allies who, desiring to satisfy their own avarice, are presuming to assert far and wide that the Indians of the West and the South who have come to our notice in these times be reduced to our service like brute animals, under the pretext that they are lacking in the Catholic faith. And they reduce them to slavery, treating them with afflictions they would scarcely use with brute animals… Therefore, We... noting that the Indians themselves indeed are true men... by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples—even though theyare outside the faith... should not be deprived of their liberty or their other possessions... and are not to be reduced to slavery, and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void.”
The Church Defends Human Life, Liberty and Dignity

Concerned with restoring and maintaining the liberty of the Indians, the Pope specifically stated that the Indians are “true men” who together with “all other peoples, even though they are outside the faith” must not be deprived of their possessions nor reduced to slavery. Thus it is made clear that Alexander VI did not give away the Indians’ right to liberty and property. The teaching of Sublimis Deus, being universal, applies to any and to all peoples. Further, it is insisted that the goal must be the conversion not the domination of the Indians, and this is to be achieved not by violence but “by preaching and the example of a good life”. Analogously, we may note that the child’s humanity exists as much inside as outside the womb.

The Brief Pastorale Officium which accompanied Sublimis Deus was given the strongest possible eccelesiastical backing by the attachment of a latae sententiae excommunication remittable only by the Pope himself. There was also an exhortation to the Archbishop of Toledo to do whatever he deemed necessary to protect the Indians in this regard. These two letters of Paul III were epoch making and simultaneously laid the foundations and marked the true beginning of international law in the modern world. They were the first intercontinental proclamation of rights inherent in all human beings and the liberty of nations.

The Church Upholds The Rights of Minorities

t is worth noting that the Spanish, in contrast to the Portuguese, were more compliant to Church teaching. In fact, Philip II of Spain forbade the taking of slaves “whether by just or unjust war” in the Philippines. Pope Gregory XIV gave his support with the Bull Cum Sicuti (1591) where he noted that although the Indians were “very fierce and many took up arms” in self defence, nonetheless, “much harm was done” them, and restitution, under pain of excommunication, must be made. Thus the argument that native hostility towards accepting the faith was a justification for war was officially rejected.

The papal anti-slavery teaching was widely ignored and had to be repeated by successive popes such as Urban VIII who, at the request of the Jesuits of Paraguay, issued the Bull Commissum Nobis (1639). The Pope reiterated the teachings of Sublimis Deus, listed the unjust actions that are condemned and confirmed the penalty of a reserved latae sententiae excommunication. Urban, aware of the opposition to the pontifical teaching on slavery, warned that the penalty would fall on “all who would give counsel, aid, favour and help of any kind and under any pretext or who preach or teach such acts are legitimate and all others who dare or presume to cooperate.” He recognised also the source of the resistance and made a point of including the various religious orders.The Jesuits in Paraguay and Brazil defended the Indians but were themselves attacked by slaveholders and expelled for publishing the Bull. This action undoubtedly intimidated other well-disposed clergy. Commissum Nobis reminds us that we can share in other's sins by approval[3]. Of course, the principle is equally applicable to those who support or promote abortion today.

The Inquisition Condemns The African Slave Trade

By the middle of the seventeenth century the colonization of North America was well under way and in Central and South America the Indian population was in decline. The need for a cheap source of human labour led to the shameful European enslavement of Africans. Whilst Europeans admittedly are not responsible for initiating enslavement in Africa, they did however expand tremendously a system which, during the eleventh century, had already begun in Africa under Arab and Muslim auspices.

The same arguments used to enslave the Indians of the New World were now presented for Africans: since they were non-Christians, war could be waged on them as “enemies of Christianity”, especially those who were Muslim. Abortion and euthanasia’s hard cases are strikingly alike. During the pontificate of Blessed Innocent Xl, the Congregation of the Holy Office (the Roman Inquisition) took up the matter and responded in 1686 with the Instruction Number 230 in the form of questions and answers.

It was asked:

1. Whether it is permitted to capture by force and deceit Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one? It answered No!

2. Whether it is permitted to buy, sell or make contracts in their respect Blacks or other natives who have harmed no one and been made captives by force of deceit? It answered No!

3. Whether the possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and been captured by force or deceit, are not held to set them free? It answered Yes.

4. Whether the captors, buyers and possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and who have been captured by force or deceit are not held to make compensation to them? It answered Yes.

 Protestant Collusion, Catholic Disobedience

Now although the papal bulls against slavery were hushed up in the New World, the antislavery views of the Church did have a significantly moderating effect in the Catholic Americas by means of the Code Noir[4] and Código Negro Español. In both cases, the Church took the lead in their formulation and enforcement, thereby demonstrating its fundamental opposition to slavery by trying to ensure “the rights of the slave and his material welfare,” and by imposing “obligations on the slave owners, limiting their control over the slave.” While the Church did her best in the circumstances, it must be noted that the introduction of slavery into the New World was not denounced by any leading Dutch or English Protestant. In fact, theChurch of England usually did not recognize slaves “as baptisable human beings”.

The struggle against slavery continued unabated into the eighteenth century causing Benedict XIV to issue Immense Pastorum (1741) to the Bishops of Brazil and other regions governed by King John of Portugal. He recalled the Church’s past efforts to prevent slavery and lamented that “there are... members of the True Faith who deal with the unfortunate Indians... by reducing them to slavery, or selling them to others as if they were property or depriving them of their goods, or dealing with them inhumanely.”

Then exhorting his bishops, even “to the detriment of (their own) names and dignity”, to provide both material and spiritual help to the Indians, he confirmed, in full, both Sublimis Deus and Commissum Nobis. Benedict made specific mention of the various religious families and warned that the penalties also fell on “those who offer counsel, aid or favour” to slaveholders. There are undoubtedly many incumbent bishops who not only need but would greatly benefit from a similar exhortation to risk their names, dignity and reputation by standing up in defence of pre-born children; because, surely, a child’s life is worth a little lampooning!

Opposition From Bishops and Priests

t is noteworthy that the Bulls issued from the time of Eugene IV (1435) to Paul III (1537) were directed primarily at civil and military authorities, while those issued from Urban VIII (1639) to Benedict XIV (1741) explicitly and forcefully include all members of the clergy and religious orders—a sign perhaps there had been a growing clerical resistance to papal teaching on slavery. This corresponds to the tragic fulfilling of Paul VI’s prophecy[5] when his exhortation[6] to the hierarchy and clergy fell upon too many deaf ears.

In 1839 Gregory XVI struck at the continued resistance of bishops, priests and laity to papal antislavery teaching with the Constitution In Supremo:

“We prohibit and strictly forbid any ecclesiastic or layperson from presuming to defend as permissible this trade in Blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse, or from publishing or teaching in any manner whatsoever, in public or privately, opinions contrary to what We have set forth in these Apostolic Letters.”
He also praised Pius VII for using “his good offices with those in power to end completely the slave trade.” These good offices were, in fact, exercised after the Napoleonic wars at the Congress of Vienna when Pius VII demanded the suppression of the slave trade. An argument was made that the trade was the lesser of the two evils since blacks were living in a miserable state in their own countries, unable to govern themselves, but this was, of course, a mere pretext to cover greed, just as wars were being waged simply to obtain title to slaves in order to sell them.

Shame and Betrayal in the American Church

In North America, In Supremo, if not resisted was ignored. In 1840, John England, the Catholic Bishop of Charleston, informed John Forsyth, the US Secretary of State, that Pope Gregory XVI had condemned the trade in slaves, but that no Pope had ever condemned domestic slavery as it had existed in the United States. He also stated that the bishops attending the 1840 Council of Baltimore did not interpret the papal teachings against slavery as applying to the institution as it existed in the United States. Francis Kenrick, the Archbishop of Baltimore, concurred and, arguing that changing the law would bring more harm than good for those held in slavery, counselled

“nothing should be… done or said that would make them carry their yoke unwillingly: but rather prudence and charity… should be shown in such a way that slaves… should offer obedience to their masters.”
Bishop Augustine Verot of Florida proposed a biblical basis for a “proper kind of slavery” and with the other bishops opposed the papal position that “it is the right of slaves who have been unjustly reduced to slavery to flee.” This remains a shameful period of history for the Church in America, yet it could have been glorious had the Faith been preached in its integrity. Humanae Vitae once more comes to mind.

Leo XIII wrote In Plurimus (1888) and Catholicae Ecclesiae (1890), the last two papal documents dealing directly with slavery. The former encouraged the bishops of Brazil to do all they could to ensure that former slaves received the full effects of emancipation. The latter asked the bishops of the world to work to bring slavery (which still continues under Islam) to an end in Africa and to support the evangelization of that continent.

The Popes: Prophets of Justice and Peace

Slavery is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most serious blots upon Christian civilization, if not on the name of Christ who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” (Phil.2:7). It was the greatest tragedy to afflict the African and Indian nations in the New World. An estimated 12 million Africans were shipped, like brute animals, across the Atlantic, while entire Indian populations were decimated like vermin.

From the very beginning of this holocaust, the Popes forcefully denounced the traffic in human beings as an arrant travesty of justice “unheard of before now” and did all within their power to halt it. They were generally ignored by the civil authorities and their teaching disregarded and even opposed by the very ones who, as successors to the apostles, were expected to support it and translate it into action.

Where the papal voice was heard and heeded by individual bishops and priests they were generally too few in number, too isolated from each other and too feeble in the face of vested interest to halt effectively the progress of this unprecedented evil. The faithful efforts of Philip II of Spain were soon virtually neutralized and there was division and confusion among the clergy.

Thus, for instance, the Jesuits of Maryland were slaveholders while those of Paraguay, working with the Guarani Indians, established a flourishing republic (1609-1768) where the Indians were “free subjects of the Crown, equal to the Spaniards.” Others, such as the Dominican Bartolome de Las Casas (1474-1566), who had waged a bitter and quite successful campaign against enslaving Indians, confused the issue by proposing the importation of slaves from Africa. This proposal he later deeply regretted and expressed doubts that God would pardon him for this terrible sin.

The parallel with abortion which is also condemned in the strongest possible terms as a grave moral evil and which is never permissible, even for therapeutic reasons, is striking. Canon Law[7] imposes an excommunication ipso facto on all those directly involved in an abortion. Yet many Catholics give no more than lip service to the Church’s teaching and in some cases this includes bishops, priests and religious. We know that Christ guarantees that His Church will always teach the truth but whether her clerics and laity will give the required internal assent and obedience to that truth is clearly another matter.

Pope after pope has raised his voice in protest against the unprecedented slaughter of the pre-born and in favour of the whole integral Gospel concerning love, sex and marriage. Tragically, judging from the uneven support given by bishops and clergy to the papal teachings in defence of human life and love, it seems that the lesson of slavery has not yet been learnt.

History Will Judge Us for Acquiescing in Abortion

t the Denver World Youth Day, Pope John Paul II said the “the outcome of the battle for life is already decided”. So when eventually the humanity of pre-born children is universally recognised and future generations look with mystified horror at our easy, comfortable connivance, will it be remembered that from the beginning the popes had defended it and them?

In our secular world, it is argued that Christians ought not to impose their religion’s values on the wider society and that those who do not approve of abortion are not forced to have one. Such reasoning is spurious at best and certainly as shallow and callous as that of US Chief Justice Roger B. Taney who, in handing down the infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857, stated that no one who objected to slavery was obliged to own slaves.

The Gospel of Life Through the Ages

Abortion (and euthanasia), like slavery, is not a private, sectarian issue but an issue of the broadest public morality—touching principles which are foundational to a viable society. It is not a trivial matter of personal choice but fundamental to the common good.

The Catholic Church is to the world the “light on the lamp stand” as she is the “pillar and bulwark of truth” to the faithful. To both she proclaims the integral message of the Gospel of Life: to the world by interpreting the natural law; to Christ’s faithful by proclaiming the truths revealed by the Lord. The promise to Peter has not failed. He was criticized by the other apostles for bringing the Gentiles into the Church (Acts 11:1-3).

His successors were criticized for speaking against slavery. Today his successors are ridiculed for defending human life from fertilization to natural death. The promise stands. Peter will not fail, nor the bishops, clergy, religious and laity that stand with him.

[1] Gaudium et spes 27; cf. no 29
[2] Excommunication, the severest ecclesiastical penalty, is reserved for grave crimes against the Catholic religion. It can be imposed by ecclesiastical authority or incurred automatically from the very commission of the act, in which case it is called an ipso facto or latae sententiae excommunication. If it is reserved then, outside of danger of death, only the Pope can lift it. Excommunication excludes the offender from taking part in the Eucharist or other Sacraments and from the exercise of any ecclesiastical office, ministry or function.
[3] We can share in the sins of others by direct and voluntary participation, by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them, by not disclosing or not hindering them, or by protecting evil-doers. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no.1868.
[4] Operative in Catholic countries from 1724, this Code, inter alia, established legal protection for slaves, required the provision of religious instruction for them and encouraged marriage and family life among them. It stands in strong contrast to the British Code of Barbados.
[5] Humanae Vitae §17 warns of an increase in infidelity, lowering of moral standards, men losing respect for women and coercive government population control.
[6] Humanae Vitae §30
[7] Can. 1398: A person who procures a successful abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae.

Faith Magazine

July - August 2006