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St. Brigit the Abortionist

JamesR

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One thing I found particularly strange about my study of pre-schism Christianity in Ireland is the common theme of Saints whose "miracles" include the termination of pregnancies--or as we tend to call it, abortion. St. Brigit of Kildare is the most popular example, but certainly isn't the only one. In light of the Church's condemnation of abortion which seems to have been unanimous all across the Church throughout all the ages from the Didache to the modern ethical statement of the GOARCH's website, how do we reconcile our affirmation of life with these Irish "saints" who performed abortions or at least something very similar? Do we dismiss them as myths? Well then what is to stop us from becoming like the Roman Catholic Church which has dropped several early saints as of recent times? Do we affirm these stories? Then how do we also affirm life? Even if these stories don't explicitly imply abortion--ie, that the person in the womb was murdered--don't they still imply eugenics? That some life is more entitled to life than others due to external circumstances and the like? That we can judge someone's life for factors outside of their control? That we can end it--if not through murder as in abortion, then through miraculous means--when it becomes an inconvenience to us? And if it smells, quacks, and talks like a duck, then given that we don't adhere to that Scholastic break-the-rules-while-not-breaking-them mumbo jumbo, wouldn't it means that these miraculous pregnancy-terminations are in fact no different from abortions?
 

Volnutt

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The Catholic Church has declared no Saints as mythical. It only removed them from obligatory public devotion. No Catholic priest's going to stop you from venerating St. Christopher if you want to.

If one prays that a cancer patient dies so that he is no longer suffering, is that the same thing as murdering him? It isn't as though if the prayer had not been answered, then St. Birgit would have said, "Well, that didn't work. Time to break out the wire coat hanger!"
 

JamesR

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Volnutt said:
If one prays that a cancer patient dies so that he is no longer suffering, is that the same thing as murdering him?
No because were that prayer to be answered, it'd be God who murdered him, not you. But I would think that such a prayer in the first place would be discouraged and severely frowned upon. Praying that their pain comes to an end is one thing, but praying that they die so that it comes to an end is another.

It isn't as though if the prayer had not been answered, then St. Birgit would have said, "Well, that didn't work. Time to break out the wire coat hanger!"
What different would it have made? Either way the end result would have been the same, except had the prayer been answered, God would have been the abortionist. St. Brigit would have just been the middleman. Either way it's the termination of a pregnancy--the decision that someone isn't entitled to continue living for reasons outside of his or her control.
 

Volnutt

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JamesR said:
Volnutt said:
If one prays that a cancer patient dies so that he is no longer suffering, is that the same thing as murdering him?
No because were that prayer to be answered, it'd be God who murdered him, not you. But I would think that such a prayer in the first place would be discouraged and severely frowned upon. Praying that their pain comes to an end is one thing, but praying that they die so that it comes to an end is another.
What if one prays that God either heal him or take him home, whichever is God's will?

JamesR said:
It isn't as though if the prayer had not been answered, then St. Birgit would have said, "Well, that didn't work. Time to break out the wire coat hanger!"
What different would it have made? Either way the end result would have been the same, except had the prayer been answered, God would have been the abortionist. St. Brigit would have just been the middleman. Either way it's the termination of a pregnancy--the decision that someone isn't entitled to continue living for reasons outside of his or her control.
God aborts babies all the time. If life really does begin at conception, then He aborts the majority of babies.
 

PeterTheAleut

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JamesR said:
One thing I found particularly strange about my study of pre-schism Christianity in Ireland is the common theme of Saints whose "miracles" include the termination of pregnancies--or as we tend to call it, abortion. St. Brigit of Kildare is the most popular example, but certainly isn't the only one.
And what sources can you cite to support your claim that this actually did happen?
 

JamesR

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PeterTheAleut said:
JamesR said:
One thing I found particularly strange about my study of pre-schism Christianity in Ireland is the common theme of Saints whose "miracles" include the termination of pregnancies--or as we tend to call it, abortion. St. Brigit of Kildare is the most popular example, but certainly isn't the only one.
And what sources can you cite to support your claim that this actually did happen?
Well Cogitosus' Life of St.Brigid which is also the source that our English translations of her life come from is one example.
 

PeterTheAleut

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JamesR said:
PeterTheAleut said:
JamesR said:
One thing I found particularly strange about my study of pre-schism Christianity in Ireland is the common theme of Saints whose "miracles" include the termination of pregnancies--or as we tend to call it, abortion. St. Brigit of Kildare is the most popular example, but certainly isn't the only one.
And what sources can you cite to support your claim that this actually did happen?
Well Cogitosus' Life of St.Brigid which is also the source that our English translations of her life come from is one example.
Would you care to quote those parts of the work that are pertinent to your claim?
 

JamesR

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Volnutt said:
What if one prays that God either heal him or take him home, whichever is God's will?
Then that's fine, because it is not asking for death but that God's will be done, which could be death. But that isn't what the account of St. Brigit said. She explicitly performed a miracle that ended the pregnancy.

God aborts babies all the time. If life really does begin at conception, then He aborts the majority of babies.
I'm not denying it. In fact, if you really want to get technical, you could say by virtue of the transitive property that since man created evil and God created man that God created evil and is thus the author of destruction, which in hindsight seems to be the message of Job--that God is the head honcho--despite contradictory Christian apologies to the problem of evil. But at least then, it is God who is administering the act and not humans.
 

biro

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I read a little about St. Brigid before, but I hadn't heard that story.

If she had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, and that's all it was, she would not be culpable.
 

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biro said:
I read a little about St. Brigid before, but I hadn't heard that story.

If she had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, and that's all it was, she would not be culpable.
It wasn't St. Brigid herself, it was another nun who had become pregnant. According to Cogitosus, Brigid prayed over her, and the child disappeared.

Many historians believe that in Ireland, a lot of stories that had originally been part of local pagan myths later became attached to saints. Thus, it's very difficult to tell which stories actually occurred and which ones are embellishments. That doesn't mean the saints didn't exist, it just means that not all the miracles supposedly attributed to them actually happened.

So, Cogitosus might not be an entirely reliable source.
 
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