Seminarian Life Link recommends research topics that seminarians
can use in various courses to examine the pro-life dimensions
of different disciplines. Following are some suggestions that
can be adapted for papers and other research projects.
Discuss the revision in the translation of Evangelium Vitae
99 (the words addressed to those who have had abortions),
and the implications of this revision in light of the Church's
teaching on the fate of babies who are aborted.
- Discuss the Eucharist as a Sacrament of Unity as contrasted
with abortion as a force of division, particularly in the
light of how this is lived out in the local parish.
- What is the history of the types of penances given in
the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the sin of abortion,
and what conclusions can we draw about the most
appropriate penances for our day?
- What is the recent history and current practice
regarding abortion as a reserved sin and the faculties of
the priest to absolve of the excommunication as well as
the sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
- How does the Hebrew expression for "Thou shalt not kill"
(Ex. 20:13) illumine the difference between authorized and
- How does the use of the Greek word "brephos" in the Gospels
indicate the continuity of life between the born and the
- Analyze the exegesis of Exodus 21:22-25 in terms of whether
it implies a moral difference between the value of the born
and unborn child.
How does the liturgy of baptism reflect the theme of welcoming
the child and incorporate the teachings of the Church on the
right to life?
Choose a given period of Church history, and analyze how
sanctions for abortion changed, and whether those changes
in discipline reflected any development in the teaching regarding
abortion as a morally illicit act.
Analyze the writings of a particular Father of the Church
What distinctive pastoral issues are raised by post-abortion
survivor syndrome and what implications does this have for
youth ministry today?
- Study and respond to the various writings produced by
Catholics for a Free Choice (www.catholicsforchoice.org)
and/or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (www.rcrc.org).
- Examine the history of Catholics for a Free Choice (www.catholicsforchoice.org)
and/or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (www.rcrc.org)
and whether or not their stated positions correspond to
the positions of the people they claim to represent.