Pope Sixtus V’s strong words against abortion

It’s a little ridiculous having Latin in a headline blog post title, so I went with this long, nearly-never-ending title.

I’m not apologizing for that.


In 1588, we had Pope Sixtus V as our Holy Father.

In his Papal Bull, he didn’t mince words against abortion.

Though Roe v. Wade wasn’t decided in the United States until 1973, Pope Sixtus V already strongly condemned abortion.

1588 is WAY BACK. Think, Spanish Armada. In fact, it was in 1588 that the English defeated the Spanish Armada at Gravelines in the Netherlands.

There was no advanced medical technology like today. They had widespread diseases from spoiled food and lack of hygiene. What do you expect?

Who will not abhor the cruelty and unrestrained debauchery of impious men who have arrived into such a state of mind that they procure poisons in order to extinguish the conceived fetuses within the viscera, and pour them out, trying to provoke by a nefarious crime a violent and untimely death and killing of their progeny. Finally, who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the crimes of those who with poisons, potions and evil actions …sterilize women or impede that they conceive or give birth by pernicious medicines and drugs?”

Cruelty, unrestrained debauchery, extinguish the conceived fetuses, violent and untimely death, killing…

It’s clear how Pope Sixtus V thought about this. He was well-known for his pro-life stance, pro-marriage stance, pro-family stance. He was my kind of Pope on those issues.

He also managed many changes in the organization at the Vatican… he also had a revised version of the Vulgate published … and he wasn’t a big fan of the Jesuits. That’s all for another post.

In Effraenatam, Pope Sixtus V wrote:

In the Narrowness of the uterus the hand of god is always at work … Creator of both body and soul and who molded, made and wanted this child and meanwhile the goodness of the Potter, that is of god, is impiously and overly despised by these people (who assist or get abortions).”

He wanted these children. He wanted them to live. He wanted them to bring something to the world, to their parents, to the doctors. He wanted them for something. It doesn’t matter what, God’s plan is above our comprehension. My eyes tear up like crazy when I think about all the babies missing from this world.

It is no small and trivial gift of God to give children in order to propagate mankind. It is a Divine gift.”

A divine gift. Oh, God, please don’t revoke your gifts to us because of our ignorance.

Oh, God, please forgive us for our sins.


Besides we want that the monstrous gravity of these brutal, cruel, ferocious and inhuman crimes be punished not only in temporal sanctions, but also by spiritual censures and for this reason we decree that all persons of whatever state, degree, order or condition … who as principal parties or accomplices in order to commit aforementioned crimes have helped, counseled, shown favor or knowingly given potions and/or whatever kind of medicine … automatically excommunicated by us.”

Automatically excommunicated.

Can’t get much simpler than that. Automatically. Excommunicated.

I’m not going to dwell on that. If you someone ended up on this blog and you’ve somehow been… involved in an abortion in anyway, please go see a priest. There is forgiveness.

There is hope if you’ve changed your mind, if you are really truly sorry for what happened. Just, please, please go see a priest. Go now. Call the emergency number at the nearest Catholic Church. That’s your best option.

And take the safest possible way to the church when you set up a meeting. No sense dying when you’re on your way to confession.

Please go.


This week:

Come back Friday for a special edition (they’re all special) Quick Takes where I try to keep my calm during the heat of the moment discussion I’ve already had this week. Yikes, it was intense.

If you’re a new follower from the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, hello! Thanks for coming by! I hope to supply you with helpful information like that throughout the liturgical year.

God bless.



  1. Pingback: Pope Sixtus V’s strONG WORds AGAinst aboRTIon | High-Impact

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