When does a person emerge?
Sir, – How right Patsy McGarry is to assert that “it is simply wrong to call a fertilised ovum a human” (Opinion, August 10th).
Archbishop John Habgood, who is both a theologian and a scientist, has written largely on this subject. In his view, a fertilised ovum is a potential human being. No more or no less.
As McGarry states, the present line being pursued by the Roman Catholic Church dates only from 1869 and makes no sense either theologically or scientifically. Life is a continuum and the emergence of the individual person occurs gradually. When exactly that occurs is a matter for argument. – Yours, etc,
Very Rev ROBERT