The so called “information explosion,” which is greatly facilitated by the mass media and its pressing day-to-day needs, has created a wide gap between information and scholarship. Although there is more print available to the general public today than ever before, people have less time and, perhaps more importantly, less inclination to discuss, digest, criticize, and challenge what they read. The gross misrepresentations that frequently appear on so important a matter as the Church’s teaching on abortion should inspire a renewed interest in scholarship and, one mayhope, a renaissance in critical thinking. Dr. Donald DeMarco is an associate professor of philosophy at St. Jerome’s College at the University of Waterloo. He studied theology at the Gregorian University in Rome and earned his Ph.D. at St. John’s University in New York. He is the author of Abortion in Perspective, Sex and the Illusion of Freedom, and Today’s Family in Crisis. His most recent book is The Anesthetic Society (Christendom, 1982). Born in Massachusetts, he resides now with his wife and five children in Kitchener, Ontario. He is a frequent contributor to HPR. Notes 9
1 Roger J. Huser, The Crime of Abortion in Canon Law(Washington D.C.: Catholic Univ. Press, 1942). ‘The Church has always held in regard to the morality of abortion that it is a serious sin to destroy a foetus at any stage of development. However, as a. juridical normin the determination of penalties against abortion, the Church at various times did accept the distinction between a formedand a non-formed,an animatedand a nonanimatedfoetus.” Preliminary Note. 2 Lucius Farraris, Bibliotheca iuridica moralis theologica(Roma: 1885) I, 36-38. 3 Denzinger-Schoenmetzer, Enchiridion symbolorum (Rome: Herder, 1965), 2134-2135. 4 John A. Hardon, S. J., “A Catholic View,” The Human Life Review,Fall 1975, p. 46. 5 John Connery, S. J., Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective(Chicago: Loyola Univ. Press, 1977), p. 304. 6 Germain Grisez, Abortion: the Myths, the Realities, and the Arguments(New York: Corpus Books, 1970), p. 165. 7 Hardon, p. 93. 8 David Granfield, The Abortion Decision (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971), p. 66. 9Ibid.,p. 44. It is likely that the Septuagint translators deliberately introduced a variant translation because it was more in agreement with current practice in their own community or with their own conception of justice. See Immanuel Jakobovits, Jewish Medical Ethics(New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1959). See also Sidney Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study(London: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1968). 10 Aristotle, “History of Animals,” The Works of Aristotle, Vol. II(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952), Bk. 7, Ch. 3, 583b, p. 109. Felinus Sandaeus of Ferrara (d. 1503) calculated that animation took place on the fortieth day forthe female and on the eightieth day for the male fetus. 11 Migne, “Quaestiones in Eoxdum,” Patrologia Graeca,48, 80:271-74.
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