If you think I misspelled Sybil in my title, "civil" is not a mistake.
In Sunday's Washington Post, Cardinal Donald Wuerl placed an opinion piece about Catholic dogma and its consequences: Catholic social action. As I searched for the on line format of the article, I was appalled at the remarks which showed up on the web page. Not only were the comments far from the facts of the real world, they were riddled with derogatory and vicious remarks.
I came across another article printed in the New York Times. The author wrote of Nellie Gray who started the annual March for Life to organize Americans to push for the rights of the unborn, as well as for all life from conception to natural death. Nellie died at the age of 88. Again the article in its on line version was followed by a barrage of negative comments.
So many took a stance that the Catholic church and all pro-lifers are forcing women to have children they don't want. Why is it that we mourn very rightly those 20 children killed in Connecticut, yet dismiss the antiseptically destroyed lives of 4,000 children lost every day through legally sanctioned abortion?
One comment today said abortions eliminate children who are not wanted in the first place. I know the head of an adoption agency who had to seek adoptive babies from other nations, since there were very few to satisfy couples who do want babies. Even if a mother would wish to terminate the life of the child within her, there are so many more prospective parents waiting to adopt.
Semantics or the manipulation of our words/our vocabulary are such effective tools for an agenda that promotes abortion. Pregnancy is not a pathology to be treated as a dread disease. Calling a pre-born child a "fetus" masks the truth that what is growing inside a mother is a real human being. When Gabriel announced to Mary the fact that she would soon be the mother of God, he did not say the fetus you are carrying, but "the child" will be the Son of God. The angel Gabriel told her, "You will conceive...and bear a son".
In some of the comments I read today, the writers decried the "over population" of our country. How can one write those words when a few days ago newspapers said that our birthrate is declining. In some other countries the birthrate is below replacement. Perhaps these over population believers do not keep up with national and international news. Europe and parts of Asia are feeling the shortage of young people.
I veered off my topic of civility. Downton Abbey viewers are soaking up much of the high culture of once very wealthy British aristocracy. Granny Grantham played by Maggie Smith would never be uncivil. Oh that some of that civility would be absorbed by all who watch the series. Today's saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, used his talents for profound study of philosophy and theology. His technique in writing the great Summa Theologia employed the "sed contra" phrase: If this is true, but on the other hand this too is true--something seemingly or truly --the opposite is true how do we answer?
May St. Thomas intercede for us all that the Light of Christ's Truth may penetrate our minds and hearts. Amen.