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Brief Summary of Veritatis Splendor

 

Purpose of the Encyclical[1]

  • Pope JPII wants to focus on certain fundamental aspects of Catholic moral doctrine in the form of a discernment made by the church’s magisterium with regard to certain controversial problems of present day moral theology.

 

Those the Encyclical Addresses

  • Bishops, those who share with the successor of Peter, and under his primatial authority, the responsibility of preserving “sound teaching” (2 Tim 4:3)

 

The Reasons for this Encyclical

  • The Challenge of a new situation in society and in the Christian community… alongside Vat II’s attempt at renewal of moral theology -  doubts and various objections with regard to the church’s moral teaching have arisen, even within Catholic moral theology. It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent from certain specific moral norms but rather a general and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine as such on certain anthropological and ethical concepts.  [2] 
  • Specifically in certain currents of theology, the traditional doctrine with regard to the natural law and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts has been rejected.
  • It is maintained that one can love God and neighbour without being obligied always and everywhere, in all situations.
  • There is a genuine crisis as seen from the pastoral and social problems which had emerged and thus have extremely important repercussions for the church, for the life of the faithful and for human coexistence itself.

 

The Heart of the problem

  • at the root of the dissent – is the influence of currents of thought which ultimately separate the exercise of human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship with truth.
  • An extreme notion of the autonomy of freedom makes freedom an absolute, a source of values, apart from any dependence on truth. People are re-establishing norms that are relative to ‘human good’ – not in line with truth of Catholic Moral teaching.
  • Faith, it must be said, is not merely an intellectual assent to certain abstract truths; it also possesses a moral content.
  • Faith gives rise to and calls for a consistent life commitment; it entails and brings to perfection the keeping of the commandments. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 7:21)

 

Christ the Light of the Nations

  • (LG1) Christ has shown us the way of authentic freedom : “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). He himself has told us: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6)
  • Authentic freedom is only discovered in relation to truth, to that truth which was present “in the beginning” and shines forth in all its splendor on the face of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor 3:5-18)
  • In proclaiming the message of Christian freedom; at the heart of this message is the conviction that only in the truth does man’s freedom become truly human and responsible.

 

 

 

Contents of the Ency

  • It is divided into an intro; 3 chapters and a conclusion.

 

Introduction

Jesus Christ, the True Light That enlightens Everyone

 

(1-3)    Christ is the true light that enlightens everyone (Jn 1:9) and we are called to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. People become light in the lord and ‘children of the light’ (Eph 5:8) and are made holy by obedience to the truth (1 Pt 1:22)

 

  • Pope JPII clearly expresses his reasons for writing the encyclical. It is to exercise his teaching authority by confronting the crisis that has developed in theological-moral reflection during the postconciliar period.
  • (LG1) Christ has shown us the way of authentic freedom : “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). He himself has told us: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6)
  • Authentic freedom is only discovered in relation to truth, to that truth which was present “in the beginning” and shines forth in all its splendor on the face of Jesus Christ(cf.2 Cor3:5-18)
  • In proclaiming the message of Christian freedom; at the heart of this message is the conviction that only in the truth does man’s freedom become truly human and responsible.

 

(5)        “It seemed fitting for it to be preceded by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which contains a complete and systematic exposition of Christian moral teaching.”

 

Purpose of the Encyclical [3]

  • Pope JPII wants to focus on certain fundamental aspects of Catholic moral doctrine in the form of a discernment made by the church’s magisterium with regard to certain controversial problems of present day moral theology.

(4)        “it seems necessary to reflect on the whole of the church’s moral teaching, with the precise goal of recalling certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied.”

 

Those the Encyclical Addresses

  • Bishops, those who share with the successor of Peter, and under his primatial authority, the responsibility of preserving “sound teaching” (2 Tim 4:3)

 

The Reasons for this Encyclical

  • The Challenge of a new situation in society and in the Christian community… alongside Vat II’s attempt at renewal of moral theology -  doubts and various objections with regard to the church’s moral teaching have arisen, even within Catholic moral theology. It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent from certain specific moral norms but rather a general and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine as such on certain anthropological and ethical concepts. [4] 
  • Specifically in certain currents of theology, the traditional doctrine with regard to the natural law and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts has been rejected.
  • It is maintained that one can love God and neighbour without being obligied always and everywhere, in all situations.
  • There is a genuine crisis as seen from the pastoral and social problems which had emerged and thus have extremely important repercussions for the church, for the life of the faithful and for human coexistence itself.

 

 

The Heart of the problem

  • at the root of the dissent – is the influence of currents of thought which ultimately separate the exercise of human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship with truth.
  • An extreme notion of the autonomy of freedom makes freedom an absolute, a source of values, apart from any dependence on truth. People are re-establishing norms that are relative to ‘human good’ – not in line with truth of Catholic Moral teaching.
  • Faith, it must be said, is not merely an intellectual assent to certain abstract truths; it also possesses a moral content.
  • Faith gives rise to and calls for a consistent life commitment; it entails and brings to perfection the keeping of the commandments. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven’ (Mt 7:21)

 

 

Chapter 1 - “Teacher, What Good Must I Do?” (Mt 19:16)

(6 – 27)            Christ and the Answer to the question about Morality

 

(6 – 7)              “Someone came to him” (Mt 19:16)

(8)                    “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16)

(9 -11)                         “There is only one who is good” (Mt 19:17)

(12 – 15)          “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17)

(15)                  “Jesus shows that the commandments must not be understood as a minimum limit not to be gone beyond, but rather as a path involving a moral and spiritual journey toward perfection, at the heart of which is love.”

(16 – 18)          “If you wish to be perfect” (Mt 19:21)

(17)                  “Jesus points out to the young man that the commandments are the first and indispensable condition for having eternal life; on the other hand, for the young man to give up all he possesses and to follow the Lord is presented as an invitation : ‘if you wish.’ These words of Jesus reveal the particular dynamic of freedom’s growth toward maturity, and at the same time they bear witness to the fundamental relationship between freedom and divine law.”

(19 – 21)          “Come, follow me” (Mt 19:21)

(22 - 24)          “With God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26)

(25 – 27)          “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation of Veritatis Splendor

 

(28 – 53) Chapter 2 – “Do Not Be Conformed to This World”  (Rom 12:2)[5]

 

A)                    Introduction to Chapter 2 (28 – 34)

The Church and the Discernment of Certain Tendencies in Present-day Moral Theology

           

(28 – 30)          Teaching what befits sound doctrine (Ti.2:1)

29                    “The church’s magisterium does not intend to impose upon the faithful any particular theological system, still less a philosophical one. Nevertheless...the magisterium has the duty to state that some trends of theological thinking and certain philosophical affirmations are incompatible with revealed truth.”

 

(31 – 34)          You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (Jn 8:32)

32                    “Once the idea of a universal truth about the good, knowable by human reason, is lost, inevitably the notion of conscience also changes”

 

B)                    Part 1 – Freedom and Law (No. 35 to 53)

 

(35 – 37)          “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”

(Gn 2:17)

 

(38 – 41)          God left man in the power of his own counsel (Sir 15:14)

 

(42 – 45)          Blessed is the man who takes delight in the law of the Lord (Ps1:1-2)

42                    “It also becomes clear why this law is called the natural law: It receives this name not because it refers to the nature of irrational beings, but because the reason which promulgates it is proper to human nature.”

 

(46 – 50)          What the law requires is written on their hearts (Rom 2:15)

48                    “One has to consider carefully the correct relationship existing between freedom and human nature, and in particular the place of the human body in questions of natural law.”

 

(51 – 53)          From the beginning it was not so (Mt 19:8)

52                    “The fact that only the negative commandments oblige always and under all circumstances does not mean that in the moral life prohibitions are more important than the obligation to do good indicated by the positive commandments”

 

C)        Part 2 – Conscience and Truth

D)        Part 3 – Fundamental Choice and Specific Kinds of Behaviour

E)         Part 4 – The Moral Act

 

(84 -117) Chapter 3 – “Lest the Cross of Christ Be Emptied of its Power”

 

(118 – 120) Conclusion – Mary Mother of Mercy

Introduction to Chapter 2 (28 – 34)

The Church and the Discernment of Certain Tendencies in Present-day Moral Theology [6]

 

Main points in the critical Discernment of Certain Trends in Theology[7]

  • JP II first reaffirms the constitutive relationship between freedom and truth. Genuine moral autonomy, as understood by Catholic doctrine, means that human freedom and God’s law meet each other and intersect.

 

  • ‘Natural law’ – the participation of God’s eternal law in the rational creature – implies that reason and the moral precepts which derive from it are essentially subordinated to divine wisdom.

 

  • In opposition to every kind of relativism, it must be affirmed that that precepts of the moral law possess a universal and permanent character. They express the original truth about the good of the person, indicating the path which leads to the authentic realization of freedom. These precepts are ultimately grounded in Jesus Christ, who is always the same, yesterday and today and forever. (Heb 13:8 ; LG 10)

 

Section 1 (n28 – 30)     Teaching what befits sound doctrine (Ti.2:1)

 

In the introduction of chp 2, JPII speaks of the need to teach what befits sound doctrine and to respect the bond linking freedom and truth (28-34).

 

Essential elements of revelation in the OT and NT as seen from chpt 1 of dialogue between Jesus and Rich Young Man.

  • Subordination of man and his activity to God – the one who alone is good
  • Relationship between the moral good of human acts and eternal life
  • Christian discipleship – which opens up before man the perspective of perfect love
  • Gift of the Holy Spirit – source and means of the moral life of the ‘new creation’

 

He notes that during the postconciliar period “there have developed certain interpretations of Christian morality which are not consistent with ‘sound teaching’ (2 Tm 4:3) see below

 

29                    “The church’s magisterium does not intend to impose upon the faithful any particular theological system, still less a philosophical one. Nevertheless...the magisterium has the duty to state that some trends of theological thinking and certain philosophical affirmations are incompatible with revealed truth.” It must do so ‘in order to reverently preserve and faithfully expound the word of God’

 

30                    It is my intention to state the principles necessary for discerning what is contrary to “sound” doctrine, drawing attention to those elements of the church’s moral teaching which today appear particularly exposed to error, ….  Because (these are the very elements on which lies the answers to questions that disturb man’s heart. “What is man? What is the meaning and purpose of our life? What is good and what is sin?” “What is freedom and what is its relationship to the truth contained in God’s Law? What is the role of conscience in man’s moral development?

 

The fundamental question which the young man in the Gospel put to Jesus: “Teacher what must I do to have eternal life?

 

 

 

Section 2 (n31 – 34)     You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (Jn 8:32)

 

In this section, the critical issue identified is HUMAN FREEDOM. People today have a strong sense of freedom and this is related to human dignity where one is able to exercise his own judgement – autonomy. (31)

 

  • This has lead to some divergence from the truth about man as a creature of God and the image of God.
  • Certain views have even made freedom as absolute.
  • The transcendent have been lost and atheistic views take over.
  • God’s law and truth is no longer part of the moral decision process
  • The individual conscience judges what is good and evil. The criteria could be – sincerity, authenticity, being at peace with oneself.
  • Some have adopted a subjectivistic conception of moral judgement

 

32                    “Once the idea of a universal truth about the good, knowable by human reason, is lost, inevitably the notion of conscience also changes”

 

To be guided by conscience presupposes that it has its source in God’s truth and laws.

 

  • Now the human person by his conscience determines the criteria of good and bad.
  • An individual is faced with his own truth

 

A number of disciplines under “behavioral sciences” have influenced the exercise of human freedom (33)

  • These misuse scientific research about the human person
  • It is a outright denial of universal human values and is a relativistic concept of morality.

 

34        “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”

 

The question of morality cannot prescind from the issue of freedom.

There can be no morality without freedom and it is only in freedom that man can turn to what is good

  • Question is what sort of freedom are we looking at?
  • Genuine freedom is defined by the magisterial as an outstanding manifestation of the divine image in man. Man is free in his decision making and he seeks the creator of his own accord. In the search of the truth, man finds God’s law and adheres to it.

 

Relationship of Freedom and Truth

  • there is a fundamental dependence of freedom upon Truth.

You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free (Jn 8:32)

 

Chapter Two is divided into four parts :

Part 1 – Freedom and Law

Part 2 - Conscience and Truth

Part 3 - Fundamental Choice and Specific Kinds of Behaviour

Part 4 - The Moral Act

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1 of Chapter 2 – Freedom and Law (35 to 53)

Rejecting the idea of ‘human morality’ as incompatible with Catholic Faith, the pope explains natural law as in the catholic tradition (vat II and church fathers). Natural law is our intelligent participation in God’s eternal law – his wise and loving plan for human existence.

 

Section 1         

(35 – 37) “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (Gn 2:17)

Pope JPII concern is to articulate a true understanding of the autonomy proper to man and to repudiate some contemporary moral theories which so exalt human freedom that they end up in the subjectivistic notion – that men are creators of the moral order, of what is good and bad.

 

(35)      Revelation teaches that the power to decide what is good and what is evil does not belong to man, but to God alone.

  • Man is certainly free but his freedom is not unlimited and he is called to accept the moral law given by God thru the 10 commandments.
  • There is no conflict between freedom and law as claimed by some current day cultural tendencies. God’s law does not reduce or take away human freedom but protects and promotes that freedom
  • False tendencies grant Humans the right to determine what is good and evil and this means that Moral authority; moral autonomy; amount to absolute sovereignty.

 

(36)      This tendency has also some influence on Catholic Moral theology with reference to certain kinds of behaviour involving oneself, others and the material world.

  • Such a rethinking has positive points: it helps the church foster dialogue with modern culture, emphasizing the rational; and thus universally understandable and communicable character of moral norms of natural moral law. It also helps shape the interior character of the ethical requirements deriving from that law.
  • Some people disregard the dependence of human reason on divine wisdom and for moral truths.
  • They go for human morality where they would be an expression of a law which man in an autonomous manner lays down for himself and which has its source exclusively in human reason.
  • This is a denial of sacred scripture and of the church’s teaching that moral law has God as its author.

 

(37)      Certain theologians have introduced sharply between “an ethical order…human in origin and of value for this world alone, and an order of salvation”

  • This is an actual denial that there exists in divine revelation, a specific and determined moral content, universally valid and permanent.
  • It involves the denial of a specific doctrinal competence on the part of the church and her magisterium with regard to particular moral norms which deal with the so called “human good”.
  • Such an autonomy of human reason involves positions incompatible with Catholic Teaching

 

Section 2

(38 – 41)          God left man in the power of his own counsel (Sir 15:14)

 

(38)      Vat II explains what is “genuine freedom” – an outstanding manifestation of the divine image in man: God willed to leave man in the power of his own counsel, so that he would seek his creator of his own accord and would freely arrive at full and blessed perfection by cleaving to God. Man is free – autonomous – has own will.

  • From the command of Gn 1:28, Man was told, “Fill the earth and subdue it”. In view of this, a rightful autonomy is due to every man. All created things have their own laws and values which are to be gradually discovered, utilized and ordered by man.

 

(39)      God left man “in the power of his own counsel” (Sir 15:14) that he might seek his Creator and freely gain perfection.

  • The Council warns of a false concept of the autonomy of earthly realities  -  where created things are not dependent on God.”

 

(40)      The teaching of the council emphasizes the role of human reason in apply moral law and also that reasons draws its own truth and authority from the eternal law – divine wisdom. At the heart of the moral life we find the principle of a ‘rightful autonomy’of man :

  • “The moral law has its origin in God and always finds its source in him” at the same time, “by virtue of natural reason, which derives from human wisdom” – it is a properly human law.
  • Natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding infused in us by God.
  • Man possesses in himself his own law, received from the Creator.

 

(41)      Human freedom and God’s law meet and are called to intersect, in the sense of man’s free obedience to God and of God’s completely gratuitous benevolence toward man.

  • Obedience to God is not – heteronomy (not subject to the will of something more powerful than man and so man have no choice; freedom.)
  • Obedience to God is theonomy or participated theonomy (since man’s free obedience to God’s law effectively implies that human reason and human will participate in God’s wisdom and providence.)
  • Law must be considered an expression of divine wisdom: By submitting to the law, freedom submits to the truth of creation.
  • One must acknowledge the majesty of the God of the universe and revere the holiness of the Law of God, who is infinitely transcendent.

 

Section 3

(42 – 45)          Blessed is the man who takes delight in the law of the Lord (Ps1:1-2)

42                    “It also becomes clear why this law is called the natural law: It receives this name not because it refers to the nature of irrational beings, but because the reason which promulgates it is proper to human nature.”

 

  • The council tells us, “Human dignity requires man to act through conscious and free choice, as motivated and prompted personally from within, and not through blind internal impulse or merely external pressure.”
  • Human freedom consists of man freeing himself from all subservience to his feelings and in a free choice of the good, pursues his own end using appropriate means.
  • Man must freely do good and avoid evil. But in order to accomplish this he must be able to distinguish good from evil. This takes place above all thanks to the light natural reason.

 

(43)      Vat II points out “the supreme rule of life is the divine law itself, the eternal, objective and universal law by which God out of his wisdom and love arranged, directs and governs the whole world and the paths of the human community.

 

  • Classical teaching of Eternal law – the council refers back to St Augustine – “the reason or the will of God, who commands us to respect the natural order and forbids us to disturb it.
  • St Thomas identifies it with the type of the divine wisdom as moving things to their due end. God’s wisdom is providence, a love which cares. He cares for man not “from without” through the laws of physical nature but “from within” through reason, which by its natural knowledge of God’s eternal law is consequently able to show man the right direction to take in his free actions.
  • God calls man to partake in his own providence since he desires to guide the world.

 

(44)      The Church often made reference to Thomistic doctrine of natural law.

 

Leo XIII – emphasis the essential subordination of reason and human law to the wisdom of God and to his law.

  • natural law is written and often engraved in the heart of each and every man, since it is not other than human reason itself which commands us to do good and counsels us not to sin”
  • It follows that natural law is itself the eternal law, implanted in beings endowed with reason, and inclining them toward their right action and end; it is none other than the eternal reason of the Creator and ruler of the universe.
  • Using his reason, man is able to discern good and evil and be enlightened by divine revelation and by faith, through the law at Sinai. Thus Mosses was able to say “What great nation is that that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day? (Dt 4:7-8)

 

In the psalms

  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, not stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night (Ps 1:1-2)

 

(45)      The Church fulfills her mission of authentically interpreting God’s law in the light of the Gospel.

  • The interior law is the gift of the new law which is the fulfillment of God’s law in Jesus Christ and in his Spirit. Written not in ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
  • St Thomas – this law can be called law in 2 ways: one – the law of the spirit is the Holy Spirit who teaches and enlightens. Second – law of the spirit can be called the proper effect of the Holy Spirit and thus faith working through love and inclines the affections to act.
  • Law – whether referred to as positive or revealed , natural – new or old. – It must not be forgotten that God is the author of this law.
  • God’s plan poses no threat to man’s genuine freedom; on the contrary, the acceptance of God’s plan is the only way to affirm that freedom.

 

Section 4

(46 – 50)          What the law requires is written on their hearts (Rom 2:15)

48                    “One has to consider carefully the correct relationship existing between freedom and human nature, and in particular the place of the human body in questions of natural law.”

 

(46)      Present today is Conflict between freedom and law and particularly with regard to natural law and nature. (nature and freedom conflict - all through out history is seen esp. Renaissance and the Reformation.)

  • Today, many would see human reality consisting of statistically verifiable data collected from human studies on behaviour. They also try to verify moral laws which are revealed.
  • For some, nature becomes reduced to raw material for human activity.
  • For others, power and freedom is in the economic, cultural and social where values are established.
  • Nature is reduced to the body and its makeup. Human is about culture. Human Nature thus is readily available biological or social material.

 

(47)      Some claim that certain documents are physicalistic (they present natural laws which are biological laws as divine moral laws and making them universally valid as a norm when it should not be at all. Especially in those dealing with area of sexual and conjugal ethics.

  • Dissenting theologians takes into account the many limitations of the human being an behavioral models and meanings in various culture.

 

(48)      Faced with this theory, one has to consider carefully the correct relationship existing between freedom and human nature, and in particular the place of the human body in questions of natural law.

  • The body is ends up as a raw datum devoid of any meaning and moral values. A physical material. Goods called premoral. If one tries to put moral laws on the body, one is judged as physicalistic or biologism.
  • This moral theory does not correspond to the truth about man and his freedom. It contradicts church’s teaching on the unity of the human person – body and soul. Reason and free will are linked with all bodily senses and faculties.

 

(49)      Body and Soul is a unity. Therefore in the person, in the willing agent and in the deliberate act they stand or fall altogether. We do not separate actions of the body and the soul.

 

(50)      The true meaning of the natural law

  • refers to man’s proper and primordial nature – nature of the human person, united by body and soul, united in spiritual and biological inclinations.
  • Expresses and lays down purposes and rights and duties based on body and spiritual nature of the human person.
  • It is a set of norms not on biological level but rational order.
  • It does not allow for any division between freedom and nature. Both are intimately linked together.

 

Section 5

(51 – 53)          From the beginning it was not so (Mt 19:8)

 

On Natural Law’s universality and immutability

  • Augustine says Truth is what makes the law universal. Truth sets natural law towards good and to avoid evil. In order to perfect himself, Man choose good over evil, is concerned with transmission and preservation of life, refine and develop the riches of the material world, cultivate social life and seek truth.
  • It is universal as long as it expresses the dignity of the human person and lays the foundation for his fundamental rights and duties.
  • Universality does not mean losing individuality of human being and uniqueness of each person.
  • By submitting to the common law, our acts build up the true communion of persons and by God’s grace, practice charity. Disregarding it damages the communion of persons and to the detriment of each.

 

(52)      Positive precepts which order us to perform certain actions and to cultivate certain dispositions, are universally binding; they are unchanging. They unite in the same common good all people of every period of history, created for the same divine calling and destiny.

 

            Negative precepts are also universally valid. Because the behaviour is in no way compatible with the goodness of the will of the acting person, with his vocation to life with God and to communion with his neighbour. It is prohibited to all.

52                    “The fact that only the negative commandments oblige always and under all circumstances does not mean that in the moral life prohibitions are more important than the obligation to do good indicated by the positive commandments”

 

  • The commandment of love of God and neighbour does not have any higher limit but does have a lower limit.
  • There are kinds of behaviour which can never, in any situation, be a proper response.
  • The church has always taught that one may never choose kinds of behaviour prohibited by the moral commandments expressed in negative forms in OT and NT.

 

(53)      Immutability of the natural law questioned (objectively can there be existence of “objective norms of morality for all people of the present and the future)

  • Is it ever possible some ask, to consider as universally valid and always binding certain rational determinations established in the past, when no one knew the progress humanity would make in the future?
  • Human nature transcends cultures for if not, man would become the prisoner of that culture. It is in the human dignity that one can live the truth of his being.
  • The church affirms that underlying so many changes there are some things which do not change and are ultimately founded upon Christ, who is the same yesterday and today and forever.
  • Certainly there is a need to seek out and to discover the most adequate formulation for universal and permanent moral norms in the light of different cultural contexts. These norms in order to be valid throughout has to go through the church’s magisterium.

 

Part 2 – Conscience and Truth (54 – 64)

Part 3 – Fundamental Choice and Specific Kinds of Behaviour (65-70)

Part 4 – The Moral Act (71-83)

 

Re-emphasis of Main points highlighted in Moral Good for the Life of the Church and the World[8]

 

1)      By looking always to the Lord Jesus, the church comes to discover the authentic meaning of freedom: the gift of self, inspired by love, for the sake of serving God and one’s brothers and sisters.

2)      It discovers that God’s law expresses, in the commandments and in their absoluteness, the demands of love.

3)      Universal and unchanging moral norms are at the service of the person and of society.

4)      The profound renewal of social and political life, which is increasing desired by people today, can only occur if freedom is one more linked to truth.

5)      Ethical relativism, despite its appearances, inevitably leads to a totalitarianism which denies the truth about man.

6)      To promote morality is to promote man and his freedom, but this cannot take place in opposition to the truth and in opposition to God.

 



[1] Pg 38 vatican’s summary of VS ; ‘Purpose of the ency”

[2] Pg 38 vatican’s summary of VS ; ‘The reasons for this ency”

[3] Pg 38 vatican’s summary of VS ; ‘Purpose of the ency”

[4] Pg 38 vatican’s summary of VS ; ‘The reasons for this ency”

[5] Pg 259 VS: An Overview of the Ency – The 2nd chapter, by far the longest of the ency. is doctrinal in character, and in it the pope takes up “certain fundamental questions regarding the Church’s moral teaching, discusses the issues being debated by ethicists and moral theologians, and in responding to erroneous views, presents “the principles of a moral teaching based upon Scripture and Tradition (n5)

It proceeds to makes a critical discernment of certain trends in contemporary moral theology, in the light of sacred scripture and the church’s living tradition; with reference to Vat. II) Its purpose is to address foundations of moral theology and to the crisis which is setting freedom in opposition to truth and separates faith from morality)

[6] Pg 266

[7] Pg 39 VS

[8] Pg 40 VS