Veritatis splendor - - 106
106 Evangelization is the most powerful and stirring challenge which the Church has been called to face from her very beginning. Indeed, this challenge is posed not so much by the social and cultural milieux which she encounters in the course of history, as by the mandate of the Risen Christ, who defines the very reason for the Church's existence: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mc 16,15).
At least for many peoples, however, the present time is instead marked by a formidable challenge to undertake a "new evangelization", a proclamation of the Gospel which is always new and always the bearer of new things, an evangelization which must be "new in its ardour, methods and expression".166 Dechristianization, which weighs heavily upon entire peoples and communities once rich in faith and Christian life, involves not only the loss of faith or in any event its becoming irrelevant for everyday life, but also, and of necessity, a decline or obscuring of the moral sense. This comes about both as a result of a loss of awareness of the originality of Gospel morality and as a result of an eclipse of fundamental principles and ethical values themselves. Today's widespread tendencies towards subjectivism, utilitarianism and relativism appear not merely as pragmatic attitudes or patterns of behaviour, but rather as approaches having a basis in theory and claiming full cultural and social legitimacy.
107 Evangelization m and therefore the "new evangelization" m also involves the proclamation and presentation of morality. Jesus himself, even as he preached the Kingdom of God and its saving love, called people to faith and conversion (cf. Mk Mc 1,15). And when Peter, with the other Apostles, proclaimed the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead, he held out a new life to be lived, a "way" to be followed, for those who would be disciples of the Risen One (cf. Acts Ac 2,37-41 Ac 3,17-20).
Just as it does in proclaiming the truths of faith, and even more so in presenting the foundations and content of Christian morality, the new evangelization will show its authenticity and unleash all its missionary force when it is carried out through the gift not only of the word proclaimed but also of the word lived. In particular, the life of holiness which is resplendent in so many members of the People of God, humble and often unseen, constitutes the simplest and most attractive way to perceive at once the beauty of truth, the liberating force of God's love, and the value of unconditional fidelity to all the demands of the Lord's law, even in the most difficult situations. For this reason, the Church, as a wise teacher of morality, has always invited believers to seek and to find in the Saints, and above all in the Virgin Mother of God "full of grace" and "all-holy", the model, the strength and the joy needed to live a life in accordance with God's commandments and the Beatitudes of the Gospel.
The lives of the saints, as a reflection of the goodness of God m the One who "alone is good" m constitute not only a genuine profession of faith and an incentive for sharing it with others, but also a glorification of God and his infinite holiness. The life of holiness thus brings to full expression and effectiveness the threefold and unitary munus propheticum, sacerdotale et regale which every Christian receives as a gift by being born again "of water and the Spirit" (Jn 3,5) in Baptism. His moral life has the value of a "spiritual worship" (Rm 12,1 cf. Phil Ph 3,3), flowing from and nourished by that inexhaustible source of holiness and glorification of God which is found in the Sacraments, especially in the Eucharist: by sharing in the sacrifice of the Cross, the Christian partakes of Christ's self-giving love and is equipped and committed to live this same charity in all his thoughts and deeds. In the moral life the Christian's royal service is also made evident and effective: with the help of grace, the more one obeys the new law of the Holy Spirit, the more one grows in the freedom to which he or she is called by the service of truth, charity and justice.
108 At the heart of the new evangelization and of the new moral life which it proposes and awakens by its fruits of holiness and missionary zeal, there is the Spirit of Christ, the principle and strength of the fruitfulness of Holy Mother Church. As Pope Paul VI reminded us: "Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit".167 The Spirit of Jesus, received by the humble and docile heart of the believer, brings about the flourishing of Christian moral life and the witness of holiness amid the great variety of vocations, gifts, responsibilities, conditions and life situations. As Novatian once pointed out, here expressing the authentic faith of the Church, it is the Holy Spirit "who confirmed the hearts and minds of the disciples, who revealed the mysteries of the Gospel, who shed upon them the light of things divine. Strengthened by his gift, they did not fear either prisons or chains for the name of the Lord; indeed they even trampled upon the powers and torments of the world, armed and strengthened by him, having in themselves the gifts which this same Spirit bestows and directs like jewels to the Church, the Bride of Christ. It is in fact he who raises up prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, guides tongues, works wonders and healings, accomplishes miracles, grants the discernment of spirits, assigns governance, inspires counsels, distributes and harmonizes every other charismatic gift. In this way he completes and perfects the Lord's Church everywhere and in all things".168
In the living context of this new evangelization, aimed at generating and nourishing "the faith which works through love" (cf. Gal Ga 5,6), and in relation to the work of the Holy Spirit, we can now understand the proper place which continuing theological reflection about the moral life holds in the Church, the community of believers. We can likewise speak of the mission and the responsibility proper to moral theologians.
109 The whole Church is called to evangelization and to the witness of a life of faith, by the fact that she has been made a sharer in the munus propheticum of the Lord Jesus through the gift of his Spirit. Thanks to the permanent presence of the Spirit of truth in the Church (cf. Jn Jn 14,16-17), "the universal body of the faithful who have received the anointing of the holy one (cf. 1 Jn 1Jn 2,20) cannot be mistaken in belief. It displays this particular quality through a supernatural sense of the faith in the whole people when, 'from the Bishops to the last of the lay faithful ', it expresses the consensus of all in matters of faith and morals".169
In order to carry out her prophetic mission, the Church must constantly reawaken or "rekindle" her own life of faith (cf. 2 Tim 2Tm 1,6), particularly through an ever deeper reflection, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, upon the content of faith itself. The "vocation" of the theologian in the Church is specifically at the service of this "believing effort to understand the faith". As the Instruction Donum Veritatis teaches: "Among the vocations awakened by the Spirit in the Church is that of the theologian. His role is to pursue in a particular way an ever deeper understanding of the word of God found in the inspired Scriptures and handed on by the living Tradition of the Church. He does this in communion with the Magisterium, which has been charged with the responsibility of preserving the deposit of faith. By its nature, faith appeals to reason because it reveals to man the truth of his destiny and the way to attain it. Revealed truth, to be sure, surpasses our telling. All our concepts fall short of its ultimately unfathomable grandeur (cf. Eph Ep 3,19). Nonetheless, revealed truth beckons reason m God's gift fashioned for the assimilation of truth m to enter into its light and thereby come to understand in a certain measure what it has believed. Theological science responds to the invitation of truth as it seeks to understand the faith. It thereby aids the People of God in fulfilling the Apostle's command (cf. 1 Pet 1P 3,15) to give an accounting for their hope to those who ask it".170
It is fundamental for defining the very identity of theology, and consequently for theology to carry out its proper mission, to recognize its profound and vital connection with the Church, her mystery, her life and her mission: "Theology is an ecclesial science because it grows in the Church and works on the Church... It is a service to the Church and therefore ought to feel itself actively involved in the mission of the Church, particularly in its prophetic mission".171 By its very nature and procedures, authentic theology can flourish and develop only through a committed and responsible participation in and "belonging" to the Church as a "community of faith". In turn, the fruits of theological research and deeper insight become a source of enrichment for the Church and her life of faith.
110 All that has been said about theology in general can and must also be said for moral theology, seen in its specific nature as a scientific reflection on the Gospel as the gift and commandment of new life, a reflection on the life which "professes the truth in love" (cf. Eph Ep 4,15) and on the Church's life of holiness, in which there shines forth the truth about the good brought to its perfection. The Church's Magisterium intervenes not only in the sphere of faith, but also, and inseparably so, in the sphere of morals. It has the task of "discerning, by means of judgments normative for the consciences of believers, those acts which in themselves conform to the demands of faith and foster their expression in life and those which, on the contrary, because intrinsically evil, are incompatible with such demands".172 In proclaiming the commandments of God and the charity of Christ, the Church's Magisterium also teaches the faithful specific particular precepts and requires that they consider them in conscience as morally binding. In addition, the Magisterium carries out an important work of vigilance, warning the faithful of the presence of possible errors, even merely implicit ones, when their consciences fail to acknowledge the correctness and the truth of the moral norms which the Magisterium teaches.
This is the point at which to consider the specific task of all those who by mandate of their legitimate Pastors teach moral theology in Seminaries and Faculties of Theology. They have the grave duty to instruct the faithful m especially future Pastors m about all those commandments and practical norms authoritatively declared by the Church.173 While recognizing the possible limitations of the human arguments employed by the Magisterium, moral theologians are called to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons underlying its teachings and to expound the validity and obligatory nature of the precepts it proposes, demonstrating their connection with one another and their relation with man's ultimate end.174 Moral theologians are to set forth the Church's teaching and to give, in the exercise of their ministry, the example of a loyal assent, both internal and external, to the Magisterium's teaching in the areas of both dogma and morality.175 Working together in cooperation with the hierarchical Magisterium, theologians will be deeply concerned to clarify ever more fully the biblical foundations, the ethical significance and the anthropological concerns which underlie the moral doctrine and the vision of man set forth by the Church.
111 The service which moral theologians are called to provide at the present time is of the utmost importance, not only for the Church's life and mission, but also for human society and culture. Moral theologians have the task, in close and vital connection with biblical and dogmatic theology, to highlight through their scientific reflection "that dynamic aspect which will elicit the response that man must give to the divine call which comes in the process of his growth in love, within a community of salvation. In this way, moral theology will acquire an inner spiritual dimension in response to the need to develop fully the imago Dei present in man, and in response to the laws of spiritual development described by Christian ascetical and mystical theology".176
Certainly moral theology and its teaching are meeting with particular difficulty today. Because the Church's morality necessarily involves a normative dimension, moral theology cannot be reduced to a body of knowledge worked out purely in the context of the so-called behavioural sciences. The latter are concerned with the phenomenon of morality as a historical and social fact; moral theology, however, while needing to make use of the behavioural and natural sciences, does not rely on the results of formal empirical observation or phenomenological understanding alone. Indeed, the relevance of the behavioural sciences for moral theology must always be measured against the primordial question: What is good or evil? What must be done to have eternal life?
112 The moral theologian must therefore exercise careful discernment in the context of today's prevalently scientific and technical culture, exposed as it is to the dangers of relativism, pragmatism and positivism. From the theological viewpoint, moral principles are not dependent upon the historical moment in which they are discovered. Moreover, the fact that some believers act without following the teachings of the Magisterium, or erroneously consider as morally correct a kind of behaviour declared by their Pastors as contrary to the law of God, cannot be a valid argument for rejecting the truth of the moral norms taught by the Church. The affirmation of moral principles is not within the competence of formal empirical methods. While not denying the validity of such methods, but at the same time not restricting its viewpoint to them, moral theology, faithful to the supernatural sense of the faith, takes into account first and foremost the spiritual dimension of the human heart and its vocation to divine love.
In fact, while the behavioural sciences, like all experimental sciences, develop an empirical and statistical concept of "normality", faith teaches that this normality itself bears the traces of a fall from man's original situation m in other words, it is affected by sin. Only Christian faith points out to man the way to return to "the beginning" (cf. Mt Mt 19,8), a way which is often quite different from that of empirical normality. Hence the behavioural sciences, despite the great value of the information which they provide, cannot be considered decisive indications of moral norms. It is the Gospel which reveals the full truth about man and his moral journey, and thus enlightens and admonishes sinners; it proclaims to them God's mercy, which is constantly at work to preserve them both from despair at their inability fully to know and keep God's law and from the presumption that they can be saved without merit. God also reminds sinners of the joy of forgiveness, which alone grants the strength to see in the moral law a liberating truth, a grace-filled source of hope, a path of life.
113 Teaching moral doctrine involves the conscious acceptance of these intellectual, spiritual and pastoral responsibilities. Moral theologians, who have accepted the charge of teaching the Church's doctrine, thus have a grave duty to train the faithful to make this moral discernment, to be committed to the true good and to have confident recourse to God's grace.
While exchanges and conflicts of opinion may constitute normal expressions of public life in a representative democracy, moral teaching certainly cannot depend simply upon respect for a process: indeed, it is in no way established by following the rules and deliberative procedures typical of a democracy.Dissent, in the form of carefully orchestrated protests and polemics carried on in the media, is opposed to ecclesial communion and to a correct understanding of the hierarchical constitution of the People of God. Opposition to the teaching of the Church's Pastors cannot be seen as a legitimate expression either of Christian freedom or of the diversity of the Spirit's gifts. When this happens, the Church's Pastors have the duty to act in conformity with their apostolic mission, insisting that the right of the faithful to receive Catholic doctrine in its purity and integrity must always be respected. "Never forgetting that he too is a member of the People of God, the theologian must be respectful of them, and be committed to offering them a teaching which in no way does harm to the doctrine of the faith".177
114 As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, responsibility for the faith and the life of faith of the People of God is particularly incumbent upon the Church's Pastors: "Among the principal tasks of Bishops the preaching of the Gospel is pre-eminent. For the Bishops are the heralds of the faith who bring new disciples to Christ. They are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people entrusted to them the faith to be believed and put into practice; they illustrate this faith in the light of the Holy Spirit, drawing out of the treasury of Revelation things old and new (cf. Mt Mt 13,52); they make it bear fruit and they vigilantly ward off errors that are threatening their flock (cf. 2 Tim 2Tm 4,1-4)".178
It is our common duty, and even before that our common grace, as Pastors and Bishops of the Church, to teach the faithful the things which lead them to God, just as the Lord Jesus did with the young man in the Gospel. Replying to the question: "What good must I do to have eternal life?", Jesus referred the young man to God, the Lord of creation and of the Covenant. He reminded him of the moral commandments already revealed in the Old Testament and he indicated their spirit and deepest meaning by inviting the young man to follow him in poverty, humility and love: "Come, follow me! ". The truth of this teaching was sealed on the Cross in the Blood of Christ: in the Holy Spirit, it has become the new law of the Church and of every Christian.
This "answer" to the question about morality has been entrusted by Jesus Christ in a particular way to us, the Pastors of the Church; we have been called to make it the object of our preaching, in the fulfilment of our munus propheticum. At the same time, our responsibility as Pastors with regard to Christian moral teaching must also be exercised as part of the munus sacerdotale: this happens when we dispense to the faithful the gifts of grace and sanctification as an effective means for obeying God's holy law, and when with our constant and confident prayers we support believers in their efforts to be faithful to the demands of the faith and to live in accordance with the Gospel (cf. Col Col 1,9-12). Especially today, Christian moral teaching must be one of the chief areas in which we exercise our pastoral vigilance, in carrying out our munus regale.
115 This is the first time, in fact, that the Magisterium of the Church has set forth in detail the fundamental elements of this teaching, and presented the principles for the pastoral discernment necessary in practical and cultural situations which are complex and even crucial.
In the light of Revelation and of the Church's constant teaching, especially that of the Second Vatican Council, I have briefly recalled the essential characteristics of freedom, as well as the fundamental values connected with the dignity of the person and the truth of his acts, so as to be able to discern in obedience to the moral law a grace and a sign of our adoption in the one Son (cf. Eph Ep 1,4-6). Specifically, this Encyclical has evaluated certain trends in moral theology today. I now pass this evaluation on to you, in obedience to the word of the Lord who entrusted to Peter the task of strengthening his brethren (cf. Lk Lc 22,32), in order to clarify and aid our common discernment.
Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with thereaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts.
In acknowledging these commandments, Christian hearts and our pastoral charity listen to the call of the One who "first loved us" (1Jn 4,19). God asks us to be holy as he is holy (cf. Lev Lv 19,2), to be m in Christ m perfect as he is perfect (cf. Mt Mt 5,48). The unwavering demands of that commandment are based upon God's infinitely merciful love (cf. Lk Lc 6,36), and the purpose of that commandment is to lead us, by the grace of Christ, on the path of that fullness of life proper to the children of God.
116 We have the duty, as Bishops, to be vigilant that the word of God is faithfully taught. My Brothers in the Episcopate, it is part of our pastoral ministry to see to it that this moral teaching is faithfully handed down and to have recourse to appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every doctrine and theory contrary to it. In carrying out this task we are all assisted by theologians; even so, theological opinions constitute neither the rule nor the norm of our teaching. Its authority is derived, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit and in communion cum Petro et sub Petro, from our fidelity to the Catholic faith which comes from the Apostles. As Bishops, we have the grave obligation to be personally vigilant that the "sound doctrine" (1 Tim 1Tm 1,10) of faith and morals is taught in our Dioceses.
A particular responsibility is incumbent upon Bishops with regard to Catholic institutions. Whether these are agencies for the pastoral care of the family or for social work, or institutions dedicated to teaching or health care, Bishops can canonically erect and recognize these structures and delegate certain responsibilities to them. Nevertheless, Bishops are never relieved of their own personal obligations. It falls to them, in communion with the Holy See, both to grant the title "Catholic" to Church-related schools,179 universities,180 health-care facilities and counselling services, and, in cases of a serious failure to live up to that title, to take it away.
117 In the heart of every Christian, in the inmost depths of each person, there is always an echo of the question which the young man in the Gospel once asked Jesus: "Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?" (Mt 19,16). Everyone, however, needs to address this question to the "Good Teacher", since he is the only one who can answer in the fullness of truth, in all situations, in the most varied of circumstances. And when Christians ask him the question which rises from their conscience, the Lord replies in the words of the New Covenant which have been entrusted to his Church. As the Apostle Paul said of himself, we have been sent "to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power" (1 Cor 1Co 1,17). The Church's answer to man's question contains the wisdom and power of Christ Crucified, the Truth which gives of itself.
When people ask the Church the questions raised by their consciences, when the faithful in the Church turn to their Bishops and Pastors, the Church's reply contains the voice of Jesus Christ, the voice of the truth about good and evil. In the words spoken by the Church there resounds, in people's inmost being, the voice of God who "alone is good" (cf. Mt Mt 19,17), who alone "is love" (1 Jn 1Jn 4,8).
Through the anointing of the Spirit this gentle but challenging word becomes light and life for man. Again the Apostle Paul invites us to have confidence, because "our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit... The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with unveiled faces, reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor 2Co 3,5-6,17).
118 At the end of these considerations, let us entrust ourselves, the sufferings and the joys of our life, the moral life of believers and people of good will, and the research of moralists, to Mary, Mother of God and Mother of Mercy.
Mary is Mother of Mercy because her Son, Jesus Christ, was sent by the Father as the revelation of God's mercy (cf. Jn Jn 3,16-18). Christ came not to condemn but to forgive, to show mercy (cf. Mt Mt 9,13). And the greatest mercy of all is found in his being in our midst and calling us to meet him and to confess, with Peter, that he is "the Son of the living God" (Mt 16,16). No human sin can erase the mercy of God, or prevent him from unleashing all his triumphant power, if we only call upon him. Indeed, sin itself makes even more radiant the love of the Father who, in order to ransom a slave, sacrificed his Son:181 his mercy towards us is Redemption. This mercy reaches its fullness in the gift of the Spirit who bestows new life and demands that it be lived. No matter how many and great the obstacles put in his way by human frailty and sin, the Spirit, who renews the face of the earth (cf. Ps 104,30), makes possible the miracle of the perfect accomplishment of the good. This renewal, which gives the ability to do what is good, noble, beautiful, pleasing to God and in conformity with his will, is in some way the flowering of the gift of mercy, which offers liberation from the slavery of evil and gives the strength to sin no more. Through the gift of new life, Jesus makes us sharers in his love and leads us to the Father in the Spirit.
119 Such is the consoling certainty of Christian faith, the source of its profound humanity and extraordinary simplicity. At times, in the discussions about new and complex moral problems, it can seem that Christian morality is in itself too demanding, difficult to understand and almost impossible to practise. This is untrue, since Christian morality consists, in the simplicity of the Gospel, in following Jesus Christ, in abandoning oneself to him, in letting oneself be transformed by his grace and renewed by his mercy, gifts which come to us in the living communion of his Church. Saint Augustine reminds us that "he who would live has a place to live, and has everything needed to live. Let him draw near, let him believe, let him become part of the body, that he may have life. Let him not shrink from the unity of the members".182 By the light of the Holy Spirit, the living essence of Christian morality can be understood by everyone, even the least learned, but particularly those who are able to preserve an "undivided heart" (Ps 86,11). On the other hand, this evangelical simplicity does not exempt one from facing reality in its complexity; rather it can lead to a more genuine understanding of reality, inasmuch as following Christ will gradually bring out the distinctive character of authentic Christian morality, while providing the vital energy needed to carry it out. It is the task of the Church's Magisterium to see that the dynamic process of following Christ develops in an organic manner, without the falsification or obscuring of its moral demands, with all their consequences. The one who loves Christ keeps his commandments (cf. Jn Jn 14,15).
120 Mary is also Mother of Mercy because it is to her that Jesus entrusts his Church and all humanity. At the foot of the Cross, when she accepts John as her son, when she asks, together with Christ, forgiveness from the Father for those who do not know what they do (cf. Lk Lc 23,34), Mary experiences, in perfect docility to the Spirit, the richness and the universality of God's love, which opens her heart and enables it to embrace the entire human race. Thus Mary becomes Mother of each and every one of us, the Mother who obtains for us divine mercy.
Mary is the radiant sign and inviting model of the moral life. As Saint Ambrose put it, "The life of this one person can serve as a model for everyone",183 and while speaking specifically to virgins but within a context open to all, he affirmed: "The first stimulus to learning is the nobility of the teacher. Who can be more noble than the Mother of God? Who can be more glorious than the one chosen by Glory Itself?".184 Mary lived and exercised her freedom precisely by giving herself to God and accepting God's gift within herself. Until the time of his birth, she sheltered in her womb the Son of God who became man; she raised him and enabled him to grow, and she accompanied him in that supreme act of freedom which is the complete sacrifice of his own life. By the gift of herself, Mary entered fully into the plan of God who gives himself to the world. By accepting and pondering in her heart events which she did not always understand (cf. Lk Lc 2,19), she became the model of all those who hear the word of God and keep it (cf. Lk Lc 11,28), and merited the title of "Seat of Wisdom". This Wisdom is Jesus Christ himself, the Eternal Word of God, who perfectly reveals and accomplishes the will of the Father (cf. He 10,5-10). Mary invites everyone to accept this Wisdom. To us too she addresses the command she gave to the servants at Cana in Galilee during the marriage feast: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2,5).
Mary shares our human condition, but in complete openness to the grace of God. Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness. She understands sinful man and loves him with a Mother's love. Precisely for this reason she is on the side of truth and shares the Church's burden in recalling always and to everyone the demands of morality. Nor does she permit sinful man to be deceived by those who claim to love him by justifying his sin, for she knows that the sacrifice of Christ her Son would thus be emptied of its power. No absolution offered by beguiling doctrines, even in the areas of philosophy and theology, can make man truly happy: only the Cross and the glory of the Risen Christ can grant peace to his conscience and salvation to his life.
Mother of Mercy,
watch over all people,
that the Cross of Christ
may not be emptied of its power,
that man may not stray
from the path of the good
or become blind to sin,
but may put his hope ever more fully in God
who is "rich in mercy" (Ep 2,4).
May he carry out the good works prepared
by God beforehand (cf. Eph Ep 2,10)
and so live completely
"for the praise of his glory" (Ep 1,12).
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 6 August, Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, in the year 1993, the fifteenth of my Pontificate.
JOHN PAUL II
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22.
2. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1.
3. Cf. ibid., 9.
4. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 4.
5. Paul VI, Address to the General Assembly of the United Nation (October 4, 1965),1: AAS 57 (1965), 878; cf. Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio (March 26,1967),13: AAS 59 (1967), 263-264.
6. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16.
7. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 16.
8. Pius XII had already pointed out this doctrinal development: cf. Radio Message for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII (June 1, 1941): AAS 33 (1941), 195-205. Also John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Mater et Magistra (May 15,1961): AAS 53 (1961), 410-413.
9. Apostolic Letter Spiritus Domini (August 1,1987): AAS 79 (1987),1374.
10. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1692.
11. Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum (October 11,1992), 4.
12. Cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 10.
13. Cf. Apostolic Epistle Parati Semper to the Young People of the World on the occasion of the International Year of Youth (March 31, 1985), 2-8: AAS 77 (1985), 581-600.
14. Cf. Decree on Priestly Formation Optatam Totius, 16.
15. Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979), 13: AAS 71 (1979), 282.
16. Ibid.,10: loc. cit., 274.
17. Exameron, Dies VI, Sermo IX, 8, 50: CSEL 32, 24.
18. Saint Leo the Great, Sermo XCII, Chap. III: PL 54, 454.
19. Saint Thomas Aquinas, In Duo Praecepta Caritatis et in Cecem Legis Praecepta. Prologus: Opuscula Theologica, II, No. 1129, Ed. Taurinen (1954), 245; cf. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 91, a. 2; Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1955.
20. Cf. Saint Maximus the Confessor, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, Q. 64: PG 90, 723-728.
21. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 24.
22. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2070.
23. In Iohannis Evangelium Tractatus, 41, 10: CCL 36, 363.
24. Cf. Saint Augustine, De Sermone Domini in Monte, I, 1, 1: CCL 35,1-2.
25. In Psalmum CXVIII Expositio, Sermo 18, 37: PL 15, 1541; cf. Saint Chromatius of Aquileia, Tractarus in Matthaeum, XX, I,1-4: CCL 9/A, 291-292.
26. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1717.
27. In Iohannis Evangelium Tractatus, 41, 10: CCL 36, 363.
28. Ibid., 21, 8: CCL 36, 216.
29. Ibid., 82, 3: CCL 36, 533.
30. De Spiritu et Littera, 19, 34: CSEL 60,187.
31. Confessiones, X, 29, 40: CCL 27,176; cf. De Gratia et Livero Arbitrio, XV: PL 44, 899.
32. Cf. De Spiritu et Littera, 21, 36; 26, 46: CSEL 60,189-190; 200-201.
33. Cf. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q.106, a.1 conclusion and ad 2um.
34. In Matthaeum, Hom. I,1: PG 57,15.
35. Cf. Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, IV, 26, 2-5: SCh 100/12, 718-729.
36. Cf. Saint Justin, Apologia, I, 66: PG 6, 427-430.
37. Cf. 1 Pt 2:12ff; cf. Didache, II, 2: Patres Apostolici, ed. F. X. Funk, I, 6-9; Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, I, 10; II, 10: PG 8, 3ff-364; 497-536; Tertullian, Apologeticum, IX, 8: CSEL, 69, 24.
38. Cf. Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magnesios, VI,1-2: Patres Apostolici, ed. F. X. Funk, I, 234-235; Saint Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, IV, 33:1, 6, 7: SCh 100/ 2, 802-805; 814-815; 816-819.
39. Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 8.
40. Cf. ibid.
42. Code of Canon Law, Canon 747, 2.
43. Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 7.
44. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modem World Gaudium et Spes, 22.
45. Decree on Priestly Formation Optatam Totius, 16.
46. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 62.
48. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 10.
49. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Chap. 4: DS, 3018.
50. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate, 1.
51. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 43-44.
52. Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 1, referring to John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (April 11,1963): AAS 55 (1963), 279; ibid., 265, and to Pius XII, Radio Message (December 24,1944): AAS 37 (1945),14.
53. Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitaries Humane, 1.
54. Cf. Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979), 17: AAS 71 (1979), 295-300; Address to those taking part in the Fifth International Colloquium of Juridical Studies (March 10, 1984), 4: Insegnamenti VII, 1 (1984), 656; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation Libertatis Conscientia (March 22, 1986),19: AAS 79 (1987), 561.
55. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 11.
58. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 2; cf. also Gregory XVI, Encyclical Epistle Mirari Vos Arbitramur (August 15, 1832): Acta Gregoree Papae XVI, I, 169-174; Pius IX, Encyclical Epistle Quanta Cura (December 8, 1864): Pii IX P.M. Acta, I, 3, 687-700; Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Libertas Praestantissimum (June 20,1888): Leonis XIII P.M. Acta, VIII, Romae 1889, 212-246.
59. A Letter Addressed to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk: Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching (Uniform Edition: Longman, Green and Company, London,1868-1881), vol. 2, p. 250.
60. Cf. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 40 and 43.
61. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I-II, q. 71, a. 6; see also ad Sum.
62. Cf. Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Humani Generis (August 12,1950): AAS 42 (1950), 561-562.
63. Cf. Ecumenical Council of Trent, Sess. VI, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc
Tempore, Canons 19-21: DS,1569-1571.
64. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 17,
65. De Hominis Opificio, Chap. 4: PG 44,135-136.
66. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 36.
69. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 93, a. 3, ad 2um, cited by John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris (April 11, 1963): AAS 55 (1963), 271.
70. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 41.
71. Saint Thomas Aquinas, In Duo Praecepta Caritatis et in Decem Legis Praecepta. Prologus: Opuscula Theologica, II, No. 1129, Ed. Taurinen. (1954), 245.
72. Cf. Address to a Group of Bishops from the United States on the occasion of their ad Limina Visit (October 15,1988), 6: Insegnamenti, XI, 3 (1988),1228.
73. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 47.
74. Cf. Saint Augustine, Enarratio in Psalmum LXII,16: CCL 39, 804.
75. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 17.
76. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 91, a. 2.
77. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1955.
78. Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 3.
79. Contra Faustum, Bk 22, Chap. 27: PL 42, 418.
80. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 93, a. 1.
81. Cf. ibid., I-II, q. 90, a.4, ad 1um.
82. Ibid., I-II, q. 91, a.2.
83. Encyclical Letter Libertas Praestantissimum (June 20,1888): Leonis XIII P.M. Acta, VIII, Romae 1889, 219.
84. In Epistulam ad Romanos, c. VIII, lect. 1.
85. Cf. Sess. IV, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc Tempore, Chap. 1: DS,1521.
86. Cf. Ecumenical Council of Vienne, Constitution Fidei Catholicae: DS, 902; Fifth Lateran Ecumenical Council, Bull Apostolici Regiminis: DS, 1440.
87. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 14.
88. Cf. Sess. VI, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc Tempore, Chap. 15: DS, 1544. The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance in the Mission of the Church Today cites other texts of the Old and New Testaments which condemn as mortal sins certain modes of conduct involving the body: cf. Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2, 1984),17: AAS 77 (1985), 218-223.
89. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51.
90. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum Vitae (February 22, 1987), Introduction, 3: AAS 80 (1988), 74; cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968),10: AAS 60 (1968), 487-488.
91. Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (November 22,1981),11: AAS 74 (1982), 92.
92. De Trinitate, XIV,15, 21: CCL 50/A, 451.
93. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 94, a.2.
94. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 10; Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics Persona Humana (December 29,1975), 4: AAS 68 (1976, 80: "But in fact, divine Revelation and, in its own proper order, philosophical wisdom, emphasize the authentic exigencies of human nature. They thereby necessarily manifest the existence of immutable laws inscribed in the constitutive elements of human nature and which are revealed to be identical in all beings endowed with reason."
95. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 29.
96. Cf, ibid., 16.
97. Ibid., 10.
98. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I-II, q.108, a. 1. St. Thomas bases the fact that moral norms, even in the context of the New Law, are not merely formal in character but have a determined content, upon the assumption of human nature by the Word.
99. Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium Primum, c. 23: PG 50, 668.
100. The development of the Church's moral doctrine is similar to that of the doctrine of the faith (cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Chap. 4: DS, 3020, and Canon 4: DS, 3024). The words spoken by John XXIII at the opening of the Second Vatican Council can also be applied to moral doctrine: "This certain and unchanging teaching (i.e., Christian doctrine in its completeness), to which the faithful owe obedience, needs to be more deeply understood and set forth in a way adapted to the needs of our time. Indeed, this deposit of the faith, the truths contained in our time-honored teaching, is one thing; the manner in which these truths are set forth (with their meaning preserved intact) is something else":AAS 54 (1962), 792; cf. L'OsservatoreRomano, October 12, 1962, p. 2.
101. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16.
103. In II Librum Sentent., dist. 39, a. 1, q. 3, conclusion; Ed. Ad Claras Aquas, II 907b.
104. Address (General Audience, August 17, 1983), 2: Insegnamenti, VI, 2 (1983), 256.
105. Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, Instruction on "Situation Ethics'' Contra Doctrinam (February 2, 1956): AAS 48 (1956), 144.
106. Encyclical Letter Dominum et Vivificantem (May 18, 1986), 43: AAS 78 (1986), 859; cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16; Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 3.
107, Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16.
108. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, De Veritate, q. 17, a. 4,
109. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 16.
110. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-11, q. 45, a. 2.
111. Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 14.
112. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, 5; cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Chap. 3: DS, 3008.
113. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 5. Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Certain Questions regarding Sexual Ethics Persona Humana (December 29,1975),10: AAS 68 (1976), 88-90.
114. Cf. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhoration Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2,1984),17; AAS 77 (1985), 218-223.
115. Sess. VI, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc Tempore, Chap. 15: DS, 1544; Canon 19: DS, 1569.
116. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhoration Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2,1984),17: AAS 77 (1985), 221.
117. Ibid.: loc. cit., 223.
118. Ibid.: loc. cit., 222.
119. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 17.
120. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 1, a. 3: "Idem sunt actus morales et actus humani."
121. De Vita Moysis, II, 2-3: PG 44, 327-328.
122. Cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-11, q.148, a. 3.
123. The Second Vatican Council, in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, makes this clear: "This applies not only to Christians but to all men of good will in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for all and since man's ultimate calling comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of sharing in this paschal mystery in a manner known to God": Gaudium etSpes, 22.
124. Tractatus ad Tiberium Diaconum sociosque, II. Responsiones ad Tiberium Diaconum sociosque: Saint Cyril of Alexandria, In Divi Johannis Evangelium, vol. III, ed. Philip Edward Pusey, Brussels, Culture et Civilisation (1965), 590.
125. Cf. Ecumenical Council of Trent, Session VI, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc Tempore, Canon 19: DS, 1569. See also: Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus Dei Filius (September 8, 1713) against the Errors of Paschasius Quesnel, Nos. 53-56: DS, 2453-2456.
126. Cf. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q.18, a. 6.
127. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1761.
128. In Duo Praecepta Caritatis et in Decem Legis Praecepta. De Dilectione Dei: Opuscula Theologica, II, No. 1168, Ed. Taurinen. (1954), 250.
129. Saint Alphonsus Maria De Liguori, Pratica di amar Gesł Cristo, VII, 3.
130. Cf. Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 100, a. 1.
131. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2, 1984), 17: AAS 77 (1985), 221; cf. Paul VI, Address to Members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, (September 1967): AAS 59 (1967), 962: "Far be it from Christians to be led to embrace another opinion, as if the Council taught that nowadays some things are permitted which the Church had previously declared intrinsically evil. Who does not see in this the rise of a depraved moral relativism, one that clearly endangers the Church's entire doctrinal heritage?"
132. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.
133. Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968), 14: AAS 60 (1968), 490-491.
134. Contra Mendacium, VII, 18: PL 40, 528; cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones Quodlibetales, IX, q. 7, a. 2; Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1753-1755.
135. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae, 7.
136. Address to those taking part in the International Congress of Moral Theology (April 10,1986), 1; Insegnamenti IX, 1 (1986), 970.
137. Ibid., 2: loc. cit., 970-971.
138. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 24.
139. Cf. Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979), 12: AAS 71
140. Enarratio in Psalmum XCIX, 7: CCL 39, 1397.
141. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 36; cf. Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (March 4,1979), 21: AAS 71 (1979), 316-317.
142. Roman Missal, Prayer for the Memorial of the Beheading of John the Baptist, Martyr, August 29.
143. Saint Bede the Venerable, Homeliarum Evangelii Libri, II, 23: CCL 122, 556-557.
144. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 27.
145. Ad Romanos, VI, 2-3: Patres Apostolici, ed. F. X. Funk, I, 260-261.
146. Moralia in Job, VII, 21, 24: PL 75, 778: "huius mundi aspera pro aeternis praemiis amore."
147. "Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas": Satirae, VIII, 83-84.
148. Apologia II, 8: PG 6, 457-458.
149. Aposotolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981), 33: AAS 74 (1982), 120.
150. Cf. Ibid., 34: loc. cit., 123-1 Z5.
151. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia (December 2,1984), 34: AAS 77 (1985), 272.
152. Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968), 29: AAS 60 (1968), 501.
153. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 25.
154. Cf. Encyclical Letter CentesimusAnnus (May 1, 1991), 24: AAS 83 (1991), 821-822.
155. Ibid., 44: loc. cit., 848-849; cf. Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Libertas Praestantissimum (June 20,1888), LeonisXIII P.M. Acts, VIII, Romae 1889, 224-226.
156. Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (December 30,1987), 41: AAS 80 (1988), 571.
157. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2407.
158. Cf. ibid., Nos. 2408-2413.
159. Ibid., No. 2414.
160. Cf. Encyclical Letter Christifideles Laici (December30,1988), 42: AAS 81 (1989), 472-476.
161. Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (May 1,1991), 46: AAS 83 (1991), 850.
162. Sess. VI, Decree on Justification Cum Hoc Tempore, Chap.11: DS, 1536; cf. Canon 18. DS, 1568. The celebrated text from Saint Augustine, which the Council cites is found in De Narura et Gratia, 43, 40 (CSEL 60, 270).
163. Oratio I: PG 97, 805-806.
164. Address to those taking part in a course on "responsible parenthood" (March 1, 1984), 4: Insegnamenti VII, 1 (1984), 583.
165. De Interpellatione David, IV, 6, 22: CSEL 3212, 283-284.
166. Address to the Bishops of CELAM (March 9,1983), III: Insegnamenti, VI, 1 (1983), 698.
167. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (December 8, 1975), 75: AAS 68 (1976), 64.
168. De Trinitate, XXIX, 9-10: CCL 4, 70.
169, Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 12.
170. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Donum Veritatis (May 24,1990), 6. AAS 82 (1990), 1552.
171, Address to the Professors and Students of the Pontifical Gregorian University (December 15,1979), 6. Insegnamenti 11, 2 (1979),1424.
172. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Donum Veritatis (May 24, 1990),16: AAS 82 (1990), 1557.
173. Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 252,1; 659, 3.
174. Cf. First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Chap. 4: DS, 3016.
175. Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968), 28: AAS 60 (1968), 501.
176. Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, The Theological formation of Future Priests (February 22, 1976), No.100. See Nos. 95-101, which present the prospects and conditions for a fruitful renewal of moral theology: loc. cit., 39-41.
177. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian Donum Veritatis (May 24,1990),11: AAS 82 (1990), 1554; cf. in particular Nos. 32-39, devoted to the problem of dissent: ibid., loc. cit., 1562-1568.
178. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25.
179. Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 803, 3.
180. Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 808.
181. "O inaestimabilis dilectio caritatis: ut servum redimeres, Filium tradidisti!" Missale Romanum, In Resurrectione Domini, Praeconium Paschale.
182. In Iohannis Evangelium Tractatus, 26,13: CCL, 36, 266.
183. De Virginibus, Bk. II, Chap. II,15: PL 16, 222.
184. Ibid., Bk. II, Chap. II, 7: PL 16, 220.
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