This year is the 25th anniversary of Veritatis Splendor, of S John Paul II; and the 50th anniversary of Humanae vitae, of Bl Paul VI. There is abundant evidence that the corrupted teachers who believe that they have been given a fair wind by PF are already employing this double aniversary for an onslaught upon both of those fine Magisterial assertions by Roman Pontiffs of what the Church has taught semper et ubique et ab omnibus. They are using Amoris laetitia, a document drafted in the very deepest levels of the Lowerarchy, almost certainly under the personal direction of Mr Under-Secretary Screwtape himself*, to "reinterpret" Humanae vitae. One such piece of 'work' is significantly headed "From Montini to Francis: development in fidelity". What this means, stripped of weaselly word games, is "Wow! We can use Section 8 of Amoris laetitia to subvert the meaning and authority of Humanae vitae; we can claim that our subversion is development rather than apostasy, and say that it still leaves the teaching of Papa Montini totally undamaged, nay rather, it affirms it". [This was essentially the argument used at the News Conference chaired by the Graf von Schoenborn to ... er ... 'launch' Amoris laetitia, when he was asked by Diane Montagna whether it contradicted Familiaris consortio.]
What these men, who have put their reason at the disposal of the Bent Eldil*, have in their sights is to destroy the notion that some human actions are intrinsically evil in such a way that no circumstances can render them otherwise.
We all need to be fortified against this already-happening attack of the Evil One. One could amass quite a reading list here; but I will suggest two things, one brief and at a 'lower' Magisterial level; and the second longer and at a 'higher' ... a very high ... Magisterial level.
(1) S John Paul II, on June 5 1987, delivered a fine address still on the Vatican website in Italian and Spanish, but rediscovered and elegantly translated into English by [the same] Miss Montagna: Lifesitenews Wednesday January 31 2018. It vigorouly and unambiguously upholds the plain and irreformable teaching of Humanae vitae.
(2) The majestic encyclical of S John Paul, Veritatis splendor was, I think I am right in saying, entirely ignored by Mgr Screwtape during the drafting of Amoris laetitia. In it, pope Wojtyla took head-on, and demolished, the relativistic, 'situational' ethical theories which were still being circulated. It deserves reading in toto. The particular section most concerned is in paragraphs 71-83 (pages 108-127 in the CTS edition). If you feel that one paragraph is all you can manage at this moment of time, just go for paragraph 80 (pages 122sqq.). It subsumes an important passage from (Vatican II's) Gaudium et Spes into its argumentation.
Our Enemy and our enemies are all going hell-for-leather on this subject. We need to be fortified.
**Apologies to those unfamiliar with the writings of our Patrimonial C. S. Lewis; 'Screwtape' and 'the Bent Eldil' refer to his Daimonologia.
I'm sorry, but I shall not enable Comments which take this opportunity to attack Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.
6 February 2018
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I have no doubt that the members of what Austin Ivereigh calls “Team Bergoglio” disbelieve in Veritatis Splendor and intrinsic evil.
The sign of this disbelief is this: that the sex abuse coverup artist Cardinal Danneels stood on the balcony with Pope Francis when he was introduced to the world.
This was an opening bookend of duplicity against the faithful that will mark this pontificate, as the news of the Chilean sex abuse coverup of Bishop Barros marks the other end.
What outright brazen deceivers these men are, that they could by their own indifference allow the crime of sex abuse to flourish in the dark corners of their episcopal jurisdictions, and sit by and watch the Church torn in pieces in the sex abuse scandal, and then 11 years later the same sex abuse mafia engineer a papal election and take over the church, pretending that they - the criminals like Danneels, are worthy of trust.
You have to hand it to them: these men have total contempt for justice...and for the poor people of the Church who thirst for truth.
Of course, we continue to see the bizarre behavior of those who say , "Pope Francis' reading of A.L. .." as if it were not HIS work.
Our Pope and Our Cross is a heretic and ABS does not understand why it is considered wrong to state that truth forthrightly for anyone can see these evils have been part of his agenda for a very long time.
In any event, the teaching about marriage is infallible vis a vis contraception
4. The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity; it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life (the procreative aspect of matrimony), and to the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses (the unitive aspect of matrimony); it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life.33
But Fr, I think you have missed the point of the new paradigm. We are not even talking about "situation ethics" anymore. This is all to do with "concrete circumstances". I trust you can appreciate the difference between the two concepts, and that your mind is now put at rest.
We have much to be grateful to the Popes Paul VI and JP2. And, as a moralist, I am also delighted by your clear statement of Catholic morals where intrinsice malum is concerned.
It's amazing how many Catholic saints, from St. John the Baptist on down, have been martyred or persecuted for their defense of marriage. Particularly, there are tons of French and Belgian saints of this type.
Occasionally, other churchmen have been doing the persecuting....
Surely racism, gender inequality and income inequality are, for our modern crowd, intrinsic evils. Not to mention climate change: surely, not wanting to reduce your carbon emissions is an intrinsic evil. Or not welcoming refugees. Even not praying for your political leaders is, says Pope Francis, a sin so presumably that is also intrinsically evil. Or are there exceptional circumstances (to be discussed with a priest in the internal forum) where it is permissible to be racist, to be unwelcoming to refugees and not to pray for our political leaders?
Thanks for the references to C. S. Lewis: the use of “Bent Eldil” recalled *That Hideous Strength* to mind. Perhaps there will be a cleansing of this age as in that novel.
For those who need it, here is the link to the article on Life Site News.
Back in the day, I attended an NFP course in London, which included a visiting session from the wonderful Doctors Billings. When I asked the organisers why this knowledge - and the desirability of NFP on natural as well as moral/spiritual grounds - was not being taught, at least in outline, in all Catholic Secondary Schools at an appropriate age level, I was told bluntly: "We've asked, but we just can't get the backing from Church authorities ..."
Dear Miss Cathedral
You're dead right. One of the brilliances of Veritatis Splendor was that in paragraph 80 JP2 incorporated the paragraph 27 of Gaudium Spes which mixed up some of the 'trendy' moral absolutes you talk about with 'traditional' sins, thus calling the bluff of those who decry all moral absolutes and then offer us their own list of moral absolutes. I hope everybody will read VS.
Dear Father, of course you're in fact not sorry for not enabling abusive comments. I'm not particularly desirous to see Paul VI canonized, since it will become an ideological weapon, but the Credo of the People of God and Humanae vitae are works of grace triumphing over evil.
Could the denial of intrinsic evil be considered a sin against the Holy Spirit?
Regarding certain acts being intrinsically evil.
I once heard official Church teaching criticized thus:
The physical act of killing cannot be held to be intrinsically evil as over centuries the Church taught it was not sinful to take human life in self defense, in a just war or by a legal death penalty for the most serious crimes.
So it can't be the physical act of killing that is a mortal sin but it is unlawful killing that is murder and that is mortal sin.
If exceptions can be made for "thou shalt not kill"; if certain circumstances can make the physical act of killing a person not sinful, why is it, for example, that circumstances can never make a man using a condom or a man having a vasectomy not sinful?
This person claimed in almost all areas of morality the Church does take circumstances into account and it is more than the physical action that is looked at.
Why, he asked, did the Church in its official teaching on sexuality just look, for example, at what does or does not undermine the biological integrity of the act, without acknowledging other aspects that are involved?
If anyone here could explain the flaws in such thinking and such criticism of Church teaching I would be grateful.
The linked article argues that Veritatis splendor not only teaches and defines, but *imposes* its teaching as infallible. The pope directs us to spit out the error of the denial of intrinsically evil acts.
I am a little ill at ease when modern people latch on to the pronouncements of recent pontiffs for direction as to the tenets of Catholic Doctrine. No doubt papal encyclicals can provide clarity or reaffirmation, but Catholic Doctrine is not in a state of flux such that we need the pontiff pro tem to affirm it in order for it to be valid.
Pope Paul VI did not advocate new doctrine with Humanae Vitae. He merely reaffirmed the perennial doctrine of the Church, contra people like the CofE, which was seen to backslide in the 1930s and give cover to those seeking a reversal of doctrine.
The Catholic Church is 2100+ years old and does not depend on temporal popes, cardinals, bishops or Episcopal Conferences for validation of Her teachings. I think Chesterton referred to this in his “democracy of the dead” appellation.
The present ecclesiastical mafia has contempt not only for justice but also for truth. Their half century of abuse against Catholic Truth is on a different order from their sexual misdeeds and cover-ups, but they are usually guilty of both. I leave it to competent moral theologians to determine which is more serious: the sins against justice or against truth---or perhaps they are two sides of the same coin. And that coin has a name: Modernism, the ecclesiastical version of leftism and liberalism.
"Thank God the Catholic Church under pope Francis is freeing believers from the narrow legalisms of act-centred morality."
Fr Hunwicke or someone else here, could you briefly explain the above quote, assuming I have about half your intelligence and less than a tenth of your theological knowledge?
I am sorry if above questions were annoying and or not appropriate for this blog.
My wife's brother is studying part time at night for a theology degree. He advised I google: Charles Curran situation ethics, Charles Curran natural law etc. Also, to read recent comments on a blog like: Southern Orders, for an orthodox alternative to Curran et al, that an average lay person could understand.
BTW I am reading a good biography of Paul VI. Many or at least some regarded Paul VI as humourless. Not so, I believe. My favourite Paul VI joke is when someone in the Vatican asked him did he believe a theologian like Hans Kung would like to be pope? No I don't think he would, Paul VI replied, that would mean he (Kung) would have to give up being infallible.
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