Please answer this question about church doctrine, if possible:

After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (cf. n. 304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor n. 79, based on Sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?

Please note that i sincerely affirm that the answer is for all i know personally relevant for me, in that some decisions i will or might make might depend upon what the answer is, hence, it would be helpful to have some feedback/answers; please note also that i will not engage discussions about why and ifs of the previous sentence as i have sufficient confidence about the relevance.

Please also note that this question is verbatim one of the recent published dubia in respect to AL; please also note that while the answer might or might not be relevant to the discussion about pastoral care in respect to divorced and remarried, that it is at least relevant to other issues; and as my interest in this question does stem from such other issue, the discussion of the questions about divorced and remarried are from my intent with the question here superflous.

Please also note, that whatever motive lead to formulating and publishing the questions on side of the authors, is probably different from my motive; therefore, please try to avoid answering the question as if this were just the same as if had asked about evaluation of the dubia as a whole and the respective issues.

Please also note, that i consider this to be a yes/no question; hence, a poll; as some might find that insufficient, i added further options.

Thank you

edit: i choose no answer option, so people reading this first know where my vote went.

I wish you would quit posting these threads. The moderators are locking them or deleting them for good reason.

And i am asking them for a very, very good reason; in the mod subforum the only explanation offered about deletion was that prior threads violated some forum rules; i think i removed all violations, hence the reason for deleting is gone IF

the reason is not the content of the question.

But if the content of the question is unwanted on this forum, i humbly ask mods to provide me with a respective message, so i am certain its a content problem.

There is no definitive answer to your question. The pope has not answered the dubia, so the document continues to stand as it is written.

I am irritated as i understand your words to mean, that because the Pope choose not to answer a question, there is no answer and/or it is not possible for others to reach a answer with some reasonable degree of certainty; and i do not see how it is relevant that some document continues to stand as written.

Like it or not this document is what it is unless Pope Francis clarifies it.

As it stands now the Pope is saying that there isn’t a one-size fits all approach to pastors dealing with couples with divorces and remarriages.

That’s it.

Unless Pope Francis changes it, that is how it stands.

Please note, that I initially said:
“please also note that while the answer might or might not be relevant to the discussion about pastoral care in respect to divorced and remarried, that it is at least relevant to other issues; and as my interest in this question does stem from such other issue, the discussion of the questions about divorced and remarried are from my intent with the question here superflous.”

Perhaps a very interesting forum discussion would be how they both can be valid even though by appearance they may seem to contradict.

Regardless of what the outcome of the poll is, if it is regarding a personal issue I suggest you discuss it with a good priest for your particular case. A yes or no answer from forum members on a general question is not a good solution to a difficult problem.

Are you a Bishop? Are you a canon lawyer? A member of a marriage tribunal? Have you initiated an annulment proceeding?

If no to all of the above, then I would ask why you care. Substantial chunks of the laity have recently been incited, for some reason, to assert their preferences in places where it is none of their danged business.

Really.

I say “yes” until told otherwise by my Bishop or the Pope.

No to all.

No
and
“please also note that while the answer might or might not be relevant to the discussion about pastoral care in respect to divorced and remarried, that it is at least relevant to other issues; and as my interest in this question does stem from such other issue, the discussion of the questions about divorced and remarried are from my intent with the question here superflous.”

Maybe i should further highlight, that
w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html
referred to in the question talks about intrinsic evil in the general and provides a list of things that are relevant to the issue of intrinsic evil acts:
"The Second Vatican Council itself, in discussing the respect due to the human person, gives a number of examples of such acts: “Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat labourers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free responsible persons:”

The answer to this question is therefore relevant to ALL those issues insofar they have to be understood to be or to potentially include intrinsic evil acts, as the question generally asks about intrinsic evil acts.Hence:
“that it is at least relevant to other issues; and as my interest in this question does stem from such other issue”

“Please note that i sincerely affirm that the answer is for all i know personally relevant for me, in that some decisions i will or might make might depend upon what the answer is, hence, it would be helpful to have some feedback/answers; please note also that i will not engage discussions about why and ifs of the previous sentence as i have sufficient confidence about the relevance.”

Please note further in respect to the other dubia (which seem to be discussed indirectly even though i cannot see the necessity) that similar things could be said about dubium 4 and 5; on the other hand dubium 3 at least from the wording more specifically relates to divorced and remarried while dubium 1 is more or less directly about divorce and remarriage and therefore dubium 1 and 3 are at least less directly related to “other issues”.

(Though it has to be noted, that the cardinals had reasons - good or not i cannot say - to nonetheless put all the dubia together although the direct relevant for “other issues” at first look seems to differ among the dubia.)

Short answer:

In those selected paragraphs, John Paul II is writing about objects. Francis is writing about norms. The temptation is to confuse the two when we compare the two documents. It’s absolutely necessary to note the difference.

Long answer:

Please note this:

St John Paul II is speaking about “objects” (we might say goals). An object can be good or evil. He is saying “yes, there is such a thing as a morally evil object*”

Pope Francis is writing about rules. He is saying (my reading) that yes, we can and do have objects which are intrinsically good or evil (just as JP2 wrote); however, composing rules for how we safeguard these objects is difficult because rules cannot address every possible scenario.

Pope Francis is not saying that the objects become good or evil subjectively; instead he is saying that its nearly impossible to compose universal rules because circumstances will always vary.

See also HH Francis’ #305

He is re-affirming that yes, there are situations which are objectively sinful.

What he is adding to that teaching is that while the situation might be objectively sinful, the person might or might not be subjectively culpable.

Because of
forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it
is possible that in an objective situation of sin –
which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully
such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can
love and can also grow in the life of grace and
charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this
end.

I’ll also point out the last part of the sentence. He isn’t saying that we should ignore or dismiss the situation because the person is subjectively not-culpable; instead he says that such a person needs the Church’s help.

As I see it, he’s telling us: do not cut people off from the help of the Church because they have violated laws, but instead offer them the Church’s help, especially in Confession (see his own footnote 351)


  • the word “object” here is meant in the philosophical sense of a goal or a value, it does not mean “something one can hold or touch” When he writes about “evil objects” he isn’t writing about voodoo dolls.

Yes the teaching is still valid. But I don’t think your summation of paragraph 79 in Veritatis Splendor is worded correctly.

AL (chapter 8) is meant to encourage pastoral care for those who have committed an objectivity immoral act. VS is emphasizing that the primary motivator in an act should be it’s objective immorality or morality, not the effects of the act. Furthermore, VS does not diminish subjective culpability, VS simply does not emphasize it as AL does.

The two are not at odds.

Thanks

If that is the case, then why are putting this to a poll? For goodness’ sake, if the state of your immortal soul is on the line, perhaps you should** talk to a priest **instead of taking a poll of a bunch of strangers on the internet!

:banghead:

sigh

I’ll pray for your situation and the choices you have to make. :signofcross:

Cause it helps me understanding things. E.g. FrDavid96 post is very interesting info.

It probably isn’t on the line the way you think; though of course it is on the line in the so-to-say “usual way”. And while i have not yet talked to a priest about this specific question, i have talked to several priests in respect to the actions for which the answer is relevant.

Thanks.

Well, there you have it, carn. Question answered. :slight_smile:

This is the critical issue.

And it was botched in AL. Badly. The appeal to Thomas’s passage on the idea of “exceptions” to general principles of the natural law (which has been reiterated since in an interview) was illegitimate. There are not exceptions to Divine Law (which regards sacramental marriage, the only confusing situation being the incorrect presumption of the death of one’s spouse - which is NOT about divorce and remarriage, but about dissolution), and exceptions to general principles of the natural law must be due to the application of some special principle which must be explainable… The starving poor man who takes some bread without paying does not steal. Why? Urgent necessity renders all creation as it truly is apart from private ownership: given to everyone. (And this can easily be elaborated upon by further explanation, with an investigation into the nature of ownership and human law.) There was no such attempt to explain why persons who either won’t approach a tribunal or did approach a tribunal and were denied an annulment are suddenly freed (or maybe freed after “discernment” on the internal forum) from the very condition which necessitates such a mechanism in the first place. The even weirder thing is that none of this deals with canon 915, as it aims to, but rather 916… The conflation is shocking, no less so than the recent faux pas over giving “faculties to absolve” women who have procured an abortion (all priests who have faculties can absolve this sin, it is rather the lifting of the censure which needs special permission - and one can have the sin without the crime, and even with the censure it can be bypassed and deferred by a priest without the competency to lift it, given the correct circumstances, as canon 1357 tells us). One must wonder who exactly is drafting these documents which deal with delicate (and obvious) aspects of canon law and is getting things so wrong. 915 binds the minister, not the communicant… It doesn’t even necessarily have to do with whether one is in a state of grace or not… THAT’S what 916 is about.

The Dubia are very simple and very clear. They are so clear in fact, and so simple, that prior to AL, the average RCIA graduate probably would have been able to answer the sense of each of them correctly with confidence.

The answer to the OP is YES. OF COURSE we have to regard the prior teaching as true. It was not a new teaching, after all… read the language of the question (and the other dubia).

We ought to accompany persons in these difficult situations. But we accompany them on the way to conversion, not just sitting still with them… When we go to a lost sheep, we don’t just stay there with it indefinitely, we attempt to bring it back.

@FrDavid96: Thanks for these thoughts, but there is one issue i do not understand:

You seem to indicate here, that JPII was not adressing rules.

But for example in Veritatis Splendor Nr. 90:
“90. The relationship between faith and morality shines forth with all its brilliance in the unconditional respect due to the insistent demands of the personal dignity of every man, demands protected by those moral norms which prohibit without exception actions which are intrinsically evil.”

there seems to be clearly a rule prohibiting the individual without exception to do something, which would be an intrinsically evil action.

I understand that from that one cannot conclude that anyone acting against this prohibition sinned or sinned to the full extent the prohibition implies; also anyone acting in such prohibited way should be helped by the Church to not repeat the actions.

But that does not change, that JPII not only discusse objects but also rules.

Could it be, that its more precisely to say, that JPII did not discuss the rules of pastoral care regarding potential intrinsically evil acts, but only the rules for the individual in the situation of deciding whether to act in such way (for which the rule seems to be simple: Don’t.), while Pope Francis is concerned with the rules of pastoral care, which govern how the Church or her “agents” should act towards someone in the past, currently or in the future was/is/will be in situations, where the risk of performing intrinsically evil acts is present?

So JPII discussed objects in general and rules regarding the individual while Pope Francis discusses the respective rules for pastoral care?

Thereby you indirectly seem to claim, that several years ago similar dubia would have received quick, definite and publically low-profile answers (to avoid the public shame for cardinals to ask questions average RCIA graduates can answer by themselves) and that a similar poll in this forum would be more strongly inclined towards “yes” (*); correct?

(*Though of course currently only 8 people voted, so not a meaningful number)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.