John Paul IIs masterpiece on human morality enlightened by the splendour of truth
All of Pope John Paul IIs vast experience in the field of moral theology was distilled into his 1993 encyclical: Veritatis Splendor. The text is remarkable for its wide-ranging and innovative discussion on morality.
The encyclical begins with a meditation on the dialogue of Jesus with the rich young man. It underlines the essential elements of Christian morality. The young mans question, is for us all: Teacher, what must I do to have life? Jesus response is the answer we should heed. Life is to know and do the truth, and the Church was founded by Christ to answer this question.
The second part makes a critical discernment of certain trends in contemporary moral theology, in the light of Scripture, Tradition and Vatican II. A particularly important affirmation is that certain kinds of behaviour are intrinsically evil, that is, always and everywhere evil, without exception.
The third part points out the relevance of Catholic teaching on moral good for the life of the Church and world. The Father offers us not only the Truth but also the new law, which is his Spirit within us – his grace which enables us to love and do good.