Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reaffirming Natural Law - Always Timely

Natural Law Not Going Out of Style, Says Commission

So said the Vatican's official newspaper, Osservatore Romano. You can follow the link for the whole article at Zenit. Here's a selection:
The experts note in this regard that natural law affirms "persons and human communities are capable, in the light of reason, of recognizing the fundamental orientations of a moral act in conformity with the nature itself of the human subject and of presenting them in a normative way, in the form of precepts or commands."

"These fundamental precepts -- objective and universal -- are called to found and inspire together the moral, juridical and political determinations that regulate the life of man and society," the document proposes.

"To propose natural law in today's context, one should distance himself from the caricaturist presentations that have made it incomprehensible to many of our contemporaries [and] take advantage of the recent innovate elements of Catholic moral theology," Father Bonino suggested.

The document recalls that there is already a common ethical patrimony, as witnessed by the numerous convergences among the cultural and religious traditions of the world.

It also opposes a rationalistic vision of natural law, though it defends its rational dimension, and indicates that the "interior call to follow the good as such is the experience on which all morality is founded."

The final chapter of the document considers the "profound change of perspective in the presentation of natural law" that was offered by Christ.

"In the light of faith, man recognized in Jesus Christ the eternal Logos who presides over creation, and who, in incarnating himself, presents himself to man as the living Law, the criteria of a human life in conformity with natural law," Father Bonino explained.

"Natural law is not abolished," he concluded, "but taken to its fulfillment by the new law of love."

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