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Recent news and musings by the Catholic Center

 

Humanity’s greatest crisis

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm

 

What is the greatest crisis that can afflict man?

 

  • Global warming?
  • Global conflict?
  • Deflate gate?

Moral confusion. 

Pope St. John Paul II wrote a letter to the world in 1993 called Veritatis Splendor, meaning, the Splendor of the Truth. In paragraph 93 he says: “the most dangerous crisis which can afflict man: the confusion between good and evil, which makes it impossible to build up and to preserve the moral order of individuals and communities.” If we want an ordered society of civil rest and peace, then it needs to be founded on moral certitude. It is a fact that man CAN know right from wrong with certainty and that this knowledge is absolute, not depending upon times, cultures, or seasons.

 

The dominant thought of our own day assails this fact with doubt- man cannot know moral truth. This is what most upset me about President Obama’s 2015 Prayer Breakfast address. I wasn’t upset by the Crusades/ISIS comparison- though it was a crude and artless effort. No, I am most concerned (but unsurprised) by his 1st guiding principle to be a person of religion: doubt.

 

“I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.” Here, President Obama does two things: he assumes a moral epistemology of doubt and he equates moral certitude with a hardened heart towards one’s neighbor.

 

The Catholic tradition in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition both testify to the opposite. As Catholics we believe that we CAN posses moral truth with certitude and that Jesus Christ is the fullest revelation of the truth. Second, we believe and demonstrate that it is only in while standing “obedience to the truth.” “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a [pure] heart.” (1 Peter 1:22).

 

According to Pope St. John Paul II, we are living in the midst of the greatest crisis that can afflict human society. Our President, knowingly or unknowingly, is ensnared in this very culture destroying philosophy. Let us pray that we each might be purified by obedience to the truth to give effective witness to President Obama and to each and every soul we meet.

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