The Gospel of Life and the Defense of Freedom
First of all, I wish to thank Alan Sears, President, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, for the invitation to offer the keynote address for the Catholic Media Symposium which has fittingly begun with the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. By my presence and by my words I wish to underline the critical importance of these days for the future of our society and culture. At the same time, I wish to support actively the work which you will carry out during these days to enhance and fortify the essential work of Catholic media in communicating the truth, the goodness, and the beauty which are the irreplaceable foundation of our individual lives and of our life in society.
The truth, the goodness, and the beauty of human life, of marriage and the family, the cradle of human life, and of religious faith and practice as the font of stability and direction for marriage and the family have their only source in God Who is all true, all good, and all beautiful. They are called transcendentals because they are a participation in the life itself of God our Creator and Redeemer. It is precisely these transcendental qualities coming directly from the hand of God, which are called into question and even trampled under foot in a society and culture which pretends to be self-made, without reference to God and to His Law written into Creation and, most of all, upon the heart of man, the one earthly creature whom God has created in His own image and likeness.
In such a society, conscience, the privileged place of the human heart in which the law of God is known and observed, no longer counts for anything. If it is acknowledged at all, it is restricted to the ambience of worship, within the four walls of churches and chapels. Outside of those walls, the sacred authority of conscience is made subject to the will of those who have the greatest power without respect for the order of objective reality, the order written upon the human heart. In such a society and culture, the truth, the goodness, and the beauty of human life, of the family, and of religious conscience are violated by the will of those in power who make every effort, through education and the communications media, to obscure them from the consideration of the individual members of society.
My remarks tonight take their inspiration from the Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, “On the Inviolable Good of Human Life,” published by Blessed Pope John Paul II on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1995. The opening words of the Encyclical Letter point to the critical importance of the Catholic Media Symposium for the future of our society:
The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.1
The Catholic media, in a powerful way, announce the “good news” in a totally secularized society.
First and Fundamental Proclamation of the Truth of Christ
The first and most fundamental way of radiating the living truth which Our Lord Jesus communicates to us in His Mystical Body, the Church, is a strong witness to the inviolable dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, to the integrity of marriage as the lifelong, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman, and to sacred authority of the correctly formed conscience as the guide to the right stewardship of all creation, especially human life and marriage. The personal conversion and the transformation of the world to which Christ calls all men is necessarily directed, first of all, to the safeguarding and fostering of every human life, especially of “the least of these my brethren,” 2 in accord with Our Lord’s Parable on the Last Judgment, of the fidelity, indissolubility and procreativity of marriage, and of the unconditional respect for the rightly-formed conscience.
Writing about the mission of the Church in the world, Pope John Paul II underlined its origin in the glorious Heart of Jesus and, therefore, its resonance within the hearts of all His disciples. He declared:
Every individual precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who was made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), is entrusted to the maternal care of the Church. Therefore every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church’s very heart; it cannot but affect her at the core of her faith in the Redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God, and engage her in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel of life in all the world and to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15).3
The Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, at the very core of Her being expresses the unconditional, immeasurable, and unceasing love of God the Father for every man. The pierced Heart of Jesus and the blood which flowed therefrom is a sign of the “rivers of living water” which never cease to flow from the glorious Heart of Jesus into the hearts of all believers, and from their hearts to the hearts of all men.4
Pope John Paul II recalled the profound and enduring effect of the piercing of the Heart of Jesus after He had died on the cross for the salvation of all men:
The blood of Christ, while it reveals the grandeur of the Father’s love, shows how treasured man is in God’s eyes and how inestimable is the good of his life.5
He went on to explain how the blood of Christ reveals the call of every man to care unconditionally for his fellow man:
Furthermore, Christ’s blood reveals to man that his greatness, and therefore his vocation, consists in the sincere gift of self. Precisely because it is poured out as the gift of life, the blood of Christ is no longer a sign of death, of definitive separation from the brethren, but the instrument of a communion which is richness of life for all. Whoever in the Sacrament of the Eucharist drinks this blood and abides in Jesus (cf. Jn 6:56) is drawn into the dynamism of his love and gift of life, in order to bring to its fullness the original vocation to love which belongs to everyone (cf. Gen 1:27; 2:18-24).6
Participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the highest and most perfect expression of life in Christ, of communion with the Holy Trinity, is the ultimate and unfailing source of the inspiration and strength to safeguard and foster the inviolability of human life, the integrity of marriage and the family, and the sacred authority of the conscience. In the words of Pope John Paul II,
It is from the blood of Christ that all draw the strength to commit themselves to promoting life. It is precisely this blood that is the most powerful source of hope, indeed it is the foundation of the absolute certitude that in God's plan life will be victorious.7
The first and most important component of the apostolate of respect for human life, for marriage and the family, and for the freedom of conscience is communion with Christ Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,8 through the Holy Eucharist and Penance, and through their extension by means of daily prayer and devotion. How fittingly you have begun the Catholic Media Symposium by uniting yourselves to Christ in His Eucharistic Sacrifice.
I now reflect briefly on the Catholic media as a principal means of proclaiming the truth of Christ. Then, I will place the work of the Catholic media within the context of the new evangelization as the form of the proclamation of the truth. Finally, I will address two fundamental notions of the the truth: the natural law and conscience.
Principal Means of Proclaiming the Truth of Christ
The fundamental locus of the proclamation of the truth of Christ is the family, in which the children witness the living of the faith in the relationship of their parents with one another and in the relationship of the parents with them. Such witness pertains principally to the inviolability of innocent and defenseless human life, to the integrity of marriage and the family, and, therefore, the correct understanding and living of human sexuality, and to the right formation of conscience. Clearly, education is irreplaceably linked to family life. A society which is not attentive to sound education risks the serious weakening of family life.The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that [s]o-called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of human freedom” and that “the necessary precondition for the development of true freedom is to let oneself be educated in the moral law.”9 As is clear from the above considerations, individual freedom and the freedom of society in general depend upon a fundamental education in the truth about human life and sexuality and the exercise of that truth in a pure and chaste life, according to a rightly-formed conscience. The Catechism of the Catholic Church goes on to observe: “Those in charge of education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and spiritual dignity of man.”10 For the Christian, this entails education in holiness of life and in the respect owed to the inviolable dignity of self, body and soul, and of others as one’s self.
Evangelium Vitae refers to many more agents and means of the proclamation of the Gospel of life, such as healthcare workers, volunteers, educators, civil leaders and legislators, hospitals, clinics, convalescent homes, Catholic schools and universities, and other institutions and services which assist individuals and families in living the truth of the Gospel of life.11
Of supreme importance in an age which characterizes itself by its means of communication is the development and support of truly pro-life and pro-family media, and of organizing and sustaining public manifestations in support of the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and the integrity of the family. The culture of death advances, in large part, because of a lack of attention and information among the general public. What is more, the thoroughly galvanized anti-life and anti-family agenda of the pervasive secular mass media confuses and corrupts minds and hearts, and dulls consciences to the law written by God upon every human heart. Pope John Paul II declared:
What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build a new culture of life: new, because it will be able to confront and solve today’s unprecedented problems affecting human life; new, because it will be adopted with deeper and more dynamic conviction by all Christians; new, because it will be capable of bringing about a serious and courageous cultural dialogue among all parties. While the urgent need for such a cultural transformation is linked to the present historical situation, it is also rooted in the Church’s mission of evangelization. The purpose of the Gospel, in fact, is “to transform humanity from within and to make it new.” Like the yeast which leavens the whole measure of dough (cf. Mt 13:33), the Gospel is meant to permeate all cultures and give them life from within, so that they may express the full truth about the human person and about human life.12
Pope John Paul II did not fail to note that such efforts must begin with “the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves.”13 The Church herself must address the situation of so many of her members who, even though they may be active in Church activities, “end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements regarding life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting.”14
A New Evangelization and the Catholic Media
A new evangelization is the fundamental form of proclaiming the truth of Christ in our time. Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, “On Evangelization in the Modern World” of December 8, 1975, describes evangelization as the Church’s “… deepest inspiration, that which comes to her directly from the Lord: To the whole world! To all creation! Right to the ends of the earth!”15 After reflecting on the first proclamation of the Gospel which “… is addressed to those who have never heard the Good News of Jesus, or to children,”16 he declared:
But, as a result of the frequent situations of dechristianization in our day, it also proves equally necessary for innumerable people who have been baptized but who live quite outside Christian life, for simple people who have a certain faith but an imperfect knowledge of the foundations of that faith, for intellectuals who feel the need to know Jesus Christ in a light different from the instruction they received as children, and for many others.17
The degree of secularization about which Pope Paul VI referred with concern in 1975 has only continued to increase exponentially, also due to a grave impoverishment or even lack of adequate catechesis in the Church during the past four decades.
Blessed Pope John Paul II addressed the increasing gravity of this situation with steadfast vigor. The pontificate of Pope John Paul II, in fact, may be rightly described as a tireless call to recognize the Church’s challenge to be faithful to her divinely given mission in a completely secularized society and to respond to the challenge by means of a new evangelization. A new evangelization consists in teaching the faith through preaching, catechesis, Catholic education and all forms of communication, in celebrating the faith in the Sacraments and in prayer and devotion which are their extension, and in living the faith by the practice of the virtues – all as if for the first time, that is, with the engagement and energy of the first disciples and of the first missionaries to our native place.
In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, “On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World,” Pope John Paul II described the contemporary situation of the Church in a world which is increasingly secularized, marked by a pervasive and constant spread of relativism, which “inspires and sustains a life lived ‘as if God did not exist’”.18 Not by chance, in Evangelium Vitae, addressing the culture of death which tragically marks a totally secularized society, he made reference to such a way of living in ignorance of God and of the order with which He has created the world and, above all, man. He declared:
By living “as if God did not exist”, man not only loses sight of the mystery of God, but also of the mystery of the world and the mystery of his own being.19
He went on to describe the situation which “inevitably leads to a practical materialism, which breeds individualism, utilitarianism and hedonism,”20 and in which man exchanges his very being for material possessions and pleasures, rejects suffering as meaningless, and views his body and sexuality in abstraction from his person.
To remedy the situation of a totally secularized culture, the saintly Pontiff observed, “a mending of the Christian fabric of society is urgently needed in all parts of the world.”21 He hastened to add that, if the remedy is to be effected, the Church herself must be evangelized anew. Fundamental to understanding the radical secularization of our culture is to understand also how much this secularization has entered into the life of the Church Herself. Pope John Paul II declared:
But for this [the mending of the Christian fabric of society to come about what is needed is to first remake the Christian fabric of the ecclesial community itself present in these countries and nations.22
Blessed John Paul II, therefore, called upon the lay faithful to fulfill their particular responsibility, that is, “to testify how the Christian faith constitutes the only fully valid response – consciously perceived and stated by all in varying degrees – to the problems and hopes that life poses to every person and society.”23 Making more specific the call, he clarified that the fulfillment of the responsibility of the lay faithful requires that they “know how to overcome in themselves the separation of the Gospel from life, to take up again in their daily activities in family, work and society, an integrated approach to life that is fully brought about by the inspiration and strength of the Gospel.”24 The communications media, in a particular way, with the help of God’s grace, is directed to helping Christians and all men of good will to overcome any separation of the Gospel from life, especially in what pertains to the heart of the Gospel, including the safeguarding and promoting of human life, of marriage and the family, and of the freedom of conscience. Catholic media contribute in a most significant way to the work of a new evangelization.
Two Fundamental Notions
I now address two fundamental notions of the turth of Christ to be announced to the world. The first fundamental notion is the natural law, of which the first three precepts pertain to the safeguarding and promotion of human life, the right order of sexual relations and marriage, and the practice of true religion.25 At the very beginning of the Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II made clear the relationship of the Church’s teaching regarding human life to the moral law which can be known by reason.26
What then is the relationship between the natural moral law and the Church’s moral teaching? While God has first revealed to every human heart the truth about human life by the Creation, He has perfectly revealed the truth in all of its splendor by the Redemptive Incarnation of His only-begotten Son. What is more, the coming of God the Son as man into the world, His saving Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, and His abiding presence in the Church through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit give man the grace to live fully in accord with the truth. Pope John Paul II explained the relationship thus:
Through the words, the actions and the very person of Jesus, man is given the possibility of “knowing” the complete truth concerning the good of human life. From this “source” he receives, in particular, the capacity to “accomplish” this truth perfectly (cf. Jn 3:21), that is, to accept and fulfil completely the responsibility of loving and serving, of defending and promoting human life. In Christ, the Gospel of life is definitively proclaimed and fully given. This is the Gospel which, already present in the Revelation of the Old Testament, and indeed written in the heart of every man and woman, has echoed in every conscience “from the beginning”, from the time of creation itself, in such a way that, despite the negative consequences of sin, it can also be known in its essential traits by human reason.27
The human conscience, if it has not been corrupted by grave confusion and error, naturally recognizes the inviolable dignity of every human life and commands that it be safeguarded and promoted.
Essentially connected with the discussion of the natural moral law is clearly the correct understanding of conscience. Pope John Paul II, relating the intent of his Encyclical Letter, drew particular attention to the relationship of the Gospel of life with conscience. He wrote:
I wish to meditate upon once more and proclaim the Gospel of life, the splendour of truth which enlightens consciences, the clear light which corrects the darkened gaze, and the unfailing source of faithfulness and steadfastness in facing the ever new challenges which we meet along the path.28
He reflected upon the situation of the conscience which “is today subjected, also as a result of the penetrating influence of the media, to an extremely serious and mortal danger: that of confusion between good and evil, precisely in relation to the fundamental right to life.”29 He did not fail to warn about the gravity of the situation, declaring:
When conscience, this bright lamp of the soul (cf. Mt 6:22-23), calls “evil good and good evil” (Is 5:20), it is already on the path to the most alarming corruption and the darkest moral blindness.30
At the same time, the very existence of the conscience gives hope of a transformation of the situation. Pope John Paul II observed:
And yet all the conditioning and efforts to enforce silence fail to stifle the voice of the Lord echoing in the conscience of every individual: it is always from this intimate sanctuary of the conscience that a new journey of love, openness and service to human life can begin.31
Notwithstanding pervasive confusion and error, the fundamental truths of the inviolable dignity of human life, of the integrity of marriage and the family, and of the sacred authority of the conscience correspond always to the deepest desire of man, which is to know and live the truth in love.
It is the conscience, the voice of God speaking to souls, which is, in the words of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, “the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.”32 As such, the conscience is ever attuned to Christ Himself Who instructs and informs it through His Vicar, the Roman Pontiff, and the Bishops in communion with the Roman Pontiff. Blessed Cardinal Newman observed that conscience “is a messenger of him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by his representatives.”33
Today, one must be attentive to a false notion of conscience, which would actually use the conscience to justify sinful acts. In his 2010 Christmas Address to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI reflected at some length on the notion of conscience in the writings of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, contrasting it with a false notion of conscience which is pervasive in our time.
He described the Church’s understanding of conscience, as faithfully and brilliantly taught by the Blessed Cardinal Newman, with these words:
In modern thinking, the word “conscience” signifies that for moral and religious questions, it is the subjective dimension, the individual, that constitutes the final authority for decision. The world is divided into the realms of the objective and the subjective. To the objective realm belong things that can be calculated and verified by experiment. Religion and morals fall outside the scope of these methods and are therefore considered to lie within the subjective realm. Here, it is said, there are in the final analysis no objective criteria. The ultimate instance that can decide here is therefore the subject alone, and precisely this is what the word “conscience” expresses: in this realm only the individual, with his intuitions and experiences, can decide. Newman’s understanding of conscience is diametrically opposed to this. For him, “conscience” means man’s capacity for truth: the capacity to recognize precisely in the decision-making areas of his life – religion and morals – a truth, the truth. At the same time, conscience – man’s capacity to recognize truth – thereby imposes on him the obligation to set out along the path towards truth, to seek it and to submit to it wherever he finds it. Conscience is both capacity for truth and obedience to the truth which manifests itself to anyone who seeks it with an open heart.34
Conscience, therefore, does not set individuals apart from one another as arbiters of what is right and good, but unites them in the pursuit of the one truth, ultimately Our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only arbiter of the right and good, so that their thoughts, words and actions put that truth into practice.
The proclamation of the truth of Christ should be marked by a profound confidence in the human heart upon which the moral law has been inscribed. At the same time, it should be ready to refute the false claim that the truth of Christ is merely a confessional matter and to illustrate how it is at the very foundation of the common good.
It is my hope that these thoughts, inspired by the Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, have helped to underscore the fundamental importance of your coming together to reflect upon the place of the Catholic media in the announcement of the truths of the faith in a new evangelization which will transform the life of the Church and, through the transformation of the life of the Church, the life of society. Most of all, I hope that they will encourage all who are involved in the work of Catholic media to take new courage and new energy from the Heart of Jesus. May the Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae be an inspiration and guide for all of your labors to communicate the true, the good, and the beautiful.
Before the daunting challenges of Christian living, of advancing the cause of life, the answer is the placing of hearts totally within the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus. He will transform lives and, through the conversion of lives, He will transform the world. Christ gave the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, to His disciples as their mother. She is constantly drawing hearts to her Immaculate Heart, so that, with her, faithful disciples may give their hearts totally and forever to Christ. I assure you of my prayers for you, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, that God bless abundantly your labors during the coming days for the benefit of countless souls. Thank you. God bless you.
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
 “Evangelium vitae penitus implicatum insidet in Iesu nuntio. Ab Ecclesia amanter cotidie susceptum animosa id oportet fidelitate enuntietur velut redditum nuntium hominibus cuiusve aetatis et cuiuslibet cultus humani formae.” Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Litterae encyclicae Evangelium vitae, “De vitae humanae inviolabili bono”, 25 Martii 1995, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 87 (1995), 401, n. 1. [Hereafter, EV] English translation: Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, “On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life,” 25 March 1995 (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995), p. 3, no. 1. [Hereafter, EVEng]
 Cf. Mt 25:40, 45
 “Maternis Ecclesiae curis committitur idcirco quisque homo propter Verbi Dei mysterium quod est caro factum (cfr Io 1, 14). Quam ob rem fieri non potest quin omnis dignitatis hominum vitaeque ipsius minatio tamquam vocis imaginem in Ecclesiae intimo excitet animo, quin eam intra propriam fidem de redimente Filii Dei incarnatione percutiat, quin implicet illam suo in officio Evangelium vitae universum per orbem omnique proferendi creaturae (cfr Mc 16, 15).” EV, 403, n. 3. English translation: EVEng, p. 6, no. 3.
 Cf. Jn 7:38.
 “Christi sanguis, dum permagnam Patris dilectionem revelat, ostendit simul quemadmodum pretiosus sit ante Dei oculos homo et inaestimabile sit eius vitae bonum.” EV, p. 429, n. 25. English translation: EVEng, p. 45, no. 25. Note: The English translation has been corrected throughout by the Author in what regards the translation of the word “bonum”, which expresses the metaphysical goodness of human life. The official English version translates “bonum” with the English word “value” which comes from the language of economics and expresses a relative, subjective assessment. In the passage above, the words “treasured” and “inestimable” have been used by the Author to translate the Latin “pretiosus” and “inaestimabile”, which the official English version renders as “precious” and “priceless.”
 “Christi sanguis, praeterea, homini ipsi revelat eius granditatem, ideoque eius vocationem, in sincera sui donatione collocari. Propterea quod ut vitae donum funditur, Christi sanguis iam non est mortis signum, decretoriae a fratribus seiunctionis, sed communionis instrumentum omnibus divitias afferentis. Qui in Eucharistiae sacramento sanguinem hunc bibit et in Christo manet (cfr Io 6, 56) in ipsius eadem amoris vi vitaeque donatione conglobatur, ut primigeniam amoris vocationem consummet cuique homini propriam (cfr Gn 1, 27; 2, 18-24).” EV, 429, n. 25. English translation: EVEng, pp. 45-46, no. 25.
 “Ex eodem Christi sanguine hauriunt omnes homines vim, ut operam navent pro vita. Hic ipse sanguis spei est solidior causa, immo est fundamentum absolutae certitudinis ex Dei consilio vitae victoriam esse futuram.” EV, 429, n. 25. English translation: EVEng, p. 46, no. 25.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2526.
 Ibid., no. 2526.
 Cf. EV, 499-505, nn. 87-91.
 “Quam primum inducantur necesse est generalis conscientiarum motus moralisque communis nisus, qui excitare valeant validum sane opus ad vitam tuendam: omnibus nobis simul coniunctis nova exstuenda est vitae cultura: nova, quae scilicet possit hodiernas de vita hominis ineditas quaestiones suscipere atque solvere; nova, utpote quae acriore et alacriore ratione omnium christianorum conscientiam permoveat; nova demum, quae accommodata sit ad gravem animosamque culturalem suscitandam comparationem cum omnibus. Huius culturalis conversionis necessitas coniungitur cum aetatis nostrae historica rerum condicione, at praesertim inhaeret in ipso evangelizandi munere quod proprium est Ecclesiae. Evangelium enim eo spectat «ut perficiat interiorem mutationem» et «humanitatem novam efficiat»; est velut fermentum quo pasta tota fermentatur (cfr Mt 13, 33), atque, qua tale, perfundere debet omnes culturas easque intus pervadere, ut integram declarent de homine deque eius vita veritatem.” EV, 509, n. 95. English translation: EVEng, pp. 168-169, no. 95.
 “… vitae cultura renovanda intra ipsas christianas communitates.” EV, 509, n. 95. English translation: EVEng, p. 169, no. 95.
 “… seiunctionem quandam inferunt inter christianam fidem eiusque moralia circa vitam postulata, progredientes hac ratione ad moralem quendam subiectivismum adque vivendi mores qui probari non possunt.” EV, 509-510, n. 95. English translation: EVEng, p. 169, no. 95
 “… altissimum mentis instinctum in se excitat, qui ad eam proxime a divino Magistro proficiscitur, hisce verbis resonantibus: mundo universo! omni creaturae! usque ad ultimum terrae!” Paulus PP. VI, Adhortatio Apostolica Evangelii nuntiandi, “De Evangelizatione in mundo huius temporis”, 8 Decembris 1975, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 68 (1976), 40, n. 50. [Hereafter, EN] English translation: Pope Paul VI, On Evangelization in the Modern World (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, nd), p. 35, n. 50. [Hereafter, ENEng]
 “… ad eos praesertim habetur, qui Bonum Iesu Nuntium numquam audierunt, aut pueris…” EN, 40, n. 52. English translation: ENEng, p. 35, n. 52.
 “… cum crebro hodie eae invaluerint condiciones, quibus a lege christiana prorsus disceditur – plurimis hominibus, qui sacro quidem tincti sunt baptismate, sed extra quamvis formam vitae christianae degunt, plebi simplici, quae quandam possidet fidem, sed eius fundamenta vix cognoscit, viris studia colentibus, qui opus sibi esse sentiunt, ut Iesum Christum agnoscant alia ratione sibi propositum quam institutione, quae puerili aetate tradi solet, necnon aliis multis.” EN, 40-41, n. 52. English translation: ENEng, p. 36, no. 52.
 “…inhiant ac proclamant ita esse vivendum «etsi Deus non daretur».” Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Adhortatio Apostolica Christifideles Laici, “De vocatione et missione Laicorum in Ecclesia et in mundo,” 30 Decembris 1988, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 81 (1989), 454, no. 34. [Hereafter, CL]. English translation: Pope John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 30 December 1988, “On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World” (Vatican City State: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, nd), p. 95, no. 34. [Hereafter, CLEng].
 “Vivens reapse «perinde ac si Deus non sit», non modo a Dei mysterio, verum etiam a mundi ipsius arcano suaeque vitae aberrat.” EV, 426, n. 22. English translation: EVEng, p. 40, no. 22.
 “…necessario ad materialismum practicum ducit, in quo individualismus, utilitarismus et hedonismus grassantur.” EV, 426, n. 23. English translation: EVEng, p. 40, no. 23.
 “… consortium humanum spiritu christiano ubique denuo imbuendum est.” CL, 455, no. 34. English translation: CLEng, p. 96, no. 34.
 “Id [consortium humanum spiritu christiano imbuendum] tamen possible erit, si christianus communitatum ipsarum ecclesialium contextus, quae his in regionibus et nationibus degunt, renovetur.” CL, 455, no. 34. English translation: CLEng, p. 96, no. 34.
 “...testari quomodo christiana fides responsum constituat unice plene validum, ab omnibus plus minusve conscie agnitum et invocatum, ad quaestiones et exspectationes, quas vita ipsa homini et societatibus imponit singulis.” CL, 455, no. 34. English translation: CLEng, p. 96, no. 34.
 “...hiatum inter Evangelium et vitam in seipsis superare valeant, in quotidianis familiae navitatibus, in labore et in societate unitatem vitae componentes, quae in Evangelio lucem et vim pro sua plena invenit adimpletione.” CL, p. 455, no. 34. English translation: CLEng, p. 96, no. 34.
 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 94, art. 2.
 Cf. EV, 402, n. 2. English translation: EVEng, pp. 4-5, n. 2.
 “Ideo ex verbo, ex operibus, ex ipsa Iesu persona facultas tribuitur homini ut omnem veritatem de humanae vitae bono «cognoscere possit»; et ex illo «fonte» peculiari modo provenit facultas adamussim talem veritatem faciendi (cfr Io 3, 21), id est, suscipiendi necnon funditus exsequendi officium vitam humanam amandi, ei serviendi, eamque tuendi et promovendi. In Christo enim absolute nuntiatur et plene traditur illud Evangelium vitae quod iam traditum in revelatione Veteris Testamenti, immo scriptum quodam modo in ipso corde cuiusque hominis et mulieris, in unaquaque conscientia morali resonat «ab initio», hoc est ab ipsa creatione, ita ut, adversis peccati vinculis non officientibus, suis in essentialibus rationibus humana quoque mente percipi possit.” EV, 434, n. 29. English translation: EVEng, p. 53, n. 24.
 “… iterum Evangelium vitae ponderare cupimus atque enuntiare, quod veritatis splendor est conscientias irradians, praeclarum lumen sanans obscuratum prospectum, fons firmitudinis ac fortitudinis inexhaustus nos hortans ut novis semper obviam procedamus nostro in itinere occurrentibus provocationibus.” EV, 407, n. 6. English translation: EVEng, p. 11, no. 6.
 “… etiam ob instrumentorum socialis communicationis praepotentes virtutes, pergravi mortiferoque periculo hodie subditur: permixtionis scilicet boni malique, quod attinet ad idem fundamentale vitae ius.” EV, 427, n. 24. English translation: EVEng, p. 43, no. 24.
 “Cum conscientia, lucens scilicet animae oculus (cfr Mt 6, 22-23), dicit «malum bonum et bonum malum» (Is 5, 20), iter persollicitae depravationis et caliginosissimae moralis caecitatis iam est ingressa.” EV, 428, n. 24. English translation: EVEng, p. 43, no. 24.
 “Verum condiciones et conatus ad silentium iniungendum Domini vocem includere non valent quae in cuiusque hominis conscientia insonat: hoc ipso ex intimo conscientiae sacrario novum amoris iter explicari potest, ad vitam humanam accipiendam et ministrandam.” EV, 428, n. 24. English translation: EVEng, p. 43, no. 24.
 John Henry Cardinal Newman, “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk,” V, in Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching II, (London: Longmans Green, 1885), p. 248. Quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1778.
 Ibid., p. 248.
 “Nel pensiero moderno, la parola «coscienza» significa che in materia di morale e di religione, la dimensione soggettiva, l’individuo, costituisce l’ultima istanza della decisione. Il mondo viene diviso negli ambiti dell’oggettivo e del soggettivo. All’oggettivo appartengono le cose che si possono calcolare e verificare mediante l’esperimento. La religione e la morale sono sottratte a questi metodi e perciò sono considerate come ambito del soggettivo. Qui non esisterebbero, in ultima analisi, dei criteri oggettivi. L’ultima istanza che qui può decidere sarebbe pertanto solo il soggetto, e con la parola «coscienza» si esprime, appunto, questo: in questo ambito può decidere solo il singolo, l’individuo con le sue intuizioni ed esperienze. La concezione che Newman ha della coscienza è diametralmente opposta. Per lui «coscienza» significa la capacità di verità dell’uomo: la capacità di riconoscere proprio negli ambiti decisivi della sua esistenza – religione e morale – una verità, la verità. La coscienza, la capacità dell’uomo di riconoscere la verità, gli impone con ciò, al tempo stesso, il dovere di incamminarsi verso la verità, di cercarla e di sottomettersi ad essa laddove la incontra. Conscienza è capacità di verità e obbedienza nei confronti della verità, che si mostra all’uomo che cerca col cuore aperto.” Benedictus PP. XVI, Allocutio, “Omina Nativitatis novique Anni Curiae Romanae significantur”, 20 Decembris 2010, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 103 (2011), 39-40. English translation: Pope Benedict XVI, “Benedict XVI’s Christmas greeting to the College of Cardinals, the Roman Curia and the Governorate: Resolved in faith and in doing good,” L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English, 22-29 December 2010, p. 14.
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