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Natural law defends us from abuses of power, Benedict XVI asserts
CatholicNewsAgency ^ | Vatican City, Dec 5, 2008

Posted on 12/05/2008 4:17:23 PM PST by GonzoII

Pope Benedict asserted that natural law is "the authentic guarantee" of freedom and the defense against "any form of ideological manipulation..."

(Excerpt) Read more at catholicnewsagency.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: ethics; naturallaw; pope; vatican

Natural law defends us from abuses of power, Benedict XVI asserts


.- A commission of theologians is wrapping up a five-year study on the ability of natural law to serve as a set of universal ethics for mankind. With relativism gaining prominence in the modern world, Pope Benedict asserted that natural law is "the authentic guarantee" of freedom and the defense against "any form of ideological manipulation."

Pope Benedict delivered his address on natural law to participants in the plenary session of the International Theological Commission at the Vatican on Friday morning. The meeting coincided with the conclusion of the commission's five-year mandate, the seventh since it was created.

Referring in his remarks to a soon-to-be-approved draft document on the ability of natural law to serve as a form of universal ethics, the Holy Father pointed out "the urgent need, in the current situation of culture and of civil and political society, to create the conditions necessary to raise awareness of the indispensable value of natural moral law."

In a culture where a "survival of the fittest" mentality often holds sway, Pope Benedict praised the natural law as "the authentic guarantee everyone has to live free and respected in their dignity as human beings." Moreover, the natural law helps people "feel they are defended from any form of ideological manipulation and all abuses perpetrated on the basis of the law of the strongest," the Holy Father said.

Since the International Theological Commission also studied the question of the "meaning and method of theology" for the last five years, Benedict XVI went on to remark that "the real task of theology is to enter into the Word of God, to seek to understand it and to make it understood in our world, and thus to find the answer to our great questions."

"Methods in theology cannot be constituted only on the basis of criteria and norms common to other academic disciplines, but must above all observe the principles and norms deriving from [God’s] Revelation and from faith in its personal and ecclesial dimensions," the Pope explained.

Pope Benedict also touched on the sensitive topic of academic freedom for theologians. After first pointing out that "the fundamental virtue of theologians is that of seeking obedience to the faith, which makes them collaborators of truth," the Pope affirmed that "obedience to truth does not mean giving up research or the effort of thought."

"Restiveness of thought, which in the life of believers can certainly never be fully placated because they too are searching for and studying the Truth, will nonetheless be a restiveness that accompanies and stimulates them on their pilgrimage of thought towards God, and in this way it will bear fruit."


1 posted on 12/05/2008 4:17:23 PM PST by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

Interesting, how does Natural Law differ from Natural Rights?


2 posted on 12/05/2008 4:19:27 PM PST by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: padre35
"Interesting, how does Natural Law differ from Natural Rights?"

Natural Law. protective of natural rights. Thomas Jefferson, clearly stated this as unalienable rights in the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...."

3 posted on 12/05/2008 4:29:16 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: padre35

One of the best political philosophers you could read on natural law and the duties of the government and the governed is Francisco Suarez, a 17th century Spanish Jesuit philosopher/theologian. The Founders were familiar with his work and relied heavily on it.

As for rights, they proceed from one’s created nature. If you’re a human being, you have certain things that are naturally yours (free will, for example, and thus the right to express it in whatever way does not violate the social network based on natural law). Trees and apes and kitchen tables don’t have rights, because only a creature created in the image of God has free will and self-knowledge and hence the ability to choose his actions. It is rightly indicated in Genesis that all nature is subject to man, who is subject to God, who has given man the law, engraved in his heart and revealed to the Jews in the Books of the Law and then to the Gentiles in the Incarnation, to guide him in the way that he should go.


4 posted on 12/05/2008 4:30:16 PM PST by livius
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To: padre35
Interesting, how does Natural Law differ from Natural Rights?

It's all spelled out in the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.

5 posted on 12/05/2008 4:32:37 PM PST by ALPAPilot
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To: padre35

Interesting, how does Natural Law differ from Natural Rights?

The Law confirms the Right.

Natural Law says a man and a woman can marry, therefore they have the right to.


6 posted on 12/05/2008 4:47:34 PM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

What is this natural law you speak of? Natural law and its religious adherents are ruining the Republican Party ... /Sarc


7 posted on 12/06/2008 12:15:29 AM PST by MoTiger
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To: MoTiger

“What is this natural law you speak of? Natural law and its religious adherents are ruining the Republican Party ... /Sarc”

Huh?


8 posted on 12/06/2008 12:17:12 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: MoTiger

“/Sarc”

I got it!


9 posted on 12/06/2008 12:47:07 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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