Pope John Paul II
Questions on the Church's Moral Teachings.
The splendor of Truth
shines on all God's work but specially in man, created to the image
of God. And we need this splendor of Truth to enlighten our
intellect that we may be led to know and love God.
INTRODUCTION: OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST'S COMMANDS.
Christ is the light
that enlightens everyone; and we become enlightened and we become
"light in the Lord" and we become children of light by
OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST.
Because of original
sin, obedience is not easy; we constantly turn our gaze away
from God to direct it to the world. And with a little help
from the devil, we give ourselves even to lies.
The desire to know the
light shines even when we are deep in the darkness of sin.
But, unfortunately, we can reach a point in our sinfulness when all
desire for the truth dies.
So Christ, the Light of the nations, in His desire to enlighten the
face of the world, commands His disciples thus: ". .
.teach all nations ALL My commands and HOW TO OBSERVE
them" . . . and to teach nothing else. Every other gift
from heaven will depend on one's obedience to His commands including
understanding the meaning of life and the life to come.
This is what the
Church's Pastors in communion with Peter must teach. . .ALL the
commands of Christ and HOW to observe them. This is the moral
life that leads to salvation.
PURPOSE OF PRESENT
The commands of Christ
cover all aspect of human life. And the purpose of encyclicals
is merely to clarify His commands and how to observe forgotten or
misinterpreted commands. In this realm, the Church is
This encyclical wishes
to review ALL the fundamental commands of Christ because they are
being distorted and denied by people within the Church itself,
filling the minds of the flock with doubts and objections.
This ominous heretical tendency is not only sporadic but is
systematically undermining the Church.
The first pervading
error is man's belief in the freedom to follow their lust and
passions, which makes the Church's concept of 'freedom of the
children of God' unacceptable. This belief appears more in
Seminaries and Schools of Theology which disregard the commands of
Christ and replace them with weird man-made philosophies which
neither answer man's basic question nor strengthen his faith.
This encyclical is
addressed to all Bishops to be faithful to SOUND TEACHINGS and to
set forth clearly the doctrine that will spell damnation or
salvation for souls. And, therefore, the Pope sets forth here
and now the principles of a moral life that lead to God based on
Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition. . .and at the same time present
the heretical teachings prevalent in the Church today.