Kardinalen W. Brandmüller, R. L. Burke, C. Caffarra, J. Meisner - 12 september 2016
Moet men, na Paus Franciscus - Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie
Over vreugde van de liefde
(19 maart 2016) (Paus Franciscus - Postsynodale Apostolische Exhortatie
Over vreugde van de liefde
(19 maart 2016)) nog steeds de leer geldig achten van de encycliek van de H. Johannes Paulus II, H. Paus Johannes Paulus II - Encycliek
Over kerkelijke moraalleer
(6 augustus 1993), gebaseerd op de H. Schrift en op de Traditie van de Kerk, die een creatieve interpretatie uitsluit van de rol van het geweten, en die benadrukt dat geweten nooit kan aangewend worden om uitzonderingen t.o.v. absolute morele normen te rechtvaardigen, die intrinsieke slechte daden verbieden vanwege hun doel?
After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 56, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?
Amoris Laetitia, 303, states that “conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God.” The Dubia ask for a clarification of these affirmations, given that they are susceptible to divergent interpretations.
For those proposing the creative idea of conscience, the precepts of God’s law and the norm of the individual conscience can be in tension or even in opposition, while the final word should always go to conscience that ultimately decides about good and evil. According to Veritatis Splendor, 56, “on this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept.”
In this perspective, it will never be enough for moral conscience to know “this is adultery,” or “this is murder,” in order to know that this is something one cannot and must not do.
Rather, one would also need to look at the circumstances or the intentions to know if this act could not, after all, be excusable or even obligatory (Question 4 of the Dubia). For these theories, conscience could indeed rightfully decide that, in a given case, God’s will for me consists in an act by which I transgress one of his commandments. “Do not commit adultery” is seen as just a general norm. In the here and now, and given my good intentions, committing adultery is what God really requires of me. Under these terms, cases of virtuous adultery, lawful murder and obligatory perjury are at least conceivable.
This would mean to conceive of conscience as a faculty for autonomously deciding about good and evil and of God’s law as a burden that is arbitrarily imposed and that could at times be opposed to our true happiness.
However, conscience does not decide about good and evil. The whole idea of a “decision of conscience” is misleading. The proper act of conscience is to judge and not to decide. It says, “This is good.” “This is bad.” This goodness or badness does not depend on it. It acknowledges and recognizes the goodness or badness of an action, and for doing so, that is, for judging, conscience needs criteria; it is inherently dependent on truth.
God’s commandments are a most welcome help for conscience to get to know the truth and hence to judge verily. God’s commandments are the expression of the truth about our good, about our very being, disclosing something crucial about how to live life well. Pope Francis, too, expresses himself in these terms, when, in Amoris Laetitia, 295: “The law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception.”
|5 "DUBIA" OVER AMORIS LAETITIA
|Carlo Kardinaal Caffarra
|Kardinalen W. Brandmüller, R. L. Burke, C. Caffarra, J. Meisner
|12 september 2016
|© 2016, Aleteia.org
Voorl. Engelstalige versie
(English) Translation provided by the cardinal signatories
|28 december 2020