We live at a time when consequentialism governs every aspect of human existence, tyrannically claiming authority over everything. Not just those matters where efficiency and results have a proper place, but over the humane realities as well. Sex. Family. Marriage. Health. Property. Community. Faith. Education. All must bow before the calculators and weighers of worth, all must kneel before “objectivity,” however ignorant they are of genuine value, of the first and permanent things, of that which matters most, of those things which are intrinsically good or evil. Their ignorance is matched only by their appetite to control, and they are destructive to their core. In addition to the content of the teaching, Veritatis Splendor reveals valuable truths for us in how it teaches, in the manner it proclaims. Keeping with his earlier work, John Paul II places himself firmly within the limits of tradition, turning ad fontes, to the sources of faith, both in the Scriptural revelation of Christ and to the ongoing tradition which remain ever ancient, ever new. But he is unafraid to rise to the level of his time, borrowing heavily not only from the patristic and medieval sources but also, although not uncritically, from modern philosophy, particularly phenomenology.
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