Volume 14, Issue 3, October 2001
The Roman Catholic moral tradition appears completely to ignore contemporary human experience. Yet, there is a growing recog-nition by the tradition that such experience does lead to change. The 1993 encyclical, Splendour of Truth, acknowledged such development as integral to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church, while, at the same time, insisting on the preservation of the identity of “faith and morals” in the midst of diversity and change. The author explores what is involved in safeguarding this “identity” of the moral law in the many-layered reality of the moral teaching and life of the Church. A solution is sought in a clearer understanding of how Christian morality, which must preserve its own “integrity” as practical reasoning, receives its distinctive “character” from the faith in Christ on which it is founded. It is this “character”, then, that acts as the final court of appeal for the insights gained in ongoing human experience.
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