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  #1  
Old 6th July 2011, 11:15 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default lay evangelization

This document of Vatican II is a good source on the subject of the lay apostolate:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_c...itatem_en.html

"The Church was founded for the purpose of spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable all men to share in His saving redemption,(1) and that through them the whole world might enter into a relationship with Christ. All activity of the Mystical Body directed to the attainment of this goal is called the apostolate, which the Church carries on in various ways through all her members. For the Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate."

I would divide the teachings of the Faith into a few main categories:

1. on faith (dogmatic theology) -- topics such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Immaculate Conception; this would include Christology, Mariology, and Ecclesiology (on the Church)

2. on morals (moral theology) -- there is a great need in the world for correct teaching from the Church on morality. Unfortunately, many Catholic 'teachers' are rapidly spreading false doctrines on morality, leaving many Catholics confused and unable to understand and teach in this area.

3. on salvation (soteriology) -- usually, this is categorized under dogmatic theology, but it is so important that I would give it its own category.

We believe (faith), therefore we live a moral life, and this leads us to salvation.

4. speculative theology -- this covers other topics, esp. where the Magisterium has no clear and definitive teaching.
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Old 6th July 2011, 11:16 PM
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Would anyone like to offer a summary of the Church's teaching on morality?
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Old 7th July 2011, 12:38 PM
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Morality starts as true faith in Christ and His commandments and a belief in the dignity of man made in His image. It enfolds the charitable life lived according to His precepts with a rightly formed conscience striving to live a just and holy life in purity and reverence.
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Old 7th July 2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanne D'Arc View Post
Morality starts as true faith in Christ and His commandments and a belief in the dignity of man made in His image. It enfolds the charitable life lived according to His precepts with a rightly formed conscience striving to live a just and holy life in purity and reverence.

Good. But then how do we make particular judgments about which acts are moral and which are immoral?
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Old 7th July 2011, 03:15 PM
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Catholic morality centres around the three 'fonts'. All three must be moral for an act to be moral. One immoral font results in an immoral act:

1. Intention

2. Moral Object

3. Circumstances
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Old 7th July 2011, 04:13 PM
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But do you need any particular knowledge to be culpable under these fonts?
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Old 7th July 2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
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But do you need any particular knowledge to be culpable under these fonts?

An act can be objectively a sin, even if the person did not realize that the act was sinful. If any one or more fonts is bad, the act is objectively immoral.

An act is an actual sin, if the person realizes that the act is immoral, and yet freely chooses that act. A reduction in knowledge can reduce culpability, from mortal to venial, or from sin to not sin. But an objectively immoral act remains immoral, even if the person choosing the act is not culpable due to invincible ignorance.

For any act to be an actual sin, three things are needed:
1. intellect: knowledge of the immorality of the act
2. free will: the act is freely chosen, despite knowledge of its immorality
3. sinful act: the act is objectively a sin, or is believed to be a sin
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Old 7th July 2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
An act can be objectively a sin, even if the person did not realize that the act was sinful. If any one or more fonts is bad, the act is objectively immoral.

An act is an actual sin, if the person realizes that the act is immoral, and yet freely chooses that act. A reduction in knowledge can reduce culpability, from mortal to venial, or from sin to not sin. But an objectively immoral act remains immoral, even if the person choosing the act is not culpable due to invincible ignorance.

For any act to be an actual sin, three things are needed:
1. intellect: knowledge of the immorality of the act
2. free will: the act is freely chosen, despite knowledge of its immorality
3. sinful act: the act is objectively a sin, or is believed to be a sin

What about an objectively mortal sin, such as a tubal ligation, which is subsequently confessed, and the priest tells the penitent that she does not need to abstain by practicing NFP to avoid the fertile time. I am currently having this discussion with a friend of mine, and she told me:

I consider his statement to be bound on heaven and on earth.

Also, she basically called me a Pharisee because I suggested that she might want to continue practicing NFP in order to live by the precepts of the Lord. She has a long list of excuses for why the moral law does not apply to her in her very specialized situation.

What to do? Of course, I pray rosaries and Divine Mercy chaplets for her.
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Old 7th July 2011, 04:42 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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So the question arises as to whether this knowledge and this free choice are found within the three fonts, or apart from them. My answer is that they are within the fonts.

1. intention -- it cannot be said that a person has no knowledge of his own intention, since no one can intend an end without knowing what he is intending. Nor can it be said that a person does not freely choose his own intention. The very meaning of the word intention includes a knowing choice. There may be some reduction in knowledge or freedom of choice, but if either one is lacking, it is not an intention.

2. moral object -- an evil moral object makes an act intrinsically evil; but it is always the case, when an act is intrinsically evil, that the act is knowingly chosen.

Examples: (1) a terminally ill man chooses to commit suicide, not knowing that his act is a sin. His act is objectively a grave sin, even if he has invincible ignorance and therefore does not commit an actual sin. He knows that he is choosing to kill himself, but he does not know that the act is a sin.

(2) a man chooses to have a nice salad for dinner. Unknown to him, he has inadvertently included poisonous mushrooms in the salad. He eats the salad and dies. He has not committed an actual sin, since he lacked knowledge. But neither is his act objectively an intrinsically evil act; it is not even an objective sin. For he lacked the knowledge of which type of act he was choosing. He did not choose to kill himself.

(3) a woman knowingly chooses to tell a lie, thinking that the lie is moral in a particular grave circumstance. Her act is an objective venial sin, but perhaps not an actual sin, if she does not realize that lying is always wrong.

(4) a woman knowingly chooses to assert what she believes is true; but in fact the assertion is false. She is not knowingly choosing to assert a falsehood, and so her act is not even objectively a lie.

3. circumstances -- when the reasonably anticipated bad consequences outweigh the reasonably anticipated good consequences, then this font is bad and the act is a sin. But if a consequence cannot be anticipated, it cannot be known. Consequences that can be known, but perhaps are not known by a certain person, affect the objective morality of this font. Consequences that cannot be known at all are not in any font and do not affect even the objective morality of the act.

An act is chosen with the knowledge of the possible consequences of the act, and so knowledge and choice are also in the third font.

Therefore, knowledge and choice -- which pertain to whether or not an objective sin is also an actual sin -- are found within the three fonts.
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Old 7th July 2011, 04:49 PM
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{16:17} And in response, Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.
{16:18} And I say to you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.
{16:19} And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound, even in heaven. And whatever you shall release on earth shall be released, even in heaven.”

Jesus said these words to Peter, not to all Apostles, nor to all disciples. The authority that Jesus gave to bind on earth and in heaven is given to the Church, and is exercised by the Pope, and by the body of Bishops with the Pope. Individual priests, exercising individual judgment in particular cases, are not considered by the Church to have this same authority. A priest's opinion is not binding on earth or in heaven.

If someone has committed the sin of direct sterilization, repented and confessed the sin, then he or she does not have to practice NFP, nor refrain from marital relations. Whether or not he or she should have an operation to reverse the sterilization, if that is possible, depends on the three fonts of morality; it is a separate act, and so it needs to be evaluated separately. In some circumstances, the operation would not be morally required (e.g. the danger of the operation, its limited likelihood of success, cost, age of the individual, etc., if such is the case).
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