John Paul II: universal teacher.Holy Mother the Church both nurtures the faithful in their spiritual development and instructs them in their moral behaviour: she is truly mater et magistra "Mater et Magistra" is the encyclical written by Pope John XXIII on the topic of "Christianity and Social Progress". It was promulgated on May 15 1961. External links
a. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a master or teacher; authoritative: a magisterial account of the history of the English language.
b. function belongs primarily to the Vicar of Christ on earth; the Pope is, and must be, the Chief Magistrate Chief Magistrate is a generic designation for a public official whose office -- individual or collegial -- is the highest in his or her class, in either of the fundamental meanings of Magistrate (which often overlapped in the Ancien régime): as a major political and administrative of Catholicism. It is a role that the present pontiff carries out to perfection Adv. 1. to perfection - in every detail; "the new house suited them to a T"
just right, to a T, to the letter , in four principal modes:
* he teaches in a best-selling book written by him;
* he teaches through a comprehensive catechism brought forth under his aegis;
* he teaches through a set of coherently related encyclicals and apostolic exhorations on questions both timely and timeless;
* he teaches through other public pronouncements including, importantly, papal prayers.
Their subjects may be diverse, but there is striking unity to his teaching documents. Whether he is dealing with general issues of social justice or moral matters, or specific ones like abortion or euthanasia, he relates everything to the unifying principle of the dignity of the human person, a being formed in the image and likeness of God.
His strength of intellect, respect for the intelligence of others, and capacity to communicate effectively earn him the designation of a master teacher. Father James Schall, S.J., has written that John Paul is surely the most remarkable public figure of our day--
"I can think of no one in public or academic life with his natural intellectual depth or his experience . . . No Pope has ever been more challenging to the intellect." (1)
John F. Crosby, commenting on the Pope's book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, writes that its reader
"Can only be deeply impressed with John Paul's command of the intellectual situation of the modern and postmodern world." His vast learning, he continues, "does not remain extrinsic EVIDENCE, EXTRINSIC. External evidence, or that which is not contained in the body of an agreement, contract, and the like.
2. It is a general rule that extrinsic evidence cannot be admitted to contradict, explain, vary or change the terms of a contract or of a of his religious teaching, but becomes for him a great pastoral asset, enabling him to know better his contemporaries, to learn from them, and to respond to their questions." (2)
Similarly David Andrusko refers to John Paul The name John Paul might refer to: Full name
Although the Holy Father's teaching ranges widely, probes deeply, and appeals broadly, he has still subjected it to the discipline of a carefully prepared analytic framework. The relation between freedom, truth, and the human person (4) constitutes his conceptual framework For the concept in aesthetics and art criticism, see .
A conceptual framework is used in research to outline possible courses of action or to present a preferred approach to a system analysis project. , and again, its recurrent theme is the inherent dignity of the human person.
His first encyclical encyclical, originally, a pastoral letter sent out by a bishop, now a solemn papal letter, meant to inform the whole church on some particular matter of importance. Benedict XIV circulated the first known encyclical in 1740. , Redemptor hominis Redemptor Hominis (Latin for "The Redeemer of Man") is the name of the first encyclical written by Pope John Paul II. It lays a blueprint for his pontificate in its exploration of contemporary human problems and especially their proposed solutions found in a deeper (1979), drew upon the documents of the Second Vatican Council Noun 1. Second Vatican Council - the Vatican Council in 1962-1965 that abandoned the universal Latin liturgy and acknowledged ecumenism and made other reforms
Vatican Council - each of two councils of the Roman Catholic Church to establish the firmest Christological foundation for personal dignity. Through Christ, human nature has been raised--even in us--to a dignity beyond compare; for "by his Incarnation in a certain way he united himself with each man" (#8). On this basis the Holy Father forcefully presses his moral admonitions.
On Catholic social doctrine, for example, he writes that "the exercise of solidarity within each society is valid when its members recognize one another as persons." He continues, "what is at stake is the dignity of the human person, whose defense and promotion have been entrusted to us by the Creator, and to whom the men and women at every moment of history are strictly and responsibly in debt" (Sollicitudo rei socialis Sollicitudo Rei Socialis is an encyclical written by Pope John Paul II on 30 December 1987. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis was written in regard to 'Social Concern' for the 20th anniversary of 'Populorum Progressio'. External links
Having established his conceptual framework and integrating theme, the Pope uses them as the basis of a striking sequence of documents over the last three years. Veritatis splendor Veritatis Splendor (Latin for "The Splendor of Truth") is an encyclical by Pope John Paul II. It expresses the position of the Catholic Church regarding fundamentals of the Church's role in moral teaching. (Vs)--Splendor of Truth (1993), Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994), and Evangelium vitae Evangelium Vitæ (Latin: "The Gospel of Life") is the name of the encyclical written by Pope John Paul II which expresses the position of the Catholic Church regarding the value and inviolability of human life. It was promulgated on March 25, 1995. (Ev)--The Gospel of Life (1995) form the culmination of his moral and theological teaching. Collectively, they summarize and render easily accessible his lessons for our ethically and spiritually disjointed times. What one commentator has said about the 1993 encyclical could apply to the other two works: "I would like to argue here that a specific strength of the encyclical lies in its presentation of the moral life as situated within the larger context of the theological life." (5)
Gospel confirms human rights
The Pope shows that the intrinsic worth of the individual encompasses three essential and interrelated in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in elements: libertarian, dignitarian, and trinitarian:
* "In his journey towards God, the One who `alone is good,' man must freely do good and avoid evil" (Vs, #42).
* "Christ wants to awaken faith in human hearts. He wants them to respond to the word of the Father, but he wants this in full respect for human dignity Human dignity is an expression that can be used as a moral concept or as a legal term. Sometimes it means no more than that human beings should not be treated as objects. Beyond this, it is meant to convey an idea of absolute and inherent worth that does not need to be acquired and " (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 193).
* Man's liberty and dignity are but bequests from the bounty of the Trinity: "The Gospel is the fullest confirmation of all human rights . . . . Who is man, if the Son took on human nature? Who must this man be, if the Son of God pays the supreme price for his dignity? . . . The Redeemer confirms human rights simply by restoring the fullness of the dignity man received when God created him in His image and likeness" (p. 197).
The human rights of liberty and dignity remain fatally at risk by any continuing denial of their Trinitarian provenance. John Paul first applied this proposition to general questions of social justice; now he applies it to specific issues of life and death:
"If one does not acknowledge transcendent truth, then the force of power takes over, and each person tends to make full use of the means at his disposal to impose his own interests or his own opinion, with no regard to the rights of others. Thus, the root of modern totalitariansim is to be found in the denial of the transcendent dignity of the human person who, as the visible image of the invisible God, is therefore by his very nature the subject of rights which no one may violate--no individual, group, class, nation or State" (Vs, #10, #99).
Veritatis splendor pointed out that "If there is no transcendent truth, in obedience to which man achieves his full identity, then there is no sure principle for guaranteeing just relations between people." Evangelium vitae tellingly describes the deadly results of such a denial in relation to the basic human right, the right to life itself:
"Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death" (#18).
The solution to this man-made scourge, which strikes at life when it is most vulnerable, is clear:
"It is therefore urgently necessary, for the future of society and the development of a sound democracy, to rediscover those essential and innate human and moral values which flow from the very truth of the human being and express and safeguard the dignity of the person: values which no individual, no majority and no State can ever create, modify or destroy, but must only acknowledge, respect and promote" (#71).
Human life is inviolable
The cardinal truth of the human being elicits a solemn conclusion: "Human life, as a gift of God, is sacred and inviolable" (#81). "For this reason procured abortion and euthanasia are absolutely unacceptable. . . . society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and every condition of that person's life" (#81). Such staunch advocacy of the dignity of the person and the integrity of life at all stages has won warm praise. Indeed, his is the strongest, clearest voice raised both in defence of life and for the true dignity of women.
Champion of social justice, protector of human life, proclaimer of eternal truth--all these roles are linked to John Paul's performance as master teacher. He possesses a facility, at once easy and authoritative, in resolving subjects into their essentials and then composing them into a coherent whole.
Why does he teach so assiduously as·sid·u·ous
1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: an assiduous worker who strove for perfection. See Synonyms at busy.
2. ? He does it in order to counteract the errors of modern moral and cultural relativism, seemingly ever more rampant. He offers his instruction to all people of good will. He teaches one overarching lesson: no human dignity without freedom; no freedom without truth; no truth without conformation con·for·ma·tion
One of the spatial arrangements of atoms in a molecule that can come about through free rotation of the atoms about a single chemical bond. of the human person to the Truth incarnate in·car·nate
a. Invested with bodily nature and form: an incarnate spirit.
b. Embodied in human form; personified: a villain who is evil incarnate. , Christ Jesus. He offers a continuing universal seminar in right human conduct. Regarding this educational task, one must append To add to the end of an existing structure. the most fervent wish, the most ardent prayer--Ad Multos Annos.
(1) James V. Schall, S.J., "A Jesuit Tribute to the Pope," Crisis, January 1995, pp. 56-58, @ p. 57.
(2) John F. Crosby, "John Paul's Hope for Renewal," Crisis, December 1994, pp. 58-60, @ p. 58.
(3) David Andursko, "Dissecting dis·sect
tr.v. dis·sect·ed, dis·sect·ing, dis·sects
1. To cut apart or separate (tissue), especially for anatomical study.
2. our Consciences," National Right to Life News, April 6, 1995, p. 2.
(4) Romanus Cessario, P.P., "Moral Absolutes in the Civilization of Love," Crisis, May 1995, pp. 18-23, @ p. 20.
(5) Cessario, Supra A relational DBMS from Cincom Systems, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (www.cincom.com) that runs on IBM mainframes and VAXs. It includes a query language and a program that automates the database design process. , N. 4, @ p. 19.