Ideal Peace or Realistic Peace?
Newsletter , Tirimanna / 11 Ottobre 2019

If any sensible person in our contemporary world were to be asked whether he/she prefers war or peace, invariably the response would be “peace”! It is precisely in this sense that many people today question the validity or relevance of the traditonal Just War Doctrine (JWD). How could war which is full of violence achieve peace? Some would even go to the extent of blaming the Church for supporting JWD! Of course the JWD as we have it today was mostly formed within the Catholic theological Tradition with the able support of philosophers, theologians, jurists and politicians. For many centuries, the Church had relied on it as a practical way of controlling or limiting wars in order to achieve peace. However, since the beginning of the 20th century, the Church has been leaning progressively towards non-violent solutions for peace which culminated at the Vatican-II with its call “to examine war in an entirely new frame of mind” (Gaudium et spes – GS No:80). In the conciliar teaching devoted exclusively to war and peace in GS Nos:77-83, we notice the absence of the very term “JWD” which had been closely associated with the Church and her peace tradition since the days…

A Properly Formed Conscience is the Ultimate and Inviolable Moral Norm for Acting
Tirimanna / 31 Maggio 2019

A Properly Formed Conscience is the Ultimate and Inviolable Moral Norm for Acting Although the cherished Catholic moral Tradition has continued to hold that the personal conscience is the ultimate and inviolable moral norm for acting in the here and now, my experience of teaching moral theology for the past 25 years or so, has made me realize that there are quite a number of good-hearted Catholics who do not hold this belief. For them, it is the clearly laid-down laws and norms that have to be the guide of our moral behaviour. Accordingly, the role of the personal conscience is to simply make those objective moral norms its own and obey them! Surprisingly among those who hold such simplistic views are a good number of Bishops, priests and seminarians, most of whom have had their theological formation during the last three decades or so. Their apparently well-founded preoccupation is that if personal conscience is considered as the ultimate and inviolable moral norm for a person’s acting, then, inevitably there would ensue what they call “moral relativism”. Such attitudes may well be the result of the post-Vatican-II preoccupation with regard to the rising trends of individualism and moral relativism, due…