Pope John Paul II: ‘The Splendor of Truth’

Jesus Christ, the true light that enlightens everyone’…

‘Veritatis Splendor’, (Latin for ‘the Splendor of Truth’), an encyclical by Pope John Paul II was promulgated on 6th August 1993 and was addressed to all Bishops of the Catholic Church. It aims to express the role of the Catholic Church in moral teaching. The latter half of the 20th century witnessed the rise of questions on moral theology. The ‘Veritatis Splendor’ was a response to this issue. This encyclical expresses the authority of the Catholic Church in guiding people through questions about man’s ability to discern ‘good’, existence of ‘evil’, role of human freedom and conscience etc.

According to Pope John Paul II, moral truth is not something that has to disclose with miracles. It s actually knowable, and the choice between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is up to individuals themselves and it has a great effect of the relationship of man with God. As opposed to the philosophy of ‘moral relativism’, the Pope in ‘the splendor of truth’ asserts that at a certain point moral laws become universal and is in the root of humanity. He further declared that ‘the Splendor of Truth’ “shines forth deep within the human spirit”.

‘To ask about the Truth ultimately means to turn towards God’ formed one of the basic ideas behind the encyclical. He also claimed that the church is ‘Christ’s response to help everyone to answer the question of what is right and what is wrong’. He also clears the misunderstanding regarding the conflict of God’s Law and human freedom. He in fact says that the former protects the latter.

The Pope had fully accepted and supported the existence ‘natural law’ (the aspects of moral law that can be ascertained without the intervention of the divine). Although this finds expression in the encyclical, Pope John Paul II maintains the belief that God still remains the true Creator of moral law. He depicts conscience as a form of inner dialogue between man and God. He also asserts that the people who do not follow their conscience are condemned by it.

The fundamental idea of ‘sin’ and ‘salvation’ is also questioned by the Splendor of Truth. The Pope strongly opposes the view that man’s salvation does not necessarily depend upon his actions, and that it is more about his fundamental orientation towards or, against God. He firmly asserts that this view is opposed to the scriptures and Catholic teachings on sin and salvation. His views on ‘intrinsically evil acts’ also finds expression in the encyclical.

The glory of Pope John Paul II shines through the Splendor of Truth. You can now have the privilege to feel the aura of positivity through a 24” bronze figure of the Pope which is also a collector’s item.

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