When the Splendor of Truth Is Hidden, the Joy of Love Is Dead

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National Catholic Register, 12 September 2017

A deeper examination of Pope St. John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor will illustrate how some interpretations of Amoris Laetitia are incompatible with the Catholic Church’s moral tradition.

In a significant essay for First Things, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia calls for renewed attention to Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth), the 1993 encyclical of St. John Paul II on the moral life.

With the 25th anniversary of the encyclical coming next summer, Archbishop Chaput has an early entry in what will be a yearlong examination of Veritatis Splendor. And though the archbishop only implies it, a deeper examination of Veritatis Splendor will illustrate how some interpretations of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) are incompatible with the Church’s moral tradition, including those given most prominence in Rome.

It is not a mere academic exercise. Recently, the distinguished Catholic philosopher Josef Seifert, founder of the International Academy of Philosophy and a friend of John Paul II, was fired from the same academy by the archbishop of Granada (Spain). Seifert’s offense? He wrote an essay in which he argued that interpretations of Amoris Laetitia that permit couples to positively choose intrinsically evil acts — conjugal relations outside of a valid marriage — as God’s will violate the teaching of Veritatis Splendor and, in fact, destroy the entire foundation of the Church’s moral teaching, which the encyclical was written to defend and deepen.

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