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Why Are Catholic Prelates Afraid to Mention the Law of God?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

A report by CWNews.com (April 25) illustrates a mysterious development in the post-conciliar Church: Catholic prelates seem reluctant to speak publicly about the law of God. The have adopted the rhetoric of the pluralist Zeitgeist: “human rights” and “values” divorced from the Divine Will which gives them absolute validity.

According to CWN, Archbishop Estanislao Karlic, president of the Argentine bishops' conference, has told Catholics they cannot obey a new law on birth control, passed by the Argentine House of Representatives (and awaiting Senate approval), which would require hospitals to provide birth control to all women. Why can they not obey it? Not because the proposed new law is contrary to God’s law and thus cannot bind anyone (as Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches), but because, to quote the Archbishop, “Laws must be in accordance with the well-being of the human person, that is the key condition for a law to be respected.” The Archbishop added that “If the law goes directly against true values then it is not a law, since an unjust law just ceases to exist.”

The “well-being of the human person”, and “true values” are no basis for any law in the realm of human morality. As we have learned from bitter experience, such terms are totally elastic and can be manipulated at will by godless modern states. The only sure foundation for human law touching upon morality is Divine law, for all morality proceeds from the Divine Will. As Doestoevsky observed, if there is no God then everything is permitted. For without a God Who ultimately judges, rewards and punishes all human behavior, who is to say what comprises “true values” or “the well-being of the human person”? These phrases become nothing more than agreements between men, revocable at will by voters or legislators.

What a sorry state of affairs it is when a Catholic Archbishop cannot bring himself to say what even Martin Luther King said in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail: “I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’. Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

The preaching of Martin Luther King, a Protestant minister, is more Catholic in content than the Archbishop’s bland criticism of an unjust law! And the Archbishop’s way of speaking is only too typical of post-conciliar Churchmen. That says something terrible about the state of the post-conciliar and (as the Fatima revisionists would have it) post-Fatima Church. Make no mistake: the movement to rewrite the Message of Fatima is driven by the same forces which have reduced Catholic prelates to impotent pronouncements that make Martin Luther King sound Catholic by comparison. May God soon restore His hobbling Churchmen, the Pastors of our souls.