Man is capable of knowing objective norms of moral behavior, Pope says

On receiving this morning members of the International Theological Commission which is celebrating its annual plenary in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II affirmed the capacity of man to know the truth and to know the objective norms of moral behavior.

Referring to the question of the natural moral law, the Pope said that "It has always been the Church's belief that God gave man, with the light of reason, the capacity to be able to know the fundamental truths on life and its destiny and specifically the norms of moral behavior.”

“Making our peers aware of this possibility,” he added, “is very important for dialogue with men of good will and for coexistence in all levels on a common ethical foundation."

"Christian revelation does not render this search useless, on the contrary, it pushes us to search, lighting up the path with the light of Christ in whom everything is consistent," said the Holy Father.

The Pope also referred to one of the commission's themes of study, the fate of children who die without receiving baptism saying "it is not just simply an isolated theological problem" since there "are many other fundamental themes that are closely related to this one: the universal saving will of God, the unique and universal mediation of Jesus Christ, the role of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation, the theology of the sacraments, the meaning of the doctrine on original sin."

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