DIVINE LAW DOES NOT ELIMINATE HUMAN FREEDOM.
VATICAN CITY, APR 27, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI received members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, who have just celebrated their annual plenary session dedicated to the relationship between the Bible and morality.
(................... ) He also highlighted the important theme discussed during the plenary session.
''The primordial impulse of human beings'', he said turning to consider the subject of the plenary, ''is their desire for happiness and a fulfilling life. Nevertheless, there are many today who think that such fulfillment must be attained autonomously, with no reference to God or to His law. Some have even suggested the absolute sovereignty of reason and freedom in the field of moral norms. ... The proponents of this 'moral laicism' affirm that human beings, as rational creatures, not only can but must freely decide the value of their own behavior''.
''This false conviction'', he continued, ''is rooted in a supposed conflict between human freedom and any kind of law." However, "the law of God does not mitigate or eliminate human freedom, on the contrary, it guarantees and promotes it. ... Moral law, established by God at the creation and confirmed in the Revelation of the Old Testament, finds its fullness and greatness in Christ. Jesus Christ is the way of perfection, the living and personal synthesis of perfect freedom in His total obedience to the will of God''.
''In revealing the Father and in His own actions, Jesus also reveals the norms for just human behavior. He explicitly underlines this connection when, at the conclusion of His lessons regarding love for one's enemies, He says 'be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect'.''
''The path indicated by Jesus through His teachings is not a rule imposed from the outside. He Himself walks this path and asks no more than that we follow Him. ... In the search for a Christologically inspired ethic, it is always necessary to remember that Christ is the Word Incarnate Who renders us participants in His divine life, and with His grace He sustains us on the path towards true fulfillment.''
''The essence of human beings'', concluded the Pope, ''appears definitively in the Word made man," and "this relationship with Christ defines the highest fulfillment of man's moral actions. ... It is not an act dictated solely by external norms, it proceeds from the vital relationship that unites believers to Christ and to God.''
AC/DIVINE LAW:LIBERTY/LEVADA VIS 060427 (450)