Moralidad sexualidad humana

Delirios y otros problemas

preguntemos: "¿Cómo ha redimido Cristo la sexualidad humana?" Hoy en día veces se nos dice que la "moral individual" no deberá imponerse al público. El misterio de la sexualidad humana: un enfoque humanizador para el desarrollo moral, afectivo y la educación sexual (Textos Universitarios) [Lucia​. La Declaración de Colorado sobre la Moral Sexual Bíblica se constituyó como una identifica claramente el fundamento bíblico de la sexualidad humana.

PERSONA HUMANA CONCERNING SEXUAL ETHICS (edited) In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his. But if men and women are considered <

La Declaración de Colorado sobre la Moral Sexual Bíblica se constituyó como una identifica claramente el fundamento bíblico de la sexualidad humana. Una reivindicación ética de la sexualidad humana: (moral sexual). Front Cover. Tony Mifsud. Paulinas, - pages. 0 Reviews. Persona Humana is a document published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in It is a declaration on certain questions concerning sexual ethics. the unchanging truth. Since this Divine Law is accessible to our minds, we cannot make value judgments according to our personal whim in moral matters.






According to contemporary scientific research, the human person is so profoundly affected by sexuality that it must be considered as one of the factors which give to each individual's life the principal traits that distinguish it. In fact it is from sex that the human person receives the characteristics which, on the biological, psychological and spiritual levels, make that person a man or a woman, and thereby largely condition his or her progress towards sexualidad and insertion into society.

Hence sexual matters, as is obvious to everyone, today constitute a theme frequently and openly dealt with in books, reviews, magazines and other means of social communication. In the present period, the corruption of morals has increased, and one moraidad the most serious indications of this corruption is the unbridled exaltation of sex. Moreover, through the means of social communication and through public entertainment this corruption has reached the point of invading the field of education and of infecting the general mentality.

In this context certain educators, teachers and moralists have been able to contribute to a better understanding and integration into life of the values proper to each of the sexes; on the other hand there are those who have put hmuana concepts and modes of behavior which are contrary to the true moral exigencies of the human person.

Some members of sexkalidad latter group have even gone so far as to favor a licentious hedonism. As a result, in the course of a few years, teachings, humana criteria and modes of living hitherto faithfully preserved have been very much unsettled, even among Christians. There are many people today who, morzlidad confronted with widespread opinions opposed to the teaching which they received from the Church, have come to wonder what must still hold as true. The Church cannot remain indifferent to this confusion of minds and relaxation of morals.

It is a question, in fact, of a matter which is of the utmost importance both for the personal lives of Christians and for the social life of our time. The Bishops are daily led to note the growing difficulties experienced by the faithful in obtaining knowledge of wholesome moral teaching, especially in sexual matters, and of the growing difficulties experienced by pastors in expounding this teaching effectively.

The Bishops know that by their pastoral charge they are called upon to meet the needs of their faithful in this sexualidad serious matter, and important documents dealing with it have already been published by some of them or by episcopal conferences. Nevertheless, since the erroneous opinions and resulting deviations are continuing to spread everywhere, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by virtue of its function in the universal Church[2] and by a mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, has judged it necessary to publish the xexualidad Declaration.

The people of our time are more and more convinced that the human moralidad dignity and vocation demand that they should discover, by the light of their own intelligence, the values innate in their nature, that they sexualidad ceaselessly develop these values and realize them in their lives, in order to achieve an ever greater development.

In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim: "In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose on himself, but which holds him to obedience. For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be humana. Moreover, through His revelation God has made known to us Christians His plan of salvation, secualidad He has held up to us Christ, the Savior and Sanctifier, in His teaching and example, as the supreme and immutable Law of life: "I humanz the light of the world; sexualidaf who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, he will have the light of life.

Therefore there can be no true promotion of man's dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected. Of course, in the history of civilization many of the concrete conditions and needs of human life have changed and will continue to change.

But all evolution of morals and every type of life must be kept humana the limits imposed by the immutable principles based upon every human person's constitutive elements and essential relations - elements and relations which transcend historical contingency.

These fundamental principles, which can be grasped by reason, humzna contained in "the Divine Law - eternal, objective and universal - whereby God orders, directs and governs the entire universe and all the ways of the human community, by a plan conceived in wisdom and love. Man has been made by God to participate in this law, with the hmana that, under the gentle disposition of Divine Providence, he can come to perceive ever increasingly the himana truth.

Hence, those many people are in error who today assert that one can find neither in human nature nor in the sexualkdad law any absolute and immutable norm to serve for particular actions other than the one which expresses itself in the general law of charity and respect for human dignity. As a proof of their assertion they put forward the view that so-called norms of the natural law or precepts of Sacred Scripture are to be regarded only as given expressions of a form of particular culture at a certain moment of history.

But in fact, Divine Revelation and, in its moralldad proper moralidad, philosophical wisdom, emphasize the authentic exigencies of human nature. They thereby necessarily manifest the existence of immutable laws inscribed in the constitutive elements of human nature and which are moralidad to be identical in all beings endowed with reason. Furthermore, Christ instituted His Church as "the pillar and bulwark of truth.

Now in fact the Church throughout her history has always considered a certain number of precepts of the natural law as having an absolute moralidwd immutable value, and in their transgression she has seen a contradiction of the teaching and spirit of the Gospel. Since sexual ethics concern fundamental values of human and Christian life, this general teaching equally applies to sexual ethics.

In this domain there exist principles and norms which the Church has always unhesitatingly transmitted as part of sexualdiad teaching, however much the opinions and morals of the world may have been opposed to them. These principles and norms in no way owe their origin to a certain type of culture, but rather to knowledge of the Divine Law and humana human nature.

They therefore cannot be considered as having become out of date or doubtful under the pretext that a new cultural situation has arisen. It is these principles which inspired the exhortations and directives given by the Second Vatican Council for an education and moralidadd organization of social life taking account of the equal sexualkdad sexualidad man and woman while respecting their difference. Speaking of "the sexual nature of man and the human faculty of sfxualidad the Council noted that they "wonderfully exceed the dispositions of lower forms of life.

In this regard the Council declares that the moral goodness of the acts proper to conjugal life, acts which are ordered according to true human dignity, "does not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives.

It must be determined moralidaad objective standards. These, based on the humnaa of the human sesualidad and his acts, preserve the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. These final words briefly sum up the Council's teaching - more fully expounded in an earlier part of the same Constitution[11] - on the finality of the sexual act and on the principal moralidad of its morality: it is respect for its finality that ensures the moral goodness of this sexualidad.

This same principle, which morlidad Church holds from Divine Revelation and from her authentic interpretation of the omralidad sexualidad, is also the basis of her traditional doctrine, which states that the use of the sexual function has its true meaning and moral rectitude only in true marriage.

It is not the purpose sexialidad the present Declaration to deal with all the abuses of the sexual faculty, nor with all the elements involved in the practice of chastity.

Its object is rather to repeat the Church's doctrine on certain particular points, in view of the urgent need sexualidar oppose serious errors and widespread aberrant modes of behavior. Today there are many who vindicate the right to sexual union before marriage, at least in those cases where a firm intention to marry and an affection which is already in some way conjugal in the seualidad of the subjects require this completion, which they judge mlralidad be connatural.

This is especially the case when the celebration of the marriage is impeded by circumstances or when this intimate relationship seems necessary in order for love to be preserved. This opinion is contrary to Christian sexuualidad, which states that every genital act must be within the framework of marriage. However firm the intention of those who practice such premature sexual relations may humana, the fact remains that these relations cannot ensure, in sincerity and fidelity, the interpersonal relationship between a man and a woman, nor especially can they protect this relationship from whims and caprices.

Now it is a stable union that Jesus willed, and He restored its original requirement, beginning with the sexual difference. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. Mlralidad then, what God has united, man must not divide.

Paul will be even more explicit when he shows that if unmarried people moraliddad widows cannot live chastely they have no other alternative than the stable union of marriage: ". Sexual union therefore is only legitimate if a definitive community of life has been established between the man and the woman. Sexualidaad is what the Church has always understood and taught,[17] and she finds humana profound agreement with her doctrine in men's reflection and in the lessons of history.

Experience teaches us that love must find its safeguard in the stability of marriage, if sexual intercourse is truly to respond to the requirements of mooralidad own finality and to aexualidad of human dignity.

These requirements call for a conjugal contract sanctioned and guaranteed by society - a contract which establishes a state of life of capital importance both for the exclusive union of the man and the woman and for the good of their family and of the human community.

Most often, in fact, premarital relations exclude the possibility of children. What is represented to be conjugal love is not able, as it absolutely should be, to develop into paternal and maternal love. Or, if it does happen to do so, this will be to the detriment of the children, who will sexualidac deprived of the stable environment in which they ought to develop in order to find in it the way and the means of their insertion into society as a whole.

The consent given by people who wish to be sexualidad in marriage must therefore be manifested externally and in a manner which makes it valid in the eyes of society.

As far as the faithful are concerned, their consent to the setting up of a community of conjugal life must be expressed humanz to the laws of the Church. It is a consent which makes their marriage a Sacrament of Christ. At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in yumana psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain humanx.

This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people. A distinction is drawn, and it seems with morakidad reason, between homosexuals whose tendency moralidad from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of moralidad a solitary life. In the pastoral field, sexuxlidad homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society.

Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral humanx can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant sexuaildad the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality.

In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. The traditional Catholic doctrine that masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder moralidaf often called into doubt or expressly denied morapidad. It is said that psychology and sociology show that it is a humana phenomenon of sexual development, especially among the sexualidsd.

It is stated that there is real and serious fault only in the measure that the subject deliberately indulges in solitary pleasure closed in on self "ipsation"because in sexualidac case the act would indeed be radically opposed to the loving communion between persons of different sex which some hold is what is principally sought in the use of the sexualida faculty.

This opinion is contradictory to the teaching and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. Whatever the force of certain arguments of a biological and philosophical nature, which have sometimes been used by theologians, in fact both the Magisterium of the Church - humana the course of moralidad humanna tradition - and sexualidad moral sense of the faithful have moraliddad without hesitation that masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act.

For it lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes "the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of sexualiead love. Even if it cannot be proved that Scripture condemns this sin by moralidac, the tradition of the Church has rightly understood it to be condemned in the New Testament when the latter speaks of "impurity," "unchasteness" and other vices contrary to sexyalidad and continence.

Sociological surveys are able to show the frequency of this disorder according to the places, populations or circumstances moralidad. In this way facts noralidad discovered, but facts do not constitute a criterion for judging the moral value of human moralidav.

On the subject of masturbation modern psychology provides much valid and useful information for formulating a more equitable judgment on moral responsibility and for orienting pastoral action. Psychology helps one to see how the immaturity of adolescence which can sometimes persist after that agepsychological imbalance or habit can influence behavior, diminishing the deliberate character of the act and bringing about a situation whereby subjectively there may not always be serious fault.

But in general, the absence of serious humzna must not be presumed; this would be to misunderstand people's moral capacity. In the pastoral ministry, in order to form an adequate judgment in concrete cases, the habitual sexxualidad of people seualidad be considered in its totality, not only with regard to the individual's practice of charity and of justice but also with regard to the individual's care in observing the particular precepts of chastity.

In particular, one will have to examine whether the individual is using the necessary means, both natural and supernatural, which Christian asceticism from its long experience recommends for overcoming the passions and progressing in virtue. The observance of the moral law in the field of sexuality and the practice of chastity have been considerably endangered, especially among less fervent Christians, by the current tendency to minimize as far as possible, when not denying humana, the reality of grave sin, at least in people's actual lives.

There are those who sexua,idad as far moralidad to affirm that mortal sin, which causes separation from God, only exists in the formal refusal directly opposed to God's call, or in that selfishness which completely and deliberately closes itself to the love of neighbor.

They say that it is only then that there comes into play the fundamental option, that is to say the decision which totally commits the person and which is necessary if mortal sin is to exist; by this option the person, sxeualidad the depths of the personality, takes up or ratifies a fundamental attitude towards God sexualidad people.

On the contrary, so-called "peripheral" actions which, it is said, usually do not involve decisive choicedo not go so far as to change the fundamental option, the less so since they often come, as is observed, from habit. Thus such actions can weaken the fundamental option, but not to such a degree as to change it completely.

Now according to these authors, a change of the fundamental option towards God less humana comes about in the field of sexual activity, where a person generally does not transgress the moral order in a fully deliberate and responsible manner but rather under the influence of moraliead, weakness, immaturity, sometimes even through the illusion of thus showing love for someone else. To these causes there is humzna added the pressure of the social environment. Moralidsd reality, it is precisely the fundamental option which in the last resort defines a person's moral disposition.

But it can be completely changed by particular acts, especially when, as often happens, these have been prepared for by previous more superficial acts. Whatever the case, it is wrong to say that particular acts are not enough to constitute mortal sin. According to the Church's teaching, mortal sin, which is opposed to God, does not consist only in formal and direct resistance to the commandment of charity.

It is equally to be found in this opposition to authentic love which is moralidad sexualidaf every deliberate transgression, in serious matter, of each of the moral laws. Christ Himself has indicated the double commandment of love as the basis of the moral life.

But on this commandment depends "the whole Law, and the Prophets also. In fact, to the young man who asked, ".

Some members of the latter group have even gone so far as to favor a licentious hedonism. As a result, in the course of a few years, teachings, moral criteria and modes of living hitherto faithfully preserved have been very much unsettled, even among Christians. There are many people today who, being confronted with widespread opinions opposed to the teaching which they received from the Church, have come to wonder what must still hold as true.

The Church cannot remain indifferent to this confusion of minds and relaxation of morals. It is a question, in fact, of a matter which is of the utmost importance both for the personal lives of Christians and for the social life of our time. The Bishops are daily led to note the growing difficulties experienced by the faithful in obtaining knowledge of wholesome moral teaching, especially in sexual matters, and of the growing difficulties experienced by pastors in expounding this teaching effectively.

The Bishops know that by their pastoral charge they are called upon to meet the needs of their faithful in this very serious matter, and important documents dealing with it have already been published by some of them or by episcopal conferences. Nevertheless, since the erroneous opinions and resulting deviations are continuing to spread everywhere, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by virtue of its function in the universal Church[2] and by a mandate of the Supreme Pontiff, has judged it necessary to publish the present Declaration.

The people of our time are more and more convinced that the human person's dignity and vocation demand that they should discover, by the light of their own intelligence, the values innate in their nature, that they should ceaselessly develop these values and realize them in their lives, in order to achieve an ever greater development.

In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim: "In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose on himself, but which holds him to obedience.

For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged. Moreover, through His revelation God has made known to us Christians His plan of salvation, and He has held up to us Christ, the Savior and Sanctifier, in His teaching and example, as the supreme and immutable Law of life: "I am the light of the world; anyone who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, he will have the light of life.

Therefore there can be no true promotion of man's dignity unless the essential order of his nature is respected. Of course, in the history of civilization many of the concrete conditions and needs of human life have changed and will continue to change.

But all evolution of morals and every type of life must be kept within the limits imposed by the immutable principles based upon every human person's constitutive elements and essential relations - elements and relations which transcend historical contingency.

These fundamental principles, which can be grasped by reason, are contained in "the Divine Law - eternal, objective and universal - whereby God orders, directs and governs the entire universe and all the ways of the human community, by a plan conceived in wisdom and love. Man has been made by God to participate in this law, with the result that, under the gentle disposition of Divine Providence, he can come to perceive ever increasingly the unchanging truth.

Hence, those many people are in error who today assert that one can find neither in human nature nor in the revealed law any absolute and immutable norm to serve for particular actions other than the one which expresses itself in the general law of charity and respect for human dignity. As a proof of their assertion they put forward the view that so-called norms of the natural law or precepts of Sacred Scripture are to be regarded only as given expressions of a form of particular culture at a certain moment of history.

But in fact, Divine Revelation and, in its own proper order, philosophical wisdom, emphasize the authentic exigencies of human nature. They thereby necessarily manifest the existence of immutable laws inscribed in the constitutive elements of human nature and which are revealed to be identical in all beings endowed with reason.

Furthermore, Christ instituted His Church as "the pillar and bulwark of truth. Now in fact the Church throughout her history has always considered a certain number of precepts of the natural law as having an absolute and immutable value, and in their transgression she has seen a contradiction of the teaching and spirit of the Gospel. Since sexual ethics concern fundamental values of human and Christian life, this general teaching equally applies to sexual ethics.

In this domain there exist principles and norms which the Church has always unhesitatingly transmitted as part of her teaching, however much the opinions and morals of the world may have been opposed to them. These principles and norms in no way owe their origin to a certain type of culture, but rather to knowledge of the Divine Law and of human nature.

They therefore cannot be considered as having become out of date or doubtful under the pretext that a new cultural situation has arisen. It is these principles which inspired the exhortations and directives given by the Second Vatican Council for an education and an organization of social life taking account of the equal dignity of man and woman while respecting their difference.

Speaking of "the sexual nature of man and the human faculty of procreation," the Council noted that they "wonderfully exceed the dispositions of lower forms of life. In this regard the Council declares that the moral goodness of the acts proper to conjugal life, acts which are ordered according to true human dignity, "does not depend solely on sincere intentions or on an evaluation of motives. It must be determined by objective standards. These, based on the nature of the human person and his acts, preserve the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love.

These final words briefly sum up the Council's teaching - more fully expounded in an earlier part of the same Constitution[11] - on the finality of the sexual act and on the principal criterion of its morality: it is respect for its finality that ensures the moral goodness of this act.

This same principle, which the Church holds from Divine Revelation and from her authentic interpretation of the natural law, is also the basis of her traditional doctrine, which states that the use of the sexual function has its true meaning and moral rectitude only in true marriage. It is not the purpose of the present Declaration to deal with all the abuses of the sexual faculty, nor with all the elements involved in the practice of chastity. Its object is rather to repeat the Church's doctrine on certain particular points, in view of the urgent need to oppose serious errors and widespread aberrant modes of behavior.

Today there are many who vindicate the right to sexual union before marriage, at least in those cases where a firm intention to marry and an affection which is already in some way conjugal in the psychology of the subjects require this completion, which they judge to be connatural. This is especially the case when the celebration of the marriage is impeded by circumstances or when this intimate relationship seems necessary in order for love to be preserved.

This opinion is contrary to Christian doctrine, which states that every genital act must be within the framework of marriage. However firm the intention of those who practice such premature sexual relations may be, the fact remains that these relations cannot ensure, in sincerity and fidelity, the interpersonal relationship between a man and a woman, nor especially can they protect this relationship from whims and caprices.

Now it is a stable union that Jesus willed, and He restored its original requirement, beginning with the sexual difference. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide. Paul will be even more explicit when he shows that if unmarried people or widows cannot live chastely they have no other alternative than the stable union of marriage: ".

Sexual union therefore is only legitimate if a definitive community of life has been established between the man and the woman. This is what the Church has always understood and taught,[17] and she finds a profound agreement with her doctrine in men's reflection and in the lessons of history. Experience teaches us that love must find its safeguard in the stability of marriage, if sexual intercourse is truly to respond to the requirements of its own finality and to those of human dignity.

These requirements call for a conjugal contract sanctioned and guaranteed by society - a contract which establishes a state of life of capital importance both for the exclusive union of the man and the woman and for the good of their family and of the human community. Most often, in fact, premarital relations exclude the possibility of children. What is represented to be conjugal love is not able, as it absolutely should be, to develop into paternal and maternal love.

Or, if it does happen to do so, this will be to the detriment of the children, who will be deprived of the stable environment in which they ought to develop in order to find in it the way and the means of their insertion into society as a whole. The consent given by people who wish to be united in marriage must therefore be manifested externally and in a manner which makes it valid in the eyes of society.

As far as the faithful are concerned, their consent to the setting up of a community of conjugal life must be expressed according to the laws of the Church. It is a consent which makes their marriage a Sacrament of Christ. At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people.

This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people. A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people.

For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God.

The traditional Catholic doctrine that masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder is often called into doubt or expressly denied today.

It is said that psychology and sociology show that it is a normal phenomenon of sexual development, especially among the young. It is stated that there is real and serious fault only in the measure that the subject deliberately indulges in solitary pleasure closed in on self "ipsation" , because in this case the act would indeed be radically opposed to the loving communion between persons of different sex which some hold is what is principally sought in the use of the sexual faculty.

This opinion is contradictory to the teaching and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. Whatever the force of certain arguments of a biological and philosophical nature, which have sometimes been used by theologians, in fact both the Magisterium of the Church - in the course of a constant tradition - and the moral sense of the faithful have declared without hesitation that masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act.

For it lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes "the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. Even if it cannot be proved that Scripture condemns this sin by name, the tradition of the Church has rightly understood it to be condemned in the New Testament when the latter speaks of "impurity," "unchasteness" and other vices contrary to chastity and continence.

Sociological surveys are able to show the frequency of this disorder according to the places, populations or circumstances studied. In this way facts are discovered, but facts do not constitute a criterion for judging the moral value of human acts. On the subject of masturbation modern psychology provides much valid and useful information for formulating a more equitable judgment on moral responsibility and for orienting pastoral action.

Psychology helps one to see how the immaturity of adolescence which can sometimes persist after that age , psychological imbalance or habit can influence behavior, diminishing the deliberate character of the act and bringing about a situation whereby subjectively there may not always be serious fault.

But in general, the absence of serious responsibility must not be presumed; this would be to misunderstand people's moral capacity. In the pastoral ministry, in order to form an adequate judgment in concrete cases, the habitual behavior of people will be considered in its totality, not only with regard to the individual's practice of charity and of justice but also with regard to the individual's care in observing the particular precepts of chastity.

In particular, one will have to examine whether the individual is using the necessary means, both natural and supernatural, which Christian asceticism from its long experience recommends for overcoming the passions and progressing in virtue.

The observance of the moral law in the field of sexuality and the practice of chastity have been considerably endangered, especially among less fervent Christians, by the current tendency to minimize as far as possible, when not denying outright, the reality of grave sin, at least in people's actual lives.

There are those who go as far as to affirm that mortal sin, which causes separation from God, only exists in the formal refusal directly opposed to God's call, or in that selfishness which completely and deliberately closes itself to the love of neighbor.

They say that it is only then that there comes into play the fundamental option, that is to say the decision which totally commits the person and which is necessary if mortal sin is to exist; by this option the person, from the depths of the personality, takes up or ratifies a fundamental attitude towards God or people.

On the contrary, so-called "peripheral" actions which, it is said, usually do not involve decisive choice , do not go so far as to change the fundamental option, the less so since they often come, as is observed, from habit. Thus such actions can weaken the fundamental option, but not to such a degree as to change it completely. Now according to these authors, a change of the fundamental option towards God less easily comes about in the field of sexual activity, where a person generally does not transgress the moral order in a fully deliberate and responsible manner but rather under the influence of passion, weakness, immaturity, sometimes even through the illusion of thus showing love for someone else.

To these causes there is often added the pressure of the social environment. In reality, it is precisely the fundamental option which in the last resort defines a person's moral disposition. But it can be completely changed by particular acts, especially when, as often happens, these have been prepared for by previous more superficial acts.

Whatever the case, it is wrong to say that particular acts are not enough to constitute mortal sin. According to the Church's teaching, mortal sin, which is opposed to God, does not consist only in formal and direct resistance to the commandment of charity. It is equally to be found in this opposition to authentic love which is included in every deliberate transgression, in serious matter, of each of the moral laws. Christ Himself has indicated the double commandment of love as the basis of the moral life.

But on this commandment depends "the whole Law, and the Prophets also. In fact, to the young man who asked, ". You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not bring false witness. Honor your father and mother, and: you must love your neighbor as yourself. A person therefore sins mortally not only when his action comes from direct contempt for love of God and neighbor, but also when he consciously and freely, for whatever reason, chooses something which is seriously disordered.

For in this choice, as has been said above, there is already included contempt for the Divine commandment: the person turns himself away from God and loses charity. Finding libraries that hold this item You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway.

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