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The Natural Law and the Centrality of the Family.

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Presentation on theme: "The Natural Law and the Centrality of the Family."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Natural Law and the Centrality of the Family

2 The Natural Law Definition: the light of understanding infused in us by God, whereby we understand what must be done and what must be avoided Basically, the principle that every single human being, regardless of religion, nationality, race, or abilities, can know the moral order that God has established Human beings can discover that which is good and evil by their own God-given power of reason

3 The Natural and Eternal Law St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that natural law is the participation of the rational creature (i.e. humans) in the ETERNAL law Whats the eternal law? Essentially its the plan of God for all of Creation to achieve happiness Eternal law also comes to human beings through Gods direct revelation (divine law) Has behind it the idea that Truth exists, that all is not a matter of opinion This means that humans dont cant have the excuse, Well, God didnt tell me!; God has already written the Truth of the world on our hearts

4 Why is natural law important for Catholic Social Teaching? Its the principle that allows the Church to comment on the issues affecting all people, not just Christians Allows the Church to say that even though a nation may not have the Christian faith directly shaping its laws and policies it is not exempt from carrying out true justice Becomes the ultimate standard for what law is; the Church goes so far as to say that any law which violates the natural law is not really a valid law and can be disobeyed without moral consequence Examples: legalized abortion, Hitlers race laws, Jim Crow laws, etc. Law can never be understood as simply being a rule which a ruling government demands obedience to

5 Centrality of the Human Family For the Church, the family is the first school where man learns to be human; the family is our first and most fundamental experience of society Without a healthy experience of the family, an individual is at a disadvantage to have a healthy experience of broader society The foundational experiences of love, trust, responsibility, and interdependence within the family provide the basis for principles of solidarity, the common good, and subsidiarity

6 Family and the Person As we discussed earlier, the Church sees society as a tremendous good because man is meant for personal communion The family is the first and deepest experience of what the word person means: to be completely from and for others, to be a relation The experience of the family firmly teaches a human being the two sided truth of society: 1.On every level society is meant for the good of the individual person 2.The individual person can only find his/her true identity in the midst of giving him/herself out of love for others

7 Charter of the Rights of the Family Pages of text; come from request of John Paul II at the beginning of his reign as pope First, everyone is free to marry if they wish, must enter into marriage freely, and must have the freedom to build a family Second, parents have distinct rights and responsibilities toward their children, to protect and educate them Third, the family must enjoy certain economic and political assurances for its well-being


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