Monday, April 28, 2014

"in the same sense and the same meaning"

"Certainly there is a need to seek out and to discover the most adequate formulation [(formula)] for universal and permanent moral norms in the light of different cultural contexts, a formulation most capable of ceaselessly expressing their historical relevance, of making them understood and of authentically interpreting their truth.  This truth of the moral law — like that of the 'deposit of faith' — unfolds down the centuries [(per saecula explicatur)]: the norms expressing that truth remain valid in their substance, but must be specified and determined [(substantialiter firmae, sed sunt definiendae et terminandae)] 'eodem sensu eademque sententia' [(Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium Primum, c. 23: PG 50, 668)] in the light of historical circumstances by the Church's Magisterium...."

     Veritatis splendor 53.  Clearly, one could lay the stress on either 1) the necessity of definition and circumscription ("definiendae et terminandae") or 2) the necessity that said definition and circumscription retain "the same sense and the same meaning".  Here I, following Fr. Hunwicke, stress the latter.  But both must be held together.

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