Pope John Paul II promulgated Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth) in 1993. The letter is one of the most important works of moral theology in the Catholic tradition. At its core the work is a refutation of moral relativism and nihilism. The pontiff asserts that absolute truth does exist and that it is accessible to mankind. Also, the encyclical re-states that the Magisterium of the Church has authority to pronounce definitively on moral issues. Other focuses are the natural law, human freedom, the role of conscience, the reality of evil, and a refutation of the concept of the “fundamental option.” The letter is divided into three sections: “Teacher, What Good Must I do . . . ?,” “Do Not be Conformed to this World,” and “Lest the Cross of Christ be Emptied of Its Power.”
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“The specific purpose of the present Encyclical is this: to set forth, with regard to the problems being discussed, the principles of a moral teaching based upon Sacred Scripture and the living Apostolic Tradition,12 and at the same time to shed light on the presuppositions and consequences of the dissent which that teaching has met.” (source)
“Following Christ is thus the essential and primordial foundation of Christian morality” (source)
“Revelation teaches that the power to decide what is good and what is evil does not belong to man, but to God alone” (source)
“Certain currents of modern thought have gone so far as to exalt freedom to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values.” (source)
“For the young man, the question is not so much about rules to be followed, but about the full meaning of life.” (source)