VERITATIS SPLENDOR

3. The Church’s Pastors, in communion with the Successor of Peter, are close to the faithful in this effort; they guide and accompany them by their authoritative teaching, finding ever new ways of speaking with love and mercy not only to believers but to all people of good will. The Second Vatican Council remains an extraordinary witness of this attitude on the part of the Church which, as an “expert in humanity”,5 places herself at the service of every individual and of the whole world.6

The Church knows that the issue of morality is one which deeply touches every person; it involves all people, even those who do not know Christ and his Gospel or God himself. She knows that it is precisely on the path of the moral life that the way of salvation is open to all. The Second Vatican Council clearly recalled this when it stated that “those who without any fault do not know anything about Christ or his Church, yet who search for God with a sincere heart and under the influence of grace, try to put into effect the will of God as known to them through the dictate of conscience… can obtain eternal salvation”. The Council added: “Nor does divine Providence deny the helps that are necessary for salvation to those who, through no fault of their own, have not yet attained to the express recognition of God, yet who strive, not without divine grace, to lead an upright life. For whatever goodness and truth is found in them is considered by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel and bestowed by him who enlightens everyone that they may in the end have life”.7

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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1 Response to VERITATIS SPLENDOR

  1. This is known as Baptism by desire, as experienced by The Good Thief, who, at the moment of his death, recognized Christ in all His Glory, repented, and came late to The Fold.

    “34But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe. 36For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. 37And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

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