Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Bravo Pope Benedict

BBC news reporting here. Interesting to note the change in language from first reports on BBC Radio news yesterday evening - along the lines of the Pope supporting discrimination against .. - to the wording in this morning's reports, which are more careful in referring to the Pope's criticism of the legislative situation in the UK and his case that in some respects it breaks the natural law.

Daily Telegraph reporting here. The Archbishop of Cardiff's press conference remarks as reported here do not appear particularly perceptive or to the point.

The Times reporting here.



Francis said...

Hi, Joe.

A question crossed my mind (not the longest of journeys, I've been told): from the Chrisitna persective, what is the relaitonship between natural law (whatever that is!) and God's law?

Joe said...

Dear Francis

Next time we meet up, I will bring a tape measure and stopwatch so that we can time that question as it crosses your mind.

If I recall my St Thomas correctly, he would speak of natural law as the "participation of the rational creature in the eternal (divine) law". Participation because, as rational beings we can first of all come to know and then consciously decide whether or not to follow it.

Interestingly, St Thomas treats natural law in a treatise on law, rather than on moral theology. This is similar to the context for Pope Benedict's remarks.

On eternal law: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2093.htm - perhaps especially articles 2 and 3.

On natural law: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2094.htm - perhaps especially articles 4, 5 and 6.

I think that what St Thomas calls eternal law is what you express as God's law. St Thomas also talks about Divine law - ie God's law as revealed (or, at least in Christian belief) through the life and teaching of Jesus and the Church. See here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2091.htm.

Is that enough to be going on with?