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Certainly, every couple in difficulty merits great respect and love, especially when it is the various circumstances of life, not only personal but also economic and social, which make it difficult to fulfil moral duty.

The Church, for her part, as Teacher and Mother, is called to draw inspiration from the attitude of her Lord, from whom she receives the gift of pastoral love; this is an attitude full of love, of understanding, of patience and of mercy, while at the same time it is clear and strong in announcing and proposing the truth and the moral norm whose observance is a necessary condition of a life that is truly and fully human, and for the journey of holiness to which we are all called.

The Gospels bear witness to the fact that truth and mercy unite to form the single and undivided attitude of the Lord Jesus. His pastoral attitude is revealed in an outstandingly clear and typical example in the word which Jesus addresses to the woman who was a sinner: “Has no one condemned you?... Neither do I condemn you, go, and do not sin again” (Joh. 8, 10-11). Calling good and evil by their right names, Jesus does not falsify moral truth, but bears witness to it in an unmistakable way, and in offering his merciful love to the woman who had sinned and repented, he leads her back to the truth and to salvation.

Thus love and pastoral concern towards couples in difficulty can never (if one means to offer them real help) be separated from the truth, and can never evade or dilute the duty of calling good and evil by their right names. As was well said by Paul VI in his Encyclical, “it is an outstanding manifestation of charity towards souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ” H. Paus Paulus VI, Encycliek, Het menselijk leven en geboorteregelingen, Humanae Vitae (25 juli 1968), 29

The duty of calling good and evil by their right names in the area of responsible procreation was carried out by Paul VI with a most faithful love for Christ and for souls, particularly in his Encyclical H. Paus Paulus VI - Encycliek
Humanae Vitae
Het menselijk leven en geboorteregelingen
(25 juli 1968)
. The Holy Father John Paul II has fulfilled the same duty, and continues to fulfil it, in full keeping with the Second Vatican Council and with the Encyclical just mentioned.

Document

Naam: DE MORELE NORMEN VAN HUMANAE VITAE EN DE PASTORALE PLICHTEN
Soort: L' Osservatore Romano
Datum: 16 februari 1989
Copyrights: © 1989, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie
Bewerkt: 23 juli 2018

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