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Living the Gospel of Life -- Study Guide

Paragraph Twelve


The theme of freedom and truth is central in the teachings of Pope John Paul II. In his 1993 encyclical The Splendor of Truth (Veritatis Splendor) he comments at length upon the fact that freedom and truth are inherently linked, and that neither can be understood without the other. Freedom is the power to do what is right, and we perceive what is right by the gift of truth. At its core, a "pro-choice" mentality pretends to create its own truth. For example, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice produces a booklet called Abortion: Finding your own Truth. In reality, it is God who creates truth and enables all of us to know it objectively.

In The Gospel of Life, the Holy Father takes up this theme again. "No less critical in the formation of conscience is the recovery of the necessary link between freedom and truth. As I have frequently stated, when freedom is detached from objective truth it becomes impossible to establish personal rights on a firm rational basis; and the ground is laid for society to be at the mercy of the unrestrained will of individuals or the oppressive totalitarianism of public authority" (n. 96).

Discussion Questions

Describe the meaning of freedom in the light of the Pope's words at Camden Yards. How does he succinctly define freedom in that talk?

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