Legality and Morality

A few days ago we read in the media about the journalistic and media outcry raised by the proposal of the vice president of the community of Castilla y León, which belongs to Vox, the party that governs together with the Popular Party, to force women who wish to have an abortion to first see a 4D ultrasound of the fetus and listen to their baby’s heartbeat. Then, they will decide if they want to continue with their free decision to abort. In the end, it is nothing more than the attempt to give one last chance to the nasciturus to save his life…

It is not this measure that I want to talk about in this brief writing. The reflection that I want to make is about the clear position that most of the media in this country have taken on the issue of abortion. To sample a button: the journalistic treatment of the newspaper La Vanguardia, a newspaper that some would describe as “right-wing”, fair, moderate – it has always been in favor of the political wind that best blew in the constituted power… – giving support to the Catalan bourgeoisie of a lifetime, etc. Each with their opinion. But ideologically, currently, it clearly follows a secular drift in all those topics that we could qualify as moral or doctrinal. Of course the issue of abortion is one of them.

From the lead of its director Jordi Juan in LV on January 17: “Do not play with abortion”, where he recalls that abortion is a “right conquered by our society”; the wording of the Editorial: “Vox i el aborto”, which serves to stoke the setback used to Vox (by ultra-conservative party, extreme right, etc.) on the one hand, but fundamentally to mention and defend “the right to free choice of women to abort, protected by the law of Interruption of Pregnancy”. On the same cover of that day, the heading of the headline mentions: “The rights of women in Castilla y León”.

And nobody talks about the rights of the unborn child? Does the fetus have no right to life?

When Saint John Paul II, at the beginning of the eighties, denounced the process of de-Christianization of Western society, and very specifically of Europe and North America, he was already alerting us to the ideological drift that we have suffered. we notice that confusion between legality and morality. In a calculated and progressive way, behaviors contrary to Natural Law were initially presented as “habitual”; in a second phase, these habitual behaviors were presented as “normal”; and in a third step simply the normal was identified with the moral, with the good. That is to say: what was right or wrong morally? Well, simply what was allowed by law.

But we were no longer talking about Natural Law (let alone Supernatural Law), but about Civil Law. It is Legal Positivism. The goodness or badness of an action is no longer the adequacy of the conduct to Natural Law, but merely to what is established by the Civil Law. It is good what is allowed by the Legislation. Abortion, euthanasia, etc. they are sanctioned by the Civil Law… therefore, if they are allowed, it is because they are morally correct.

And who provides that good moral and religious formation today?

If you do not have a solid moral formation, it is very difficult to avoid this process of deformation of conscience. And who provides that good moral and religious formation today? Questions that deserve to be studied and answered in another article.

Perhaps reading the above leads us to a very pessimistic conclusion about how our society is. I would say that humanly analyzed things can certainly give this impression. But believers have an ace up our sleeve: the grace of God, the action of the Holy Spirit, who will not fail us and who gives us the hope we need. With realism, but without naivety.

I would recommend now -a few days after the death of Benedict XVI- and in these circumstances of which we are speaking, the reading of the interview that the prestigious writer Vittorio Messori gave the Pope years ago when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “Report on the Faith”, a prophetic, bold book that is worth rereading. I advise it.

If you do not have a solid moral formation, it is very difficult to avoid this process of deformation of conscience. Click to tweet

Legality and Morality –