Truth, Freedom and Reality

Paul Kengor at NCR , compares John Paul II's message in 'Veritatis Splendor' to Pope Benedict XVI's message to America:

..."Pilate’s question, ‘What is truth,’ reflects the distressing perplexity of a man who often no longer knows who he is, whence he comes and where he is going. Hence we not infrequently witness the fearful plunging of the human person into gradual self-destruction. According to some, it appears that one no longer need acknowledge the enduring absoluteness of any moral value. … The saving power of the truth is contested, and freedom alone, uprooted from any objectivity, is left to decide by itself what is good and what is evil.”

“This,” concluded John Paul, we call “relativism,” and it is that moral confusion that predominates and infests individuals and their culture today.

Compare this to what Pope Benedict XVI said at the youth rally in Yonkers, N.Y., before a crowd of 25,000:

“Some today argue that respect for freedom of the individual makes it wrong to seek truth, including the truth about what is good. In some circles to speak of truth is seen as controversial or divisive, and consequently best kept secret in the private sphere. And in truth’s place — or better said, its absence — an idea has spread which, in giving value to everything indiscriminately, claims to assure freedom and to liberate conscience. This we call relativism....
...Benedict continued: “Dear friends, truth is not an imposition. Nor is it simply a set of rules. It is the discovery of the One who never fails us; the One whom we can always trust. In seeking truth we come to live by belief because ultimately truth is a person: Jesus Christ. That is why authentic freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in; nothing less than letting go of self and allowing oneself to be drawn into Christ’s very being.”

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