Theological Commission Focusing on Natural Law

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2004 ( The International Theological Commission has opened its plenary session and is looking at, among other topics, the foundation of natural law.

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According to Father Luis Ladaria, secretary-general of the institution, the topic is decisive, “as there are many questions that do not just depend on religious faith, but also on truths to which man can arrive with his reason.”

“The Pope addressed these problems in his encyclical ‘Fides et Ratio’ and earlier in ‘Veritatis Splendor.’ They are fundamental questions: for example, the legislations of different countries depend on the ideas we have on these subjects,” Father Ladaria said on Vatican Radio.

The commission, whose assembly opened Monday, will soon publish a document entitled “Communion and Service: The Human Person Created in the Image of God.” The text will touch on topics such as human cloning, embryo research, euthanasia and abortion.

Commission members — there are 30 at most — are appointed by the Pope for five years, after being proposed by the commission’s president — the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — and after consultation with the episcopal conferences.

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