Humanitas Review of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has published on its Web site a handbook, or vademecum, with definitions extracted from the anthropological encyclicals of John Paul II (Evangelium vitae, Veritatis splendor and Fides et ratio).
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, states in the prologue that “to respond with sure criteria to the grave question of truth and to the real possibility that man must know it in the light of reason and faith, is a matter that in our days involves essentially the destiny of man, of culture and of society.”
The handbook looks at alphabetized themes. The “a” themes are abortion and anthropology, while beatitudes and Bible are included among the “b” themes.
Cardinal Sodano suggested at the inauguration of the monument to the Servant of God John Paul II in the Central House of the Catholic University — at the 20th anniversary of the Pontiff’s apostolic visit to Chile and to the University — that the Pope’s anthropological teachings were collected and offered to young people as a vademecum for study.
In our time “a vision of things according to which the divine absolute is replaced by the human absolute” is spreading and man has established himself as the source of morality, notes Cardinal Sodano in the prologue to the vademecum. He concludes that “such a subjectivist and relativistic moral matrix is projected in a heartrending utilitarianism according to which what is good and just is not what we know as such, but what is merely useful, thus giving way in a recurrent way to abuse of the weakest and, as is notorious, to an unbridled hedonism that confuses the good with the simple enjoyment of life.”
Humanitas Review, which had previously commented the anthropological encyclical letters of John Paul II through the reflections of the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Humanitas 31), followed the idea of preparing the vademecum that now can be downloaded for free at www.review.humanitas.cl in English.