The moral regeneration of society

In recent decades there has been a profound crisis in the conscience and moral life of Spanish society that is also reflected in the Catholic community and that affects not only customs, but also the criteria and inspiring principles of moral conduct and Thus, it has shaken the validity of fundamental ethical values. In particular, we parents perceive with concern the absence of valid moral criteria in and of themselves because of their rationality and humanizing force. Such criteria, on the contrary, are ordinarily replaced by others with which only efficiency is sought to obtain the objectives pursued in each case, being displaced in the

public conscience from the political power, by the dialectic of the majorities and the force of the votes, by the «social consensus, by a legal positivism that is changing the mentality of the people by force of legal dispositions, or by the scientism to use .

The lack of respect for the basic and inestimable good of life, already in its very origin, in the course of its existence or in its final stage, is also a drag on our current society. Perhaps like no other aspect, this violation reflects the current moral crisis, characterized, above all, by the loss of the sense of the basic value of the person that is at the base of all ethical behavior. In this way, the abominable crime of abortion is justified, legalized and practiced, with the inevitable psychic repercussions for many mothers who are plunged into abandonment and despair with no other incentive than to part with a life already conceived for the benefit of powerful economic groups that they increase their benefits obtained immorally at the cost of the suffering of so many people and the moral deterioration of society. Along the same lines, the legalization of the practice of active and direct euthanasia has recently been approved, without guaranteeing the necessary freedom on the part of many elderly patients who are denied the possibility of resorting to non-invasive treatments, away from all therapeutic cruelty, and the required palliative care that often happens to be dispensed to the wealthiest strata of society.

In this context, factors of a very diverse nature converge, social and ideological mutations, technical transformations, political changes, modifications in the hierarchy of values ​​until now commonly admitted and intra-ecclesial factors. Among the first, we must highlight the crisis of the sense of truth, by dominating the conviction that there are no absolute truths, that all truth is contingent and revisable and that all certainty is a symptom of immaturity and dogmatism; the corruption of the idea and experience of freedom conceived not as the ability to realize the truth of God’s project on man and the world, but as an autonomous force of self-assertion, not rarely unsupportive, in order to achieve one’s own well-being selfish; the bankruptcy of man himself, by uprooting the person from his nature; factuality, by reigning the exaltation of what is established and the uncritical acceptance of pure facticity. «There is what there is and nothing else», linked to ‘weak thought’ that renounces all ultimate and definitive truth; the lack of moral training in Spanish Catholics that has plunged them into confusion and moral disorientation. They would like to act in a morally appropriate way, but they are perplexed without knowing where to turn, especially in complex matters such as economic or sexual morality. Which increases the confusion, uncertainty, indecision that, sooner or later, will end in subjectivism or moral laxism; the distinction between the legal and the moral: the State has enacted laws that authorize morally wrongful actions. That is why many consider these legally permitted actions moral. What is permitted, in the legal order, seems to them to be immediately in conformity with right conscience.

The inexorably moral character of man requires establishing his authentic relationship with truth and freedom and even the same relationship between the two. This relationship takes place in the field of moral conscience, that is, in the faculty, rooted in the being of man, which dictates to him what is good and bad, encourages him to do good and avoid evil and judges the correctness or malice of their actions or omissions after carrying them out. Since its origins, men have seen in their conscience the voice of God himself and in it, in turn, the norm that they are called to follow. But conscience cannot be confused with the subjectivity of man, erected in the last instance and as an unappealable court of moral conduct. The conscience is exposed to its own falsification: to not recognize what God really transmits to it and to consider good what is bad; and it can be deformed, to the point of hardly making value judgments about man’s behavior.

As practical approaches to the above, it is worth mentioning in the first place the family, a privileged place to achieve the humanization of man. Parents have a very serious obligation to educate our children and society must consider us as the first and main educators of them. The fulfillment of this duty of family education is of such importance that, when it is lacking, it can hardly be supplied. Second, a fundamental factor in the moral education of the new generations is the school institution and the educational system that channels the responsibilities and educational initiatives of society. The State must fully guarantee the integral human formation through the school institution, in accordance with the moral and religious convictions of the parents. Third, the means of social communication, which have to play a highly beneficial role for the development and moral regeneration of our society. Finally, political life also has its moral demands. Without an ethical conscience and will, political activity degenerates, sooner or later, into a destructive power. Ethical requirements extend both to public management itself and to the people who direct or exercise it. The spirit of authentic service and the determined pursuit of the common good, as the good of all and of all mankind, is the only thing capable of making the activity of political men “clean”, as precisely, moreover, the people demand.


Santiago Jáuregui has a doctorate in Law and Political Science

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