The Calling of Saint Matthew is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the Calling of Matthew. It was completed in 1599-1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome.


And is it true,

This most tremendous  tale of all,

Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,

A Baby in an ox's stall?

The Maker of the Stars and sea

Become a Child on earth for me?


And is it true? For if it is....

No love that in a family dwells,

No caroling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple-shaking bells

Can with this single Truth compare-

That God was man in Palestine,

And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984), Poet Laureate.



Other than the separation of morals from religion, and in particular from the teaching of the Church on certain great moral problems (such as contraception, abortion, sterilization, euthanasia...), another crucial point regarding the Moral Doctrine of the Church is that it is often thought that her teaching is out of fashion.

The historical evolution of ideas and mores, the updating of thinking to fads, would lead to the rejection of the theses of the Moral Doctrine of the Church in order to suggest, or even justify, a change of Catholic Moral teaching and a relativism favorable to the "amoral" tendencies of modern life. By proclaiming total freedom, the sense of duty and of moral obligation disappear, even on those points that are manifestly grave that bind as strongly in personal life as in social life (for instance, divorce, homosexuality, pre-marital experiences, etc.) The moral balance of the individual and of society is undoubtedly compromised if we admit such criteria, opposed to moral, legal, and political principles and, with even stronger reason, to the principles of Christian life. If Nietzsche were to be recognized as the prophet of the modern world, what would remain of the Gospel, and where would this modern world end?
Paul VI
Address to the Members of the International Theological Commission
December 16, 1974


From the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ( The Joy of the Gospel) of Pope Francis:


Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.
Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.



"In order that favors in greater abundance may flow on all Christians, nay, on the whole human race, from the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, let the faithful see to it that to this devotion the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God is closely joined. For, by God's Will, in carrying out the work of human Redemption the Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably linked with Christ in such a manner that our salvation sprang from the love and the sufferings of Jesus Christ to which the love and sorrows of His Mother were intimately united. It is, then, entirely fitting that the Christian people - who received the divine life from Christ through Mary - after they have paid their debt of honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should also offer to the most loving Heart of their heavenly Mother the corresponding acts of piety affection, gratitude and expiation. Entirely in keeping with this most sweet and wise disposition of divine Providence is the memorable act of consecration by which We Ourselves solemnly dedicated Holy Church and the whole world to the spotless Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Latter "Haurietis Aquas" 1956



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