Church leaders and scholars to explore St. John Paul II’s ‘natural law legacy’

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Pope John Paul II in 1996. / Vatican Media

Warsaw, Poland, May 13, 2022 / 08:57 am (CNA).

Church leaders and scholars will gather in Poland next week to explore the “natural law legacy” of St. John Paul II.

Keynote speakers at the May 18-19 event hosted by Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw include the Polish pope’s biographer George Weigel, Princeton professor Robert George, and Harvard professor Adrian Vermeule.

Also scheduled to speak are the Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk, Warsaw Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, and Latvian Archbishop Zbigņevs Stankēvičs.

Topics at the conference will include John Paul II’s vision of natural law, his contribution to biotechnology and human rights, and human rights in a secularized society.

Among the moderators will be Alejandro Bermúdez, the executive director of CNA and the ACI Group, Joan Lewis, the former EWTN Rome bureau chief, and Solène Tadié, the National Catholic Register’s Europe correspondent.

John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyła on May 18, 1920, survived the Nazi occupation of Poland and helped to lead the Church’s resistance to the oppressive communist regime that followed.

The first non-Italian pope in 455 years, he made more foreign trips than all previous popes combined and played a role in the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, the communist states of Central and Eastern Europe.

He led the Church from 1978 to his death in 2005. During his almost 27-year pontificate, he wrote 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations, and 45 apostolic letters, as well as giving hundreds of catechetical addresses at his weekly general audiences.

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1 Comment

  1. This is good news, in a time of evasive German synodality and such. But lest the conference restrict itself too much to intellectual and moral rigor (a very good thing), it might also be noticed that to sidestep or reject natural law is not only heretical, it is preposterous.

    Batzing’s rationalizations are preposterous. Likewise, the concurrent (!) media scripts from Marx and Hollerich. Infantile, too. This from the French Georges Bernanos whose novels also transcended fiction:

    “The modern world will shortly no longer possess sufficient spiritual reserves to commit genuine evil. Already . . . we can witness a lethal slackening of men’s conscience that is attacking not only their moral life, but also their very heart and mind, altering and decomposing even their imagination . . . The menacing crisis is one of INFANTILISM.” (Interview with Samedi-Soir, Nov. 8, 1947, cited in Hans Urs von Balthasar, “Bernanos: An Ecclesial Existence” [San Francisco: Ignatius, 1996], 457, caps added).

    For the fictional German “synodal wayward” to pass Marx’s red-hat test does not mean that it passes the red-face test. Let alone the inborn witness of natural law.

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