Pope John Paul's Fides Encyclical Letter

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This past semester in Philosophy 152: The Moral Choice, we discussed several situations that questioned the morality of our everyday society. The course was centered around the teachings of famous philosophers such as Aristotle, St. Augustine and, most importantly, Supreme Pontiff John Paul II. John Paul’s encyclical letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church highlight the relationship between faith and reason. This letter is called Fides Et Ratio and has had a major effect on the current teachings of the church and subsequent philosophers. Supreme Pontiff John Paul II’s literary masterpiece includes 108 separate letters that make up seven chapters. The overall tone of the work is one of complexity and eagerness to inform our society on…show more content…
“Faith sharpens the inner eye, opening the mind to discover in the flux of events the workings of Providence. Here the words of the Book of Proverbs are pertinent: The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps” (John Paul pg. 16). Pope John Paul II explains that faith and reason go hand in hand. Faith does not reduce the autonomy of reason, but reminds people who is at work, causing the events that we attempt to break down with reason: God of Israel. He then goes on to explain how Jesus’ death on the cross holds so much weight in the teachings of philosophers and how it stumps many who ponder its details. “Man cannot grasp how death could be the source of life and love; yet to reveal the mystery of his saving plan God has chosen precisely that which reason considers "foolishness" and a "scandal" (John Paul pg. 21). The main justification that Paul provides is the truth about the deeper meaning of the Cross of Christ. The cross provides the wisdom needed to understand the motives of God and the amount of love that humans are truly capable of. In total, reason alone cannot fully eliminate the reason for the crucifixion itself. Faith is needed to fully understand His death and that faith in the Cross can lead to the ultimate answer of
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