Déjà vu All Over Again

The caustic and always entertaining British novelist Evelyn Waugh observed:

It is better to be narrow-minded than to have no mind, to hold limited and rigid principles than none at all. That is the danger which faces so many people today—to have no considered opinions on any subject, to put up with what is wasteful and harmful with the excuse that there is “good in everything”—which in most cases means the inability to distinguish between good and bad.

The pseudo-sophisticated resurgent use of “paradigm shifts” in contemporary moral theology undermines orthodox Catholic teaching on intrinsically evil acts, blurring the distinction between good and evil.

The Pontifical Academy for Life has released the results of a 2021 conference suggesting a “paradigm shift” in moral theology. Analysts suggest the report may become the foundation of a papal encyclical effectively redefining the intrinsic evil of contraception and other sins. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the academy’s president since 2016, describes the “paradigm shift” in moral theology. He says the shift is: “both descriptive and conceptual, as it follows a pattern that is both argumentative and narrative, theoretical and sapiential, phenomenological and interpretative.” The new paradigm promises to use big words.

Here we go again.

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