One of the questionnaires that was sent out in preparation for the synod on the family was the question on how accepted is the teaching of natural law when it comes to matters about family. A Catholic Times' article brings this issue to the attention of the readers. The answer from the bishops of Korea: Confucianism is the basic understanding of society which accepts marriage as a bond between one man and one woman, a natural law understanding of marriage similar to the Church.
moral questions in society: abortion, marriage, family, sex and related
issues are not as clear cut-- relativism, hedonism, individualism and
feminism, prevents many from accepting the teaching on natural law.
Although the direction of society is not to accept homosexual marriages,
the future is far from certain.The international attitude towards
homosexuality is changing and the recent decision of the United
States Supreme Court to legalize homosexual marriages will bring about
discussion in Korea. A movement is already active and wants to see
homosexual marriages legalized.
Natural law in Catholic
teaching is fundamental in its teaching on morality
but it is, according to the article, not easily accepted by society, and
there are many who say we need a new way of explaining what is meant
by natural law. One of our bishops returning from the synod wrote an
article for the Times in which he said: The church needs to use new
words to explain the teaching on natural law: making it understandable when speaking about contraception, and related moral issues.
At the synod it was shown
that many felt that a new tone, attitude and way of teaching was
necessary if the teaching of the church was going to resonate with the
people who are listening.
Natural law and Scripture
are the two sources of Catholic teaching on morality. A German legal
philosopher, Erick Wolf was quoted as saying the concept of natural law
is diverse, and one of its functions is for the natural law to
critique positive law and its imperfections.
Reason gives validity to the natural law, consequently, whether you have
a belief system or not, there should be universal validity to our
natural law thinking easily grasped by all. There are all kinds of
thinking in the areas of marriage, sex and life issues. We are faced with relativistic thinking and ideologies: absolutes
are not looked upon favorably, so efforts have to be made to use words
that will speak to the people in today's world.