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Truth precedes love and mercy

BY MSGR. CHARLES POPE

One of the problems with modern Western culture is the tendency to prioritize feelings and emotions over truth and reason. This has infected the Church as well; not offending often takes precedence over the unambiguous teaching of doctrine and the truth of the faith.

In his recent book, www.amazon.com/…/B07Z5F4DFF, Bishop Athanasius Schneider writes,

The crisis in the Church today is due to a neglect of the truth and specifically a reversal of the order of truth and love. Today a new principle of pastoral life is being propagated in the Church, which says: love and mercy are the highest criteria and truth has to be subordinated to them. According to this new theory, if there is a conflict between love and truth, truth must be sacrificed. This is a reversal and a perversion in the literal sense of the word (p. 166).

This makes an important point about the order of truth and love. As the Bishop reminds us, truth precedes love. It also serves as the foundation of true and perfect love.

Bishop Schneider roots this insight not just in the nature of things but in the action of God. God first sends forth his truth in the Law, through the prophets, and, perfectly, through His Son, the Word made flesh. Then, having rooted and established us in the truth, He sends forth the Holy Spirit, the Person of the Holy Trinity most associated with love. God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us(Rom 5:5). Thus, truth precedes love and frames its demands and blessings.

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