The Preface Of “The Family Under Attack”, Don Leone


“THE SHIFT IN POPULAR CONSCIOUSNESS from a prohibitive to a permissive attitude towards sexuality and abortion and its consequences in terms of a viral epidemic of unprecedented scope and savagery and in terms of the direct and systematic destruction of billions of human lives each year (cf. chapter seven), represents an inordinate attack on the goods of marriage and would appear to demand as a matter of urgency a considered moral appraisal of the nature of sexuality and abortion.

Such an evaluation is attempted in the present book from two distinct perspectives (although there will be a certain overlap): a philosophical and a theological perspective. (We have been careful clearly to distinguish the natural and supernatural orders throughout, especially in view of the tendency to confuse them prevalent in contemporary thought (cf. the following paragraph), from a perspective which affords the maximum possible generality, and from a perspective which affords what is arguably the most influential, the most clearly defined, and also the deepest understanding of these issues.

Now any adequate system of philosophy or theology affords an objective vision of reality: which is the vision which shall, then, be presented in this book. This vision will be contrasted with the subjectivist vision of reality, be it egoist, humanist, or personalist.

In an introductory section a number of themes are presented which are necessary for the understanding of the issues in question. Among these themes are included certain approaches to Philosophy and Theology found in the Magisterium in recent years (particularly under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II), most notably the Confusion of the natural and supernatural orders, and the system which we shall call ‘Magisterial Personalism’. These approaches are hard to reconcile with Catholic doctrine as the Church has, with ever greater depth and clarity, understood and presented it over the centuries, in other words with Tradition. The duty of the teacher of Catholic doctrine, the Catechist, is to present Catholic doctrine in all its depth, and with clarity. Where official declarations do not harmonize well with this doctrine, or even appear to contradict it and hence risk leading the faithful into error, it is his task also to bring this fact to light: this task will be undertaken with regard to the Confusion of the natural and supernatural orders and in regard to Magisterial Personalism in chapter three. Examples of these tendencies will be analyzed in the rest of the volume as and when they occur.

In virtue of the profundity of Catholic doctrine on the matters treated in this volume, as indeed arguably on all other matters (cf. chapter twelve), it will be prudent to take seriously the Church’s teaching that acts of sexual immorality (‘adultery’ in the generic sense) and abortion are sins the object of which is ‘grave matter’, and that sin the object of which is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent is mortal; in other words, if it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes the eternal death of Hell.

Now although we can judge that an act is in itself a mortal sin, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God. This statement does not imply that we are to remain silent in the face of evil. Indeed the first three of the seven spiritual works of mercy are: to counsel the doubtful, to instruct the ignorant, and to admonish sinners. In light of this fact the following page are intended not merely to provide a moral evaluation of sexuality and abortion, but also to warn those given to contrary ways of behaviour that such behaviour involves the death both of the body and of the soul, and to urge them to conversion and repentance.”