Excerpts from Roate Caeli and St. Pope John Paul II:
… it is a solemn duty of Christians, yes, of every confirmed Christian, to bear witness to the truth in season and out of season, and to cry out like St. Catherine of Siena when good is called evil and evil, good.
Pope John Paul II had seen the trends of our times and anticipated what was coming. He wrote with unmistakable clarity and courage in Veritatis Splendor (n. 88 and n. 93):
It is urgent then that Christians should rediscover the newness of the faith and its power to judge a prevalent and all-intrusive culture. As the Apostle Paul admonishes us: “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of the light (for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them… Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:8-11, 15-16; cf. 1 Th 5:4-8).
This witness [of martyrs to the exceptionless moral law] makes an extraordinarily valuable contribution to warding off, in civil society and within the ecclesial communities themselves, a headlong plunge into the most dangerous crisis which can afflict man: the confusion between good and evil, which makes it impossible to build up and to preserve the moral order of individuals and communities. By their eloquent and attractive example of a life completely transfigured by the splendour of moral truth, the martyrs and, in general, all the Church’s Saints, light up every period of history by reawakening its moral sense. By witnessing fully to the good, they are a living reproof to those who transgress the law (cf. Wis 2:12), and they make the words of the Prophet echo ever afresh: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Is 5:20).
Anyone who reads (or re-reads) this great encyclical will see how deeply the Church today is mired in a state of civil war over the fundamentals of morality and of the Gospel itself. We are not looking at a mere disagreement over words or “pastoral strategies”; it is precisely the battle between the Catholics, who still believe exactly what Jesus Christ and the Apostles taught as the saving truth, and the modernists who, with a magician’s sleight-of-hand, explain it away, in deference to “modern man” and his needs (or more accurately, desires). By the Providence of God, it seems we are being forced at last, slowly and against our will, into the two sides depicted in the Apocalypse of John: the faithful who will cling to Christ even at the cost of their lives, and the worldly who will pay lip-service to Christ while they serve Babylon.
As was his beautiful custom in every major document, Pope John Paul II ends Veritatis Splendor (n. 120) with tender yet forceful words inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy:
Mary shares our human condition, but in complete openness to the grace of God. Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness. She understands sinful man and loves him with a mother’s love. Precisely for this reason she is on the side of truth and shares the Church’s burden in recalling always and to everyone the demands of morality. Nor does she permit sinful man to be deceived by those who claim to love him by justifying his sin, for she knows that the sacrifice of Christ her Son would thus be emptied of its power. No absolution offered by beguiling doctrines, even in the areas of philosophy and theology, can make man truly happy: only the Cross and the glory of the Risen Christ can grant peace to his conscience and salvation to his life.