Q: Father, recently you wrote ‘Why is it that people understand that they shouldn’t use a manual for an old car to try to fix a new model but don’t understand that the same principle applies to moral manuals, catechisms, etc.?’ I’ll tell you why: That’s moral relativism. Cars change, but morality doesn’t. We don’t change Church teaching just Êbecause peopleÊ don’t want to follow the rules anymore.
A: Unfortunately, there is a significant error in your reasoning. Morality does change, and the moral theology of the Church is always changing. To change or adapt the moral teaching of the Church when confronted with new information is not relativism; it’s good pastoral practice. There are numerous examples of significant shifts in our moral perceptions and teachings throughout the centuries. Anyone who tells you otherwise is badly uninformed and in significant error.