Papal Theologian's Talk
"Virtuous human action-- an icon of God. Aquinas's vision of Christian morality."
Fr. Wojciech Giertych, OP, Theologian to the Papal Household
September 20, 2011
Fr. Wojciech Giertych, OP, is a Dominican friar of the Polish Province who has been serving as the Theologian to the Papal Household since 2005. Fr. Giertych offered his lecture, “Virtuous Human Action - An Icon of God: Aquinas' Vision of Christian Morality” on September 20. The Theologian to the Papal Household, formerly called “The Master of the Sacred Palace” is the personal theologian to the Pope. Dominicans, traditionally known as the theologians of the Church, have filled the office of Papal theologian since the foundation of the Order in the 13th Century.
Fr. Giertych emphasized that, for St. Thomas, the moral life is not, in the first instance, a matter of moral obligation, of obedience to divine precepts whereby we avoid evil and do what is good. Instead it is a life-long process of openness to grace whereby we are transformed from within and therefore become capable of judging for ourselves what is to be done and what is to be avoided. “He who avoids evil because of divine precepts is not free. Only the one who avoids evil because it is evil is truly free. He who has chosen the good because he has been told to is not free. Only he who does the good because it is good and because he has seen it and personally desires it is free.”