In this final article, introducing Veritatis Splendor, Alan Schreck explains how John Paul II clarified Catholic teaching in relation to other moral positions.
A controversial topic that Pope John Paul II addresses in Chapter 2 is the modern theological concept of ‘fundamental choice’ or ‘fundamental option’. The Biblical basis for this notion is that the ‘obedience of faith’ (cf. Rom 16:26) by which a person entrusts his whole self to God (cf. Vatican II, DV 5; VS 66). In the Old Testament, Israel’s fundamental decision is whom they will obey or serve. ‘Choose this day’, Joshua urges the people, ‘whom you will serve!’ (Joshua 24:15). ‘The morality of the New Covenant is similarly dominated by the fundamental call of Jesus to follow him, ‘the invitation he gives to the young man’ (VS 66; Mt 19:21). We have the freedom to respond to that call to serve the Lord, but as St. Paul warns, ‘do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh’ (Gal 5:13).