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Intrinsic evils
Question from John Brennan on 7/29/2004:

Dear Dr.Geraghty, Other than abortion and euthanasia, are there any other intrinsic evils that you could name to inform our consciences. Do many of President Bush's mistakes come under the extrinsic category, and therefore, by moral necessity, make him our choice for another term? (Would rather see President Kerry leading America.) Also, does Cardinal Ratzinger enjoy "infallibility" in his teachings? Isn't he, by his words, standing in for the pope? I'm not sure. Could you explain. Thank you, John

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 8/22/2004:

Dear John,

A thought, word or deed is intrinsically evil when it is always wrong no matter who does it, or when it is done, or where is is done. Thus lying to another to defraud him, torturing a man for whatever reason, capturing a man from his own land and making him our slave, molesting a child-- these are always evil acts. So there are man intrinsically evil acts. And one can take the basic teaching of Cardinal Ratzinger as infallible because he is his mind and heart are certainly docile to the teachings of the Pope. Note that I said "basic teachings." There are opinions he holds that he would not consider infallible. When the Cardinal intends to be taken very seriously is when he teaches in his official capacity.

Dr. Geraghty

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