What is the meaning of virtue to Roman Catholic Christians and how can this be developed?

What is the meaning of virtue to Roman Catholic Christians and how can this be developed?

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Quiet a heavy question; the starting point for most Catholic-based ethics questions is to state that the Catholic church uses Aquinas’ “Natural Law”, i.e. in simple terms, a set of rigid rules that cannot be wavered from (such as no abortion/contraception, which is topical at the moment). This is at odds with systems such as Situation Ethics where each “action” is assessed as good/bad depending on the circumstances. For an action to be truly “good”, it needs to be a good action and done for a good reason. For example if you give money to charity just to look good to others, then it’s an immoral action as you did it for the wrong reason (see the parable of the widow’s offering in Luke). Catholics also have a list of seven virtues that are the opposite of the seven deadly sins: Chastity/lust, temperance/gluttony, charity/greed, diligence/sloth, patience/wrath, kindness/envy, humility/pride. As always the Brad Pitt film “Seven” is the best way of getting your head around these. If any of this needs elaborating I’ll be happy to do a private session at some point.
rhbooth
29 September 2012
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