Freedom to make the right choice is regulated and guided by laws. There are two fundamental types of laws: Divine Laws and Human laws. Divine Laws are distinguished as the Natural Laws and the Laws of Christ. Human Laws are Civil or Political Laws and Canon or Ecclesiastical Laws.

The Divine Natural Laws refer to the plan of divine wisdom leading all the creatures towards their natural goal. But the human persons are guided by their special faculties of intellect and will to love, to be holy and finally to reach God as their goal. They are able to discern the good from evil and thus, they are directed towards their desire to long for God and to submit themselves to Him, who is the source and end of all that is good (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church No.1955). These Divine Laws were first given by God through Moses as Ten Commandments and then by Jesus Christ as New Laws of love. These Natural Laws are obligatory, because all human persons must choose good and avoid evil, in order to reach God, their goal.

The Civil Laws are declared by the Legislative section of the civil Government. These laws principally guarantee peace, security, freedom, justice and safeguard the fundamental rights and morality of the human persons. As these laws are given for the common good of the society, all those who come under the authority of the Government have the obligation to obey these laws. However, if any of the civil laws are against the natural moral law and the common good of the society, then they become unjust laws and there is no obligation to obey them (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church No.2242).

The Canon Laws or Ecclesiastical Laws and Precepts of the Church are those promulgated by the Roman Pontiff on behalf of the Universal Catholic Church. They are founded on the Natural Laws and the Laws of Christ, in order to guide the Faithful to attain the salvation of souls. There is a moral obligation for all the Baptized Faithful to obey them.

God bless you

Fr. Arul Joseph V.


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