“A wonderful feeling” is the expression found in number 1 of the basic text of the Pontifical Academy for Life, entitled “A Theological Ethics of Life” published in 2022. The document includes several examples of experiences of joy to introduce an ethic of life. But what joy and what life are we talking about? While it is obviously legitimate to experience joy also through feelings, Christian joy cannot be reduced to a feeling. How can joy be a criterion for developing an ethic of life? We will first take up the notions of “life” and “joy” from a theological and biblical perspective so as to extract from them some criteria for discernment also to relate to certain questions addressed in the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
Mater semper certa est. Contrary to the father, the mother is always certain. On account of technological progress, this old Roman adage has lost some of its obviousness. Particularly with the advent of surrogacy, one must now distinguish different aspects of motherhood that were once necessarily united. To answer the seemingly simple question, “Who is my mother?”, today some may find themselves in the situation of having to name up to four or five different women. The question about one’s origin becomes complicated, to the point of becoming almost absurd and unanswerable. History has always known wayward fathers. Until recently, the mother, at least, has been a haven of security, a figure of unconditional acceptance, an assurance of unconditional love within the limits of all things human. What effect will it have on human beings if they become unable to say with any significant clarity who their mother is? Might we approach a society in which the very word “mother” starts losing its meaning?