Lecture Sixteen: Martyrdom and Witness


Study Questions

1. How does Veritatis splendor suggest that the power of faith may help Christians to be in a position of being able to judge the relative progress or regress of a culture in regard to morality?

2. What does it mean when the encyclical says that faith is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent but also “a lived knowledge of Christ, a lived remembrance of the commandments, a truth to be lived out, trusting abandonment to Christ”?

3. How does the willingness of martyrs to face death give witness to the inviolability of the moral order, the holiness of God’s law, and the inviolability of the personal dignity of the human being as created in God’s image and likeness?


Suggestions for further reading: 

John Berkman. “Truth and Martyrdom: The Structure of Discipleship in Veritatis splendor” in New Blackfriars 75 (1994): 533-41.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. “Christian Faith as ‘the Way’: An Introduction to Veritais splendor” in Communion 21/2 (Summer 1994): 199-207.

Robert Royal. The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century. New York NY: Crossroad, 2000.