At a time when Rome is not content with the “mere” subversion of Catholic doctrine, and has also set its sights upon desecrating even the moral law, we are pleased to have discovered an antidote in the efforts of Mr. Ryan Grant and Mediatrix Press
St. Pius X recommended the reading of good Catholic books as a protection against this subversion, and consequently, so do we.
Yet, so many of the great Catholic theologians have remained inaccessible to the average Catholic because they have never been translated into English. But for those of you who are not yet familiar with Mr. Ryan Grant -an excellent and reknowned Latinist- he has set about to change that. Already translating several works of St. Robert Bellarmine, et al, into English, he has recently set his sights upon the greatest manual of moral theology in the history of the Catholic Church: St. Alphonsus Liguori’s opus magnum, Theologia Moralis (i.e., a multi-volume work endorsed by several Popes):
“No ecclesiastical writer has ever received more direct, positive and formal approbation than that accorded by the Holy See to the moral writings of this Doctor of the Church. While still alive, four Popes expressed their admiration of his prudent doctrine. (…) In 1831, Pope Gregory XVI enhanced this approbation when he decreed that professors of theology could safely teach any opinion of St. Alphonsus, and that confessors, without weighting reasons, could safely follow him – simply on the fact that St. Alphonsus said so. Each of the thirteen predecessors of Pius XII in the chair of Peter has in some way or another recommended, approved or exalted the ‘Moral Theology’ of the Patron of confessors. In his Apostolic Brief of April 26, 1950, Pope Pius XII alludes to some of them. «By his learned writings, especially his ‘Moral Theology,’ he dissipated the darkness of error with which Jansenists and unbelievers have cloaked the world» (Pius IX). He was «the most illustrious and benign of moralists» (Leo XIII). «He illumined obscurity, made doubts plain and clear, and in the maze of over-strict and over-lax theological opinions, he hewed a path which directors of souls can tread in safety» (Pius IX). To this chorus of pontifical voices, Pope Pius XII felt, he said, constrained to add his own, declaring St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori the celestial Patron of both confessors and moral theologians. For, as the Cardinals and bishops of Spain and Austria declared in their petition for his Doctorate, «the Moral Theology of St. Alphonsus has given back to the Sacred Tribunal of Penance the mercy and the kindness of the Sacred Heart.» We priests therefore, when hearing confessions, will do well to imitate the example and practice the teachings of this great Patron of Confessors. In particular, we should avoid severity, impatience, unkindness, and haste. Let us give the people time enough to make their confession and say their act of contrition, and be kind to them; and let us never fail in that sympathy which should be the outstanding characteristic of an ‘alter Christus’.” (Source: Homoletic and Pastoral Review: New Patron of Confessors, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Vol. LI, No. 6, March 1951, Fr. Galvin J. J. C.SS.R., 1951, p. 511) [Citation Here]
“St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Moral Theology has long been praised and held in the highest regard by the Church. Covering every moral question of his day, Bl. Pope Pius IX declared: “It happened, not without the most provident counsel of God almighty, that since the doctrine of the Jansenist innovators turned all eyes to themselves, enticing many to the sight of their error and leading them over to it, it was then that Alphonsus Maria Liguori stood up, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Bishop of St. Agatha of the Goths, who, ‘fighting the good fight, opened his mouth in the midst of the Church’; and by his learned writings and labors eradicated this plague, roused from hell, and saw to it tear it out and so exterminate it from the field of the Lord. Not only did Alphonsus appoint these shares for himself, but focusing his mind on the glory of God and the spiritual salvation of men he wrote many books, related with holy erudition and piety, whose opinions were between those embraced by both more lax and rigid theologians, to fortify the safe path by which the confessors of Christ’s faithful could advance without dashing their foot upon a stone; whether to train and establish the clergy, or to confirm the truth of the Catholic faith and to defend against the heretics of every kind or name; or to assert the laws of this Apostolic See; or to rouse the souls of the faithful to piety.” [Apostolic Letter Honoring St. Alphonsus with the title of Doctor of the Church]
Mediatrix Press is pleased to bring you the first English Translation of this excellent work, once widely read but relegated to obscurity on account of the loss of Latin fluency in Western Society. Volume 1 embraces the first three Books of Alphonsus’ Moral Theology. Subsequent volumes will complete the full work. You can support this work by making a donation, which you can find on the Alphonsus Translation project page.