Can man develop a true culture outside the Church? No one would deny that the Egyptians, the Greeks, or the Chinese possessed authentic and admirable elements of culture. However, it is undeniable that the Christianization of the classical world gave it much higher cultural values.
Saint Thomas teaches that human intelligence is able, of itself, to know the principles of moral law but that, in consequence of Original Sin, men easily deviate from the knowledge of this law, wherefore it became necessary for God to reveal the Ten Commandments. What is more, without the help of grace, no one can enduringly practice the law in its entirety. And though grace is given to all men, we know that the Catholic peoples, with the superabundant graces they receive from the Church, are those who do manage to practice all the Commandments. On the other hand, a human society is only in its normal state when the greater part of its members observe the natural law. And from this it follows that if non-Catholic peoples are able to have admirable cultural attainments, their culture is always gravely lacking in some capital points, depriving it of integrity and full harmony, so necessary to all that is excellent or even simply normal. Again, in the Church alone is found true and perfect culture.
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