Here I am with the third post on the subject, and only now am I getting to what JPII says is the purpose of Veritatis Splendor. Sorry.
The specific purpose of the present Encyclical is this: to set forth, with regard to the problems being discussed, the principles of a moral teaching based upon Sacred Scripture and the living Apostolic Tradition, and at the same time to shed light on the presuppositions and consequences of the dissent which that teaching has met. [§5]
It surprises and disappoints me that such an encyclical—with that stated purpose—would be necessary. I’d like to think that people would have sufficient intellectual honesty to either repent of these errors or else stop calling themselves Catholic. It’s not like there is any great mystery about the nature of the Church’s teaching over two millennia.
On the other hand, I’m grateful for the encyclical, inasmuch as it shines a light on some very insidious errors. We’ll get to the details later, but I have come cross at least one of the forms of false moral teaching that JPII critiques in VS. I knew that it was wrong immediately, but folks who don’t actively pursue faith formation might not, and so might be misled in dreadful ways. So one hopes that such a masterful defense of moral truth will be instrumental in helping Catholics think clearly about morality.