Archbishop Walmor: How to Discern Between Good and Bad Judgements

What are judgments and misconceptions?

The art of conducting life is challenging in order to discern judgments and misunderstandings. Judgments need, fundamentally, the humanistic and ethical competence that governs, in the rationality of each individual, the processes of discernment regarding values ​​and principles. Cultivating this competence must be a goal and requires unrestricted openness to dialogue. To ensure successful decisions, judgments must be guided by noble sense of citizenship and by the understanding that life is a precious gift .

The experience of those who occupy an important position counts a lot, but it is not a guarantee of qualified discernment, indispensable in the making of decisions. The consolidation of the judgment about something requires considering different perspectives to overcome limited interpretations, not infrequently framed by selfish, partial interests.
This is to qualify the processes of discernment and avoid misunderstandings that may validate undemocratic practices, inadequate decisions in the judicial sphere or in other instances that prevent the desired civilizational turn.

How to discern judgments and misconceptions

Illustrative photo: Vladimir Cetinski by Getty Images

There are many natural, technical and scientific resources that can promote integral development and the construction of a more just and solidary society. But misjudgments hindered possible advances, perpetuated failures, imprisoned civilization in “bogs.” They reproduce famines incompatible with the contemporary world, eager for quick answers to their many and serious problems. There is, therefore, a long way to go, involving different social instances, to qualify processes of discernment, with much dialogue , fundamental for the formulation of more assertive judgments.

It is shameful and frightening the current scenario of delays, the prevalence of lesser interests, the perverse favoring of small groups, sick with money . Situation incompatible with the citizen’s historical, religious and cultural trajectory of the Brazilian people, leading to the overthrow even those who consider themselves privileged. Over all, the threat of seeing the world collapsing, not leaving “stone upon stone,” as Jesus said to those who wondered proudly about the beautiful votive stones of the Temple of Jerusalem.

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Overcoming misconceptions in the processes of discernment is an existential task to be assumed by all. Acknowledging and dedicating yourself to this commitment enables you to find lasting joy and the true meaning of life. It is necessary to overcome the idolatry of money, source of greed without limits, true obstacles that prevent solidarity and compassion in the face of human suffering. “Rejects” and “slime” are thus produced on the basis of misjudgments, at all levels, sweeping lives and the environment.

The consideration that the true jewel, the most genuine wealth, must always prevail is human life, the greatest gift in the whole of Creation. Misconceptions in choices make society – which should be the place of solidarity and respect for the other, which is brother or sister – a real hell . The antidote to changing this bleak scenario is to take better care of the sacred sanctuary that exists within each person, the moral conscience, from which one hears a Law that must be obeyed, not by imposition, but from the most genuine freedom. The Law of love, which indicates the path of good and distance people from evil.

Injustice, the economic crisis and many other situations that cause suffering point to the need for radical personal and social renewal. It is necessary to cultivate more solidarity, honesty, transparency, investing more and more in the processes of discernment. Challenging way, but able to consolidate judgments with force to lead society towards qualified civilizing stages. This citizen task belongs to each one of us.

Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Belo Horizonte, Bishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, holds a PhD in Biblical Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Current member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. In Brazil, he is a reference bishop for the Catholic faithful of the Eastern Rite.