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The growing interest of moral theologians in the liturgy as a resource for the ethical education of subjects is under suspicion today in the name of distinctions considered established in fundamental moral theology : between the Church and the world, between Christian morality and autonomous morality, between communitarian ethics and universal morality. These distinctions are, of course, essential to ethical reflection.
The interest in the liturgy that appeared in the United States during the 1970s corresponds to a change of the field of inquiry in fundamental moral theology. On the fringe of lively Catholic debate, the Protestant communitarian current points to another question : that of the formation of ethical subjects by the communities to which they belong. However, there are contrasting strains within this communitarian current, which reasserts the value of virtues by relating them to their confessional context. In the first part of his article, Ph. Bordeyne shows that these two tendencies, which run through the communitarian current, bring out significant differences within the present interest in liturgy. In the second part, he examines the pastoral experience of the Church, notably in the Christian initiation of adults, insofar as it helps to find a more balanced position in explaining the relationship between ethics and liturgy. The third part points out a few criteria allowing subjects and communities to take better advantage of the potential of ethical training contained in the liturgy.

Philippe Bordeyne
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