Morality
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

Morality

'END THE DEATH PENALTY' 
In a rare display of ecclesial unity, a cross-section of liberal and conservative Catholic publications pushed forward a singular message Thursday: It’s time for the United States to end the use of the death penalty.
'HAS AMERICA LOST ITS MORAL CENTER?' 
A five-person panel examined American life; speakers discussed a nationwide political crisis, the loneliness they've seen on the streets, and what can be regained.
'HUMANAE VITAE' AND THE SENSUS FIDELIUM 
On moral issues, the church must learn from the experiences of baptized people. Discernment strives to discern the true action of the Holy Spirit that involves the experience of people in their daily lives, but also many other aspects as well.
AGAINST THE CULTURE OF DEATH 
John Gehring interviews Karen Clifton, executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, about why opposing the death penalty is a prolife cause.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS ACROSS U.S. CONDEMN SEPARATION OF MIGRANT CHILDREN 
None have been more outspoken, however, than the bishops with dioceses on or near the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
CATHOLIC SOCIAL DOCTRINE SHEDS LIGHT ON HOW TO COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE 
Human life and dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity, charity -- how do these pillars of Catholic social teaching apply to the scourge of gun violence?
DEMYTHOLOGIZE THE GUN 
Prayer alone isn’t enough. Justice requires action. The prophets are never satisfied with mere lip service to God. If mouths move and feet stay in the same place, hypocrisy reigns.
EXAMINING CONSCIENCE 
The language of conscience is not so much the language of a right, but of a duty always to act in conscience — that is, the obligation to find and to follow what we understand to be God’s will.
EXAMINING OUR SOCIAL SINS 
What does it mean to embrace honestly an examination of conscience at a time and in a world where racism, violence and environmental degradation are so present?
FEARFUL ASYMMETRY 
Just-war theory is a set of beliefs that reaches back at least as far as Augustine. Within this theory, jus ad bellum concerns the justice of going to war in the first place, while jus in bello concerns justice in the conduct of war.
HUMANAE VITAE AT 50 
The maturing of church teaching. An in-depth look at the birth control teaching and its impact on generations of Catholics.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO LISTEN TO WHAT THOMAS MERTON SAYS ABOUT VIOLENCE 
Much of what Thomas Merton wrote about violence in the turbulent 1960s remains true today and in some ways -- at least globally -- seems not just worse but also more heinous.
JUST WAR? ENOUGH ALREADY 
We should no longer damn nonviolence with faint praise by recognizing it only as a heroic witness for saints, or as a tactic we recommend to protesters only when we fear their desperation will turn violent and upset our comfortable lives.
HOLY DISOBEDIENCE 
Standing up against injustice can be the hardest thing you ever do, but no one ever said following God would be easy. Fear, rather than love, too often shapes our actions. 'The root of war,' Thomas Merton famously observed, 'is fear.'
NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY TO PROTECT DREAMERS ORGANIZED BY U.S. BISHOPS 
Catholics across the United States are being asked to call their Congressional representatives on Monday, February 26, and urge them to protect Dreamers from deportation.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION ON GUNS 
Common-sense regulation of gun sales and ownership is an issue of life, and Catholics must fight against the culture of gun violence that pervades our nation.
NUCLEAR WAR AND CHRISTIAN RESPONSIBILITY 
Thomas Merton’s essay on a Christian response to the prospect of nuclear war from 1962. 'Are the masses of the world, including you and me, to resign themselves to their fate and march on to global suicide without resistance'?
OVERWRITING TRADITION; 'HUMANAE VITAE' REPLACED REAL CHURCH TEACHING 
If there ever was a clearly definable position on birth control in official teaching, there was an equally clear perception that it needed to be revised, if not completely replaced.
POPE'S NUCLEAR SPEECH REVEALS DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCH TEACHING 
Francis has gone a step further and is keen for the Church to take a more active role internationally in trying to rid the world of nuclear arms.
POPE REVISES CATECHISM TO SAY DEATH PENALTY IS 'INADMISSIBLE' 
Commits the church to working toward its abolition worldwide
THE END OF THE AFFAIR? 'HUMANAE VITAE' AT 50 
Now approaching its golden jubilee, the encyclical was published at a time of twofold crisis, one theological, the other cultural.
THE POPE, 'A JOURNALISM OF PEACE AGAINST FAKE NEWS' 
If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of news.
THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN PRO-WOMEN. OUR PRIORITIES SHOULD REFLECT THAT 
Pro-lifers know well that the movement honors women, cares for women, is led by women and was founded by women. We should be passionate about making sure that the rest of the world can see our respect for women as well.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT? 
Why the Church must find a better way to struggle together to be pro-life after as well as before birth.
WHY IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH MOVING AWAY FROM JUST WAR THEORY? 
Five reasons underlie the Catholic church's pivot to a positive vision of peace and a point of view that goes well beyond the just war theory.
THE ONES IGNORED 
On the surface, the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 brings New York law to par with Supreme Court rulings. But there are some significant differences.
IS JOHN PAUL II THE MODEL FOR ABORTION DEBATE? 
As the 2020 presidential campaign season begins to roll out and abortion remains singular in its ability to divide the electorate and swamp all other political issues, a bit of not-too-distant papal history may be instructive.
WHY CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY IS A SIGN OF HOPE IN TODAY’S CHURCH 
The real crisis and challenge today is the church’s failure to adequately address the systemic cover-up of sexual abuse of both children and women. Theologians today who are seeking to address situations such as this are a sign of hope.
THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT AT A CROSSROADS 
Prudence, as the present political situation places the pro-life movement at a major crossroads...
WHICH SIDE ARE WE ON? 
When one side proposes ways that human beings might begin to solve a deadly problem while the other side leaves it up to God, you know which side is right.
AMERICA IS ADDICTED TO GUNS, AND WE'RE IN DENIAL 
When it comes to guns, the United States collectively behaves in a way that mimics an addict in denial.
WHAT THE CHURCH DOES – AND DOES NOT – TEACH ABOUT GUN CONTROL 
Nowhere in its teachings does the Church state that people have “an inherent natural right to bear arms.”
SHOCKED, SHOCKED! ON CATHOLICS AND BELIEF IN THE REAL PRESENCE 
Conversation about a recent Pew Research survey suggesting that barely a quarter of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.
WHAT AN APPROPRIATE PASTORAL LETTER ON US RACISM LOOKS LIKE 
In addition to the directly identifying white supremacy and engaging with key theologians, El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz's pastoral letter not only names the sin but also names the sinners.
TERRORISM, WAR AND THE PROBLEM OF “RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE” 
The focus on religion as a major cause of wars, terrorism and other forms of political violence obscures the more secular, mundane and specific causes of violent conflict.
“WORKING-OFF THE PAST”: HISTORICAL DEBTS, MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE DEMANDS OF JUSTICE 
So long as they live in a society built on injustice, even those who have not incurred guilt are responsible for correcting it.
WORDS THAT WOUND: UNDERSTANDING THE AUTHORITY AND EFFECT OF HATE SPEECH 
Hate speech can work to alter perception itself, so that we come to see our fellow humans as dehumanised or animal-like, so that we hear them as shifty, contemptible or dangerous.
A HARMFUL DOCTRINE: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS WRONG ABOUT GAY PEOPLE 
It is reasonable to worry about what such a public debate would do to the church. But what will become of a church that goes on denying the full humanity of LGBTQ people and spending so much of its energy preserving that denial.
THE ROAD TO AUSCHWITZ WASN’T PAVED WITH INDIFFERENCE 
We don’t have to be ‘upstanders’ to avoid genocides. We just have to make sure not to help them along.
CATHOLICS, VOTING AND ABORTION: TIME TO CORRECT THE RECORD 
It may surprise many Catholic voters to know that church teaching does not prohibit a Catholic from voting for a pro-choice candidate.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH EVIL? 
When the systems of “the world” are able to operate as denied and disguised evil, they soon become the “spirits in the air” that do immense damage but are invisible and unaccountable.
GENDER, SEX, AND OTHER NONSENSE 
It is not unfair to say that Catholic conversation about sex and gender has a problem. More accurately, it has a pair of problems: one concerns our ability to speak credibly to the non-Catholic public; the other concerns our ability to speak productively to one another.
ALL VACCINES ARE MORALLY ACCEPTABLE 
The Vatican has made clear that all the COVID-19 vaccines are morally acceptable. Let us pray that this deeply pro-life position will be proclaimed with one voice by our global church as we work together to protect life and advance the common good.
MORAL THEOLOGY MUST CONCERN REALITY AND PEOPLE, NOT JUST PRINCIPLES 
Moral theology, the pope said, cannot be only about principles and formulations, but must respond to the reality of the person in need...
CAN CATHOLICS AGREE ON ANYTHING ABOUT ABORTION? 
Catholics of all political stripes can come together around supporting women and children. Our shared commitment to the principles of human dignity and the common good should help us bridge the divide...
BEING PRO-LIFE, LIKE BEING CHRISTIAN: IT’S ABOUT WHAT YOU DO, NOT WHAT YOU PROTEST 
It means standing in opposition to a culture that has decided that human life is expendable, and actively doing the things that that culture won’t do.
MASKS, VACCINES AND RIGHTS IN THE LAND OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY 
Jesus preached relationship and rights so decisively. He left us the Beatitudes... He told us the parable of the good Samaritan who abandoned his convenience for the sake of his neighbor...
POPE FRANCIS URGES EVERYONE TO GET COVID-19 VACCINES FOR THE GOOD OF ALL 
Pope Francis issued an appeal on Wednesday urging people to get inoculated against COVID-19, saying the vaccines could bring an end to the pandemic, but needed to be taken by everyone.
AS US BISHOPS REJECT EXEMPTIONS, POPE FRANCIS DUBS COVID-19 VACCINE ‘ACT OF LOVE’ 
Francis’ vaccine promotion comes amid a growing debate among U.S. Catholics over vaccines and as U.S. Catholics debate religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
POPE FRANCIS TOLD BISHOPS TO SHEPHERD PRO-CHOICE POLITICIANS ‘WITH GOD’S STYLE.’ 
Pope Francis has a broad —and brave— vision of what being a pastor means... And that vision has room for bishops to disagree with each other about the best way forward.
VATICAN POVERTY CONFERENCE 
Francis condemned greed and the ruthless pursuit of profit in a message sent to a Vatican conference on poverty Sunday (Oct. 3), offering his spiritual take on economic issues to a group of economists and faith leaders...
MISOGYNY AND THE ABORTION DEBATE 
The violence of abortion severs a baby from the mother’s womb—quite literally. And yet so often the way we approach the issue of abortion also severs baby from the mother in another way: by focusing on one over the other.
THE 12 THINGS PRO-LIFERS MUST DO IF ROE V. WADE IS OVERTURNED 
Upholding Roe is not the same thing as preserving the availability of abortion, and overturning Roe is not the same thing as eliminating abortion.
THOU SHALT NOT SHARE FALSE WITNESS 
The great religious traditions do not stop at the simple Sunday-school warning against lying. They suggest that we have an affirmative moral obligation to be fact-checkers.
AS POPE FRANCIS' CRITICS VENT THEIR ANGER, WHAT COMES OUT IS VACCINE DISINFORMATION  
That so many lay Catholics and clerics alike are ignoring church teachings demonstrates a large leak in the barque of Peter.
PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR POST-ROE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE  
We need to talk not only about rescinding Roe v. Wade, but about creating a culture of life that will empower lower income women especially who are facing crisis pregnancies...
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NO STRANGER TO BANNING BOOKS — AND WE KNOW IT (ALMOST) ALWAYS BACKFIRES 
A reminder of one of our nation’s favorite pastimes: book bans.
WEAK RESPONSE FROM SOME US BISHOPS AS PRIESTS SPREAD VACCINE MISINFORMATION 
The fact that any of this has become a political statement is a sad reflection on the state of the nation, and this is where the bishops could provide an alternate example.
RECLAIMING THE CATHOLIC MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL TRADITION FROM THE CULTURE WARS 
In a keynote address delivered at a conference for and with a group of U.S. bishops March 25-26,M. Therese Lysaught, a professor at Loyola University, says we need to reclaim the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition from the culture wars.
UKRAINE, THE VATICAN, AND VATICAN II 
The war in Ukraine presents challenges for the Church and forces self-examination among progressive Catholics, whose horizons may now be clouded.
SOME CATHOLIC ABORTION FOES ARE UNEASY ABOUT OVERTURNING ROE 
Some anti-abortion Catholics caution that Catholic leaders should distance themselves from the politically partisan wing of the anti-abortion movement.
WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE PRO-LIFE  
A moral world is one whose societies realize that none of us can manage alone without the help of those who believe that every life is as important as their own.
IF ONLY SOMEONE DID SOMETHING ABOUT THE MURDER OF 19 CHILDREN 
We're also sick of hearing the same song — but always one where more of our children are butchered and no one in authority does anything. How long must this song go on?
THOMAS MERTON, THE PROBLEM OF WAR AND THE CHARACTER OF CHRISTIAN NONVIOLENCE 
Dialogue has to be at the heart of Christian nonviolence, for genuine dialogue has as its basis an understanding of the other rooted in the Incarnation
WHEN ABORTION ISN’T ABORTION 
Pro-life slogans are simple, but women’s needs aren’t. The practical, legal, and medical realities of abortion overlap in complicated ways.
THE MYTH OF THE ‘GOOD GUY WITH A GUN’ HAS RELIGIOUS ROOTS 
For many American Christians, Jesus, guns and the Constitution are stitched together as durably as a Kevlar vest.
IT'S TIME FOR ANTI-ABORTION CATHOLICS TO BECOME TRULY PRO-LIFE 
Catholic bishops and activists should lead effort to end polarization. Are these leaders also capable of the dialogue and encounter our country and church so desperately need now?
SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V WADE 
The court’s 5-4 decision brings abortion policy decisions to the state level.
PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF LIFE: OVERTURNING OF ROE V. WADE ‘CHALLENGES THE WORLD’ 
After 50 years, it is important to reopen a non-ideological debate on the place that the protection of life has in a civil society to ask ourselves what kind of coexistence and society we want to build.
CATHOLICS CELEBRATE OVERRULING OF ROE 
A monumental decision closely followed by Catholics and pro-life advocates, both bishops and pro-life organizations have issued statements in the wake of the decision.
US CARDINALS HAIL ‘IMPORTANT’ SUPREME COURT DECISION ON ABORTION 
“Those who have opposed and supported Roe can and should find common ground for a renewed commitment to social and economic justice in our country.”
IS THIS WHAT WE WANTED? 
Mollie O'Reilly and Natalia Imperatori-Lee highlight the complex realities of women’s reproductive health, discuss their experiences as mothers, and identify what a true “culture of life” might look like.
THE END OF ROE 
The U.S. bishops have "tied the institutional church to a political party hostile to the very policies that would help women and families raise children."
THE ABORTION QUESTION MAY BE DECIDED POLITICALLY. THE REAL TEST IS A MORAL ONE 
Maybe the bishops can teach that “respect life” includes Catholic social teaching. Maybe they can expand Church efforts to assist the poor.
‘ROE’ RULING SHOULD OPEN ‘GREAT DEBATE’ ON PROTECTING LIFE AT EVERY STAGE 
The Vatican’s top official on life issues has said the decision is an opportunity to both strengthen societal support for mothers and to launch a deeper reflection on human life.
ABORTION AND POLITICAL LOVE 
The intensity of Catholic rhetoric surrounding abortion in recent months has brought into sharp focus the inadequacy and even the potential destructiveness of certain patterns of thinking within the pro-life movement
WHAT CATHOLICS ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT ABORTION AND ROE V. WADE 
That the Catholic Church is firmly opposed to abortion is not news to anyone. However, what Catholics in the pews think and feel about the issue is not as clear—and we don’t ever talk about it.
WISE ABORTION PUBLIC POLICY SHOULD DEAL WITH REALITIES AS WELL AS MORALITIES 
Too often discussion focuses exclusively on the embryo or fetus — a developing human — without respecting the realities faced by the fully developed human, a woman whose life and body can be profoundly affected and put at risk.
VATICAN: AFTER COURT DECISION, IT’S TIME FOR WIDESPREAD PRO-LIFE WORK 
A truly pro-life celebration of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would lead to cooperative efforts to pass legislation protecting life, women’s rights and motherhood.
DOBBS COULD BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT - UNLESS WE STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE 
We cannot protect the unborn simply by defeating something or rolling back cultural developments. We must build something.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS CLAIMING THEY’RE HEROES FOR ENDING ABORTION RIGHTS 
While they can claim victory in Dobbs, they cannot also claim to be the saviors of the people they’ve harmed.
UNITED STATES SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM EUROPE 
A fair and just society would be one in which abortion was never necessary for a woman’s survival or for her ability to care for her children. And the U.S. is shamefully inadequate in terms of affordable healthcare...
‘ARE WE STUCK IN THIS HELL FOREVER?’ AND OTHER QUESTIONS I’M ASKING AFTER ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING  
Dante’s great insight in “Inferno” is that ultimately the only way out of hell is going through it, by confronting what we see there and what we feel.
LATINO CATHOLICS OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT ABORTION RIGHTS. HERE’S WHY 
New data from the Public Religion Research Institute found that among Latino Catholics, 75% say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. That’s a big jump from the 51% who said so in 2010.
THE BIGGER VISION OF A WORLD WITHOUT ROE V. WADE 
We must take the necessary measures to map out what a truly post-Roe “Culture of Life” looks like. We cannot cut corners, or get sloppy.
CHURCH CANNOT FLEE FAILURES, BUT MUST RECONCILE WITH INDIGENOUS 
While commentators, politicians and survivors discussed whether Francis' apology for the Church's role in running residential schools was enough, the pope insisted reconciliation requires faith, action and the courage to move forward.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ‘LIFE OF THE MOTHER’ EXCEPTIONS IN ABORTION LAW  
Have we considered how to handle the ethical dilemmas that overturning Roe v. Wade will cause when states pass abortion laws so restrictive they will endanger the lives of mothers?
AMERICAN IDOLS 
The dysfunctional gun culture in the United States is just one example of how much work must still be done by Catholics who advocate for the dignity of all human life.
U.S. BISHOPS URGE CONGRESS TO WORK TO PROTECT LIFE, PROMOTE COMMON GOOD 
Four American Bishops who chair committees of the USCCB are advocating for legislation that protects human life and promotes the health, safety and support of the family.
WHAT THE CHURCH CAN LEARN FROM KANSAS' VOTE TO PROTECT ABORTION RIGHTS 
The pro-life witness of the Catholic Church has been compromised by the willingness of many U.S. bishops to isolate abortion among other life issues.
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