Category Archives: ethics

Abortifacient contraception for a Medical Purpose

Can a Catholic married couple morally use abortifacient contraception (the birth control pill) for a medical purpose, while remaining sexually active. No, certainly not. And when we apply the principle of double effect to the question of using abortifacient contraception … Continue reading

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Contraception and Marriage: if it were true

A loose-knit group of Catholic commentators has decided to proclaim a radical revision to the teaching of the Magisterium on contraception: the claim that contraception is only intrinsically evil when used by a married couple. What happens when contraception is … Continue reading

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Intrinsic Evil, Heresy, and Excommunication

Many conservative Catholics today are just as much “cafeteria Catholics” as the liberals they criticize. They have their own belief system, which (for many, but not all of them) is substantially different from Catholic Christianity as taught by the Church. … Continue reading

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Most Catholics have rejected the Dogma of Intrinsic Evil

Reactions to the articles by deacon Russell and myself on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki vary. What surprises me is the total absence of any understanding of the magisterial teaching on intrinsic evil. The atomic bombings are condemned by … Continue reading

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Response to Deacon Jim Russell on Combatants and Double Effect

Deacon Jim Russell wrote an article, titled Combatants, Non-Combatants, and Double Effect, published August 10, 2017 at Crisis Magazine. The article is one of the worst pieces of Catholic moral theology I have ever read. It contains several serious errors … Continue reading

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Which Acts are Beyond the Limits of a Sincere but Mistaken Conscience?

Sometimes an act which is objectively morally disordered is committed with a sincere but mistaken conscience, such that it is not also an actual sin. Only actual sins include guilt and deserve punishment. “Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance without … Continue reading

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Will the U.S. accept Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral. It is not justified by a good intention or purpose, not even by the medical purpose of relieving severe suffering. It is not justified by a dire circumstance, not even that a … Continue reading

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Humanae Vitae on Marital Chastity

The teaching of Humanae Vitae is not limited to the topic of contraception within marriage. In Humanae Vitae, the Magisterium condemns contraception as intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral, regardless of marital state. “Just as man does not have unlimited … Continue reading

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Free book on Marital Sexual Ethics

My book, Roman Catholic Marital Sexual Ethics, will be free from Wednesday, June 7 to Friday, June 9 (Pacific time), in Kindle format only. Please take advantage of this offer. This book presents the teachings of the Roman Catholic Faith … Continue reading

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Saint Augustine on Marital Chastity

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, in his moral treatise ‘On the Good of Marriage,’ writes on the subject of sexual intercourse within marriage: “…nor be changed into that use which is against nature, on which the Apostle … Continue reading

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St. Thomas Aquinas on Marital Chastity

First, St. Thomas quotes Peter Lombard: Conjugal relations “are not to be changed to a use contrary to nature” [The Sentences, Book IV]. Then, St. Thomas explains what Lombard meant and why he is correct: “Marital relations are contrary to … Continue reading

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Is It Moral for Women to Freeze Their Eggs?

Is it moral for women to have eggs from their ovaries removed and frozen? 1. What is the intended end, i.e. the purpose of the act? If the reason is to use the eggs later in a procedure called IVF, … Continue reading

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An Unholy Book called “Holy Sex”

The full title of the book is ‘Holy Sex: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing Infallible Loving.’ The author is Gregory K. Popcak, who has a Ph.D. in “human services” from an online for-profit university: Capella University. Popcak is not … Continue reading

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Is Collective Punishment Intrinsically Evil?

The answer depends on the definition of collective punishment. Wikipedia here discusses the Fourth Geneva Convention and the definition of collective punishment: Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishment is a war crime. By collective punishment, the drafters of the … Continue reading

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Why does Revisionist Ethics condemn Euthanasia?

First things first. The Roman Catholic Magisterium rightly condemns euthanasia, in any and all forms, as intrinsically evil and always gravely immoral. And this teaching against euthanasia is both true AND consistent with Church teaching on other intrinsically evil acts. … Continue reading

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They knew Jesus was the Messiah, and they killed him anyway

Some persons commit sins, without fully realizing the immorality of their acts. They should have known, and so they are guilty of negligence in learning faith and morals. But other persons know full well that certain acts are gravely immoral, … Continue reading

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Fig Leaves, Falsehoods, and the Father of Lies

What does Sacred Scripture say about lying? [Leviticus] {19:11} You shall not steal. You shall not lie. Neither shall anyone deceive his neighbor. [Proverbs] {6:16} Six things there are that the Lord hates, and the seventh, his soul detests: {6:17} … Continue reading

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Free booklet on Ethics and Lying

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My booklet, Is Lying Always Wrong?, in Kindle format only, will be free from May 25 to May 27, 2017 (Pacific time). Please take advantage of this offer. To read the Kindle versions of my books, without a Kindle device, … Continue reading

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Human Acts have a Moral Nature

The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on ethics differs from every other source of ethical teachings. The main difference is the doctrine that human acts have a moral nature. Each of our acts has an inherent moral meaning (or … Continue reading

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Reply to the Usual Claims on Birth Control for Medical Reasons

Those who claim that the intrinsically evil acts of using abortifacient contraception while sexually active is moral for a medical reason usually make the same set of grave moral errors. A list of those errors, with the correct understanding, follow. … Continue reading

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