Category Archives: ethics

Catholic Discussions of Marital Sexual Ethics

In various online Catholic forums, the topic of marital sexual ethics is often discussed. I’ve been involved in many such discussions in the past, and I’ve read many similar discussions, in which I’ve not participated. I’m writing this post to … Continue reading

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Roman Catholic Teaching on Intrinsically Evil Acts

1: The Three Fonts of Morality A human act is a knowing choice made by a human person. Every human act is an exercise of free will, making a choice based on knowledge in the intellect. Each choice is an … Continue reading

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If the Warning is difficult for you…

…repent from your past sins, resolve to love others and avoid grave wrong doing. Then wait patiently for the Consolation, on Easter Sunday. The Consolation will take away the burden of sorrow for all who truly repented at the Warning … Continue reading

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Pope Pius XII: it is not impossible for married couples to abstain from sex

The controversy over Amoris Laetitia has raised the question as to whether it might be impossible for a divorced and remarried couple to refrain from sex, as the Church teaches they must. They do not have a valid Sacrament of … Continue reading

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Ectopic Pregnancy: Removal of the Prenatal

ERD: “In case of extra-uterine pregnancy, no intervention is morally licit which constitutes a direct abortion.” [USCCB, Ethical and Religious Directives, n. 48.] An ectopic pregnancy represents a difficult moral situation. But the USCCB is expressing the constant teaching of … Continue reading


500 Scholars Pretend To Support Humanae Vitae

When I first heard the news, that over 500 Catholic scholars issued a joint statement in support of Catholic teaching on contraception, I was pleased. Then I read the document and was deeply saddened. The statement, issued at the Catholic … Continue reading


Free Book on Intrinsic Evil

My book Roman Catholic Teaching on Intrinsic Evil is available for FREE in Kindle format for three days: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of September 17, 18, and 19 (Pacific time). Please take advantage of this free offer. The book discusses … Continue reading


When is Adultery only a Venial Sin? Ask Jeff Mirus

In a new post here, Jeff Mirus now claims that the sin of having sexual relations within a second non-marital union (a type of adultery) can be only a venial sin, if one partner is “under duress”. The duress is … Continue reading


When Non-Catholics fail to live up to Catholic Teaching

There is a certain type of Catholic commentary, on the pluralistic and largely secular culture which surrounds us, which evaluates the words and deeds of non-Catholics according to Catholic teaching. Then the commentator rails against these individuals, essentially complaining that … Continue reading


Modesty and Chastity in Catholic Teaching

Modesty can refer to self-restraint in every area of life. Saint Thomas Aquinas: “Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. xxi): ‘In both Testaments the temperate man finds confirmation of the rule forbidding him to love the things of this life, or … Continue reading


Catholic Ethics and the Concrete Act

Overview of Ethics Human persons have the gifts of reason and free will from God. The use of these gifts, in knowing choices, implies moral responsibility. For we are capable of understanding transcendent truths and of distinguishing between good and … Continue reading


Human Rights and Gun Control

The U.S. Constitution includes a Bill of Rights, and among those enumerated rights is the right to keep and bear arms. But this article is not about the legal and constitutional issues of gun ownership and gun control; it is … Continue reading

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The Misuse of the Confessional by a Catholic blogger

In the article Whose Money Is It, Anyway? (3 June 2016), Kevin T. DiCamillo describes the plight of a retired elderly priest, with declining mental acuity, whose life savings are in dispute. Who should inherit this money, after he passes? … Continue reading

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Ethics and Salvation: objective sin versus actual sin

Objective sin (or material sin) is distinguished from actual sin (or formal sin). The former is objectively a sin. It is immoral under the immutable eternal moral law, by its conflict with the love of God and the love of … Continue reading


The Principle of Double Effect and Intrinsically Evil Acts

The Principle of Double Effect (PDE) has been badly misunderstood by most teachers of Catholic ethics, and it is often misrepresented. The main problem is that you cannot understand the principle of double effect, unless you first understand the three … Continue reading


Is the Magisterium able to teach on the morality of contraception outside of marriage?

Now here’s a strange claim making the rounds on the internet. The idea is that the Church is unable to tell us if using contraception in sexual acts outside of marriage is moral or immoral. Why? They claim that to … Continue reading


Questions on Sexual Ethics

I’m getting a lot of questions on sexual ethics by e-mail and in comments on blog posts. It’s important not to see sexual ethics as if it were a special version of morality, based on a different set of basic … Continue reading


Amoris Laetitia on Contraception and Sex in Marriage

The Latin title of this Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis means “The Joy of Love”. But it is also titled, in English, “On Love in the Family”. The exhortation is termed “post-synodal” because it represents the last document of the … Continue reading

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Stealth Euthanasia: Continuous Deep Sedition without Hydration

Passive versus Active Legal and medical sources distinguish between passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. Active euthanasia involves commission: doing something to end a person’s life. If a physician gives a patient a type or amount of medication designed to cause … Continue reading

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No exceptions for intrinsically evil acts!

Pope Saint John Paul II: “The negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behavior as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the … Continue reading