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In his section against abortion, he spoke against the incorrect metaphysical arguments of the s which caused some Catholic theologians to support the activity; in his section about embryonic stem cells, he spoke about the more successful alternatives. Although his arguments are primarily academic, he never forced an issue to begin where it did not naturally flow into a very practical understanding. He also didn't start from a consistent starting point, which to me only emphasized that there are many ways to understand and to explain a Catholic bioethics.

His creativity allowed me to see a great beauty in the understanding of life that a Catholic perspective brings. I recommend this for anyone looking to learn about Catholic bioethics, especially for its sound doctrine, its clarity, and its completeness. Sarah rated it it was amazing Aug 03, Tom Gourlay rated it really liked it Sep 05, Jill Hudson rated it really liked it Apr 07, Judith Babarsky rated it really liked it Oct 21, Shane rated it it was amazing Nov 06, Conor rated it really liked it Jan 01, Mary rated it liked it May 15, Middlethought rated it it was amazing Aug 05, Stockfish rated it it was amazing Mar 17, Jon Fincher rated it it was amazing Feb 08, Noel rated it it was amazing Jul 14, Simon Brown rated it really liked it Jan 04, Peter rated it it was amazing Dec 20, Joe rated it it was amazing Jan 04, Chris Ohlsen is currently reading it Sep 23, Susan added it Oct 05, Toryn Green added it Oct 21, Brian marked it as to-read Oct 27, Roland added it Nov 17, Ya Galley marked it as to-read Aug 13, Simon added it Feb 18, Carlos added it Aug 23, Elise marked it as to-read Aug 13, Friesca marked it as to-read Oct 15, Greg marked it as to-read Nov 23, Dominic Mangino added it Aug 14, Ian Espartero added it Oct 01, Chet marked it as to-read Jan 10, Emily Prest marked it as to-read Jul 16, Mariz marked it as to-read Dec 11, Highly recommended to anyone interested in bioethics, Catholic or secular.

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Since then, the questions in health ethics have only multiplied. In the face of such questions and many more, I now write not just as an enthusiastic pro-lifer or as a budding academic but also as a Catholic bishop.

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My episcopal motto is "Speaking the truth in love" - St Paul's shorthand description, in the fourth chapter of his Letter to the Ephesians, of the tasks of Christian leaders and disciples. Here he described the lived words, even more than the preached ones, of those who attain "the unity of the Faith and the knowledge of the Son of God" and so mature as fully as possible, both as human beings and as children of God.

That we might be assisted in this, he said, God graces "some to be apostles, prophets or evangelists, some to be pastors or teachers" - some, indeed, to be bishops. Without reliable teachers, Paul continues, people can be carried about by the latest fashions, and become dim of wit, hard of heart or deaf to God. So when I preach or teach or write, I try to offer words that might help.


Christians hope to be given a fair hearing, even by non-believers, and judged on the basis of their arguments; but the Church is not merely a competitor in some war of ideas: what she believes to be the truth she proposes as a lover to the beloved. As the Holy Father recently said to the United States Bishops, "The Church's witness is of its nature public : she seeks to convince by proposing rational arguments in the public square. Though the Church may sometimes be contra mundum , in the sense of offering a different wisdom to that fashionable at a particular time or in particular places, she is always for the world, in the sense of offering her message freely and lovingly in the hope that there will one day be not Cowboys and Indians, affirmative and negative debating teams, but one human family under God.

Those outside the Church who would seek to silence Christians on the great issues of the day, those inside who would prefer to retreat to some haven of the like-minded, and those inside or out who want the Church to follow the latest opinion poll, all misread that legitimate separation of Church and State that Christianity first offered the world.

Though the Church may not dictate to the state including those making laws with respect to human life or to the professions including those in the healthcare professions , she must always be a voice for the voiceless - including the unborn, sick and dying - and propose a wisdom she believes she has received from God and which drives her faithful who are themselves leaders and voters, doctors and patients. Pastors and laity have different and complementary roles in this task in contributing to the public square.

Next month we celebrate fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council. That great Council explained that:.

“University Ethics” by James Keenan, S.J.

Lay-people should know that it is generally the function of their well-formed Christian conscience to see that the divine law is inscribed in the life of the earthly city. Though they can expect spiritual light and strength from their priests, the laity should not imagine that their pastors are always experts able to give a concrete solution to every problem which arises, however complicated, or even that such is their mission.

Rather, enlightened by Christian wisdom and giving close attention to the teaching authority of the Church, let the laity take on their own distinctive role.

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Regarding what they called "the difficult but very noble art of politics," the Fathers of Vatican II praised "the work of those who for the common good devote themselves to the service of the state and take on the burdens of office. In this context, the responsibility of lawmakers and those who influence them to protect the life of all members of the community from conception until natural death was reaffirmed by the Council and has since been repeated very often by popes and bishops, as well as by many other faithful Christians, clerical and lay.

Of course, as politicians know only too well, no leader can do everything and good laws will only take us so far in building up a civilisation of life and love. Morally sensitive lawmakers also face many dilemmas about what kinds of laws to seek, which to oppose, how to ameliorate bad proposed laws by amendment and what are the best means to such ends. That is why, in my book Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium , I offer some examples encountered in the conventional politics and reflect upon the responsibilities of a politician with respect to abortion, infanticide, embryo destruction and euthanasia, especially in those situations where the laws are not presently, and are not likely in the near future to be, as "perfect" as one might desire.

Bioethics: Theo 110 and Theo 319: Home

Since Vatican II a series of Church documents have offered some counsel to Christian politicians on the course reasonably to be taken with respect to the protection of human life, culminating in the great encyclical Evangelium Vitae. A number of positions, not uncommon in contemporary discourse and practice, have been authoritatively rejected.

Rather than rehearse the substantial argumentation offered in those texts, let me lay out a few positive conclusions from those texts regarding bio-politics:. The arguments that Christians and others present for these claims are sophisticated, persuasive and, I believe, conclusive. Various things follow.