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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 23, Issue 4, Winter 2023
The Thirtieth Anniversary of Veritatis Splendor

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1. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP, STD

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2. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Mary Ann Glendon

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The engagement of the Catholic Church with the post-World War II international human rights project has been marked from the beginning by strong support coupled with pointed reminders of larger issues left unaddressed. In the 1990s, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights came under assault from many directions, the Catholic Church was the strongest institutional defender of the entire body of principles in that historic document. Today, with the human rights project in crisis, its future may well hinge on how its defenders deal with problems to which Church leaders have repeatedly called attention. Prominent among these is the question of what happens to freedom when man “goes off in search of an illusory freedom apart from truth itself ”(John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, n. 1).
3. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
J. Budziszewski

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Natural law has fallen out of favor in mainstream ethics, much to the detriment of modern society. This article examines some examples of objections to the use of natural law, refuting the basis of those arguments and explaining the reality of natural law and its indispensibility in our understanding of human ethics.
4. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Steven A. Long

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The object of the moral act is a subject of some controversy in modern discussions of Christian ethics. Pope St. John Paul II, in the encyclical Veritatis splendor, speaks to the nature of the moral act with reference to Thomistic philosophy. This article discusses the foundational elements of Thomas Aquinas’s account of natural law and provides some important clarification of the nature of the moral act as addressed in the encyclical.
5. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Rev. Kevin Flannery, SJ

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The concept of an intrinsically immoral act is unattractive and widely rejected in modern moral theory, with some even going so far as to suggest that no such thing can exist. Such thinkers insist that two distinct realms exist: the moral law and the individual conscience. However, Veritatis splendor expressly rejects this stance and accurately foresees its incoherence and the threat accepting it poses to the credibility of Catholic moral teaching. This article examines the writings of Thomas Aquinas as well as several other important church documents to show that personal conscience cannot be separated from the objective moral law.
6. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Matthew K. Minerd

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What are the virtues of a well-formed conscience? Thomists consider conscience a matter of practical judgment, which leaves a malformed conscience susceptible to an inability to tell good from evil. Often, this malformed conscience is the effect of laziness, vice, or our own moral ignorance. To ensure a well-formed conscience, one needs all the moral virtues provided by Christ. This article focuses on two of those virtues—memory and docility—and extolls their importance in overcoming moral ignorance.
7. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Rev. Cajetan Cuddy, OP

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Vertiatis splendor was one of the most consequential papal encyclicals of the twentieth century. In it, the Church presented the faithful with a detailed look at Catholic moral teaching and put to rest several disputes that followed Vatican II. This article presents some key teachings of the encyclical and how they shape our understanding of Catholic moral teaching today.
8. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Rev. Ryan Connors

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Ecclesial commentators often describe the corrective function Pope St. John Paul’s 1993 encyclical letter Veritatis splendor exercised at the end of the twentieth century. Dissenting theological opinions, both from revisionist theologians of the immediate post-conciliar period and dissenting authors today, can find magisterial clarity in the encyclical. The document’s importance for an adequate understanding of the subsequent moral magisterium has received less fulsome treatment. With this essay, we examine five important and challenging teachings of the moral magisterium since the publication of Veritatis splendor that rely on the wisdom of the encyclical. In fact, a proper conception of each of these teachings will require adherence to the truths expressed in the 1993 document.

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9. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Kevin Wilger

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10. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
John S. Sullivan, MD

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11. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4
Christopher Kaczor

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12. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly: Volume > 23 > Issue: 4

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