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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 11, Issue 4, Winter 2011

Rev. Benedict M. Guevin, OSB
Pages 679-688

Vital Conflicts and Virtue Ethics
A Response to Rev. Martin Rhonheimer

This is a response to criticism by Rev. Martin Rhonheimer of a critique by Rev. Benedict Guevin of Rhonheimer’s book Vital Conflicts. Rhonheimer insists that Guevin both misunderstood and misrepresented his action theory. Rhonheimer claims that his understanding of “direct” versus “indirect” killing, as well his use of “intention” finds its warrant in the writings of Popes John Paul II and Pius XII. Having examined Rhonheimer’s magisterial sources in detail, Guevin concludes that Rhonheimer’s claim that the object of the moral act is found essentially in the “intention,” that is, in what one intends to do by what one is doing, is baseless. Such a claim is idiosyncratic. The writings of John Paul II and Pius XII are clearly at odds with both Rhonheimer’s analysis and his conclusions. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.4 (Winter 2011): 679–688.