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Our Speaker's Bureau

One-day Workshop:
Catholic Teaching On Beginning Of Life Issues

This one-day workshop, while providing a commentary and an explanation of Part Four of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, will also provide health care professionals in Catholic facilities with an opportunity to follow new developments in the field of fertility, discuss issues, and voice their concerns on a matter of ultimate import for who we are as a human community.
To provide health care professionals who work in Catholic health care facilities with an understanding of Church teaching on matters pertaining to the beginning of human life. According to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, an official document promulgated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2001:

The church's commitment to human dignity inspires an abiding concern for the sanctity of human life from its very beginning, and with the dignity of marriage and of the marriage act by which human life is transmitted. The church cannot approve medical practices that undermine the biological, psychological and moral bonds on which the strength of marriage and the family depends.


The workshop will be especially helpful for the personnel of those departments of Catholic facilities most directly affected by questions of reproduction. In addition, the workshop will prove invaluable to those who serve on ethics committees, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Others will profit as well: Sponsors, CEOs, Medical Directors, VPs for Nursing, Directors of Social Work, Mission Directors, and Directors of Pastoral Care. Physicians and nurses are especially welcome.
There will be 4 presentations with time set aside for participation and discussion. A variety of teaching aids will be used. Participants will be provided with the complete text of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

  • Compatibility of Faith and Reason:: The compatibility of faith and reason is stressed in the opening session which presents the participants with an overview of the Roman Catholic tradition of moral reflection. The resources of faith and reason are examined, and pertinent passages from scripture are examined to see what the bible has to say on beginning of life issues. Because of their importance to Catholic moral reflection, special attention is devoted to the areas of the natural moral law and the role of conscience.
  • Reproductive Technologies : Participants are given an up-to-the moment presentation of what is currently possible and being practiced in reproductive technologies. This will be done by analyzing the acronyms that dominate the field: IVF, AIH, AID, PROST, ZIFT, ICSI, NORIF, GIFT, and IUI, to name but a few.
  • The Gift of Life: The conclusions of the influential 1984 Warnock Report and the 1994 U.S. National Institutes of Health's Human Embryo Research Panel are compared to the what we find in the 1987 Vatican document, The Gift of Life. In this session, the ability to combine the truths of faith and reason is brought to the fore. Participants will be presented with the difference between authentic science and ideology masquerading as science.
  • Permissible in Catholic Facilities: Participants examine Church teaching at work in Directives 38 through 54 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. What is and what is not permissible in Catholic facilities will be discussed. Ample time for questions is provided.