Please Note - This article may be reposted and distributed only when the following information is included:
The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Our publication available in Scribd format.
© 2018 by The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Now Available Online
The New Charter for Health Care Workers, the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers' definitive guide on bioethics in the Catholic Church, is now available in an online form. Updated from the earlier 1995 Charter, this book cover a wide range of issues in medical ethics, including end-of-life issues, reproductive ethics, and moral questions connected to the advance of science and medical technology.
Read it here.
Purchase a print version here.
Sex and Gender: A Theological and Scientific Inquiry edited by Mark F. Schwartz, Albert S. Moraczewski, and James A Monteleone addresses the considerable confusion regarding sexuality among humans. Homosexuals are seeking recognition of their way of sexual life as just an optional way of expressing and exercising human sexuality. Not a few individuals are uncertain in today’s society as to what it means to be a man or a woman, as if these categories were purely a matter of social convention. Those afflicted with a condition termed “gender dysphoria” perceive themselves as women although they recognize that anatomically they are male, or vice versa. In all these situations there is some doubt about the relationship of gender and sex. Gender in this context refers primarily to the psychological dimension, the perception of one’s self as being a man or woman. Sex is more an anatomical term, and describes the individual as physiologically male or female.This book does not provide a definitive statement. Rather, it is a record of one exchange in an ongoing dialogue between the scientific and theological communities in the complex and emotionally charged topic of human sexuality.
Read it here.
Theologies of the Body: Humanist and Christian by Benedict Ashley. Vatican II demonstrated the remarkable assimilation by Catholic theology of modern historical consciousness regarding bot the Scriptures and dogmatic development. At last a positive answer to the historical objections raised against Christianity by the secular humanist of the Enlightenment could be given. But the Council was not able to provide an equally positive answer to the Enlightenment’s other and more fundamental objections derived from modern natural science. Why more fundamental? Because the historicism of the Enlightenment arose from a romantic reaction within its own ranks to the “value-free” character of the scientific worldview and the technology it made possible. The reaction was provoked by the need to contrast a value-system which would no longer be based on nature but on human creativity, thus supplying what the new value-free, anti-teleological scientific understanding of nature could no longer provide. One of the principal thesis in this book is that this unresolved polarization within secular humanism has today resulted in that deflation of the Enlightenment which we call “postmodernism.” Again we have a “Catholic moment” when the Gospel message stifled by the Enlightenment can be heard.
Read it here.
What Is Man, O Lord? The Human Person in a Biotech Age edited by Edward J. Furton contains the proceedings of the Eighteenth Workshop for Bishops from February 5-9, 2001. The advances in biotechnology which have made it possible to decipher the human genetic code, to alter the very biological structures of human life, and even to mix genetic material of different species have opened new vistas for the cure of human diseases and disorders. At the same, it must be acknowledged that much of this research raises grave moral questions, especially with regard to the treatment given to human beings at the first stages of their development. The Catholic tradition, drawing upon the principles of the natural law, clearly affirms that “the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the first moment of conception; and therefore, from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every human being to life (Donum vitae, I.1). Since the fundamental ethical criterion governing scientific research can only be the defense and the promotion of the integral good of the human person, it follows that any procedure performed on human beings, even at the very dawn of their personal existence, must respect the dignity and rights originating in human nature itself. Far from an extrinsic limitation on human freedom, this moral obligation arises from the very truth about the human person.
Read it here.
Human Sexuality and Personhood contains the proceedings of the Workshop for the Hierarches of the United States and Canada from February 2-6, 1981. This book notes the two hinges of discussion that Pope St. John Paul II cites in the 1980 synod of bishops: fidelity toward the plan of God for the family, and a pastoral way of acting. The text sets out to present a contemporary and balanced theology of human sexuality and marriage in the light of magisterial teaching and the Christian theology of the Person
Read it here.