How to Answer Tough Moral Questions: Abortion, Contraception, Euthanasia, Test-Tube Babies, Cloning & Sexual Ethics
In recent decades, medicine has made great strides in the prevention and treatment of disease. At the same time, new technologies have created serious moral problems in the areas of procreation and life prolongation that previous generations of Catholics didnít face. Modern medicine, which has done so much to preserve life, has also given us artificial contraception, artificial procreation, abortion, and euthanasia (mercy killing).
These evils are widespread today, promoted by leaders in medicine, politics, and education. Many Catholics are unsure about the morality of some of these evils: is surrogate motherhood wrong and, if so, why? To make matters worse, Catholics often receive confusing advice about these practices from Catholic theologians and even from their own pastors. Many Catholics arenít aware that the official teaching office of the Catholic Church (the Magisterium) has issued clear directives on these life issues (also known as bioethics).
The purpose of this booklet is to help Catholics make good moral decisions about these difficult life issues. We will explain the various practices and procedures and what the Church teaches about them. Then we will respond to the many clever arguments used to justify these evils. We will also identify the Church documents that deal with each bioethical problem.
As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his encyclical, The Splendor of Truth (Veritatis Splendor), we live in a time of great moral confusion. False moral systems are being promoted in every imaginable way: from entertainment and news to books and laws. This moral confusion has allowed evils like contraception, abortion, euthanasia, test-tube babies, and surrogate motherhood to become increasingly acceptable.
The Holy Father has made it clear that some teachers of these false systems of morality are Catholic theologians in Catholic seminaries and universities! No wonder the average Catholic is bewildered when he confronts these life issues. Yet, virtually everyone must grapple with bioethical questions at some time during his life.
We hope this booklet will provide a clear and understandable summary of what the Magisterium teaches, and why, about these critical life issues. But our ultimate goal is to help Catholics make good choices by forming their consciences properly and applying moral principles correctly.