Catholic Moral Theology in the United States: A History by Charles E. Curran

By Charles E. Curran

In this magisterial quantity Charles E. Curran surveys the old improvement of Catholic ethical theology within the usa from its nineteenth century roots to the current day. He starts off through tracing the improvement of pre-Vatican II ethical theology that, except for social ethics, had the constrained function of educating destiny confessors to understand what activities are sinful and the measure of sinfulness.

Curran then explores and illuminates the post-Vatican II period with chapters at the influence of the Council at the scope and substance of ethical theology, the impression of Humanae vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical condemning man made birth control, basic ethical theology, sexuality and marriage, bioethics, and social ethics.

Curran's viewpoint is exclusive: for almost 50 years, he has been an incredible impact at the improvement of the sphere and has witnessed first-hand the dramatic elevate within the quantity and variety of ethical theologians within the academy and the Church. not anyone is extra certified to jot down this primary and in simple terms accomplished heritage of Catholic ethical theology within the United States.

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83 For Sabetti the highest authority in practice is the teaching of the popes, even when done only through the decrees and statements of the congregations of the Roman Curia, such as the Holy Office and the Penitentiary. He developed his thought here in two articles published in the American Ecclesiastical Review. Speaking of the teaching office of the pope, he says it is not the congregation itself that acts “but the Holy Father, himself, who in the exercise of his supreme power, makes use of the same congregation as a means to promulgate it.

Commentators disagree on whether or not Kenrick is a neoscholastic. White (Diocesan Seminary, 139) maintains that, in scripture and doctrine, Kenrick ignored the scholastic authors. Fogarty (American Catholic Biblical Scholarship, 34) claims that Kenrick’s theology was not based on the scholastics and that he would have opposed the imposition of Thomism by Pope Leo XIII. But McGreevy (Catholicism and American Freedom, 53) characterizes Kenrick as a neo-Thomist and an ultramontanist. Nolan, Most Reverend Francis Patrick Kenrick, 244.

The consequences of mortal sin and venial sin are dramatic, but at times the lightest of mortal sins and the worst of venial sins seem very close. He strongly opposes using the fear of mortal sin to secure prompt obedience to the merely positive laws of the Church, but he never points out that this approach was universally accepted and consistently used in Catholic instruction. Even if it were possible to have a clear distinction between mortal and venial sin, this distinction would refer only to the objective aspect of sin.

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