May, William E.
68 Articles at


Reflecting on God's Goodness

While illness is never easy, this experience, and a few others linked closely in time, have left me, more than anything, most grateful.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

JONATHAN LAST'S What to Expect When No One is

America's fertility rate is falling precipitously and if nothing is done to reverse this situation the nation's population will no longer be able to care for the swelling numbers of the elderly, or have adequate financial resources to maintain a military force capable of resisting hostile and populous nations.

Date posted: 2013-08-22

Rebuilding a Marriage-Centered Culture

Public policy debate over the meaning of marriage and its importance shows the cultural confusion today about what marriage is: a confusion that has very bad consequences, May says, "for every family and the whole of society." Although the percentage of high school seniors aspiring to a happy marriage with one person for life has not changed over the past several decades, the number who do marry and stay married has dropped dramatically; with the result that today 40 percent of children are born to unwed mothers.

Date posted: 2012-11-23

Not For Resuscitation Orders: Review of Dr. Tonti-Filippini's book "Caring for People Who are Sick or Dying"

Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, a highly respected Australian bioethicist known for his presentation and defense of Catholic teaching, offers a helpful presentation of the meaning of "Not for Resuscitation Orders".

Date posted: 2012-10-16

The Emotion of Anger vs. The Sin of Wrath

I hope this short essay has served to make clear the moral difference between the emotion of anger and the sin of wrath - and, that TV can, at times, move us closer to God provided we choose the right channel.

Date posted: 2012-10-16

Relativism or Relativity: Religious Freedom and the Family

The fact that issues of birth, marriage and death figure so prominently in debates in the United States on the role of religion in public life should alert us to the possibility that the family holds a special place in the context of religious freedom.

Date posted: 2012-10-16

A Longtime Practitioner of IVF Repudiates the "Making" of Babies

Dr. Anthony Caruso practiced IVF for 15 years, and for the final 10 had a thriving practice in Chicago. In 2008 he abandoned this practice and gave superb reasons for doing so.

Date posted: 2012-07-11

Virtues in Caring for the Sick and Dying Patient

For years I have been writing articles opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide, grave violations of the inviolable dignity of human bodily persons, whose bodies are integral to their being as human and not spirit persons.

Date posted: 2012-02-15

"'Self-abuse' and the Body as 'Gift.'"

In truth the human body is integral to the being of the human person. Human persons are bodies, and their bodies reveal them as the kind of persons they are. They are not spiritual persons, as are the Three Persons of the Triune God and angels. They are "body" persons and as such are inescapably male or female persons. When Cod created man "he created them male and female," that is bodily beings, "body persons," not "spirit persons" like angels or the Persons of the Trinity. They are men or women summoned from their depths to "give" themselves to one another in love.

Date posted: 2012-02-15

The Morality of "GIFT" and "IUI"

I will first describe GIFT/IUI, identify the moral issue, summarize arguments given until 2011 pro and con the moral rightness of these procedures, summarize a somewhat new argument in opposition to them advanced in 2011 by Helen Watt, briefly reflect on the way "the language of the body" relates to their morality, and offer a Conclusion.

Date posted: 2012-01-20

Educating the "Heart" of Youths in the Virtue of Chastity

Contemporary secular culture despises chastity. This is reflected in the soft-pornography of many films and t.v."sit-coms," tv ads for contraceptives, college dorms dispensing condoms in the restrooms, and the hard porn instantly accessible via the internet. Adolescents are urged to masturbate in order "to get in touch with their own bodies," and a college graduate who is still a virgin is considered a troglodyte. It is thus imperative for a new generation to discover, with mind and heart, that this is a lie and that chastity is a wonderful virtue, necessary for a full and happy life. And the sanctuary of chastity is the home built on a marriage between one man and one woman who are committed to be chaste and to help their children become chaste men and women.

Date posted: 2011-11-15

Reflections on Marriage after 53 Years

My wife and I are persons of faith. We firmly believe that God is a loving Father who has inscribed our names in the palm of his hand (cf Is 49:16) and who will never abandon us but will be with us to help us become fully the beings he wants us to be -- persons who return his love and act as befits his very own children, "adopted" brothers and sisters of his only-begotten Son who became man and died for us in order to show how deeply God loves us.

Date posted: 2011-10-16

Desire, Lust, Chastity, and Love: A Deeper Understanding

This article summarizes Yusuf's thoughtful and thought-provoking essay, focusing on the movement from the hedonistic, self-centered self to the ethical or virtuous self, and ultimately to the self at peace. It shows how chastity is a central virtue enabling this movement, insofar as this virtue helps a person to take command of his desires and emotions and not be under their command.

Date posted: 2011-09-05

Witnessing to the Sanctity of Human Life:

The August, 2011 issue of Catholic Medical Quarterly, the journal of the Catholic Medical Association of the United Kingdom, begins with an article "Jerome Lejeune: A Doctor for All Seasons." His example in witnessing to the sanctity of human life from its inception until death was remarkable. Reflecting on it can be of value to all in the pro-life movement, particularly if some basic principles of medical ethics that he proposed are not only kept in mind but carried out in practice. The CMQ's brief article is well done; hence this piece will basically be a summary of it, implemented by a brief description of Lejeune's role in a famous court case in Tennessee toward the end of the 1980's.

Date posted: 2011-09-05

Pornography's Social Cost

This article will present some of the extensive evidence provided by the Reader of current scientific studies to show that use of pornography causes terrible harms to millions of people today. Because of the Internet and other new technologies those harms now affect more and more people who can access "hardcore" porn instantly from around the world.

Date posted: 2011-08-19

Contraception, Gateway to the Culture of Death

Contraception is the "gateway" to the culture of death. It is so because it is an anti-life kind of act whose acceptance is rooted in a dualistic anthropology separating the consciously experiencing subject from his or her body and in a proportionalistic, consequentialistic moral approach repudiating the notion of intrinsically evil acts. Utterly opposed to contraception is "recourse to the rhythm of the cycle," whose concept of the human person and of human sexuality is, the Holy Father affirmed, "irreconcilable" with that of contraception. It thus seems to me that respect for the "rhythm of the cycle" - which is simply a way of referring to the periodic abstinence required in natural family planning - can be regarded as the "gateway" to the culture of life precisely because its concept of the human person and of human sexuality rests upon solid anthropological and moral foundations.

Date posted: 2011-07-22

Donating One's Body to Science

A reader from Ontario, Canada, has written to say: "I have allowed my body at death to be given to science. Is this permissible?" .. The answer to the reader's question is, "Yes," one can give one's body to science, and the Church permits this. It is highly recommended that the bodies be interred in a Catholic cemetery, although there is freedom to choose another cemetery unless a specific ecclesiastical law forbids it. The remains of these bodies, if cremated, ought to be interred in a cemetery.

Date posted: 2011-07-18

Conscience and the Dignity of the Human Person

Almost everyone agrees that we ought to respect persons. They think we ought to do so because persons are not "things" that can be disposed of at will. They regard them as beings of moral worth, with a dignity that ought to be respected by others and endowed with rights that ought to be recognized and protected by civil authority. Surely almost all Americans make their own the "self-evidence of the truth" affirmed in the Declaration of Independence that "[all men] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

Date posted: 2011-07-18

Advance Directives

Today legislation requires patients to provide doctors, clinics, hospitals etc. with "advance directives." An advance directive is a document by which a person makes provision for health care decisions in the event that, in the future, he or she is no longer competent to make such decisions for himself or herself.

Date posted: 2011-06-06

Vocation to the Single or Celibate Life in the World or Merely "Waiting for a Vocation"?

Some people believe that only men called to the priesthood and men and women called to be consecrated virgins have a vocation to the single or celibate life and that neither a man nor a woman can have a vocation to the single or celibate life in the world.

Date posted: 2011-05-18

Hard Cases for Defenders of Abortion

Almost everyone thinks that raping women is a morally repugnant act, especially if she is pregnant and even more so if it causes her to miscarry. This is so true, Kaczor notes, that even the most vociferous champions of capital punishment balk at executing a woman while she is pregnant. If someone murders the pregnant woman and murders her unborn baby as well, this horrible crime becomes even more odious.

Date posted: 2011-04-20

Surgery in the Womb for Babies with Spina Bifida

At the end of their report the doctors quote Julie as follows: "The photo [a video of the operation showing the baby grasping the finger of the surgeon] reminds us that my pregnancy isn't about disability or's about a little person. That's what it's always been about. That's what the media elite wants us to forget. And, that's why they don't want you to see the picture. The photo should be televised across the nation and published in every newspaper in the country. It won't be because the media does not want Samuel's photo to be shown; it is much too graphic a reminder that a real baby is growing in the womb. It is not a glob of tissue, or a 'product of conception;' it is a living soul."

Date posted: 2011-04-04

From Planned Parenthood to Pro-Life: "The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader"

[L]ife story of Abby Johnson, former abortion advocate turned pro-life. This remarkable book tells us of: 1. Abby's own attitude toward abortion; 2. Why she became a Planned Parenthood volunteer; 3. Her career with Planned Parenthood from 2001-2009; 4. How her eyes were opened to the reality of abortion; and 5. Her decision to resign from Planned Parenthood and cross the life line.

Date posted: 2011-03-27

Husbands and Wives and the Education of Children

Husbands and wives cannot "unspouse themselves" nor can they "unfather" or "unmother" themselves. They thus have the privilege, the duty, and the right to be their children's primary educators.

Date posted: 2011-03-09

The Quandary of Catholic Pharmacists

Is it morally permissible to sell something immoral to some one else, for instance, working at a pharmacy and selling Plan B pills and contraceptives?

Date posted: 2011-03-05

"The Social Costs of Pornography"

This brief but substantive report is a most valuable help in combating the "plague of pornography." In my judgment, it shows how internet and other new media for viewing and disseminating pornography illustrate the insight of John Paul II.

Date posted: 2011-03-03

The Secularization of Bioethics

Bioethics in the United States is dominated by secularists who reject religious faith, which they believe is a remnant of a superstitious age that has no place in the public square.

Date posted: 2011-02-19

Pre-Natal Screening: An Ethical Analysis

Thus pre-natal screening can be used in a morally good was as well as in a morally bad way. It seems unfortunate that most medical hospitals who respect the sanctity of life and refuse to abort unborn children deemed "defective" because of the hunt and destroy use of pre-natal screening do not offer pre-natal diagnostic services. Because of this, couples most in need of support in obtaining truly therapeutic help that will beefit their unborn children are sent away. But that support must be to affirm the sanctity of human life. Prenatal diagnosis offers information to a woman, a couple; such information is good because it delineates reality.

Date posted: 2011-02-17

Macular Degeneration and Human Embryonic Stem Cells

This essay will first explain what macular degeneration is and note its different forms. It will then focus on the morality of using human embryonic stem cells in efforts to cure persons suffering from maladies, and then report and reflect on relevant scientific evaluations of the therapeutic value efficacy of embryonic stem cell research.

Date posted: 2011-01-29

Contraception Again: A New and Interesting Account

McCrystal's book, simply written, filled with interviews that he had with different couples, and rooted in his own experience and in very good research into relevant literature, is a very helpful book. It is of special educational value because it shows the harm that the practice of contraception can do to marital life and love, and also shows the benefits couples experience who use NFP as a morally legitimate way to limit (or increase) the size of their families.

Date posted: 2011-01-18

Additional Reflections: Pope Benedict XVI On Condom Use

The Holy Father had agreed to collaborate with Seewald in writing this book, as he had done in the past. He chose to do so now precisely as a way of letting the world know that the Catholic Church and, in particular, the Pope, are deeply concerned with the lives of ordinary people, whom they seek to serve by proclaiming the truth: the truth about the meaning of human life and love, the truth of the beauty of marriage and the conjugal act, the truth of the gift of human life that is the crowning gift of marriage, and the truth of the evil of sex between persons who are not married.

Date posted: 2010-12-08

Human Fathers and their Sublime Task and Mission of "Revealing and Reliving on Earth the Very Fatherhood of God"

The father must be a person who lives his faith daily, in his everyday work and social relationships. If he strives every day to be holy and to sanctify others - humbly acknowledging too his failures to be holy and to love, as God the Father loves him and all human persons in his Son Jesus, by forgiving those who wrong him and by praying for them, he will have a profound influence on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual lives of his children. He will also encourage them to discern their own unique vocation as Christians.

Date posted: 2010-11-22

Preparing for Marriage

Once the date for the wedding has been set, the engaged couple must prepare spiritually and materially for the wedding, fulfill legal requirements and requirements of their religious communities, and plan for the wedding ceremony. This article centers on these matters.

Date posted: 2010-11-21

Catholics and "Do-Not-Resuscitate" Orders: Relevant Moral Principles

Is a "do-not-resuscitate" order ever ethical? Shouldn't a patient in an emergency situation always be resuscitated, so that the family can evaluate with some time and care what are the limits of ordinary and extraordinary care (and is that distinction used anymore)?

Date posted: 2010-11-07

Preparation for Marriage III (part 2)

If the marriage for which engaged couples are preparing is to be happy and lasting, their courtship must be a chaste one. Abundant evidence shows that living together and having sex prior to marriage is not advisable if one wants a happy, lasting marriage because after marriage there is frequent divorce, infidelity, and unhappiness.

Date posted: 2010-11-05

Preparation for Marriage III (part 1)

The main thing is, for those preparing for marriage during the proximate stage, to understand why homemaking is so important and that a livable, cheerful and happy home does not depend on wealth but on the persons living in it.

Date posted: 2010-11-03

Preparation for Marrigae II: Proximate Preparation Two

The main thing is, for those preparing for marriage during the proximate stage, to understand why homemaking is so important and that a livable, cheerful and happy home does not depend on wealth but on the persons living in it.

Date posted: 2010-11-01

Clarification on GIFT and IUI: Assisting or Substituting the Conjugal Act?

I urge readers not to believe either Dr. Florez or me; they should examine the arguments and evidence we offer to support our claims to see which is better. But we are all to believe the Church. When and if she, through her magisterium, rejects one or the other of these two contradictory opinions, we must all accept that teaching and if our view was rejected, readily abandon it.

Date posted: 2010-10-23

Homologous Intrauterine Insemination: Does It Replace the Marriage Act?

Here I have done my best to present accurately the contradictory positions of different theologians for and against GIFT. Either that which is defended by people like McCarthy and Cataldo is true, or that which is defended by Grisez, De Marco, Ashley/O'Rourke and me is true, but both cannot be; one must be true, the other false. Readers should study their arguments and evidence they advance to support them and make up their own minds as to which views make more sense.

Date posted: 2010-10-22

Preparation for Marrigae II: Proximate Preparation One

Earlier I offered suggestions about the "remote" preparation for marriage that begins during infancy - even in the womb - and lasts until the onset of puberty or early adolescence. This article and two others will present ideas about the "proximate" preparation for marriage: this one identifies what the term "proximate preparation" means and focuses on the some of the major elements that ought to make up this proximate preparation. ... The term "proximate preparation" refers to a very long period of time because it extends from the end of the "remote preparation," the onset of puberty or early adolescence, until the beginning of the "immediate preparation" for marriage that should take place during the months and weeks before the "nuptials" or "wedding" of the engaged couple is to take place.

Date posted: 2010-10-15

Preparing for Marriage I: Remote Preparation

Today many persons soon to be married are far more occupied with and interested in their wedding than they are with their marriage. Moreover, today there are competing and contradictory views about marriage. Some feminists claim that a heterosexual, misogynist patriarchy invented marriage as a way of enslaving women. Advocates of a secularist, atheistic (or at most nontheistic) understanding of human "persons" judge marriage a legal contract between persons, whether of opposite sexes or of the same sex, presently required to obtain certain benefits. They claim that marriage is a human invention...

Date posted: 2010-10-14

What To Do When Your Marriage is in Trouble

Very often marital problems arise from different moral failures, usually by both husband and wife. At other times nonmoral factors can cause them. Since God's grace and human persons cooperating with his grace can overcome all serious sins, the moral failings troubling a marriage can be overcome "if the couple uses the means necessary to do so".

Date posted: 2010-09-20

Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS

The "conventional wisdom" prevalent in the United States, European Nations, and the United Nations is that the best way to prevent HIV/AIDS in Africa (or anywhere, for that matter) is to practice "safe sex," that is, to make use of condoms and other prophylactic devises. The Catholic Church is regularly criticized for its failure to urge the use of condoms and "safe sex" in Africa and is blamed for the AIDS "epidemic" in sub-Sahara Africa

Date posted: 2010-09-11

"Virtual" Reality's Threat to Culture of Life Issues

Michael Heim, a "virtual reality" expert, defines it as "an event or entity that is real in effect but not in fact" in his book The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality (Oxford, 1993). Sister Mary Timothy Prokes, FSE, offers an analysis of virtual reality, which she regards as a "sign of our times," and of the profound implications it has for properly honoring the great good of human bodily life and existence in her book At the Interface: Theology and Virtual Reality (Fenestra Books, 2004).

Date posted: 2010-08-26

Culture of Life Issues and the "Goods" of Human Persons

21st century Americans - and others, particularly in the "developed" nations - are deeply divided over issues central to the culture of life: contraception, the generation of human life, abortion, the care of seriously handicapped infants and of the dying, the meaning of sex, marriage, the family, and the kind of home best suited to help children grow into caring and responsible adults. There are many reasons supporting culture of life positions, but there is a need to show why these reasons are good and true and to help others see why. Moreover, sometimes advocates of the culture of life can and do disagree among themselves and/or find themselves perplexed about what is the right and good thing to do. Is there any way to resolve these disputes and overcome doubts?

Date posted: 2010-08-03

The Blessings of a Large Family

It is time that we recognize that the continued existence of human persons on this planet or anywhere is possible only if there are children being born in sufficient numbers to provide adequately for the well-being of their elders and to develop new and creative ways for producing food, fuel, electricity and all needed goods for civilization today. As John Paul II so frequently said, "The future of civilization passes through the family."

Date posted: 2010-07-20

"The Pill" Turns 50

As more women (and men) come to realize that "artificial" means of regulating conception actually serve to distance couples from each other and even contribute to divorce, we will come to realize that there is no need to celebrate the Pill's 51st or 60th birthday. We can celebrate its demise.

Date posted: 2010-06-20

Does Contraception Prevent Abortion

Although our actions indeed have effects on the outside world, their moral importance lies in the fact that in and through them, we give to ourselves our identity as the kind of person who has freely disposed himself or herself to be a liar, an adulterer, a killer of innocent human beings or to be one who speaks the truth, who is a faithful spouse and parent, one who defends and does not attack the good of human life in others, and as one who is either closed to the great gift of human life or open to it and welcoming of it when one chooses to engage in the kind of bodily act, in fact the only kind of bodily act, genital coition between a man and a woman, through which this great gift can be given.

Date posted: 2010-06-13

Abstinence and Teen Pregnancy

Most Americans know that Duke University's Men's basketball team is the 2010 champion of college basketball. But few know that Dr. Monique Chireau, a Duke University expert in obstetrics and gynecology, is a champion of abstinence only programs as the way to help teenage girls forbear having sex, whether allegedly "safe" or "less unsafe," and as a result avoid getting pregnant and at the same time avoid contracting an STD or sexually transmitted disease.

Date posted: 2010-06-13

The Pornography Plague

Art and the privacy of the body; the nature of "pornovision" Both "pornovision" and "pornography" occur when "the limit of shame or of personal sensibility is overstepped with regard to what is connected with the human body, with its nakedness, when in a work of art by audiovisual media one violates the body's right to intimacy in its masculinity and femininity across the whole structure of being human. This deep inscription - or rather incision - is decisive for the spousal meaning of the human body, for the fundamental call it receives'of forming 'the communion of persons'".

Date posted: 2010-06-12

May Parents or Others Permit Children or Incompetent Older Persons To Be the Subjects..

It is not uncommon for parents of children or the care-givers responsible for older but incompetent persons to be asked by their doctors to allow these "voiceless" subjects to take part in "non-therapeutic" experiments, i.e., experiments that are not designed to be of benefit to the children or incompetent persons but rather to gain knowledge that may be of great benefit to others. Such permission is called "proxy" or "surrogate" consent.

Date posted: 2010-06-05

The Social Costs of Pornography

This brief but substantive report is a most valuable help in combating the "plague of pornography." In my judgment, it shows how internet and other new media for viewing and disseminating pornography illustrate the insight of John Paul II, noted in my earlier piece on "The Plague of Pornography," on the qualitative difference between portraying the human body in painting and sculpture and in doing so in film, videos, etc.

Date posted: 2010-06-01

Are Food and Water Extraordinary Measures? Ethical Principles on Caring for Those in a Vegetative...

"Vegetative State" (VS) is a condition marked by a state of apparent vigilance, some alteration of sleep/wake cycles, an absence of any sign of awareness of self or environment and of response to environmental stimuli. The term is used to define this set of observable behaviors and not a specific anatomical abnormality or injury.

Date posted: 2010-05-30

On Being a Burden to One's Family, Especially One's Spouse and Children

Frequently elderly people like me (I will soon be 82 years old), some suffering from an assortment of health problems, are heard to say that they don't want to be a burden on their families, especially their spouses and children. And there is surely some truth in this. But rightly understood--and I hope to make it so here--I want to be a burden to my loved ones.

Date posted: 2010-05-18

AIDS and the Spousal Use of Condoms

Many couples will reasonably conclude that if they accept the teaching that condomistic intercourse is unchaste and is not a true marital act the only alternative for them is abstinence, and this will surely be a demanding cross for many. The Church's response to their situation should be to help them to embrace that cross in their lives as the instrument of their salvation. It is precisely in embracing what makes its appearance as the cross in one's own life that one experiences the power of the Resurrection.

Date posted: 2010-04-15

Are Persons in the Vegetative State Dying? Is Feeding them by Tubes Morally Repugnant?

John Paul sought to end this debate with his "Address to Participants in the International Congress on 'Life-Sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advance and Ethical Dilemmas.'" His address was shaped by the scientific papers given at that Congress which showed that persons alleged to be vegetative were frequently misdiagnosed and that some gave incontrovertible evidence that they were conscious and aware. John Paul held that feeding and hydrating them tubally is morally required unless one can show that doing so is futile and unduly burdensome. His address was defended vigorously in a 2007 document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which included a remarkable commentary. Although some theologians repudiate his teaching, scientific studies and sound moral reasoning support it.

Date posted: 2010-04-05

Modern Imaging Techniques, Awareness, and the "Vegetative" State

On February 8 the Chicago Tribune interviewed elderly Catholics who were horrified at the thought of lingering unconsciousness. "My pleasure is in being part of the human race," said one of them. "If that's gone, if I can't interact with other people, even if they could give me nutrition and keep me hydrated, I'm not interested in being preserved." This reaction is quite common and reflects the views, I think, of most ordinary men and women.... I fully appreciate why so many people think this way. I did so for many years myself. In this article I will summarize recent scientific studies that bear on some of the reasons why I changed my mind.

Date posted: 2010-03-29

Personal Reflections on Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan (Part 2)

Here I intend to present the Bishops' teaching in Part Two of the Pastoral Letter, which they call "Marriage in the Order of the New Creation: The Sacrament of Marriage" from the perspective of a husband, father, and grandfather. I want to do so because I have now been married more than fifty-one years to a wonderful, loving wife, and God has blessed us with seven loving children, four boys and three girls. Six of them are now married to great daughters- and sons-in-law whom God has blessed with fifteen children and in doing so has blessed us with fifteen grandchildren, ten girls and five boys ranging in age from twenty to seven months. I think this puts me into a position to appreciate the message our Bishops want to communicate in this fine document.

Date posted: 2010-03-14

Reflections on Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan A (Part 1)

This Pastoral Letter of November, 2009, presents Church teaching on marriage and family life in light of the documents of Vatican Council II, the encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and other writings of Pope John Paul II, in particular in his celebrated Wednesday "catecheses on the theology of the body" and the writings of Pope Benedict XVI. Part One, Marriage in the Order of Creation: The Natural Institution of Marriage considers the nature of marriage, male-female complementarity as essential to marriage, the ends or purposes of marriage and their interrelationship, and fundamental challenges to marriage today.

Date posted: 2010-03-14

Meilaender on Abortion

This is the subject of Chapter 3 of Meilaender's Bioethics: A Primer for Christians (2nd ed. 2005). I devote one essay to this matter because in my judgment the chapter, while excellent in many respects, includes a defense of abortion in some very limited circumstances - when necessary to save the mother's life and when the pregnancy results from forcible or incestuous sexual relations. Not only do I disagree with Meilaender here I also think that his defense of abortion in these circumstances is not compatible with his own basic convictions as expressed in other parts of the same chapter.

Date posted: 2010-01-03

Review Essay of Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life: Part 2

In Part II, I summarize Chapters 5 though 8 and offer reflections and comments on this very important book. ... This book is indeed a treasure trove of cogent arguments persuasively presented to show that human embryos are indeed human beings, persons, who are endowed with certain inviolable human rights, including the right not to be intentionally killed.

Date posted: 2009-12-02

Review Essay of Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life: Part I

This book is so important and rich in content that I will devote two reports to it. In Part I, What Is At Stake in the Embryo Experimentation Debate (1-26), emphasizes that a human embryo is a whole living member of the species Homo Sapiens in the earliest stages of his/her natural development that, unless severely damaged or denied or deprived of a suitable environment, will develop himself/herself to the next more mature stage of development, the fetal stage. The embryonic, fetal, child, and adolescent stages are stages in the development of a determinate and enduring reality - a human being - who comes into existence as a single-celled organism (the zygote), and develops, if all goes well, into adulthood many years later. The human embryo is a person worthy of full human respect, as subsequent chapters will show with philosophical arguments (3-4).

Date posted: 2009-12-02

Contraception: A Matter of Concern Not Only For Catholics But For All Human Beings

Contraception is usually considered an issue of sexual ethics rather than one proper to bioethics. But contraception is quite relevant to respect for human life. Contraception is not itself a sexual act but rather accompanies a sexual act. Obviously one can engage in sex and not contracept; copulating couples who contracept engage in two acts: they choose to copulate and they choose to contracept. Here I will argue that contraception is an anti-life kind of act and leads to the "culture of death".

Date posted: 2009-11-27

The Dispensability of Men

Kevin Ryan, in an essay with this title on "MercatorNet" begins with a citation from Mark Penn, "the social trend guru," in which Penn declares: "Men are now lagging women in every major category from lifestyle to health, from education to employment." Ryan considers some major causes of this phenomenon. The primary factor for this, he thinks, is that "many, many boys are lacking what the psychologists call 'role models,' most important of which is a visible, present father." In a short time, "the shape of the American family has undergone radical surgery and the part most obviously cut away is Dad. A 50 percent divorce rate, plus simple walk-away separations are well known factors in the dismal family landscape."

Date posted: 2009-10-30

Changing the Hearts and Minds of Those Embracing the Culture of Death: A Suggested Strategy

At the conclusion of the presentation I made when the Culture of Life Foundation gave me the first annual award named after me in September 2008, I offered a "Suggested Strategy for Helping Adversaries Understand Culture of Life Arguments." Here I will recapitulate and develop that strategy. Before doing so, however, I think it important to point out why excellent arguments developed by those who propose the "culture of life" are not able to persuade advocates of the "culture of death" to change their minds.

Date posted: 2009-10-20

Men And Women: Diversity and Mutual Complementarity

Men and Women: Diversity and Mutual Complementarity is the title of an important and helpful book published by Libreria Vaticana Editrice in 2006 containing papers given at the Study Seminar held in Vatican City 30-31 January 2004. It contains 12 essays divided into 4 major parts. I will try to summarize the thought of some of the major papers in two articles. Here I will take up the following essays: (1) Lucetta Scaraffia's "Socio-cultural changes in women's lives"; (2) Vincente Aucante's, "Fatherhood"; (3) Maria Teresa Garutti Bellenzier's "The identity of women and men according to the teaching of the Church"; and Carlo Caffarra's "Benchmarks, problem areas and issues for debate." In another article I will consider the contributions of Karna Swanson, Manfred Lutz, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, and Marguerite Peeters.

Date posted: 2009-08-22

Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical Caritas In Veritate On Life Issues

First, I will present Pope Benedict's teaching on life issues in the encyclical and then offer comments thereon. Pope Benedict XVI addresses issues related to the sanctity of human life and human sexuality in depth in three different areas of his new social encyclical, Caritas In Veritate (Charity in Truth).

Date posted: 2009-07-31

A Primer on Human Sexuality...

Since God created man as a bodily person sexually differentiated into male and female, it follows that human sexuality "is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such" (John Paul II, Familiaris consortio, n. 11). Male and female, complementary in their sexuality, are, as it were, two "incarnations," "two ways...of 'being a body' and at the same time a man, which complete each other" (John Paul II, "Male and Female He Created Them": A Theology of the Body, Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2006, p.183).

Date posted: 2009-04-30