As a general rule, bioethical debates deal with the questions raised by scientific-technical breakthroughs in the field of research and biomedical practice. The swiftness with which these advances take place calls into question whether moral philosophy —and in particular theological ethics— can provide answers to the new questions raised, or whether it should capitulate to strategic ethics.
The “Theology of the Body” is St. John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person, love, sex and marriage, as presented during the 129 Wednesday audiences, delivered between 1979 and 1984. According to George Weigel, the papal biographer and author of Witness to Hope, “the Theology of the Body is a theological time-bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences…”. You can find the texts of the audiences here below.
In a 30 minutes talk, Dr. Peter J. Colosi, Associate Professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, PA, paints a picture of the cultural situation, explaining the meaning of Pope Emeritus Benecit XVI’s phrase “the tyranny of relativism.” He shows how it differs from but also follows directly on the heels of basic relativism, illustrating the point with striking current examples in the US. He then outlines connections between all of this and the reason to study and interiorize John Paul II’s Theology of Body. He also touches on questions of Christian witness in the public sphere and true and false meanings of the phrase “separation of Church and State.”
By Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, the director of education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, USA
Dr. José María Simón, Former President of the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) was one of the speakers in Zagreb, Croatia, during a conference on Ethics in Dental Medicine, May 15th and 16th. In his talk on Morals and Dogma in Medicine, he provides an excellent summary of catholic thought in these matters, which concerns all physicians, dentists included. Here is the full text of his talk.