On this page, the Catholic Moral Theology blog provides commentary posts on documents from the Catholic Church pertaining to moral theology and social ethics.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part III:  Life in Christ

Section One:  Man’s Vocation Life in the Spirit

  1. Chapter One:  The Dignity of the Human Person
    1. Article One:  The Image of God
    2. Article Two:  Our Vocation to Beatitude
    3. Article Three:  Man’s Freedom
    4. Article Four: The Morality of human acts (Commentary by John Berkman)
    5. Article Five:  The Morality of the Passions  (Commentary by Jason King)
    6. Article Six:  Moral Conscience
    7. Article Seven: The Virtues (Commentary by William Mattison)
    8. Article Eight:  Sin (Commentary by Emily Reimer-Barry)
  2. Chapter Two:  The Human Communion
    1. Article One:  The Person and Society
    2. Article Two:  Participation in Social Life
    3. Article Three:  Social Justice
  3. Chapter Three:  God’s Salvation:  Law and Grace
    1. Article One:  The Moral Law
    2. Article Two:  Grace and Justification
    3. Article Three:  The Church, Mother and Teacher

Section Two:  The Ten Commandments

  1. Chapter One:  You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, and with All Your Soul, and with All Your Mind
    1. Article One:  The First Commandment
    2. Article Two:  The Second Commandment
    3. Article Three:  The Third Commandment
  2. Chapter Two: You Shall  Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
    1. Artilce Four:  The Fourth Commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother (Commentary by Patrick Clark)
    2. Article Five:  The Fifth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill (Commentary by Charles Camosy)
    3. Article Six:  The Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery (Commentary by Beth Haile)
    4. Article Seven:  The Seventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal  (Commentary by David Cloutier)
    5. Article Eight:  The Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (Commentary by David Cloutier)
    6. Article Nine:  The Ninth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Spouse (Commentary by Julie Hanlon Rubio)
    7. Article Ten:  The Tenth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods (Commentary by Beth Haile)

Compendium on Catholic Doctrine of the Church

  1. Chapter One:  God’s Plan for Humanity
  2. Chapter Two: The Church’s Mission and Social Doctrine
  3. Chapter Three:  The Human Person and Human Rights
  4. Chapter Four:  Principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine
    1. The common good (Commentary by David Cloutier)
    2. The universal destination of goods
    3. Subsidiarity
    4. Participation
    5. Solidarity (Commentary by Emily Reimer-Barry)
    6. Fundamental Values of Social Life
    7. The Way of Love
  5. Chapter Five: The Family, The Vital Cell of Society (Commentary by Julie Hanlon Rubio)
  6. Chapter Six:  Human Work
  7. Chapter Seven: Economic Life (Commentary by Jason King)
  8. Chapter Eight: The Political Community (Commentary by Tom Bushlack)
  9. Chapter Nine:  The International Community
  10. Chapter Ten:  Safeguarding the Environment
  11. Chapter Eleven:  The Promotion of Peace (Commentary by Christopher Vogt)
  12. Chapter Twelve:  Social Doctrine and Ecclesial Action


Families, Ideal and Experienced

This is a guest post by Jacob M. Kohlhaas, Assistant Professor of Theology at Loras College in Dubuque Iowa. “Let us cross the threshold of this tranquil home, with its family sitting around the festive table. At the centre we see the father and mother, a couple with...

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Being Pastoral: It’s Complicated

Austin Ivereigh has a fantastic, extremely helpful “preview” of what to expect in Pope Francis’s document on marriage and the family, due to arrive tomorrow. The piece is helpful because it already gets beyond the “did he change anything or didn’t he?” binary spin...

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Urgent Care for Creation

I try and hope to avoid hearing the word "urgent" in my daily life. After all, I immediately associate it with "urgent care" and health problems that I (or one of my family members) need to have addressed. The word denotes a situation or state of affairs that is dire,...

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Lent and the Environment

Lent is here again! Most of us are a full week into our self-selected Lenten resolution(s) and are finding out just how easy or difficult they are for us to manage. And, like every year, people have chimed in with their recommendations as to suitable Lenten...

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How can we pray over meals truthfully?

Concerned about a future of “rubble, deserts, and refuse”? Then do your work to make change in political and economic and cultural structures in the world, and when you eat, say grace in a way that is tender, sober, full of the wonder of God’s goodness, and truthful about where the food we are eating comes from.

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Where is Structural Sin in Laudato Si’?

  In an early commentary on Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, my friend Kevin Ahern noted with some dismay the absence of the concept of “structural sin” (sometimes called “social sin”) in the encyclical. What is structural sin? The theologian Kenneth Himes...

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Everything is a Caress of God

The following is a guset post from Dr. Alessandro Rovati, Adjunct Professor at Belmont Abbey College. There have been so many comments on the encyclical Laudato Si, but not many have focused on an overarching element that is decisive to appreciate what Francis is...

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Of Carbon Credits and Air Conditioners

In the early responses to the encyclical Laudato Si', a couple particular points have drawn attention. As soon as I read the leaked draft, I knew that Francis’s use of the example of air conditioning as a “harmful habit of consumption” would raise some hackles...

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