The videos you have watched, are watching, will watch provide a summary and outline of the Moral Magisterium of Pope John Paul II. In essence, this conforms with what conventional Catholic moral theology calls "Fundamental Moral Theology." Fundamental or general moral theology is the first course in Moral Theology since it considers the basic principles and presuppositions of the subject, but in this effort we employ the teachings and writings of John Paul II as our tests and constant reference.

The chief works for this course are:

John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (8/6/93) nn. 1-120.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) Part III, ##1699-2051.

Two recent 'Introductions' cover the same material more expansively while not limiting themselves so exclusively to the writings of Pope John Paul II:

  • W. E. May, Introduction to Moral Theology (revised ed.) (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1994) 288 pp.
  • S. Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics (French ed. 1993) (Wash, D.C: Catholic Univ. of America Pr., 1995) 489 pp.

Finally many basic terms of reference are well explained in the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) 15 volumes. For ready reference these are cited as NCE 9:1109-1117; that would refer to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (NCE) volume 9, pages 1109-1117. Lastly, the teaching documents of Vatican Council II will be referred to often; thus, one of the available collections of those documents (Abbott or Flannery) will be necessary as will a copy of the Bible.

Each of the lessons that follow will refer to other titles, particularly the documents and teachings of Pope John Paul II with some bibliography to expand your knowledge beyond the specific demands of this course.


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