Some Specific Moral Issues    



“A Critique of Two Theological Papers”    

In 1982, Agnes Mary Mansour, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, accepted the position of Director of the Michigan Department of Social Services. Compelled by the Holy See in 1983 to choose between leaving her religious institute and resigning her government job, she chose the former. Although she said she personally disapproved of abortion, she held that, since it is lawful, it should be available to poor women, and she undertook to oversee the use of Medicaid funding for abortions.

In November 1983, the Secretariat of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious distributed a packet of papers bearing upon the Church’s handling of Mansour’s case. That packet included theological papers by Charles Curran and Richard McCormick, S.J., which included attempts to justify support for the public funding of abortions.

Grisez’s critique of those attempts is copyright © Catholic Polls Inc. 1984, all rights reserved.

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“Public Funding of Abortion: A Reply to Richard A. McCormick”    

McCormick responded to Grisez’s criticism with an article published in Theological Studies, 45 (1984), 715–21, which is available by following instructions at In replying, Grisez clarified his argument that supporting public funding included intending that abortions be done. The heart of that clarification begins with the heading Justification: Lesser of 2 evils on page 47 and ends just before the heading Direct abortion outlawed on page 48.

The reply is copyright © Catholic Polls Inc. 1985, all rights reserved.

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“Lying and Other Deceptions in Communication    
Are Always Wrong”

While working on Living a Christian Life, Grisez became convinced that lying is always wrong and offered a summary of his case for that view to friends editing an appropriate magazine.

The article is copyright © New Oxford Review Inc. 1990, all rights reserved.

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“Moral Questions on Condoms and Disease Prevention”    

In 2007, Grisez, among others, was consulted by certain pastors of the Church regarding the morality of condom use to prevent the transmission of HIV. Having developed a clear set of positions on the relevant issues, he set them out in an article, published where other interested pastors might find it.

The article is copyright © The National Catholic Bioethics Center 2008, all rights reserved.

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“Health Care Technology and Justice”    

For a chapter in a festschrift honoring Joseph M. Boyle, Grisez’s leading colleague and most important collaborator, Grisez worked out an original, philosophical analysis of several aspects of complex problem of justice in making health care available and paying for it.

The chapter is copyright © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011, all rights reserved.

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