collection of Catholic links on liturgy, saints, religious orders,
Catholic media and organizations, etc.
Catholic news and events, glossary of terms, saints, Church history, the
papacy, the college
of cardinals and U.S. bishops
links to information on abortion, angels, Church documents, death
dogmas, euthanasia, evolution, God, Jesus, Mary, sacraments, saints,
shroud of Turin, stigmata, suicide and Vatican II.
The Catholic Internet
Directory: a site featuring the top 40 most visited Catholic sites
on the internet, Catholic diocesan web sites and e-mail directories,
Catholic publications, Catholic organizations on the web, Christian
service volunteer organizations, Catholic internet directories,
orders, and catholic high schools and colleges on the web.
Catholic Online: major
gateway to Catholic resources on the internet. This site also features
news and current events relating to Catholicism.
This site has links to the
Vatican, National Council of Catholic bishops, online dioceses and
parishes, all Catholic colleges in the United States and many high
and grade schools, male and female religious orders, Catholic news
agencies and organizations.
Catholic Resources on the Net: billed as the largest index of
Catholic sites on the web, this site features information on art &
architecture, the Bible, online Catholic books and periodicals, Church
teachings, reference resources, saints, college student organizations
around the country, and traditional sites featuring Latin prayers and
"Legalize same-sex marriage": An essay from 2004 by Paul Griffiths, this makes the case that law and morality should part and that sacramental marriage and state-sponsored contractual marriage should be disentangled.
The Catholic Worker
Homepage: not an online version of The Catholic Worker, but
rather an 'unofficial' collection of links to issues relating to this
periodical and its heritage, links to Catholic Worker houses around the
world, links to writings by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, and other WWW
resources for Catholic workers
Blogs: an interesting collection from the serious to the satirical
questions and discussion about official Church teachings regarding such
topics as God, creation, revelation, sin, salvation, eschatology, the
Church, saints, sacraments, and morality
Catholic hierarchy information and writings
The Vatican Home
Page: information about the pope, along with online versions of his
major writings; and a wealth of other background about the Vatican,
including the Roman Curia, the Vatican News Service, the Vatican
Museums, and the Vatican Archives.
The Vatican Today: Launched with a tweet on an iPad by Pope Benedict XVI, this is the Vatican's news portal. There are links here to Vatican Radio, the newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Television Center, the Vatican press office and information service and the Fides missionary news agency. In a first for the Vatican, this site is social-media friendly. There's also a <New York Times story about this new Vatican website.
Church and the Internet: A 2002 document from the Pontifical
Council for Social Communications which assesses the positive and
contributions of the internet for both Church and world. A companion
document entitled Ethics
in Internet analyzes the ethical implications of this new form
communication. In his message for the 36th World Communications Day,
John Paul referred to the internet as
"A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel."
Another way to look at mercy by Peter Steinfels. This is largely a positive essay, but it concludes with some pointed questions about mercy in Amoris Laetitia, in light of the reaffirmation of the traditional teaching against artificial contraception.
on the institution of the Church: the online code of canon law,
Catholic teaching on the papacy; a complete list of
all the world's cardinals, with links to those with their own home
home pages to Catholic religious orders and dioceses in the United
Settlement Goes Beyond the Abused": a report from Louisville,
Kentucky where the Church's payouts to victims of sexual abuse are
effecting its ability to minister to the poor by depriving various
services of needed funds
"What Caused the Crisis?": An essay from June, 2011, by Kathleen McChesney, the first executive director of the newly established Office for Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, about the findings of John Joy College Study on clergy sexual abuse
"Myth-busters": an essay by the editors of Commonweal magazine, it asks how well some common explanations of the crisis far in light of the final John Jay report. In particular, they discuss homosexuality (frequently suggested by the right) and celibacy (frequently suggested by the left) as precipitating causes of clerical sexual abuse.
"Lagging Behind": an excellent analysis of the John Jay report by Dean Nicholas Cafardi, it suggests that the bishops themselves are the ones 'lagging behind' in this crisis
Significant Catholic documents of a general nature
Documents of Vatican
II: The Second Vatican Council (or Vatican II) was a series of
meetings between the pope (first, John XXIII, and then Paul VI) and the
world's Catholic bishops held from
1962-1965 in Rome which sought to re-evaluate or reappriase all aspects
of the Catholic faith as they related to the modern world.
Code of Canon Law: the juridical law of the Roman Catholic Church,
canon law is the body of regulations made by Catholic ecclesiastical
authority for the government of the Church and its members
America: a weekly
published by Jesuits in the United States for thinking Catholics and
those who want to know what Catholics are thinking
online version of this independent review of public affairs, religion,
literature, and the arts. This site also contains a helpful index of
past issues of Commonweal.
The National Catholic
the online version of a weekly independent, lay-edited Catholic
newspaper. If you want to keep
up with current events in the Church and in the world as they relate to
the Church, this is the best place to look.
The Tablet: a
Catholic weekly from the United Kingdom
Sojourners: a publication dedicated to articulating the bibical call to social justice
U.S. Catholic: the
online version of the monthly Catholic magazine
Search the entire
for any word. Every passage where that word appears will show up.
just type in a particular citation under "Passage," select
Up," and that portion of the Bible will appear.
What is a
search engine?: a good introduction with helpful explanations. See
also WWW Search
Engines, which offers a brief description of (and links to) all of
major search engines, with hints on how to use each one. Meta-Search
Engines search more than one search engine at a time. Here is a
ection of several of the best.
The Catholic News
Service: the oldest and largest news wire service specializing in
reporting on religion, the Catholic News Service is the the primary
source of national and world news that appears in the U.S. Catholic
press. It is also a leading source of news for Catholic print and
broadcast media throughout the world.
1Up Info - Encyclopedia &
Resource: Browse articles in all areas of topics within Earth &
Environment, History, Literature & Arts, Health & Medicine, People,
Philosophy & Religion, Places, Plants & Animals, Science & Technology,
Social Science, Law, Sports, and more.
Resources in Theology: Anglican resources, Catholic resources,
Evangelical and Ecumenical resources, Orthodox resources, Protestant
resources, along with links to various sacred texts and manuscripts
Principle of Double Effect: This moral concept distinguishes
directly and indirectly intended actions and is significant for many
aspects of Catholic teaching, especially that on abortion and other
Nature of Christian Ethics: This excerpt from the Catechism of
the Catholic Church describes ethics from within a Christian
worldview and gives special attention to the human vocation to beatitude
(heaven) and how the purpose of life affects Christian ethics (see
Gospel of Life(Evangelium Vitae): a 1995 encyclical by
Pope John Paul II, which
does an excellent job of showing how ethics becomes Christian when God
is brought in as the "definitive goal," the "final end," and the "very
purpose of life."
and Reason(Fides et
Ratio): a 1998 encyclical by Pope John Paul II in which he
affirms the existence of absolute truth and explains the relationship
between faith and reason and the need each has for the other
Connubii: the 1930 encyclical by Pope Pius XI,
which sets the stage for Humanae Vitae and for approval of
family planning by affirming the morality of sexual intercourse during times of diminished or absent
Vitae: the 1968 encyclical by Pope Paul VI on birth control.
Interview with Britain's Cardinal Heenan: an entraordinary exchange between the late David Frost and Britain's Cardinal Heenan only months after Humanae Vitae appeared in 1968. This interview explores what 'openness to the transmission of life' really means, and contains a forceful affirmation by Cardinal Heenan of the priority of individual conscience.
Treatment after Rape": an essay by Fr. William Saunders which
outlines the Church's moral teaching about the treatment of a woman who
has been raped. See the following about pregnancy following rape, featuring some statistics in the wake of the Congressman Todd Akin comments from August, 2012, about "legitimate rape."
Hospitals to Follow Plan B Law": A 2007 state law in Connecticut
requires hospitals to administer emergency contraception to all rape
victims. The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut and leaders of the
hospitals said in a joint statement "since the teaching authority of the
church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is
serious doubt about how Plan B pills work," the hospitals will be
to provide Plan B to rape victims without first requiring ovulation
Nonetheless, there are concerns that Plan B may be abortifacient.
Personal reflection on Humanae Vitae's 45th anniversary: an important essay which explains some of the issues being discussed during the time that Humanae Vitae was issued. It also hints at some of the difficulties for the Church's moral teaching, especially on matters pertaining to sexuality, when the experience of women is neglected.
"Following Conscience Faithfully": wonderful essay from January, 2015, that gives an overview of Catholic thought about conscience. It contains several helpful quotations from Catholic tradition, including many from St. Thomas Aquinas.
"Bishops' model of conscience makes light of practice reason": excellent essay by David DeCosse which argues that recent papal and episcopal discussions of conscience emphasize obedience to law to the relative exclusion of the application of practical reasoning, which is found in, for example, the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas
Inconvenient Conscience" by George Cardinal Pell: Disagreement with
Catholic teaching, says Cardinal Pell, is a first step and not a last
one, because "a Catholic conscience cannot accept a settled position
against the Church, at least on a central moral teaching."
Tuendam Fidem: an apostolic letter issued on June 30, 1998 by
Pope John Paul II "TO PROTECT THE FAITH of the Catholic Church against
errors arising from certain members of the Christian faithful," it
the Code of Canon Law
by adding "new norms which expressly impose the obligation of upholding
truths proposed in a definitive way by the Magisterium of the Church,
which also establish related canonical
sanctions." This letter was directed primarily towards theologians and
teachers of theology.
Donum veritatis: a 1990 statement by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian
The 'Sense of the Faithful' in the life of the Church: a document issued in June, 2014, by the International Theological Commission giving biblical and historic background for the concept of the sensus fidelium, as well as its implications in the current life of the Church, including the relationship between the lay faithful and the Magisterium, as well as the ongoing role of theologians
"Confession of Sins
Asking for Forgiveness": a prayer from Pope John Paul II on March
2000 asking for forgiveness on behalf of those in the Church who have
sinned in the service of truth, harmed the unity of the body of Christ,
wounded the people of Israel, and violated the dignity of women and the
fundamental rights of the person
Safeguard of Truth": excellent essay from July, 2001 National
Catholic Reporter by
Sr. Jeannine Gramick which brings the
aggiornamentio worldview of Vatican II into conversation with modern
efforts to silence
theologians and religious
Partenia: In 1995, outspoken Bishop Jacques Gaillot was exiled by
John Paul II from his diocese in Evreux, France to Partenia, Africa, a
much sand and few people. Since then, he has set up his own 'virtual'
diocese over the internet, a place with little sand and many people.
As bishop of Evreux, Gaillot openly supported women priests, a married
clergy, the acceptance of homosexuals, and greater voice for the laity
in church decisions. This
site contains Bishop Gaillot's farewell homily to his congregation
in France, as well as more recent writings on a variety of subjects.
You can even e-mail Bishop
excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya: the text of the
1997 Vatican decree of excommunication of Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, 72, of
Sri Lanka because of his views on papal infallibility, the doctrine of
Immaculate Conception, the dogma of original sin, and baptism. In
January 1998, this excommunication was rescinded following six days of
Richard McCormick disinvited in New Orleans: Fr. McCormick was to
deliver a lecture in New Orleans in January, 1997, having been invited
Notre Dame alumni in that region. The alumni were then warned by New
Orleans Archbishop Francis Schulte that some people might be offended if
McCormick spoke. The lecture was then precipitously cancelled. This
site contains an exchange of letters on this sequence of events.
Didache: thought to be the oldest surviving piece of non-canonical
literature (c. 60-100 AD), it was basically a handbook for new Christian
converts. The Vatican Declaration on Abortion draws on the Didache when
discussing Church tradition on abortion. The important section from the
Didache is 2.2.
Silent No More
Awareness Campaign: a campaign whereby Christians seek to make the
public aware of the effects of abortion on women and men. The campaign
seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the
emotional and physical pain of abortion.
The Campaign is a project of Priests for Life.
The United Bishops and Abortion Law: a helpful essay by Fr. Charles Curran about the history of the U.S. bishops on abortion legistration in this country, and which is ultimately critical of the bishops' exercise of their teaching authority on this particular area. It also includes a discussion of intrinsic evil.
"Intrinsic Evil and Public Policy": a great essay by Dan Cloutier on how the language of intrinsic evil works (and how it can derail) in matters pertaining to public policy
in Political Life": a statement from the U.S. conference of Catholic
bishops that allows individual bishops to deny communion to politicians
who support abortion. It was also widely quoted around the time of the
2009 President Obama commencement address at Notre Dame.
relating to abortion: a survey of and references to some of the more
important essays on abortion, a very complete annotated bibliography to
essays about significant aspects of the abortion issue, the complete
Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, other Supreme Court decisions
abortion since 1990, texts of Humanae Vitae and The Gospel of
Life, texts of
House bill banning
partial-birth abortions, links to both pro-life and pro-choice
Questions and Answers: an excellent resource in a very helpful Q &
A format. There's a good explanation of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme
Court decision, information on fetal development, abortion facts and figures,
abortion procedures, and a thorough exploration of the topic of illegal
abortions. On the latter, see also this article about abortion in Poland.
Ethics: extensive resources, including a bibliography, to
theological, and legal issues pertaining to abortion
"An Ethical Challenge to Prochoice Advocates": an important essay by Daniel Callahan which examples the notion of 'choice' and suggests that unless moral concerns are a part of that choice, the pro-choice movement will not survive
Surrogacy: This site from the New York Online
Health (= NOAH) has some interesting links on abortion (from a
perspective) along with many resources on adoption. See also About Adoptions for comprehensive
access to adoption
related news, books and web
owns your organs?": The strange case of Peter Lucia raises all
of interesting questions about whether we can do whatever we want with
and Soul": a tragic case from 2000 in England about conjoined twins
and the medical and moral issues involved in their attempted separation.
The principle of double effect is very significant here, as is
(interestingly enough) Church teaching about euthanasia.
Bibliography: good collection of articles on abortion (many of
them fairly recent) from a variety of
perspectives on abortion
Abortion: excellent background on the
procedure, why and when it's usually performed, and different views of
its morality. See also late-term
abortions for more on partial-birth abortions, the legal issues
surrounding them, and one woman's personal experience. In October,
the United Senate by a vote of 63-34 voted
to ban the procedure.
Court strikes down Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions: In a
ruling from late June, 2000, the court by a 5-4 majority overturned a
Nebraska law which prohibited partial-birth abortions. Nebraska was one
of 30 states which had banned partial-birth abortions, but its law went
further than most by not containing an exception for the woman's health.
On the side of the majority were Justices Breyer, Stevens, O'Connor,
Souter, and Ginsburg. Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy
dissented. See a related
story through the CNN website. You
can also see the text
of the Supreme Court's decision. In 2003, the federal partial-birth
ban on abortion was enacted.
v. Carhart: from April, 2007, the Court by a 5-4 majority
a federal district court's injunction against enforcing the 2003 federal
partial-birth ban on abortion. This law was now deemed constitutional by
the Supreme Court. Here's a good summary of
the case and what was decided.
Born-Alive Infants Protection Act: Signed into law on August 5,
by President Bush, this act amends the legal definition of "person" to
include "every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is
alive." This site features links to the text of the act, as well as
background and reactions.
Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology: a statement by the U.S. Catholic bishops from 2009 that looks at a number of reproductive technology procedures, such as in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption, sperm and egg donation and surrogacy. The USCCB website offers additional links to related Church teaching and additional resources.
Catholic Church and Surrogate Motherhood: a brief overview of
Catholic teaching as it pertains to surrogacy. This article is offered
as a service of the American Surrogacy Center of Atlanta, GA, to assist
Catholic couples seeking surrogacy arrangements.
Procedures and background on
Infertility Resources: an extensive site featuring resources
developed by infertility patients, websites of reproductive
endocrinologists and infertility clinics, descriptions of various
reproduction procedures, adoption information, insurance information,
the story of Kelly Romenskos, a Wisconsin Catholic woman who was fired from her
teaching job at a Catholic school after she announced that her child was
conceived through in vitro fertilization. Much the same thing happened to an Indiana Catholic high school teacher in 2012, who was also fired from her job after it was learned she was pregnant through IVF.
InterNational Council on
Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID):
a nonprofit organization committed to providing the most current
information regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of
infertility. INCIID is the largest infertility advocacy site on the
internet. Their home page features fact sheets, directories and the
latest news about treatments for infertility.
Technologies and Bioethics: internet resources and an annotated
bibliography; extensive links on cloning, bioethical institutes,
post-menopausal women becoming pregnant, and Pope John Paul II on
A glossary of terms
associated with reproductive technologies
Procedures: a good and concise description of GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI,
Artificial Insemination/IUI from the Midwest Fertility Center
background and details on Gamete Intra-Fallopian
Transfer and links to other infertility resources. See also the
nice essay by John F. Wagner from January 1999 entitled "Reproductive
Technology: A GIFT for Catholics?" which does a good job explaining
the G.I.F.T. procedure and providing pro and con views about its
from a Catholic perspective.
Eggs: On October 16, 1997, for the first time in the United States,
born from eggs that were frozen--and then thawed--before they were
it had been routine to freeze entire embryos, eggs had been considered
survive the freezing and thawing process. See also the story of a baby
born from 21-year old frozen sperm.
Septuplets: born to Bobbi McCaughey of Iowa on November 19, 1997.
drugs helped to produce this pregnancy. This site contains
a link to a photo album with pictures of each baby, along with the story
of their birth.
affiliated with the Raelian
movement and billing itself as "The First Human Cloning Company,"
clone you for "as low as $200,000" and claims that "This service offers
fantastic opportunity to parents with
fertility problems or homosexual couples to have
child cloned from one of them." In addition, for a $50,000 fee, Clonaid
"will provide the sampling and safe storage of
cells from a living child or from a beloved
in order to create a clone if the child dies of an incurable disease or
through an accident. In
the case of a genetic disease, the cells will be
preserved until science can genetically repair it before recreating the
child (or an adult)."
In December, 2002, it issued an as-yet
unconfirmed report that it had produced the world's first human clone
Human Clones to
Help Infertile Couples: In early January 1998, Dr. Richard Seed
announced his intention to open up a clinic outside of Chicago with the
intention of creating human clones for infertile couples. This site
features that story, as well as related stories and links to other sites
concerning cloning. There's a nice
description of how cloning works, a video report with more on Dr. Seed
and his intentions, and audio on President Clinton's reaction to Seed's
Read more on the man who's been called "Cloning's
Oppose Human Cloning": an October 22, 1999 article in the
Catholic Reporter that does an excellent job surveying the recent
history of cloning while putting its ethical and theological issues in a
first cloning of pigs: A story from March 2000 in which 5 pigs were
successfully cloned. Dr. Ron James of the lab in Scotland where the
were cloned foresees an end to the shortage of human organs for
transplant: "We can now work with genetically modified pig
cells, and use
the cloning technology to make genetically
modified pigs, which
will ultimately provide organs which are
Genetic Savings and
$50,000, they offered to clone your cat. GSC sponsored efforts to
produce the first cat clone, named CopyCat(!). This company closed
recently, and its
previous website directs one to Viagen,
which offers only tissue banking (no cloning) for cats and dogs; but it
does clone livestock
Registry: profiles and photographs of screened egg donors, sperm
donors, gestational surrogates (though these require a subscription and
password), as well as names and numbers of infertility physicians
worldwide. This site also features general background to the legal,
emotional, and medical issues involved with assisted reproduction.
Personhood and Infertility: the impact of 'personhood' legistration on infertility procedures and clinics, as well as infertile Catholics leaving the Church to try to start a family through assisted reproduction
Sperm Bank of
California: You can do a search for a donor, or select from a
list of donor profiles. In the "Profile" column, in addition to
physical characteristics, you'll get information about hobbies, the
donor's family medical history and the results of a physical exam on the
donor. The donor also has offered a brief statement about why he wanted
to be a sperm donor and (in some cases) has recorded a message to the
recipient of the sample.
Leading international sperm bank which specializes in delivery of
cryopreserved semen from screened donors from across the world. Located
in New York City, but will ship anywhere in the world. On their donor search page, you can also occasionally get pictures of what the donors looked like as children. Cryos has recently stopped accepting sperm from people with red hair.
Anderson: web page of a MENSA member willing to be your sperm donor
The American Surrogacy Center,
Inc.: Billed as "the most complete source of surrogacy and egg
donation information on the web," this site provides information on the
legal and medical aspects of surrogacy as well as links to surrogacy
ads from prospective parents, surrogate mothers, egg donors, and
couples willing to adopt out their spare frozen embryos; and online
support groups relating to surrogacy.
The Center for
Parenting and Egg Donation, Inc.: the home page of a Beverly Hills
firm brokering the arrangements for egg donors and surrogate mothers.
features descriptions of the processes, information for potential
parents, information for potential surrogates and egg donors, and
information on fees and legal issues. In addition, the Egg Donor Database has pictures and
information on over 300 available egg donors. Access to this database
is available only for potential
recipient couples (who have been given a special access code). Once
this database, couples can run a search based on the state
the donor lives in, ethnic origin, religion, eye color, hair color, and
height. Though the database isn't
open for general viewing to the public, the other information at this
letters from previous egg donors on why they did what they did, what
got out of it, etc.) is interesting nonetheless.
ConceiveAbilities: ConceiveAbilities is a Chicago surrogacy agency and egg donor site.
and Dying According to the Voice of Faith: a pastoral letter to
the Catholics of the state of Michigan. The first part presents
Catholic teaching on death and dying; the second develops a pastoral perspective
on encountering death and dying in light of those teachings.
Die?: a good discussion of end-of-life issues from within a
Catholic Christian theological perspective
Death and Modern Medicine," by Lisa Sowle Cahill: helpful essay
from 2005 reflecting on the Catholic tradition in light of the
then-recent deaths of Pope John Paul II and Terry Schiavo. She also
discussed John Paul's March 2004 statement about artificial hydration
and nutrition. In addition, Cahill also raises broader social questions
about how medical decision-making is often perceived.
Stance on Tube-Feeding is Evolving": an essay by Manuel
from the March 27, 2005 Washington Post, which talks about the
disagreements still present in light of John Paul II's 2004 allocution
about feeding tubes and shows how what the pope was saying seems in
tension with centuries of Catholic tradition about these matters.
A site containing several statements from religious sources about euthanasia,
a description of recent developments in Australia on physician-
suicide and the text of recent laws from Oregon and relating
to physician-suicide, a glossary of terms associated with
relating to euthanasia: legislation, court decisions, an annotated
bibliography, DeathNET ("an international archive specializing in
all aspects of death and dying"), the student research center on
and assisted suicide, information on living wills, debates about
and links to other sites relating to death and dying
roused from coma by magnetic field": Josh Villa came out of a
persistent vegetative state after being treated by transcranial magnetic
stimulation (TMS). John Whyte of the Moss Rehabilitation Research
Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, cautions that as intriguing as
Villa's case is, it alone does not show that TMS is a useful treatment.
"Even after eight months, it is not uncommon for patients to transition
from the vegetative to the minimally conscious state without any
particular intervention," he points out.
(1996): another significant ruling on physician-assisted
suicide, this one by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1991, a
Rochester, N.Y., physician wrote in the New England Journal
of Medicine that he prescribed enough pills for a leukemia
kill herself. With that article, Dr. Timothy Quill became the first
practicing physician in the United States to publicly admit aiding a
The U.S. Supreme Court on Physician Assisted Suicide. In Vacco
v. Quill, decided on June 26, 1997, the court overturned
the second circuit's Vacco v. Quill ruling and asserted that there is no
consitutional right to physician assisted suicide. This site contains
opinion by Chief Justice Rehnquist, along with some concurring opinions.
concurring opinions. Washington
v. Glucksberg was the companion ruling which came out on the same
also various amici
curiae briefs filed in these cases, including the so-called Philosophers'
Suicide: All Sides: definitions of terms, beliefs about suicide
questions raised by euthanasia, religious questions and statements by
religious groups, public opinion on euthanasia, legal status of
euthanasia in the United States and elsewhere in the world
License to Kill?": the move from physician-assisted suicide to
legal active euthanasia in the Netherlands, which occurred in the
fall of 2001. Besides Belgium and the Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legalized in Luxembourg and declared "nonpunishable" in Switzerland and are under parliamentary consideration in Britain and France.
The euthanasia of deaf Belgium twins: 45 year-old Dutch twins, neither of whom was in extreme pain or terminally ill, used assisted suicide to end their lives. Both were going blind and couldn't stand the idea of never seeing their twin again.
Kevorkian and his Patients: transcripts and real audio interviews
4 of Dr. Kevorkian's patients and their families, Dr. Kevorkian's
life and public career, summary of legal rulings relating to
Self-Deliverance Computer Program: This is billed as "A program for
patient controlled medically assisted suicide for the terminally ill."
It was developed (and has been used on at least three occasions) by Dr.
Philip Nitschke of Australia's Northern Territory, the only place in the
world where physician assisted suicide was legal (the law legalizing it
was recently overturned). Dr. Nitschke visited his patients
with this program loaded into a laptop computer. The laptop was
to an IV in the patient's arm. As you'll see from the program, the
patient is asked a series of YES/NO questions. If the patient answers
"Yes" to the last question, she or he will be given a lethal injection
through the IV. See this link for information on Dr. Nitschke's new
Living Will forms for different states: First read through the Frequently
Questions, and then go to the forms
for different states. You may also find the various state forms here. When you click on a state, you may get
a few pages of instructions about how to fill out these forms. Skim
through these (or skip entirely). Then you may get a series of forms:
a power of attorney for heath care form, a living will form, and perhaps even a life-prolonging
procedures declaration (which essentially says that you want everything
done as long as possible).
A Decade After
Justice for All: subtitled "Continuing Principles, Changing
New Challenges," this message from November 1995 looked back on where
U.S. has come and
what problems remain in light of the principles first articulated ten
Framework for Economic Life: The National Conference of
Bishops issued this statement in November, 1996 to mark the 10th
anniversary of their 1986 pastoral, Economic Justice for All.
This is a very brief statement on economic justice. It lists the ten
major principles of Catholic social thought.
"American Pastoral: Revisiting Economic Justice for All: a 2012 essay by retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland, chair of the committee who drafted the 1986 pastoral letter on the economy, in which he describes changing conditions and analyzes factors since 1986 that would have to be included in any current statement on poverty and the U.S. economy
The Consistent Ethic of Life: a description of the seamless garment of Catholic concerns about life issues first articulated in 1983 by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, along with a download featuring lots of other links to Catholic sources.
"Social Justice: What's tarnishing its good name?": an essay from 2012 that surveys current views about social justice and discusses religion and politics, charity vs. justice, and religion as public or private. It also provides a definition of social justice as "people working together to transform societal structures for the common good."
If a business won't pay a living wage, it shouldn't exist: an article that considers the example of Wal-Mart and asks how much this private company is indebted to public funds. As a result, the essay makes the case that companies have a positive obligation to the rest of society to pay a living wage to its employees.
Circle of Protection: a Christian perspective on why we need to protect programs for the poor. See also this essay about lobbying efforts to help protect the poor from budget cuts made to programs that fight the effects of poverty.
"Saving 'Subsidiarity'": excellent article by Vincent Miller that argues that the principle of subsidiarity is an application of the principle of solidarity, not a principle for small government as it has been recently construed by some Catholic politicians
and Peace: ecumenical statements on economic justice issued by
and non-Catholic Christian groups, non-Catholic Christian statements on
justice, non-Christian religions' statements on justice, Bible verses
with social justice, relevant directories to faith and justice sites on
the WWW (including an especially good one to Catholic
Charities USA: the largest private network of social service
organizations in the United States works to support families, reduce
and build communities. Its mission is to provide service for people
in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the
entire Church and other people of
good will to do the same.
Catholic Worker Home
Page: The Catholic Worker movement was founded in 1933 during the
Great Depression by Dorothy Day at the urging of Peter Maurin. It is
best known for its houses of hospitality and commitment to social
Catholic Climate Covenant: a coalition of Catholic groups supporting and complementing the work of the U.S. Catholic bishops on the environment. This website includes a history of Church teaching on the environment along with links to primary sources.
Theological themes in the encyclical See also this exposition of a href="https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/theological-heart-laudato-si?utm_source=Main+Reader+List&utm_campaign=236192451b-July+18_The_Week_at_Commonweal&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_407bf353a2-236192451b-92370193">theological themes in Laudato Si
A site containing several statements on poverty
from religious sources, facts about poverty, literature on poverty and
welfare, links to several different organizations working for justice
The Story of Stuff: consumerism and all its ramifications socially and environmentally. See also "Slavery Footprint", which contains information about human trafficking and an interactive survey designed to tell you how many slaves are working to sustain your lifestyle.
Matters": a special report by the New York Times about the
effects of social class in America
Experiment: a PBS Frontline documentary about a famous
experiment conducted by an Iowa schoolteacher who, the day after Martin
Luther King Jr. was murdered in 1968, gave her third-grade students a
first-hand experience in the meaning of discrimination. This is the
of what she taught the children, and the impact that lesson had on their
Poverty facts and
tables and government figures on who's poor in America
today from the Instititute for Research on Poverty, the poverty
line, information on children in poverty, and links to other poverty
in the States: data from the Children's Defense Fund about
population and family characteristics, economic security and federal
program participation, health and disabilities, child care and early
childhood education, and youth development.
Kids Count: a
project ofthe Annie E. Casey Foundation, this site is a national and
state-by-state effort to
the status of children in the United States. There's a nice database which can
generate detailed information about a single state or the nation as a
Welfare : federal and state resources, the complete text of
the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, poverty statistics and links to other
electronic sources relating to these issues
facts and myths, other web links on welfare reform, summary of the
Welfare Reform Act of 1996, advocacy organizations, research data.
This site also contains facts about
welfare and welfare spending, links to welfare reform, and poverty
the U.S. Census Office
the United States: a site maintained by the Theology Library,
Church statements on homelessness, a fact sheet on homelessness,
newspapers, voices of the homeless, a
state-by-state listing of homeless shelters across the United States
a brief description of services offered at each), homeless organizations
and local efforts, and links to lots of other sites on homelessness
National Coalition for
Page: online information on homelessness and poverty, hear homeless
people share their experiences, facts about homelessness, links to other
internet resources concerning homelessness and poverty
Bend Center for the Homeless: nationally recognized as among the
best such facilities in the nation, the South Bend Center for the
Homeless offers a full range of programs and services. This site
contains a description of these programs (especially the Continuum of
Care), the history of the Center, its staff and facilities. Note that
the Center is not a
A site containing information
on shelters and programs for the homeless, links to other resources
on the net, the homeless discussion list (a global electronic discussion
list focused on the subject of homelessness, featuring input from those
currently homeless, those formerly homeless, and many other involved in
National Immigration Law Center: helpful clearinghouse of information from an organization whose mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members
Immigration Impact: A website offering the latest news about immigration issues, it seeks to contribute to a national conversation on immigration to achieve comprehensive policy reform.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): This memo, signed by President Obama on June 15, 2012, allows for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service here.
The Dream Act: proposed legislation (still not passed) that would allow a path to full citizenship for immigrant children not born in the United States
Consistent Ethic of Life & Health Care: a talk from 1986 by Joseph
Cardinal Bernardin in which he lays out his understanding of the
consistent ethic of life and applies it to issues relating to health
care. He also shows the relationship between the "right to life" and
the quality of life.
The Catholic Health Association of
the United States: the national leadership organization of more
1200 Catholic healthcare sponsors, systems, facilities, and related
organizations and services. This site features abundant links to
healthcare resources and organizations, governmental agencies related to
healthcare and information about managed care.
Catholic Priorities," by Lisa Sowle Cahill: discusses the need to
look beyond life issues such as abortion to wider social issues which
also have a significant effect on who lives and dies around the world.
Cahill portrays "Catholic bioethics as social ethics."
Maura Brannick, CSC, Health Center: a community outreach clinic
operated through the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center which provides
primary care to uninsured residents of St. Joseph County in northern
"The 'Reform' that Ate America" by Mortimer Zuckerman offers a great overview of the "warped incentives" for healthcare spending and a sobering analysis of the economic cost of reform
"The Bomb Buried in Obamacare": about the medical loss ratio and the provision in the new law that recquires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers' premium on medical care rather than overhead
Senate rejects change to contraction rule: On March 1, 2012, the Senate defeated a Republican-led bid to insert a religious exemption into the federal mandate to provide contraceptive coverage. This essay also raises consistency issues about legislators who would back a religious exemption here while also favoring 'anti-Shariah law' bills elsewhere. Also, it points out that there is a tradition that allows for-profit employers and taxpayers to be protected from supporting abortions.
"The Bishops and Religious Liberty": a series of essays from Commonweal. See especially Cathy Kaveny's essay, which is a helpful presentation of relevant legal precedent. For a broader view on religious liberty, see David DeCosse's essay for a contrast between the notion of religious liberty championed by Vatican II with the notion that emerges in recent American episcopal concerns.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: the 5-4 decision from June, 2014, that extended to a closely held for-profit corporation the same accommodation that non-profits have under the Affordable Care Act. This ruling includes Justice Ginsberg's dissent.
a good collection of links relating to health care and health policy
Resources: enormous collection of links arranged alphabetically to
medical sites and issues
Health Library: a very complete list of web resources for health
plans and health-related issues. It features several links to the major
health plans, 'consumer resources,' and political party positions on
health care reform
State Medicaid Fact Sheets: excellent interactive tool. Just click on a state and that state's Medicaid information comes up, along with many other important markers for who's insured and who's not in each state.
Off the Rolls": an essay describing some of the history of Medicaid
and the consequences of being 'kicked off the rolls'
Financial challenges to Medicaid and how some states are responding by cutting physicians' fees, and ultimately raising concerns about whether there will be a "shortage of physicians and other providers participating in Medicaid"
are the Young": Young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 are the
largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population lacking
insurance, according to a report released in May, 2006.
of the Health Insurance Industry": This article provides a good
explanation of some of the main options for financing and running a
healthcare system, and ultimately advocates a single-payer system.
Health Care" by Guy Clifton, M.D.: provides a gripping example of
the failure of the U.S. medical system, speaks about the role of the
free market when it comes to distributing health care, and concludes
with some suggestions for reform.
Talk About Health Care": tries to make a case for health-care
reform by focusing on the questions: what did Jesus do? who is
uninsured? does the market already handle health care fairly? etc.
Ready": an editorial about the need for the reform of health care,
which shows why we may finally be ready to tackle its complexities
society and in the church: an excellent collection of papal
about women with some scholarly analysis of them as well. It includes
subsections on the Christian vision of women, women in society, and
in the life of the Church.
"Confession of Sins
Asking for Forgiveness": a prayer from Pope John Paul II on March
2000 asking for forgiveness on behalf of those in the Church who have
(among other things) violated the dignity of women and the
fundamental rights of the person
Perspectives on Women in Society and Church: a collection of
resources on various subjects with links to writings by Pope John Paul
and many others on Christian views of women, women in society, women in
the life of the Church, and women in the history of Catholic thought
Words to Deeds: Continuing Reflections on the Role of Women in the
Church: an October, 1998 document from the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops Committee on Women in Society and in the Church which
says that women's contributions have historically been "unnoticed and
undervalued." It encourages appointment of women to leadership
Church, calls for collaboration in ministry, and encourages the use of
a message of hope and courage from sixteen prominent women, issued as a
joint statement at
Saint Mary's College on April 29, 2000
Vatican controversy with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)
on Ordination and Women (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis), the 1994
Letter by Pope John Paul II reiterating the 1976 statement by the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
"Did Jesus Exclude Women from Priesthood?": A very important essay by Sr. Sandra Schneiders looks at what she terms "the theoretical question" of determining the criteria for which cases the behavior of Jesus binds the Church as well as "the factual question" of what Jesus actually did about priesthood for women.
Can the Church ordain women deacons?: an interview with Phyllis Zagano, who is an advocate for ordaining women as deacons, and who argues that this isn't necessarily a step on the way to ordaining women priests
clergy in Protestantism and Judaism: a description of which
religious groups allow female clergy and when they began to allow it.
This site includes biblical passages which relate to women's ordination
and profiles on notable women in the early Christian tradition as well
an analysis of other arguments pertaining to women's ordination.
and Justice: great links to religious
resources (featuring significant statements from the Catholic
tradition about women, as well as analysis of the Christian tradition
and women, and a guide to inclusive language), women's history, women
in comtemporary life, violence against women, and economic justice
Illinois (1873): landmark U.S. Supreme Court case about an Illinois
woman, Myra Bradwell, who passed the bar but was nonetheless refused
permission to practice law by the U.S. Supreme Court
About Eve": what the Bible tells us about women. This essay focues
on the work of a diverse group of scholars seeking to reinterpret the
role of women in the Bible. It includes links to many related sites.
Malleus Malificarum: the inquisitor's manual published in ~1484
by two Dominican priests. This site features extensive excerpts.
Watch: information on the process to incorporate inclusive
into the Catholic liturgy
Theology: an extremely comprehensive collection from the
Women's Studies Section of the Association of College and Research
Libraries; it features links to general sites, women and Buddhism,
Islam, and other traditions.
Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty: a 1999 statement by
Administrative Board of the U.S. Catholic Conference. This was the
statement focusing exclusively on opposition to the death penalty in 19
years from the U.S. Catholic bishops.
of Life and the Penalty of Death": a 2005 statement by the U.S.
Catholic bishops. This actually takes you to the Catholic Campaign to
the Use of the Death Penalty. There are lots of resources available
including the above recent statement by the bishops.
papal statements on capital punishment: from John Paul II's January
1999 visit to Saint Louis. This site also contains statements from
row chaplains, links to pro & con articles on the death penalty, and a
history of capital punishment.
Price of Death": great essay by the editors of America about
declining support for the death penalty
Executioner": a fascinating profile of Giovanni Battista Bugatti,
Titta," who supervised and carried out several hundred executions at the
Vatican in the 19th
century under the direct orders of the pope. His story shows that the
position on the death penalty represents more fundamental changes than
mere development of
and Capital Punishment": an essay by Cardinal Avery Dulles which
looks at the history of the Church's teaching on the death penalty and
assesses the present teaching in light of that history
Catholics Against Capital
Punishment: the website of a national advocacy organization working
for abolition of the death penalty in the U.S., this page contains links
to the Catechism and a great bibliography of recent Catholic bishops'
statements on the death penalty.
A site containing statements
on the death penalty from several religious sources (including a
by Sr. Helen Prejean), death penalty facts and figures, Supreme Court
decisions, etc. You'll also be able to examine the views of some
different Christian denominations on the death penalty.
v. Georgia (1972): the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which said that
death penalty laws, as then enforced, were
unconstitutional. It effectively abolished the death penalty in the
United States. See also the 8th
of the Constitution which prohibits 'cruel and unusual punishment.'
Georgia (1976): The U.S. Supreme Court ruling
which upheld the constitutionality of capital punishment per se, as long
passed laws which prevented it from being imposed arbitrarily and
capriciously. It restored the death penalty in the United States.
Marsh: In this ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of a Kansas death penalty law. The ruling was 5-4,
where all those in the majority (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy,
Scalia) were Catholic.
the Death Penalty," by Dale Recinella: In light of the ruling in
Kansas v. Marsh, Recinella shows what just one Catholic Supreme Court
justice could do to abolish the death penalty and how the distribution
of Catholics throughout the country tends to influence how many
executions go on in a given area.
v. Rees: This ruling from 2008 upheld the 'three-cocktail' method
of lethal injection and said that it did not violate the 8th Amendment
against cruel and unusual punishment. Prior to this ruling, many states
(such as Texas), had
stopped executing people until the Court decided this case. For a
description of the case, see this Wikipedia article
and this New
York Times story. For background on lethal injection, see "Lethal
Injection on Trial".
Defender's Toolbox: capital and criminal law links, legal
terms, capital and
habeas litigation, death penalty news, organization contacts, general
death penalty links, human rights links, individual prisoners, prisoner
support, death penalty advocacy, religious perspectives, court cases,
Death Penalty Information
Center: facts about the death penalty, race and the death penalty,
the costs of execution; issues relating to deterrence and innocence; and
a profile of particular segments of the death row population, including
women and the mentally retarded.
"Death Penalty Walking": an overview of the death penalty in the United States, how it's practices, how much it costs, problems with its implementation, etc.
Information on the Death Penalty: Just click a
state, and up comes whether it has a death penalty, how many executions
it's had since 1976, how many are on its death row (including the number
of women, various laws relating to the death penalty, and the method
state uses to execute). In May, 2013, Maryland repeals the death penalty, the sixth state in the last six years to do so, leaving 32 states with capital punishment.
Attorney: Over 1,500 death penalty links, separated into 46
from wrongful convictions and DNA, to religion, Bush and Gore,
juveniles, and names and statistics of those on death row in Indiana.
Also includes 90+
links and recent headlines.
A site containing an annotated bibliography to articles
on capital punishment, internet resources, texts of recent Supreme
Court cases, wrongful murder convictions, prison information, selected
Catholic Bishops' statements on the death penalty, famous articles about
capital punishment, Amnesty International's position statement on
Information: statistics about executions and death row populations,
women on death row, methods different states use to execute, information
about the race of
the victim and the defendant, wrongful convictions (including
those who may have been wrongfully
executed and those currently on death row despite strong evidence
of innocence--see especially the case of Paul
a Florida death row inmate, a
letter by Sr. Helen Prejean about Scott, and the text of a
story about Scott in the Sept. 11, 1998 Observer, the student
newspaper of the University of Notre Dame and Saint
Mary's College)--see also a website devoted to Paul's case called Alive,
favor of the death penalty, other links to death penalty sites
Pro Death Penalty
Pages: information and resources, scheduled executions, a paper in
favor of capital punishment, articles and interviews. See the companion
Victims, which is a memorial to the many innocent victims of violent
crimes. See also Death
Row, which offers very comprehensive statistics on capital
and provides vignettes of some of the more horrific crimes that have
committed by those awaiting the death penalty.
The North Carolina Racial Justice Act: background on "the nation's only law that allows death row prisoners to reduce their sentences to life without parole by proving racial bias in jury selection or sentencing"
on Dead Man Walking:
real-life cases from the book and movie, newspaper accounts of the
and executions of Patrick
Sonnier and Robert Lee Willie; an interview with Sr. Helen Prejean,
statements for capital punishment (including an article by Ernest
van den Haag) and
Death Row Support Project: a site from the Church of the Brethren facilitating one-to-one correspondence with people sentenced to death. This site has a service where you can request names of those on death row using an online form. There is also a Frequently Asked Question page. Note what it says there about making specific requests to correspond with a female inmate. Before writing, please consult their guidelines for writing about what to say in your opening letter and what you may expect (and how to handle it) in return. In addition, there are numerous testimonials from those who have written to death row inmates. It says that it takes about a month for them to get back to you.
prisoner: This site allows you to search for correspondents by selecting various criteria such as age, sex, location, religion, etc. Be sure to click the box "On Death Row" before you search.) This site gives
you a great deal of information on each prisoner including the crime for
which he or she (this site lets you search for females on death row,
but only one came up the last time I looked) is on death row. writeaprisoner.com
also includes a list of precautionary measures it sponsors to insure the
safety of these communications.
Row Speaks: Click
"Inmates/Profiles" and then select either "Federal death row" or "Military
death row" to get a list of names and addresses. In addition to the
profiles, this site features inmate art, poetry, and writings. There's
also a section entitled "Ask Death Row" where you can leave questions
inmates to answer, or read their answers to previous questions left by
Writing to death row inmates is
excuse the crimes they may have committed or add to the pain of victims' families. Nor can one truthfully say
that there is absolutely no risk attached in corresponding with someone
who has committed very violent acts. But it is also true to say that
none of my students has ever felt threatened or endangered, and there
never been a case that I know of in which a death row prisoner has been
released (in itself, rare--and
they don't usually get released unless they were
innocent anyway) or has
(rarer still) and made unwanted
contact with his or her correspondent. In the words of one of these
online services, "This sounds all very serious, but it should be
mentioned. Usually though your pen-pal will be someone who has been very
lonely and is very glad to receive your letters. Most inmates do write
back very quickly. You will discover that the inmate is as good a friend
to you as you are to him/her." And note too: these services are
only for those 18 years old and above.
Death Row Blogs and other forms of inmate writing
Compassion on Death Row: a newsletter developed and written by death row prisoners in the United States and distributed to all U.S. death row inmates. The newsletters contain art, poetry, and writings by death row prisoners. Past issues are available for download. Prison Express, while not confined to death row prisoners, also features the writing of those behind bars.
Door Magazine: a magazine mostly written by prisoners or people
who are closely associated with the prison experience. The content of
Cell Door runs the gamut from poetry to short stories, from art to op-ed
Death row bloggers: a story about death row inmates who blog about their experiences and those who support them on the outside of the prison walls
Dead Man Talkin': Dead Man Talkin' is a series of columns written
a man on death row, Dean Carter, in San Quentin Prison. Read Column 1
for a brief introduction to the prisoner who is writing these columns
and providing a first hand eyewitness account of life on death row. You
can also e-mail Dean Carter;
but given the delay between the time the e-mail is received by a third
party associated with Mr. Carter and then sent through the U.S. post to
him, it would probably be quicker to mail him directly at his postal
Theology Library's Peace Section: extensive collection of links to
pacifism and just war resources in the Christian tradition, as well as
information on the Nobel Peace Prize and peace organizations
A site containing a summary of just war teaching,
Peaceweb : (a Quaker site), links to organizations promoting
oath: a matter of ultimate allegiance," by D. Brent Laytham: an
essay which questions through the author's personal experiences where a
Christian's primary loyalty should lie
Preventing war is 60x cheaper than fighting it: an infographic by the Friends Committee on National Legislation. One of the claims it makes is that for every $1 the world spends on conflict prevention, it spends $1885 on military budgets.
be prolife is to be nonviolent": a provocative essay by Fr. John
Dear that argues on the basis of a consistent ethic of life that a
prolife commitment needs to suffuse all issues and not just abortion
"Call For Action In Response To Newtown Tragedy": a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about the December, 2012, shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. One of the authors of this joint statement is Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN.
The Nonviolence Web: the
philosophy of nonviolence, peace and taxes, conscience and the state,
direct action for peace, and good issue pages for current events
to war and peace. This site features recent articles on faith-based
non-violence and current issues in the peace and justice movement.
Includes a great list of other peace and justice websites." Also has
helpful introductory essays on pacifism,
Peace: a nice series of links from The Nation on arms spending,
genocide, nuclear arms and proliferation, peace activism, terrorism, the
U.S. military and wars abroad
School of the Americas Watch:
following is from their web page: "The US Army School of Americas,
in Fort Benning, Georgia, trains Latin
American soldiers in combat,
counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics.
Graduates of the SOA have been
responsible for some of the worst human rights
abuses in Latin America. Among the
SOA's nearly 60,000 graduates are notorious
dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar
Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and
Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan
Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo
Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer
Suarez of Bolivia. Lower-level SOA
graduates have participated in human
rights abuses that include the assassination of
Archbishop Oscar Romero and the El
Mozote Massacre of 900 civilians.
SOA Watch is an independent
organization that seeks to close the US Army School
of the Americas through vigils and
fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest,
as well as media and legislative
Can war be abolished?: an excellent piece from Commonweal that reviews contemporary Church teaching about war as abolitionist but not pacifist while emphasizing the links between the development of Church teaching about the death penalty with the development of Church teaching about war.
the Catholic Church: discussion of
passages about war, summary of just war criteria, and analysis of
reasoning behind the just war norms (with an especially good discussion
the deficits behind consequentialism), and an interesting debate at the
end between a pacifist and just war thinker
of War": The author is a National Guard chaplain who argues on the
basis of his experience that the brokenness of the world sometimes
"War is Necessary": a video narrated by Major Peter Kilner of West Point. Major Kilner explains that you can’t believe in human dignity and human rights if you’re not prepared to defend them. See also Major Kilmer's blog, Thoughts of a Soldier-Ethicist.
Central Committee for
Conscientious Objectors Home Page: CCCO supports conscientious
and promotes individual and collective resistance to war and
for war. There is also a link here to the GI Rights Hotline, which
provides information to members of the military about discharges,
grievance and complaint procedures, and other civil rights.
for World Peace Day: Pope John Paul II's message for the World Day
on Jan. 1, 2002, pays special attention to the reality of terrorism in
world today and
forcefully argues that there can be no peace without justice, and no
The Project on Defense
Alternatives: This is a nonpartisan group which has issued a report on the insurgency in
Iraq. The report concludes that the occupation and the insurgency are
locked in a circular conflict from which there is no logical escape.
insurgents are fighting because of the occupation , and the occupation
forces are fighting because there is resistance.
Just Response: A website
created in response to the terrorist acts, most of its contributions
about the dangers of military action.
Voices in the
Wilderness: a group of teachers, social workers, authors, health
care professionals, tradespeople, and church
workers (including Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit) dedicated to
ending the economic sanctions
against the people of Iraq
The Second Gulf War
bishops and Iraq:
a letter from September 13, 2002 from Bishop Wilton Gregory, president
the United States
Council of Catholic Bishops, to President George Bush. The letter
Catholic just war
principles to urge that the United States step back from the brink of
statements on Iraq: a more comprehensive collection of statements
bishops, pope and papal representatives about war with Iraq
Background from C-Span: a
comprehensive series of links and tools for
understanding the history of US/Iraqi relations.
Navigator: the site used by research staff of the New York Times for stories on the Gulf
It features information about the country of Iraq, its military and
leadership, as well as U.S. military information, and the texts of
various United Nations resolutions about Iraq.
War with Iraq: This website of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for
International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame offers links
to online articles on politics & strategy, ethical concerns, and
background on the sanctions against Iraq.
Then & Now" by George Weigel. This essay comes from the April 2006
First Things and attempts
"offer a just war defense of the moral probity" of the war in light of
that we know to this point.
Hawkish Doctrine of Mr. Bush": Fr. J. Bryan Hehir argues that a war
against Iraq would not satisfy just war norms. In particular, he
looks at issues relating to proportionality and the issue of preventive
violence (military preemption).
"Why We Must Withdraw from Iraq" by Msgr. Robert W. McElroy Part
I and Part
II: good treatment from 2007 about how just war norms should now
apply to the conflict in Iraq. Fr. McElroy gives particular attention
the criterion of proportionality and how advocates for the war now use
in ways they avoided before the war.
"Path of destruction in Iraq began in 1991": an editorial from the National Catholic Reporter about the legacy of violence in Iraq, the persecution of Christians there, and recent statements by Pope Francis that it is licit to stop an unjust aggressor
Editorial from Commonweal Magazine opposing military strikes: The article explains the many 'known unknowns' that would follow a U.S. strike. It also says that while hurting Assad helps his enemies, some of those groups are U.S. enemies as well.
Torture is a Moral
Issue: A Catholic Study Guide: a 2008 study guide prepared by the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops which articulates the
Church's teaching about the dignity of all and then goes on to explain
the problem with torture and the need to uphold to Christ's teaching
about love of enemy in an age of terrorism. See, especially, chapter 2: "The Problem with Torture."
Why torture doesn't work: This essay by a neuroscientist argues that the use of techniques of torture doesn't reliably deliver the information that motivates the torturer because of how the brain works under the stress of what's inflicted.
and Indefensible--Iraq: A Case Study": compares Afghanistan
vs. Iraq in terms of
whether violence in those countries was justified: This essay is
a very good background both to the events leading away from 9/11 and up
war with Iraq, as well as the just war tradition as a whole.
Sgt. Robert Bales's actions in March, 2012: a reflection about Sgt. Robert Bales and what appears to be a calculated slaughter on March 11, 2012, of 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children. The author raises the question of why this act tends to stand out as an atrocity when much killing of innocent civilians routinely goes on in war.
Nuclear Weapons: a list of countries with declared nuclear-weapons
capability, countries with undeclared nuclear-weapons capability, and
countries suspected of having secret nuclear weapons programs
Posture Review: Submitted to Congress on December 31, 2001, this
document details Bush administration policies on the use of nuclear and
non-nuclear weapons for the defense of the United States. This report
speaks of "a major change in our approach to the role of nuclear
offensive forces in our deterrent strategy."
Notebook: a regular feature of the Bulletin of Atomic
Scientists, this it the most accurate source of information on
weapons and weapons facilities available to the public