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Sexual Common Sense
The Catholic Church has a wisdom about sexuality derived from Scripture and natural law (good common sense) that too few Catholics know and live.  Sexual Common Sense features publised articles and  frequently asked questions addressing some of the most controversial issues of our day.  Written and compiled by Janet E. Smith, an author and expert on Catholic Ethics, they make clear the common sense teachings of the Chuch on sexuality.  Addressing issues from abortion to contraception and bioethics, Sexual Common Sense will arm you with information and insights that will help you both live out and spread the Churchs' teachings.

"I am a medical student and would like to attend a medical school that will form me in accord with Catholic teaching. Where should I go?"
Sexual Common Sense - Janet E. Smith's Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Dr. Janet E. Smith   
Thursday, 14 July 2011 11:00


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Veritatis Splendor, Proportionalism, and Contraception
Sexual Common Sense - Janet E. Smith's Articles
Written by Dr. Janet E. Smith   
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 11:00

When Veritatis Splendor was issued, many in the media responded as though the encyclical were written with the purpose of reiterating the Catholic Church’s condemnation of contraception, in spite of the fact that contraception merits a mere mention in the document. Clearly, Veritatis Splendor was not written to reiterate the Church’s condemnation of contraception; rather it was written to establish that some views of the school of moral theology known as "proportionalism" are in conflict with magisterial Catholic moral teaching. Nonetheless, there was something right about the common perception, since it was largely because of Humanae Vitae that theologians challenged the concept of intrinsically evil actions. The proportionalist claim that contraception is not an intrinsically evil action, seems to have been the impetus for challenging the concept of intrinsically evil actions altogether. Much of the debate has centered on the proper way to describe and define moral actions. Elsewhere I have made my assessment of the proper understanding of the object of the moral act and how circumstances and the intention enter into the proper evaluation of the moral action.[2]

Here I wish to explore another terminological dispute, the dispute over the understanding of the term “intrinsic evil.” It is certainly problematic that proportionalists deny that there is any action that is intrinsically evil – i.e., any action that ought never to be done no matter how much good might result. Yet, it is also of key importance that proportionalists do not seem to have the same standard as the tradition for determining what makes any action evil, not just what makes intrinsically evil actions, intrinsically evil. This problem has been obscured in the debate over whether or not there are intrinsic evils. A review of how proportionalists responded to Veritatis Splendor should help us see that the differences between the magisterium and proportionalists is not only about the concept of “intrinsic evil” or the “parts” of the moral act, but also about how proportionalists and the magisterium value such goods as procreation and human life. This paper is largely an attempt to clear away the debris of the debate concerning intrinsic evil and move it in the direction of considering the very nature of the goods of procreation and marital union and their relation.


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"Where do I find information about the Special Commission that advised Popo Paul VI on the question of birth control, before he wrote Humanae Vitae?"
Sexual Common Sense - Janet E. Smith's Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Dr. Janet E. Smith   
Thursday, 07 July 2011 11:00
  • I cover this issue in the chapter of my book "Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later".
  • There are other books written that discuss this matter. One by Patty McClory, for instance. Do some research.

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Premarital Sex
Sexual Common Sense - Janet E. Smith's Articles
Written by Dr. Janet E. Smith   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 09:00

Much of what I have to say here about premarital sex is drawn from studies done in the United States. I suspect the US is fairly representative of Western, industrialized nations. And since most the world seems eventually to “catch up” with the United States, what I have to say is likely more broadly applicable. The recent attempts at Cairo, Beijing, and Istanbul of the United Nations, the US and other Western European countries to export western sexual mores to third world countries through population control programs, suggest that we have reason to fear that what is true in the US may soon become true everywhere.

In the United States, the media and opinion makers have finally come to recognize that unwed pregnancy is a major source of social chaos in our culture. Every few weeks, some columnist in the newspaper or news journal writes an editorial bemoaning the problem of unwed parenthood. The evidence is overwhelming that children raised in households headed by a single parent are much more prone to sexual abuse, drug abuse, crime, and divorce, for instance. Their health is poorer; their academic achievement is poorer; their economic well-being is less than that of children who are raised in two-parent households. In every way, children raised in single parent households seem to have a few strikes against them as they forge their way through life. (I do not want to suggest, of course, that all children raised in single parenthood households are doomed. I simply want to report that Catholic Church teaching, the teaching of most religions, sociological research, and perhaps common sense are at one in recognizing that children fare better when raised in a household with two parents.) The number of single-parenthood households has risen dramatically, due, of course, largely to unwed pregnancy and divorce.


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"Where can I find a good therapist or marriage counselor"
Sexual Common Sense - Janet E. Smith's Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Dr. Janet E. Smith   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 09:00



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