Moral decision-making in a complex world is a vital challenge for being catholic in the world today

Reproductive technologies, stem cell research, the integrity of the human embryo, and difficult 'end of life issues were among the many fundamental and pressing moral issues examined on Saturday, May 21st, 2005, as Prof. Noel Simard helped adult faith development participants plunge into the deep of these pressing issues that surround us.

Participants engaged enthusiastically in dialogue about decision-making in these areas as Prof Simard was helpful in clarifying many of the churchs teachings. He pointed out the fact that our technologies are developing much more quickly than we are able to keep up with them in our ethical reflections. This produces many problems. Prof Simard challenged everyone to ponder the fact that simply because we are ABLE to do something does not necessarily mean we OUGHT to do it. He invited everyone to become more discerning about decisions, taking the time to reflect deeply about important matters. He named busyness as one of the major obstacles to good moral decision-making. He stressed how essential it is to take the time to get all of the facts about a situation, to examine the facts carefully and deeply in relation to church teaching and other helpful resources, and then to make a judgement that is balanced and life-giving, faithful to this discernment.

Prof. Noel Simard

Prof. Noel Simard reflects on moral decision-making in a complex world.

Prof. Simard stressed the importance of clarifying the intentions for an action as an important consideration among other things. Given the complexities of our world in which decisions are being made, the need to take the time and seek out resources that help in the midst of such complexity was emphasized.

Using the theme of Trinity Sunday, Prof Simard emphasized that good moral decision- making is about healthy life-giving relationships and respect for life that mirrors the relationship we see among the three, God Creator, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Dr. Rene Leiva

Dr. Rene Leiva speaks about the "In Support of Life" project.

He expressed his worry that many people come to well-intended moral conclusions that are misguided and not life-giving because they do not have enough information, have not examined the issue deeply enough, and have not taken time for the reflection that is required.

The session ended with a joint presentation by Dr. Rene Leiva, a palliative care specialist and Mrs. Carol Kuzmochka, adult faith development co-ordinator for the English sector of the diocese about a new project the Archbishop has asked to have initiated in the English sector of the archdiocese in the Fall of 2005 called, In Support of Life. This will provide an opportunity for people to engage in some very good and needed reflection about challenging end of life issues. More information on this project will be forth- coming.

The next session will take place on Saturday, June 11th when Luc Tardif, OMI will come to help participants reflect on the question What does it Mean to be A Catholic In the World Today? from the perspective of an introduction to Spirituality. All are welcome! [email protected] for information or Annmarie Brown 738-5025 (x217) to register.

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