Theo 261 / Theo 382
James McTavish, FMVD
T 2:00–4:40pm

The spiritual life of the person radically influences the whole moral decision making process. Many errors in morality today come from an incorrect or incomplete spiritual vision. A study of the life, writings and spirituality of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the Patron of Moral theology, can help give a more spiritual and integrated approach to some contemporary moral problems.

His moral theology was practical, missionary and written for the salvation of souls. He believed that elements such as prayer, formation of the conscience as well as an active apostolic life were vital in building a solid moral foundation for discerning solutions to challenging moral issues.

Various pastoral problems of the Church in Philippines and other countries in Asia will then be examined in the light of the Alphonsian spiritual and moral patrimony. Contemporary issues studied will include selected themes pertaining to human sexuality such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), the use of modern Natural Family Planning (mNFP) and the problem of HIV and AIDS. The professor is also open to analyse certain moral problems deemed of most relevance by the students. The course will be presented using various audio-visual means including lectures, power-points and video. Class participation will be encouraged. The overall aim of the course is to have a more integrated spiritual-moral approach to the challenging ethical problems of our contemporary world.


1. St Alphonsus Liguori, Alphonsus Liguori : Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality), Edited by Frederick M. Jones, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1999.

2. St Alphonsus Liguori, Dignity and Duties of the Priest or Selva, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1927.

3. Théodule Rey-Mermet, Moral Choices - The Moral Theology of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Tr. by Paul Laverdure, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1998.

4. Dennis Joseph Billy and Donna L. Orsuto, Spirituality and Morality: Integrating Prayer and Action, New York: Paulist Press, 1995

5. Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, “The Asian family toward a culture of integral life”, 2004. Available at www.fabc.org/plenary%20assembly/final%20statement_plenary %20assembly%2004.pdf