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Course Number: STM 659
Term: Fall 2014


Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.

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1. Course Description

This course is team taught by Msgr. Smith who was and excellent moralist and is dead and Fr. Brian Mullady using DVDs from Msgr. Smith and CDs from Fr. Mullady who is the online professor. Topics in this course include the sacred sources of Christian moral teaching; a correct understanding of human freedom; conscience and its application; "Veritatis Splendor"; "Evangelium Vitae" and Theology of the Body.

2. Envisioned Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the nature the sources of moral theology.
  2. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the three moral determinants and how these affect the conscience.
  3. Students will demonstrate a knowledge the teaching of John Paul II on life issues and their magisterial weight in Evangelium Vitae.
  4. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the teaching  of John Paul II on Humanae Vitae as witnessed in his theology of the body.

3. Course Schedule (Assignments Due Saturday Midnight of Week)

Week 1 - Lesson 1: Place, Content, Method; Scriptural Sources

  • Read: Notes for Lesson 1
  • Watch: Moral Magisterium DVD1

Written Assignment

Those who are new to Distance Learning whom I have never tutored in the program should write me a short (one page at most) biography explaining to me who you are and why you are taking the course.

Week 2 - Lesson 2: Freedom and Truth; Freedom and Law; The “Fonts of Morality”

  • Read:  Notes for Lesson 2
  • Watch:  DVD 2

Week 3 - Lesson 3: Conscience: Nature and Function; Conscience and Truth; Virtue and Truth

  • Read:  Notes for Lesson 3
  • Watch:  DVD 3

Week 4 - Lesson 4: Moral Magisterium; Sin and Reconciliation; Reconciliation and Sin

  • Read:  Notes for Lesson 4
  • Watch:  DVD 4

Required Discussion Post:  Write a 300 word reflection on the nature and method of Moral Theology

Week 5 - Lesson 5: Gospel of Life; Origin and Destiny

  • Read:  Notes for Lesson 5
  • Watch:  DVD 5

Written Assignment 1: Explain the three moral determinants and evaluate the idea that one could take the pill to avoid pregnancy because of the danger of a future pregnancy.

Week 6 - Lesson 6: Gospel of Life: Abortion and Euthanasia

  • Read:  Notes for Lesson 6
  • Watch: DVD 6

Week 7 - Lesson 7: John Paul and Thomism

Read:  Man and Woman He Created Them, John Paul II, Introduction, 1-104

Questions for Reflection:

  1. According to John Paul II, what is the important corrective place Max Scheler occupies in the history of philosophy?
  2. What are the strengths and limitations of the philosophy of phenomenology?
  3. Why is the philosophy of St. Thomas and Aristotle so much better than Scheler’s?
  4. What can phenomenology add to Thomism?

Week 8 - Lesson 8: The Three States of Human Nature and Their relation to the Theology of the Body

  • Read:  John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them, 105-128 and v-xiii
  • Pamphlet:  Theology of the Body, Brian Mullady, O.P.
  • Listen:  CD 1

Questions for Study:

  1. What forms the basis for the division of the three States of Nature in Scholasticism?
  2. What are the three States of Nature?
  3. How do these States relate to the division of the matter in the treatment of the Theology of the Body in Pope John Paul II?

Week 9 - Lesson 9: Marriage and Sexual Ethics “In the Beginning”

  • Read:  MFC, pp.  129-228.
  • Listen: Theology of the Body CD1 and 2

Required Discussion Post:  According to Splendor of Truth by John Paul II is it possible to say if one is following one’s conscience that one cannot be criticized or do evil?

Week 10 - Lesson 10: Christ Appeals to the Human Heart

  • Read:  MFC, 229-292
  • Listen:  CD 3

Study Questions:

  1.  How does the state of original shame differ from the state of original nakedness?
  2. What is the source of the difference in these two states?
  3. How does shame relate to hardness of heart?
  4. When Christ condemns the lustful look, what attitude is he condemning?
  5. How does the lustful look affect the communion of the persons and the spousal meaning of the body?

Written Assignment 2: What is the magisterial weight of the teachings in Evangelium Vitae on the morality of contraception and euthanasia?  Is it infallible?

Week 11 - Lesson 11: The Redemption of the Body

  • Read:  MFC, 293-378
  • Listen:  CD 4

Study Questions:

  1.  Explain the new ethics of the Gospel regarding the exterior and interior acts.
  2. Explain the difference between the Manichean idea of the body and the Catholic one.
  3. Who are the masters of suspicion and the does the Church agree with them?
  4. Is Christ’s accusation of lust in the heart a devaluation of the body?
  5. Can a man commit adultery with his wife?
  6. How should eros and ethos relate?
  7. What are the two aspects of purity?

Week 12 – Lesson 12: Celibacy and Virginity for the Sake of the Kingdom of Heaven

  •  Listen:  Mullady, Theology of the Body CD5
  • Read:  MFC, 378-462


  1. What is the third great experience of the theology of the body and why it is necessary for a complete understanding?
  2. Is this based on a negative judgement of the body?
  3. Does Christ’s recommendation of virginity arise from a devaluation of marriage of the body?
  4. What is the context of virginity?
  5. When Paul recommends virginity does this flow from a perception that the body and sexuality are evil?

Required Discussion Post:  Summarize the position of John Paul II on the Original Solitude, Original, Nakedness, Original Unity of Man and Woman and Original Shame.

Week 13 - Lesson 13: Marriage and the Prophetism of the Body;

Read:  MFC, 462-547

      Listen:  Mullady, Theology of the Body, CD 6


  1. What does the text from Ephesians add to the understanding of the human body?
  2. What saves the term ‘submission’ from merely being an exercise of power?
  3. What is the ‘great sacrament’ and why?

Week 14- Lesson 14: Contraception and Natural Family Planning

  • Read:  MFC, 548-663
  • Listen: Mullady, Theology of the Body, CD 7
  • Questions:
  1. What is the ‘prophetism of the body’?
  2. What is the difference between a true prophetism of the body and a false one?

Written Assignment 3:  What causes lust in the heart, how does this affect the morality of contraception and how can it be changed?

Week 15 – FINAL EXAM


Three Papers:

The course requires in addition to the final that you write and send me three papers.

These papers are to be three pages, double-spaced, 12-point font (New Times Roman or Arial is fine). Footnotes or end notes should be used, plus a Title page at the beginning. Proper academic format should be used. The page limit is important in your practicing the succinct presentation of your arguments, so do make the effort to stay within this parameter. I want you to use foot or endnotes as this is an academic paper, and those should be done according to the HACS Style Sheet available online at

Please send in either Microsoft Word or Rich Text format to:

The video and audio lectures and notes should be clear enough for the papers. What you are to demonstrate on these papers is that you have understood the material presented by the professor. It would be good to quote from either lectures or notes.

If you do not receive word from me that I received your paper within a few days of your sending it, I did not get it. If you do not get the corrected paper back within a week, or I did not remember to attach it, please advise me. If you cannot make the deadline, please inform me of the reason. The study questions at the end of the lessons are for the purpose of both private study and creating a distance learning community experience.

Two Voluntary Discussion Forums

Two voluntary discussion areas have been made available to you in this course:

Water Cooler

This is for you to communicate with your fellow students about personal and spiritual matters not related to the course. I will not monitor this forum, so feel free to discuss anything important to you but to also not place items needing my response in this forum.

General Discussion

This is for course-related discussion. You may post questions about the materials and topics, your thoughts and comments about the course concepts, etc. Be sure to respond to the postings of your fellow students, the same as you would do in a traditional classroom. I will monitor this forum, but please do not expect me to comment on all postings.

Please use the General Discussion forum for all course-related questions that you would like to ask of me. If you have a question, chances are some of your fellow students have the same question and will be able to join in the response. You may also contact me directly as I do not check the General Discussion every day. Specific personal questions regarding your grades, extensions for due dates, and private matters should be sent to me in an email: Questions regarding the manner and method of the final exam should be addressed to Bob Mish in the distance learning office: I will do my best to respond to you within 48-hours, but as noted below, I may be out-of-range of Internet access for several days at a time.

Three Required Discussion Posts

In addition to the two general discussion areas (e.g. Water Cooler & General Discussions), three required discussion posts, designed to correspond to the three papers this course requires, have been created for the purpose of assignment submission and peer review. Within each designated discussion, you are to answer the question offered in that time period and post a 300-word response in the designated container. You are also to pick one answer to a question posted by one of your classmates and write a 50-word response to that answer. I will monitor and comment once on all the questions and answers, and this should help you to orient your mind to the material within the module as you begin the process of writing your papers.

One Final Exam


  • John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor (8/6/93) nn. 1-120.
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992) Part III, ##1699-2051.
  • W. E. May, Introduction to Moral Theology (revised ed.) (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1994) 288 pp.
  • S. Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics (French ed. 1993) (Wash, D.C: Catholic Univ. of America Pr., 1995) 489 pp.
  • Male and Female He Created Them, John Paul II (Pauline Books and Media, 2006), 768pp.
  • DVD Lectures by  Msgr. Smith available at Distance Learning Office and CD Lectures on Theology of the Body by Fr. Brian Mullady available also from Distance Learning Office


  • Love and Responsibility, John Paul II, (Ignatius Press, 1993), 319pp.


34% (final exam); 33% (reflection papers), 33% (discussion postings); Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at


A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.


  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete and must receive the grade that they have earned. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


Fr. Brian Thomas Becket Mullady, O.P., is the son of an Air Force officer and was raised throughout the United States. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California, in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher, and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries in the United States. He is an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. He was most recently a Professor of Theology at Campion College in San Francisco. He is currently a mission preacher and retreat master for the Western Dominican Province. He also teaches two months of the year at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He has had five series on Mother Angelica's EWTN television network. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and writes the Answer column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

(860) 632-3010