The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recently published a response to a question about the liceity of hysterectomy in a very specific case. In popular publications, some responses to the new document have been decidedly negative, while over at the Church Life Journal, thomistic theologian Taylor Patrick O’Neill offered his view that there is, in a way, no news, since “the principles governing this particular ruling are those which have governed previous rulings….” In a scholarly venue, the Linacre Quarterly, Joshua Schulz and William Hamant have argued at length that the CDF’s decision is based on new principles and reaches a false conclusion.
But on the whole, the new decision did not generate a lot of buzz, either in the broader public or (to my knowledge) among scholars. I tend to agree with Schulz and Hamant. I think the new CDF statement should be getting a lot more attention from moral theologians. Let me explain. Continue reading “A novel conclusion from the CDF”