MR 344 - Ministerial and Professional Ethics

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Module Level


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Continuous Assessment (100%)

Module Aims

Aims: Gaudium et Spes(1963) urged: “Let there be no false opposition between professional and social activities on the one part, and religious life on the other.” (GS, 43) Contemporary ministry requires ethical and professional standards. The rationale of this module is to provide an opportunity for final year students to become cognisant of the decision-making processes, engage with pressing practical cases, discern appropriate norms and theological narratives, and identify and appropriate best practices. Please note that this module is best suited for those who will undertake ministry. 

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Making Moral Decisions: On Church, Conscience and Context 
  • Informing Moral Decisions: Drawing from Theological Sources Well 
  • Complex Choices: Freedom, Fundamental Option, Principles of Double Effect and Cooperation 
  • Cases: Casuistry as a method 
  • Codes: Principled Behaviour 
  • Issues: Power and the Abuses of Power, Boundaries, Financial Responsibility, Protection of the Vulnerable, Confidentiality and Truth-telling
  • Guiding another: Ethics inherent to the Pastoral Encounter  


This module will be part delivered in seminar format. A case (or number of cases) will be considered each week in light of the input from the previous lecture.  


A specific reading list of articles/chapters will be provided for each week. Students will be required to link the reading to the case study. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Breadth Exhibit knowledge of moral principles of the Catholic Moral tradition, and codes of behaviour within the Catholic Church
  • Kind Engage in a guided manner with practical issues by way of sustained deliberation on cases and relevant sources of moral knowledge
  • Range Develop an awareness of moral decision-making
  • Identify, gather and analyse material pertinent to a case study, including relevant codes of behaviour
  • Selectivity Inspect and articulate on particular cases, supported by relevant sources
  • Role Critically reflect upon the interaction between the Christian tradition and individual cases
  • Develop the ability to discern morally with another
  • Learning to learn Complete learning tasks purposefully and ethically
  • Develop skills of reflective practice
  • Insight Integrate personally the theory and practice of casuistry
  • Assist and empower others in the moral quest