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Religions 2017, 8(12), 264; doi:10.3390/rel8120264

Pope Francis and Joseph Selling: A New Approach to Mercy in Catholic Sexual Ethics

Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, G12 8QQ, UK
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Catholic Theological Ethics)
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Abstract

Since the Apostolic Exhortation of Amoris Laetitia in May 2016 and Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera in November 2016, Pope Francis has stirred a new discussion on mercy and the role of mercy in certain matters of sexual ethics including divorced, remarried, and cohabiting couples. During the same year, moral theologian Joseph A. Selling published a revolutionary book which provides a new vision of virtues and examines how people consider and arrive at ethical judgements. This article examines Pope Francis’s understanding of mercy using Selling’s method of the “virtuous trapezium” as a way to actively illustrate Pope Francis’s new approach to matters concerning Catholic sexuality. In matters of human sexuality, the Catholic moral tradition has focused for years on an act-centered morality, but Selling’s method instead considers the goals of ethical living before making an ethical judgment. This article contributes to the current discussion in theological ethics concerning Pope Francis’s recent pronouncements on mercy and Catholic sexual ethics, as well as brings into conversation Selling’s new method and approach to understanding virtue. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercy; Catholic; sexual ethics; Amoris Laetitia; Misericordia et Misera; cohabitation; divorced; remarried; Joseph Selling mercy; Catholic; sexual ethics; Amoris Laetitia; Misericordia et Misera; cohabitation; divorced; remarried; Joseph Selling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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O’Reilly-Gindhart, M.C. Pope Francis and Joseph Selling: A New Approach to Mercy in Catholic Sexual Ethics. Religions 2017, 8, 264.

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