The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies
Presents at the Caruso Catholic Center
A Series of Discussions on “Intelligent Catholicism”
January 21 — Gay Marriage
The US Supreme Court has decided to take up the controversial issue of Gay marriage. Why does the Church teach about this? Why does it teach this? Should the Church make a distinction between civil law and its own moral law? Can Catholics support civil unions while opposing Gay Marriage?
February 11 — Women in the Church
The Vatican has taught that while men and women are equal, they are so in a complementary way—each with distinctive roles. Is the “complementary argument” persuasive? Should it be? What does God intend? How could we know?
February 18 — Sin and Reconciliation
In the first half of the 20th century, it was customary for Catholics to go to confession before each Sunday. Now Catholics rarely go to confession at all. What has happened? Is it good or bad? How often should a Catholic go to confession? Are there still any mortal sins?
March 11 — Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
Surveys how shown that many more people believe in heaven than in hell. Is that just convenient, or is it insightful? What would it take for a person to go to hell? What about purgatory? What is the best description of heaven?
March 25 — The Eucharist
The Catholic Church has consistently emphasized the centrality of the Eucharist. Why? Protestants have taken a variety of different positions on this matter—why? Are the Eucharist, the Incarnation and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus all linked? How? So what?
April 8 — Atheism
Surveys have shown a rapid rise in the number of atheists. Why is this? Are doubts about one’s faith the first step towards atheism? Will atheists go to hell? Will all believers go to heaven? What does the Church teach about atheism and agnosticism?
April 22 — The Bible and Catholics
Should Catholics try to read the Bible in the way that Protestants do? Is the Bible inspired, inerrant, reliable, or fiction? Why do Catholics believe some things (e.g., papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception of Mary and her Assumption) that are not explicitly in the Bible? Is that defensible?