Catholic Institute of West Africa

Moral Theology

Moral Theology



Moral Theology fundamentally considered is a systematic and methodical understanding of Christian faith and the truths of Christian faith in relation to human conduct. Moral Theology begins, not from the rational reflection in one’s proper being but from reflection in revelation accepted in faith. It is both a study of God who inserts our life in his salvific work and also of man created by God and elevated to life in Christ Jesus.

The second Vatican council brought to the attention of the whole church the need of renewal in theology and moral Theology in particular. Concerning moral theology, the council complains that “the institutions, laws, and modes of thinking and feeling as handed down from previous generations do not always seem to be well adapted to the contemporary state of affairs”. (GS.7). Hence an imbalance develops between theoretical system of thought, which cannot fully master all the aspects of man’s existence today and a way of life and acting which is modern in practical matters, between the demands of moral conscience and a concern for practicality and efficiency. (GS.8). Today, moral theology is required to bridge this gap, and to reconcile theory and practice.

There is a close relationship between moral Theology and all other branches of theology. This is because it deals with all aspects of human conduct. As science and technology advances in modern discoveries, moral theology is also advancing in its approach to those other discoveries. This is because, they affect the human conduct. The pastoral constitution on the church in the modern word is one of the documents of the second Vatican council dedicated to questions of moral and pastoral theology. This document offers many contributions to a better understanding of Christian morality.

The aim of the Department is to make the students understand the teachings of the council, the popes, and synods that come after the council, especially as they relate to their moral actions. The courses offered are designed to help the students to achieve the above objectives, and to be abreast with modern discoveries in knowledge.

There are four stress Areas in the overall design of the courses. These include:

  • The Methodology and General principles,
  • Marriage
  • Morality in society
  • These stress Areas relate to the other parts of Theology.



            2016/2017                               2017/2018                                           2018/2019

MOR 5011MOR 5042MOR 5011MOR 5042MOR 5011MOR 5042
MOR 5031MOR 5082*MOR 5031MOR 5082MOR 5031MOR 5162
MOR 5061MOR 5122MOR 5051MOR 5092MOR 5061MOR 5172
MOR 5071MOR 5162MOR 5111*MOR 5142MOR 5131MOR 5192*
MOR 5131MOR 5242MOR 5121MOR 5222MOR 5141MOR 5232
MOR 5141MOR 5252MOR 5261MOR 5232*MOR 5151*MOR 5242
MOR 5171MOR 5342MOR 5321MOR 5272MOR 5211MOR 5272
MOR 5191*MOR 6372MOR 5341MOR 5352MOR 5311MOR 5322

*students are expected to take at least one seminar in the semester.


0          –           Methodology and General Principles

1          –           Marriage

2          –           Morality in Society

3          –           Bioethics


MOR 5011:     Contemporary Orientations in theology, Methods, Theories

and Sources of Moral Theology.

MOR 5031:     Conscience and Situation Ethics.

MOR 5042:     Sin, Guilt and the Administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Modern Africa.

MOR 5051:     Fundamental Option and Object Choice.

MOR 5061:     Law and Grace in the teaching of the Magisterium.

MOR 5071:     New Proponents on Moral Norms in Moral theology.

MOR 5082:     Moral values in Africa (Sem).

MOR 5092      Magisterium and Morality.

MOR 5111:     Selected Questions in Decalogue.(Sem).

MOR 5122      Questions in Social Justice.

MOR 5131      Human Development, Peace, Justice and Non-violence.

MOR 5141:     Problems in the First Commandment in Africa.

MOR 5151:     African Traditional and Christian Morality (Sem).

MOR 5162:     Inviolability of Human Life – Selected Problems.

MOR 5171:     The Problems of Evil.

MOR 5191:     Selected Contemporary Problems in the Society (Sem).

MOR 5211:     Marriage: African Traditional and Christian.

MOR 5222      Theology of Sex: Man and Woman before God.

MOR 5232:     Fertility and Infertility in Marriage.

MOR 5242      Questions in the Moral Teaching of the New Testament.

MOR 5252:     Divorce, Remarriage, Biblical, Theological, Historical and Pastoral Orientation in Africa.

MOR 5261:     Marriage Situations and Problems in Africa.

MOR 5272:     The Unmarried Life, Sexual Deviations and Sexually Transmitted Disease (Sem).

MOR. 5282:    Christian faith in the modern world.

MOR 5311:     Problems in Medical Ethics.

MOR 5322:     Principle of Biomedical Ethics.

MOR 5331:     Medicine and Christian Morality.

MOR 5342:     Ethical Perspectives on New Bioethical Issues.

MOR 5352:     Health Care Ethics.

MOR.5361:     Medical Ethics

MOR 5372:     Medical systems in Africa.

MOR.5382:     The fate of the family in Technological society


MOR 5011      Contemporary Orientation in Theology, Methods, Theories and Sources of Moral Theology.

Current situation in theological discussion, historical aspects in the evolution and understanding of theology as a scientific discipline, Western theology – developing world theology, conception of universality in theology. Methodology, Sources and Schools of Thought in Moral Theology.

MOR 5031      Conscience and Situation Ethics.

                        Role of conscience in moral action, situation ethics and its principal proponents. Culture, society social change and moral decision.

MOR 5042      Sin, Guilt, and the Administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Modern Africa.

This course is a sociological study, modern society and the sense of sin. Sin in African context. Levels of guilt-feeling, taboos, social and religious guilt-feeling, the sacrament of reconciliation and the formation of mature Christian conscience in African Social dimension of sin.

MOR 5051      Fundamental Option and Object Choice .

The course discusses the problem of the modern person in decision making, how to make choices adequately ordered fro the kingdom of heaven. The problem of the absoluteness of certain moral norms. The psychological categories for deciding sin and guilt.

MOR 5061      Law and Grace in the Teaching of the Magisterium.

Principles of morality according to the New Testament, The role of law, love and Holy Spirit in morality. Catholic and Protestant moral theology – a confrontation, biblical foundations of the orientations.

MOR 5071      New Proponents on Moral Norms in Moral Theology –  

The scope of this study will be to expose the debate on the normativity of moral acts, problems on norms raised by ethical borderline situations, consequentialism, proportionalism, deonotological and teleological ethics. Moral norms and Catholic tradition.


MOR 5082      Moral Values in Africa (Sem).

                        This seminar will undertake an excursion into the African ideas about what is good or bad, right or wrong. Good and reprehensible behavior, religious, supernatural and human sources of morality. God the divinities and ancestors, communal senators, proverbs and sayings regarding morality.

MOR 5092      Magisterium and Morality.

Relationship between magisterium and morality. Authoritative formulation of moral teaching. Nature and function of magisterium. Magisterium and the role of theologians in the Church.

MOR 5111      Selected Questions in Decalogue (Sem).

Cultural change and progress in Africa lead to problems in the relationship between parents, children, kith and kin, and the extended family. Human life is becoming less sacred, new ways of stealing and cheating are being discovered. The mass media seems to provide the opportunity for character assassination, and misinformation of all types.

MOR 5122      Question in Social Justice.

Social justice in Africa – the task of the Church examination of social doctrine of the Church in the recent encyclicals. How hard this addressed concretely the social problem in Africa.

MOR 5131      Human Development, Peace, Justice and Non-violence.

This course presents an overall introduction tom the themes and methods of Christian social Ethics which emphasizes human development, peace, justice and non-violence as a hallmark of Christian life.

MOR 5141      Problems in the First Commandment in Africa.

In moments of stress Christians tend to lapse into superstition. A sociological study of the hold of traditional beliefs. Examination of certain para-psychological phenomena. Spirit world and spirit power a problem for catechesis.

MOR 5151      African Traditional and Christian Morality (Sem.).

The religious basis of ethical action or dichotomy. Dichotomy between religion and morality as viewed in African traditional religion and Christianity. God, spirits ancestors, the Earth, Masquerades and moral Sanction Idea of divine invitation. Human perfection. Role of the sacred music and dance.

MOR 5162      Inviolability of Human Life – Selected Problems.

The inviolability of human life in the teaching of the Church. The death penalty biblical and traditional perspective philosophical and theological arguments, modern situation. War defensive and offensive. Direct and indirect killing.

MOR 5171      The Problems of Evil .

Evil and the devil. Evil in Scripture. Theology of today and actual scandal of evil. Liberation from evil, symbols and myths in society. African understanding of evil.

MOR 5191      Selected Contemporary Problems in the Society (Sem).

The socio-cultural effects of contemporary problems in the society such as war, hunger, poverty, industrialization, resources, population explosion, etc.

MOR 5211      Marriage, African Traditional and Christian.

Marriage as secular and marriage as divine institution. Biblical teaching on marriage Development of doctrine and practice in the early Church. Brief history of marriage in the Catholic Church African traditional Marriage Rite and the Christian celebration of marriage.

MOR 5222      Theology of Sex: Man and Woman before God.

Modern sex explosion. Sex, the human person and God’s intentions cultural ordering of love and sex. The African situation

MOR 5232      Fertility and Infertility in Marriage.

The importance of fertility, of male descendants in the life of African couples in the light of the Christian teaching of indissolubility of marriage. The problem of childless and polygamous marriage and the witness of Christian family.

MOR 5242      Questions in the Moral Teaching of the New Testament.

The moral teaching of the various parts of the New Testament in their various contexts. Morality and religion in the New Testament and New Testament answers to selected moral questions.

MOR 5252      Divorce, Remarriage, Biblical, Theological, Historical and pastoral Orientations.

A sociological and theological study. Sociological factors that contribute to stability in marriage. Outline history of divorce doctrine in Churches of East and West Pastoral care of the divorce and remarried, and polygamous persons.

MOR 5261      Marriage Situations and Problems in Africa.

Marital problems in Africa such as polygamy, trial marriages, childlessness, bareness and sterility. Infidelity. Parents and parents- in-law. Widow, divorce, changing roles in marriage. The Church’s teaching on marriage.

MOR 5271      The Unmarried Life, Sexual Deviations and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (sem.)

Problem of unmarried life. Sexual deviations like prostitution, homosexual and

lesbian relationships and rape, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

MOR. 5282:    Christian Faith in the Modern world

This course investigates how Christians can thrive in the midst of different religions and ideologies- Christianity, Judaism, Islam, African Traditional Religion, Hinduism, Capitalism, Atheism, Humanism, Marxist Socialism (Communism), African Socialism, Politics, New economic Orders etc

MOR 5311      Problem in Medical Ethics.

Ethical choices before doctors and nurses. Difficulties in childbirth. Abortion and the right of conscience. Euthanasia, Suicides bid. Terminal patients, Trans-sexual change co-operation between medicine and law enforcement agencies. The doctor/nurse and confidential information concerning his patients. Drug abuse.

MOR 5321      Principles in Biomedical Ethics.

Systematic and comprehensive analysis of ethical principles that apply to medicine, biomedical research and health. Care delivery, e.g. The principle of double effects, totality, autonomy, ordinary and extraordinary treatment, rule of confidentiality. Codes of ethics, etc.

MOR 5331      Medicine and Christian Morality.

Medical moral problem confronting hospital administrators and personnel, physicians, moral teachers and pastoral counselors on human life; surgery, therapy, pregnancy and delivery; sterilization, experimental use of drugs, mental defect, comatose patients, brain death, etc.

MOR 5341      Ethical Perspectives on New Bioethical Issues.

The pace of development in the field of biology and the life sciences has accelerated and has raised new ethical questions. The current attitudes towards abortion, euthanasia, human experimentation, organ transplantation, genetic engineering, procreation and reproduction, life, death, senility, etc need a major reassessment to evaluate their moral implications and effects in Africa.

MOR 5352      Health Care Ethics.

Health care ethics in society, the power of modern medicine to heal humans of physical and mental disease to improve human race, respect for human dignity in respect of sickness and death, drugs and alcohol, prostitution, treatment of rape victims, self-abuse, medical sexual problems and pastoral care.

MOR. 5361:    Medical Ethics

This is geared towards the study of the practice of medicine and moral dilemmas that today confront health professionals and patients; it examines the areas of health care where ethical conflicts most often arise; it lays the groundwork for informed decision-making and unearths the complexities of medical practice e.g. moral mayhem in modern medicine, medical mistakes, informed consent, doctor patient relationship, etc.

MOR 5372:     Medical Systems in Africa.

This course undertakes to study the co-existence of traditional and scientific medical institutions in Africa. The function of traditional medicine. Limited utility of scientific medicine in the areas of psychosomatic disorder, mystical forces and medicine. Traditional and Christian approaches to healing and wholeness.

MOR. 5382:    The fate of the family in Technological Society – (Seminar)

This study provides a coherent analysis of a range of moral questions and social policy issues pertaining to human reproduction and the new reproductive technologies and examines the values and assumptions underlying common perceptions of sexuality and fertility, the value of children, the nature of parenting, the value a genetic link between mothers and their off-springs, the effects of reproductive technologies on the family.



  1. 5011
  2. 5031
  3. 5042
  4. 5051
  5. 5061
  6. 5071
  7. 5082*
  8. 5092*


  1. 5111*
  2. 5122*
  3. 5131
  4. 5141
  5. 5151 *
  6. 5162
  7. 5171
  8. 5191*


  1. 5211
  2. 5222
  3. 5232
  4. 5242
  5. 5252
  6. 5261
  7. 5271*
  8. 5282


  1. 5311
  2. 5322
  3. 5331
  4. 5341
  5. 5352
  6. 5361
  7. 5372
  8. 5382*

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