Archive for April, 2006

Hardly Being Scrupulous!

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Hello faithful listeners. I’m sorry it has been so long since I last posted a podcast. I’ve just been very busy.

Here is a podcast of some interesting material for your consideration.

I was recently asked by a student of mine to answer some questions proposed in his Theology class.

He goes to a local Catholic school and I’m happy to see they are addressing these types of things in class.

I would really like all of you to weigh in on my answers and see if you would agree with me.

The scenarios are written by the student so they can seem a bit disjointed but I think you can make them out.

Here is the survey and my answers, please do let me know what you think!


Hello. My name is (withheld) and I am currently attending St. Francis DeSales high school. For my theology class we are asked to conduct a survey to 5 teens and 5 adults, which is why I need your help. This form contains 5 scenarios which each contain a moral dilemma in them. Please answer each scenario honestly and completely to the best of your ability. Your answers are confidential and will only be read by me and my theology teacher. Thank you for all your help it is greatly appreciated.

Martial Status

My Answers:
Michael A. Barone
(614) 888-5384
Scenario #1
You are 14 years old and your mom and dad just passed away in a tragic car accident. You are currently living with your older brother and little sister that is 23. He has been working very hard to take care of you and your sister lately, but unfortunately he just got laid off from his job. You decide to pass by a convenient store after school like you do everyday to buy a snack, even though your brother told you to stop wasting money on junk food. As you are looking at their selection of food you hear someone bust through the doors and say, “Everybody down this is a hold up.” You panic and drop to the floor as told. While the robber is harassing the clerk you start to realize that the robber’s voice sounds familiar. The robber finally gets the cash and runs away. You get up quickly and dart to the window. You see your brother’s car peel out of the parking lot. The robber is your brother. If you tell the police the last person left in your family will be gone and you and your sister will probably be put in a foster home. What do you do? Explain your answer.

My answer to Scenario #1 Older Brother & Robbery

You immediately confront your brother and make him return the money, anonymously if necessary. Then you insist he go see a Catholic priest and go to confession for stealing which is breaking a commandment of God. Then you ask the priest to help you find financial assistance for your family. There are many Catholic services which do that sort of thing. If there are none in your area you ask the priest to suggest wealthy parishioners who may be willing to give you or your brother a job (even at minimum wage) to help your brother make ends meet. You let your brother know that you want the family to be together but not at the risk of his immortal soul. Try to show your brother that you are willing to help by taking on a job yourself, even part time if need be. If you trust God and do things His way you will not be left un-aided. Have Faith and trust Jesus.
Scenario #2
You are 26 years old and happily married. Unfortunately your spouse has just been rushed to the hospital. She was decorating the room for your soon to be born baby when she fell off the chair onto her stomach. The doctor tells you that if they operate now they can save your wife but the baby could die. They also tell you that they can do a special procedure to save the baby but your wife could die. What do you do? Explain your answer.

My Answer to Scenario #2 Wife in need of operation which endangers the child

The Catholic Church allows for the saving of the mother’s life in this situation. The term you are looking for is “Double Effect”. The intention to save the mother’s life is not the same as the intention to end the baby’s life. If what you do to save the mother accidentally results in the loss of the child there is no sin of abortion there.

The only question here would be if the mother were able to speak and asked you not to save her life but to save the bay’s life instead. That would be heroic on her part and there are actual cases of this on record. In that case you would do everything to save the baby and pray very hard that the mother was strong enough to make it too. There is a woman named Gianna Berretta Molla who chose to die of cancer to save her baby. She is up for sainthood in the Catholic Church. There is a website dedicated to her at
Check her out!

Scenario #3.
You are 1 8 years old you have a close friend that you have been trying to help get out of depression for the past few days. Your friend is very depressed and angry about the recent break up with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend. Your friend hasn’t been eating much and is always tired. Whenever you talk with him/her you get the impression that they want to hurt himself/herself One day you find a suicide note that your friend wrote. You call your friend A.S.A.P and she/he tells you that you can’t talk her out of it and you find out she is on a bridge about to jump off into oncoming traffic. However, the reason you friend’s girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you friend is because you both were going behind you friends back having sex with your friend’s companion. You have fallen in love with him and you want to marry him. hut you don’t want to hurt your friend. Even if you talk her out of this one, what about the next time when she doesn’t tell anyone. What do you do? Explain you answer.
My answer to Scenario #3 Best friend’s depression over you and his girlfriend

First you go to confession for the sin of fornication (sex outside of marriage). Next you find your friend and tell him the truth about everything. Tell him you have just come from asking God’s forgiveness and now you want his forgiveness too. Tell him you do not deserve to be his best friend but that you made a mistake and you want to try to make it better. Apologize to your friend for adding to his depression and try to get him to seek professional help.

You should immediately break up with the girl, who came between you and your best friend. But ask her forgiveness too for using her for sex.

Good can not come from this kind of evil. If you could not keep from having sex with her while you were single, you will most likely not have the fortitude not to cheat on her once you are married. Next take a long look at your sorry self and make some changes to your life! Get a freaking grip for Goodness sake!

Scenario #4
You are 16 years old. You are currently at a new school and have made a lot of good friends. Your friend invites you to his party this Saturday. He says it will be great. When you get there, there are no parents. Just beer and hot babes. You get drunk with your friends and then you guys decide to hit on this girl and try to get her alone in a room so you can rape her. You can’t think straight and everything around you is weird. Your feelings for the girl are growing but you know this is wrong. Suddenly, you are in a room alone with the girl and condom in hand. What do to you do? Explain your answer.

My Answer to Scenario #4 Hot babe at a cool party and a pocket full of condoms

Run! Don’t walk! Run away! The scripture says in 1st Cor 6 vs 14, to “flee fornication” which is (at best) what you would be doing! Rape is even worse, but set that aside for now while we deal with the party and the so called “friends”.

What the hell kind of life are you leading if your friends invite you to rape parties? I mean grow the hell up! I have no tolerance for this sort of B.S. and that is what it is!

You should first go to confession for violating the “just law’ of underage drinking, and second for considering rape (which should be to you, an unthinkable act of depravity).

Next you call the police and totally bust your “so called” friends. Making sure to mention the plot to possibly rape the girl. You inform your parents, your “friend’s” parents, and the girl and her parents as well. Then you just might start to be on the right track. This is not a case of someone picking at scruples; this is Mortal Sin, a felony, and possibly serious jail time. What in hell is wrong with you! Grow up and get a real life, really!
Scenario #5
You are 19 years old currently in college. Your have secretly been having an affair with your professor and have gotten pregnant. But, you don’t want to come “out of the closet” because you fear that he will stop seeing you and won’t help you because of his own family, and you fear he will lose his job if the school finds out. You have been getting good grades in medical school and studying hard. Your have a bright future ahead of you. You don’t want the baby to ruin your future because you have to quit school to take care of the baby, but you don’t want to kill your baby. You know that most young mothers never go back to school because they get tied down. What do you do? Explain your answer.

My answer to Scenario #5 Pregnant Adulteress & College professor

First you go to confession for breaking the commandment of God not to covet your neighbor’s husband, and for the sin of adultery. You immediately break it off with the professor. Next you report him to the college and you file a law suit for child support. Insist on a paternity test. You carry the baby to full term and give it up for adoption, or keep it if you think you can give it the life it deserves. (Keeping in mind that the best possible structure for a family life is having a father and mother in a sanctified marriage.)

You never, NEVER, consider abortion and you shun anyone who suggests it!

Just because you made the horrible mistake of having sex with a married man does not mean the baby, who is conceived in this sinful act, is not wanted by God and man.

If/when you give the child up for adoption, you should also consider giving up medical school and becoming a teacher/nun. You then can teach others about chastity and about the Catholic Church teachings on abortion and other pro-life matters. Either way, you should be an expert on “Humane Vitae” the encyclical on Human Life by Pope Paul VI
My note to the student and the teacher:

Dear (Name withheld), and Theology Teacher,

I understand these scenarios are meant to cause the student to think about their outcomes and consequences. I understand they are only an exercise in your class and my answers may seem extreme. But I have to say that it has been my experience that these things happen every day and your scenarios are very close to reality for many people I know. I don’t think that I would be helpful or serve the purpose of my life if I pulled any punches about my answers.

Now, would I have the fortitude to follow my own advice? I hope so, but experience tells me I might not. I know my weaknesses as well as my own sins. So I’m not indicting anyone with my answers, but I am trying to tell you what is right regardless of the person’s personal ability to perform the acts I have listed. I hope so, and I think our future is going to become darker and darker until we develop the fortitude in our souls and the trust in God, to choose good over evil, every time.

I don’t know what other adults have answered in these scenarios; I’m willing to bet many people went for the “Politically Correct” answers. I don’t believe that is the way to make the world a better place, so I would reject worldly advice in these exercises. I encourage you both to openly discuss my answers with the class and to look for the virtue in them. Even if they are far fetched to you or the other students, I hope I wrote honorably and faithfully, considering the strong teachings of the Catholic Church in these areas.

God’s Blessings on your endeavors,

Michael A. Barone