Course Number: MTH 991
Course Title: Moral Virtue in Confession  


Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.

FrBmullady@aol.com or bmullady@holyapostles.edu


The purpose of this course is to locate the moral virtues within the context of confessional practice.  Special attention is given to the virtue of justice and the material sins needed to fully help penitents and encourage a thorough examination of conscience.




Week One: Moral Virtue in General


Read:  Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1803-1845


Listen:  Moral Virtues CD  1, 2, 3

Week 2: The Virtue of Prudence in General


Week Two


Read:  Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, 47

Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues, xi-40

Listen:  The Moral Virtues CD 4

Week 3: The Parts of Prudence and Imprudence


Week Three


Read:  Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, 48-56

Listen: The Moral Virtues, CD 5 and 6

Week 4: The Doctrine of Right


Week Four


Read:  Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 57

Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues, pp.43-83

Listen:  The Moral Virtues, CD 7

Week 5: The Virtue of Justice


Week Five


Read:  Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 58-59

Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues, 46-69

Listen:  The Moral Virtues CD 7

Week 6: Judgement and the Parts of Justice

Lectures Week Six


Read:  Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, 60-62

Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues,  70-116

Listen:  The Moral Virtues CD 8-9Exe

Week 7: Sins Against Distributive Justice and Commutative Justice:  Murder



Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, 63-65

John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

Listen:  Moral Virtues CD 10 and 11

Week 8: Marriage and Family


Read:  Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles, III,  121-126

John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

Paul VI, Humanae Vitae

Listen:  Moral Virtues, CD 12 and 13

Note:  Midterm in Class

Week 9: Commutative Justice:  Robbery and Theft;  Truth in Court and Private Life

Read:  Summa Theologiae, II-II, 67-76

John Paul II, Laborem Exercens

Listen:  Moral Virtues, CD 14 and 15

Week 10: Integral and Potential Parts of the Virtue of Justice:  The Virtue of Religion and Piety

Read:  Summa Theologicae II-II, 81-119

Listen:  Moral Virtues:  16 and 17

Week 11: Read:  Summa Theologiae, II-II, 123-168  It is not necessary to read all these questions, but you can just use the notes.  If you want to look up the origin of my teaching on this then you can try to find it generally in the Summa.  

                Pieper, The Cardinal Virtues, 117-206.  Pieper is excellent here.  

Listen: Pieper,  Moral Virtues, 18 and 19

For the rest of the semester please review all of the CD lectures and the review sheets.  The final will be given over Populi during the normal finals week.  


Citations in Papers

For the purposes of the paper in this course, please do provide a full footnote for sources at the end of your post. You will have to type a special character (^) at the beginning and end of your numbers to make a superscript in Populi, e.g. ^1^, ^2^, etcetera. Use the special characters for superscript also in your footnote.

Example Footnote

^1^ Vincent Balaguer, Understanding the Gospels (New York, Scepter Publishers, Inc., 2005), 5, [Hereafter UG].

Also, to bold, italicize, or underline words in Populi, please refer to the “Formatting Guide” located below all discussion/comment fields in Populi.


ISBN-13: 978-0268001032


John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, Familiaris Consortio, Laborem Exercens

Paul VI, Humanae Vitae   You can find review questions and some answers for the exams in this course on www.catholicdistance.org/frbmullady 


Discussion posts 25%,  Reflection papers, 25%,  Final Exam  50%

Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).


A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in oncampus courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Chris Apodaca, the Disability Resource Center ADA Coordinator, at capodaca@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.



Fr. Brian Thomas Becket Mullady, O.P., is the son of an Air Force officer and was raised throughout the United States. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California, in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher, and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries in the United States. He is an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. He was most recently a Professor of Theology at Campion College in San Francisco. He is currently a mission preacher and retreat master for the Western Dominican Province. He also teaches two months of the year at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He has had five series on Mother Angelica's EWTN television network. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and writes the Answer column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.