• 6 Lessons


    In this course, John Smeaton draws on five decades of experience as a principal leader in the pro-life movement, considering the most important human rights issue in the world today — the right to life — in the light of natural reason and two millennia of Catholic moral teaching. He is joined by Dr Greg Pike, who contributes his own insight as a neurobiologist and bioethicist, presenting the evidence from the best peer-reviewed studies, as well as acute analysis of the pseudo-medical narrative bolstering the immense ongoing scandal of the establishment’s toleration of legalised abortion. The reality of human development before birth, so richly explored by scientific researchers in recent decades, and the brutal facts of abortion provide the foundation of this course in an authoritative presentation from Dr Pike. Dr Pike also explains the abortifacient nature of various contraceptive drugs and devices, and the enormous destruction of human embryos in IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) procedures. He returns in the penultimate lesson to expose the truth behind the medical establishment’s narrative that abortion is a relatively safe procedure. John Smeaton explores how Church teaching and the natural law reveal to mankind the horrifying evil of abortion, which is without precedent in human history. He explains why the chief responsibility for putting an end to abortion falls to Catholics at every level of the Church. The role of eugenics in the legalisation of abortion, and the tactics and arguments used to bring about a worldwide abortion revolution are also examined, before John Smeaton concludes the course with a review of some of the leading figures, key events and cultural forces which have shaped, and continue to shape the battle on abortion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These include: Bernard Nathanson, Mother Teresa, the British parliament and the US Supreme Court, the historic impact of the Frankfurt School, along with the role of the United Nations, the Irish Abortion Referenda of 1983 and 2018, and a growing movement in the US to protect unborn children conceived in rape. Join us for this eye-opening course, the fruit of long examination and an incomparable wealth of practical experience combatting the single greatest massacre in human history. The course will also form the starting point for future discussions at the Family and Life Academy, in webinars which will explore many of the moral aspects of abortion in greater detail.
  • 1 Lesson

    Attacks against the family

    The family is a society whose primary end is to transmit life and to raise children. Because it is the source of life and of new human relationships, it constitutes the fundamental and irreplaceable cell of society. All the classical philosophers and political thinkers have affirmed it, and history has confirmed it. 

    Well before Christianity, in ancient Rome, the familia was the cell of the civitas; but Christianity elevated matrimony to a sacrament, and when the Roman Empire fell, crushed by the barbarians, the only entity which survived and constituted the basis of the society which was born, was the family.

    This conception of the family, which survived until the French Revolution and beyond, is founded on the idea that man is born within a given historical condition, which has insurmountable limits, beginning with death; that an objective and unchangeable nature exists; that this nature has its origin in God, Creator of the order of the universe. The Catholic Church, in her teaching, has always confirmed this conception of man and of society.

  • 1 Lesson

    Baked in from the beginning: paedophilia and the sexual revolution

    The sexual revolution is not a grassroots movement. Rather, it is a well-funded totalitarian movement orchestrated by elites, whose goal of separating sex both from reproduction and from marriage is impossible. It is an intellectual house of cards. It is fragile because it is untrue. It opposes the law of nature and of God.

    Therefore, the sexual revolution needs to be propped up, coddled, protected. It needs conformity. Evidence that contradicts it is a direct threat. People who dissent are a direct threat. Every chaste teenager is a threat. Every person and institution of faith is a threat.

    This webinar is based on Dr Morse’s decade-spanning research into the sexual revolution, both in its contemporary manifestations and in its history. It addresses the sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church, placing them in a realistic context and offering ideas about moving forward. The magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church offer the best hope for addressing the problem of childhood sexual abuse, and providing healing to its survivors.

  • 1 Lesson

    Blessed Karl and Empress Zita

    Karl I of Austria lived virtue to a heroic degree, fulfilling his duties as a soldier, statesman, husband and father harmoniously and with a devotion which defies all modern expectation of what a head of state should be; and all this while facing the end, not only of his House, but of the whole empire which it represented and which he was anointed to lead under God.

    The last emperor of Austria-Hungary, after a short, heroic life nourished by his Catholic faith and his intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, offered up all his sufferings and untimely death for his people, whom he had selflessly served his whole life.

    One must also note that God granted Blessed Karl the grace needed to perfect himself, even in a time of catastrophe and to the point of great sacrifice, through his holy marriage to Servant of God Zita of Bourbon-Parma, the pious mother of his eight children and his most faithful companion in suffering and exile.

    In this webinar, His Excellency Eduard Habsburg offers an insight into the life of his kinsman and his holy witness to the Catholic faith in the maelstrom of the First World War and the dissolution of his empire.

  • 6 Lessons

    Divine law

    Divine law is a subcategory of revelation, in which God tells man what He wants him to do. It was through disobedience to divine law that the Fall of our first parents was brought about, and it was through obedience of their descendants — Noah, Abraham and the other patriarchs — that God prepared the salvation of the human race. The “old law”, or “old covenant”, culminated in the law given to God’s chosen people through Moses. Obedience to the precepts of Mosaic law was rewarded not only with God’s grace but with His temporal favour and protection. 
    “Wherefore the law was our pedagogue in Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24). 
    The moral, ceremonial and judicial precepts of the old law were in themselves powerless to redeem the human race from the sin of Adam. The infinite offence of his disobedience to God required a new covenant with the Son of God Himself, contracted “neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood” (Heb 9:12). The new law, unlike the old law, is not primarily a question of exterior observances but of an interior law of grace, perpetuated throughout the Christian era through the gospel of Christ and the laws of the Church.
  • 6 Lessons

    Natural law

    St Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of natural law was the dominant moral theory prior to modernity. Although his formulation of the subject is considered to be definitive, the natural law tradition evolved over the centuries from the pre-socratics to the medieval scholastics.  In this course, Dr Shaw explains the origins of the natural law tradition in ancient Greek philosophy, its role in the thinking of St Thomas Aquinas, its rejection, in the eighteenth century, by some key figures of the Enlightenment, and what subsequently took its place.  St Thomas Aquinas understood the natural law in the context of eternal law, human law, and ecclesiastical law, as well as our place in creation as rational creatures, and the relationship between the individual, the Church and the state. St Thomas combines an approach to ethics focused on the virtues with an acknowledgement of the importance of duty and moral obligations.   By examining what happened after Aquinas, we will see the difference between the classical Catholic approach to ethics and the approaches of modern theories, and ways in which natural law can be used to approach practical moral questions today.
  • 1 Lesson

    Overturning Roe v Wade: one year on

    Exactly one year after the historic overturning of Roe v Wade, two experts provide an in-depth look back at the 1973 Supreme Court decision, now admitted to be based on "exceptionally weak" pretexts and “egregiously wrong from the start”, but which opened the floodgates to over 60 million abortions in the United States in less than half a century. Founder and President of Catholic Action, Thomas McKenna discusses the significance of the 2022 outcome of Dobbs v Jackson with the distinguished attorney, Paul Jonna, who will give an overview of the legal situation of abortion in the United States before and after the original 1973 judgment. The efforts of the pro-life movement in the decades which followed Roe v Wade will also being discussed, with the setbacks and successes which would finally culminate in the appointment of the justices who would overturn Roe v Wade in Dobbs v Jackson ruling, bringing the battle against legalised abortion to state and federal level. Paul Jonna will also consider the next steps and challenges ahead in the battle against legalised abortion nationwide, whilst Thomas McKenna will show the role the importance of the grassroots pro-life movement and the Catholic laity throughout the world.
  • 5 Lessons

    Parents as primary educators

    As man is a rational animal, education is in a sense the foremost of human activities: bringing man to his perfection as a creature under God’s grace. Also, as grace perfects and does not destroy human nature, the Church seeks to do justice to man’s nature: readying it for the reception of those truths which go beyond reason and which are necessary for the reform of the sinner and for the worthy upbringing of an adopted child of God. The teaching of the Church identifies three authorities with different levels of responsibility for education: the state, the family and the Church herself. Of these three, the state has the least authority and the fewest responsibilities. The family has priority in the natural order and Church has priority in the supernatural order (but often working as and through the family, which is the “domestic church”). These truths have been under greater and greater challenge since the “reformation” of the sixteenth century, and even more so since the eighteenth century “enlightenment” and the revolutions which have followed down to the present day. The state claims the whole person and demands that the child be surrendered into its custody always in theory and often in fact. This course will explore the authentic Catholic teaching concerning the right and duty to educate, to whom that right belongs and how to refute the errors of our day and rebut the claims of the modern state to ownership over our children.
  • 1 Lesson

    The benefits of marriage and religious practice for children and society

    The social sciences study the relationships between people to understand how man thrives or wilts. Man is a deeply relational being, brought into existence through the most intense relational embrace of a father and mother, which, as it were, forces the hand of the Trinity to give being to this new creature. Thus, six persons are involved in the act of conception. Thereafter, early on as a child and later as an adult, the new person thrives in lifelong monogamous marriage, and most of all with the weekly worship of God. All the data in the social sciences confirm these statements. Marriage and the worship of God are the fundamental building blocks of the individual, the couple, the family, the community, the nation, and the globe. They are the twin helix of the DNA of society. Therefore, the newly conceived infant implanted in his mother’s womb, were he able to speak, could rightly say: “I am totally dependent on your marriage and your worship of God to flourish and to reach my potential as a human being. You need both also. With them we can become a trinity on earth that will abide with the Trinity in heaven — forever!”