BISMARCK, ND — When Father Robert McTeigue speaks of fighting a war, it’s not with guns on some desolate battlefield in a country nobody has heard of against thousands of renegades. Metaphorically speaking, he’s battle-hardened from being on the front lines of America’s classrooms, lecture halls, hospitals, pulpits, in front of the media and anywhere his voice can be heard, fighting a war against bioethical confusion. McTeigue simply comes armed with what some would call his most powerful weapon — the truth.

“Our culture will become increasingly hostile to Catholic morals and health care,” said McTeigue, who brings his insight and expertise to the University of Mary’s second annual bioethics seminar entitled “Courage as an Essential Virtue for the Catholic Healthcare Provider,” August 18 through 20 in the Gary Tharaldson School of Business on campus. “Students have two options: be prepared or be surprised. And they can’t afford to be surprised. The seminar will help them be prepared to identify opposition — moral, spiritual, medical, legal, intellectual — as well as allies.”

While students getting their Master of Science in Bioethics at Mary are enrolled in the three-day event, McTeigue’s entire Friday presentation on Aug. 19 is also open to the public as part of the School of Health Science Distinguished Lecture Series in Bioethics and features a three-part morning session: “Philosophical Resources for Bioethics;” “Theological Resources for Bioethics;” and “Virtue, Courage and Catholic Health Care,” followed by bioethics case studies in the afternoon. The event kicks off Thursday with lunch and a presentation titled “Integrating Faith, Reason, Law and Bioethics” with Dr. John Brehany and Dr. Michael Hickman. The seminar concludes Saturday with lectures from Louise Mitchell called “Medicine and Bioethics,” followed by “Health Care and Biomedical Industry Ethics by T. Dean Maines.

McTeigue, S.J., PhD, is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. A professor of philosophy and theology, he has taught and lectured in North and Central America, Europe and Asia and is known for his classes in both rhetoric and medical ethics. He has long experience in spiritual direction, retreat ministry and religious formation. He is a spiritual director and adjunct professor of philosophy at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. Most recently he became a member of the prestigious National Ethics Committee of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA). His weekly column can be found at: http://aleteia.org/author/fr-robert-mcteigue-sj/.

University of Mary’s M.S. in Bioethics program is at the forefront of bioethics education and addressing modern-day issues. Because the program is in partnership with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), it’s one that McTeigue and other bioethics experts around the world hold in high esteem as the university holds true to its Christian, Catholic beliefs.

“A robust bioethics program brings much-needed correctives to the field of bioethics in the U.S.,” explained McTeigue. “An authentic program brings to bioethics an unshakeable commitment to good science; a long, noble heritage of moral reflection rooted in natural law; a sense of the sacredness of each human life that is found in what Christ has revealed to the Church He founded. As medicine is often practiced today, people armed with tremendous technical power accompanied by an impoverished capacity for moral reflection can cause great harm. An honest and authentic bioethics program can be the antidote.”

McTeigue believes in taking the fight to the trenches, where universities like Mary and Catholic healthcare providers can proudly wave the flag high and capture territory in minds of the influential.

“Even as the battle unfolds, I see light and hope when I look at the Catholic Medical Association here in the U.S. Skilled and heroic healthcare providers are fighting the good fight to be true to their medical calling and their Catholic faith. In particular, young Catholic medical students are eager to join the cause.”

It’s on campuses like the University of Mary, in the clinical settings where medical professionals are furthering their education and at a seminar such as this one, where McTeigue believes the bioethics battle can be won.

Register online at umary.edu/bioethicsDLS. For more information about the seminar contact Dr. Karen Rohr, associate professor and director of Bioethics and Faculty Formation at the University of Mary at bioethics@umary.edu or (701) 355-8113.