- The central theme or object of Moral Theology, which is considered for its own sake and to which all else is secondary (objectum formale quod), is God as the supernatural End or Destiny of man.
- The secondary object (objectum materiale) is the means by which one is advanced towards one’s Last End (such as human acts, virtue, grace, the Sacraments), or the obstacles which hinder one from attaining that End (such as vice, temptation, etc.).
- The medium through which the above objects are known (objectum formale quo) is the light of natural reason illuminated by faith studying the sources of divine revelation and deducing conclusions from doctrines revealed by God.
Hence Moral Theology includes
- The revealed doctrines concerning man’s destiny and duty that are contained in the written and oral Word of God and as interpreted by their custodian, the Catholic Church.
- The conclusions that are contained in revelation.
- The duties of man to human laws that are based on the divine natural or positive law.
- The opinions of theologians on matters that are disputed, as in the controversy about the systems of conscience.