Moral theology is a term used by the Roman Catholic Church to describe the study of God from a perspective of how man must live in order to attain the presence or favor of God. While dogmatic theology deals with the teaching or official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, moral theology deals with the goal of life and how it is achieved. So, the goal or purpose of moral theology is, simply stated, to determine how man should live.
Moral theology examines such things as freedom, conscience, love, responsibility, and law. Moral theology seeks to set forth general principles to help individuals make the right decisions and deal with the details of everyday living in a way that is in accordance with the Church’s dogmatic theology. Moral theology is essentially the Roman Catholic equivalent to what Protestants usually refer to as Christian Ethics. Moral theology deals with the broad questions in life and attempts to define what it means to live as a Roman Catholic Christian. Moral theology addresses the different methods of moral discernment, the definitions of right and wrong, good and evil, sin and virtue, etc.