Skip to comments.12 Claims Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer: Claim #9
Posted on 01/15/2015 1:30:30 PM PST by NYer
Freedom of speech is a great thing. Unfortunately, it comes at an unavoidable price: When citizens are free to say what they want, theyll sometimes use that freedom to say some pretty silly things. And thats the case with the 12 claims were about to cover.
Some of them are made over and over, others are rare. Either way, while the proponents of these errors are free to promote them, we as Catholics have a duty to respond. 9. "Catholics should follow their conscience in all things...whether it's abortion, birth control, or women's ordination."
It's true the Catechism says quite plainly, "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. 'He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters'" (1782). This teaching is at the heart of what it means to have free will.
But that doesn't mean that our conscience is free from all responsibility or can be ignorant of God's law. This is what the Catechism refers to as having a "well-formed conscience."
The Catechism assigns great responsibility to a person's conscience:
"Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil.... It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking" (1777).
In other words, our conscience isn't just "what we feel is right"; it's what we judge to be right based on what we know of the teachings of God and the Church. And in order to make that judgment, we have a responsibility to study and pray over these teachings very carefully. The Catechism has a section dedicated entirely to the careful formation of our conscience that's how important it is in making right decisions.
And in the end, whether right or wrong, we're still held accountable for our actions: "Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed" (1781). When properly formed, it helps us to see when we've done wrong and require forgiveness of our sins.
By seeking a fully-formed conscience, we actually experience great freedom, because we're drawing closer to God's infinite Truth. It's not a burden or something that keeps us from doing what we want; it's a guide to help us do what is right. "The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart" (1784).
Yea like some of the things the pope has said lately
Among the silly things you can express with freedom of speech are articles that promote the contempt of freedom of speech.
It’s a religion, not a democracy. You’re free to follow your conscience, but if by doing so you disagree with the teachings of the religion, you’re no longer a member of that religion - by definition.
In other words, what this is saying is that you’re free to leave Catholicism if you decide you don’t agree with it. Which seems self-evident until you read some history, where you find that this wasn’t always true with Catholicism, and it’s still not true with, for example, Islam.
"Conscience" was the subject of one of the kids' shows on EWTN today, and St. Thomas More was used as an example. The 1966 version of "A Man For All Seasons" is a well-made testament to the man's conscience and what it meant to him. A must-watch!
**..follow their conscience..**
I think there is ONE with better advice: “Not my will, but thine will be done”.
Hey moron, just who gets to decide exactly what is "silly" and what is important.
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