Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

27 Jan 2015 Articles Comments (2)

Why the Crusaders Went

This post is the third in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them. Anna Comnena was the thirteen-year-…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

11 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Tense political divide doesn't stop Christian unity over Middle East

Washington D.C., Sep 11, 2014 / 03:03 am .- Despite strained political differences, Christian leaders at a historic ecumenical conference voiced the need for un…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

30 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Watch Pope Francis Open "Holy Door" in Bangui

Holy Father celebrates Mass in Central African Republic where he opened the holy door https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11xK4-brI1k  

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

12 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Can deacons perform exposition and benediction?

Full Question My parish is instituting adoration and benediction during Lent. The pastor and associate are not willing to participate, and they are giving …

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Can God make square circles? If not, does that mean he isn't all-powerful?

Full Question Can God do literally anything? Make square circles? Make 1 + 1 = 72? If he can't do these things, is it safe to say that he cannot do literal…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

20 Nov 2015 Articles No comments

Governor forced to become bishop: the story of St Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose was Bishop of Milan, his hometown. He was born around A.D. 338 and died in 397. He was a very popular political figure, and since he was the Gove…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

13 Jul 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican No comments

Lesotho Church officials call for international intervention following shooting of journalist

The shooting of a newspaper editor in Lesotho is the latest in a series of attacks on government critics in the mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, …

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

29 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

What is the difference between saints and blesseds?

Full Question What is the difference between saints and blesseds? Answer There are several steps in the Church’s process of declaring someone a s…

Read more
An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

09 Sep 2016 Articles No comments

Are Americans WRONG about work? How a Catholic approach to work actually increases profits

Are Americans wrong about work? New research and practical experience suggests we Americans are wrong about work, and that if we want to be more productive, we …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Is following your conscience the only requirement for living a moral life?

Full Question

I’ve been told the only thing necessary for a Catholic to live a moral life is for him to follow his conscience. Is that right?

Answer

There’s more to it than that. Conscience involves a judgment about what’s right or wrong, but it doesn’t work by magic. You first have to form your conscience. This means learning about good and evil, and that’s a job for the intellect.

Many people think conscience is the faculty that tells us what’s right and wrong. That’s a mistake. Conscience is better thought of as an alarm. With your intellect, your mind, you learn what’s right and wrong, and then conscience “sounds off” when you’re about to violate the standards your intellect has learned. If you have no standards, you’ll never hear the alarm.

But not neglecting the formation of your conscience isn’t enough. You need to make sure not just that your conscience if formed, but that it’s formed correctly. If it is, the moral judgments you make will be reliable. But if it’s not–if your conscience if formed poorly–then your moral judgments won’t be trustworthy.

For example, if you’ve been taught that stealing isn’t wrong, and if you really believe that, you won’t have any inhibitions against stealing. Your conscience won’t bother you when you steal because it isn’t reliable when it comes to right and wrong. It’s been formed, but not formed correctly.

It’s true we have an obligation to follow our conscience, even a poorly formed or “erroneous” one, but we also have an obligation to form our consciences properly. For Catholics this means following what Jesus teaches in Scripture and Tradition through the magisterium of the Church.










wpsd_autopost:
1

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories