Forming a moral conscience

conscience-aheadIt is a common refrain: the “Vatican” and “bishops” are out of touch with the people of the United States. It rises to the surface whenever the bishops, in their role as teachers of the faith, offer moral guidance – and every four years in our presidential election cycle. Such proclamations often include some veiled reference to Catholics being required to have slavish adherence to every pronouncement. Actually the Church’s position is quite surprising to the “experts” and Catholic alike. I believe the Church’s position on the formation of a moral conscience is one of the better kept secrets of Catholic life. Continue reading

Immigration: The Formation of Conscience

he_qi_road_to_emmausThere are strong emotions at the mention of immigration reform.  There is no shortage of opinions in the news, blogs, rallies, calls to legislators, and the like.  As people of faith we are called not to simply have an opinion on the matter, but rather to form our consciences on the matter (Catechism §1776-1803).  The formation of conscience means to take the matter into prayer, to read and reflect on the way Scripture addresses the issue directly or indirectly, to seek the counsel of the Church, and a host of other actions.  There is no shortage of opinions, but I do wonder how many take the time and effort to form our consciences?  The Church is quite strong on this formation, even teaching that, “A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his [formed] conscience.” (§1790)  That is an amazing responsibility that the Church asks of us. Continue reading

Forming a moral conscience

There is a current NY Times article about the “Vatican” and “bishops” being out of touch with the people of the United States.  My Franciscan brother, Fr. Dan Horan, OFM, has an insightful article over at his blog about what he finds truly significant about the poll.  Take a read. Interestingly, he touches on two points that are always close to my thoughts: (a) people and the formation of a moral conscience, and (b) US Catholics are really a very small percent of the whole-wide Catholic Church. Continue reading