Consciences must be properly formed


To the Editor:
In response to Father Bud Grant’s assertion (in the April 19 Catholic Messenger) that Catholics “are free to act contrary to specific magisterial teachings…,” and while he states “Catholics are obliged to examine their conscience…,” he fails to add that one’s conscience must be properly formed as the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1785 states:
“In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path, we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.”
The magisterium is the teaching office of the Church. We have the promise of Christ to protect the teaching of the Church: “He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you rejects me, he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). Thus Church teachings on faith and morals are free from error. The encyclical “Humanae Vitae” made it clear that the use of artificial contraception is condemned.
He also misleads by taking CCC #1738 out of context to support his assertion that “we are obliged to act contrary to specific magisterial teachings….”  Had he quoted #1738 in its entirety, it states: “… The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.”  Nothing is stated that allows for dissent from Church teaching to practice whatever one deems to be in accord with one’s conscience. That is moral relativism. Did not Adam and Eve embrace just that when they disobeyed God to follow their own consciences?
Eileen Heinold

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1 thought on “Consciences must be properly formed

  1. Bud Grant habitually gets the Church’s teachings wrong because, likely, he was never taught them. Such is the legacy of Vatican II. The qualified “properly formed” conscience always trips up ‘theologians’ of the caliber and training of Bud Grant, just as he is under the mistaken notion that, had S. Ambrose more influence than S. Augustine, ‘notions’ of original sin and concupiscence would never have seen the light of day.

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