22 November 2008

Dissenting Catholics Play Conscience Card

Fr. Z at his excellent blog, WDTPRS, dissects the letter to the editor (NY Times) from Jon O'Brien, Pres. Catholics for a Free Choice. According to Jon O'Brien,who is upset with Pres. Bush and his rule to protect the conscience of healthcare providers who oppose abortion/birth control etc., his definition of a well-formed conscience trumps all including the clear teaching of the Catholic Church. In the twisted logic so representative of so many people today Mr. O'Brien makes the statement,
Catholic teaching also requires respect for others’ consciences. Doctors and pharmacists cannot dismiss the conscience of the person seeking a medication or a procedure to which they themselves may object. For example, they may not ignore the needs of patients who may not be Catholic, or who have made conscience-based decisions to use contraception.

What utter insanity. So often we hear that the problems we face in "our times" are not unlike those of prior generations and we shouldn't be overly concerned. But as dark as those times were I can't imagine that they were so devoid of rational thought as we are currently. How can a person honestly say that conscience trumps all but we must respect the conscience of others who might disagree with us, so long as that they respect me while I don't have to respect them. Seriously what is wrong with saying "I believe in birth control (I don't) but you don't so I will respect your decision and buy my poison someplace else." Obviously for Mr. O'Brien and his chorus of dissenters we can't have that. Check out Fr. Z for a complete analysis and the proper instruction of what the Catechism truly teaches about a well-formed conscience.

Here are a couple relevant extracts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition, regarding man's freedom.

1747 The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything.

1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths." Gaudium et Spes 16.

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment englightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments acording to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

No comments:


This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.