Author Topic: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy  (Read 3858 times)

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Offline The Iambic Pen

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Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« on: November 25, 2012, 11:50:28 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 12:00:01 AM »
sometimes your conscience might lead you away from the Church and into demons.  The ability to interpret is given to the Church not to individuals. 
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 12:03:40 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

Why would a Catholic ever teach that following one's conscience can allow one to violate Church teaching? That's like saying that Luther was completely justified because he believed he was following his conscience: “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

As for the Orthodox view, I'm unsure as to the role of the conscience but I don't believe one could ever use the conscience as a ground for violating the Church's teachings. Otherwise, what would the point in having spiritual guides/fathers be if we could just use our own conscience as a guide?

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 12:54:36 AM »
I'll have to bring up Martin Luther next time someone mentions conscience.

Offline choy

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 01:04:13 AM »
My conscience is leading me to the Orthodox Church

Offline Father H

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 01:06:28 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

Our consciences can be seared, and so are not wholly reliable:

"Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (1 Tim 4.2). 


Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 11:15:44 AM »
I don't remember which elder or saint, but the recomendation was "Don't follow your heart while it is not illumined yet", or something to that effect. While the heart is not pure it loves bad things also - and it is true love, only directed toward non-Godly or ungodly things.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 11:17:32 AM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 11:24:10 AM »
Sinatra's "My Way" is a hymn to modern ideals, summing up all that people value and strive for. And how diametrically opposed to love, God and Orthodoxy that is.

Quote
Frank Sinatra My Way Lyrics
now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

Yes, it was my way
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 11:24:36 AM by Fabio Leite »
There is no such a thing as holly bullies. Not for "holy imperialism", not for the sake of unionist ecumenism.

Offline Azul

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 01:36:55 PM »
I don't remember which elder or saint, but the recomendation was "Don't follow your heart while it is not illumined yet", or something to that effect. While the heart is not pure it loves bad things also - and it is true love, only directed toward non-Godly or ungodly things.

and how do you know when your heart is "illuminated" ? :)

i personally believe that whatever one seeks from pure undefiled conscience he will get to the head of it.. if your conscience tells you one thing than if you do the oposite you go against you and who you are.. what he believes(in his conscience, my emphasis) that is what he is, someone said..
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
We have to go against who we are often because who we are hates God. Loving God is not just saying prayers and going to Liturgy but to give up our own will and desires, empty ourselves to be with Him like He emptied himself to be with us.

An enlighted heart will know. If we don't then we aren't.


I don't remember which elder or saint, but the recomendation was "Don't follow your heart while it is not illumined yet", or something to that effect. While the heart is not pure it loves bad things also - and it is true love, only directed toward non-Godly or ungodly things.

and how do you know when your heart is "illuminated" ? :)

i personally believe that whatever one seeks from pure undefiled conscience he will get to the head of it.. if your conscience tells you one thing than if you do the oposite you go against you and who you are.. what he believes(in his conscience, my emphasis) that is what he is, someone said..
There is no such a thing as holly bullies. Not for "holy imperialism", not for the sake of unionist ecumenism.

Offline choy

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2012, 01:53:42 PM »
We have to go against who we are often because who we are hates God. Loving God is not just saying prayers and going to Liturgy but to give up our own will and desires, empty ourselves to be with Him like He emptied himself to be with us.

An enlighted heart will know. If we don't then we aren't.

Nice.

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2012, 01:55:53 PM »
My conscience is leading me to the Orthodox Church

My concience is leading me into liking this post.
"Who wants to be consistent? The dullard and the doctrinaire, the tedious people who carry out their principles to the bitter end of action, to the reductio ad absurdum of practice. Not I."
-Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying

Offline Azul

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 02:13:33 PM »
We have to go against who we are often because who we are hates God. Loving God is not just saying prayers and going to Liturgy but to give up our own will and desires, empty ourselves to be with Him like He emptied himself to be with us.

An enlighted heart will know. If we don't then we aren't.


I don't remember which elder or saint, but the recomendation was "Don't follow your heart while it is not illumined yet", or something to that effect. While the heart is not pure it loves bad things also - and it is true love, only directed toward non-Godly or ungodly things.

and how do you know when your heart is "illuminated" ? :)

i personally believe that whatever one seeks from pure undefiled conscience he will get to the head of it.. if your conscience tells you one thing than if you do the oposite you go against you and who you are.. what he believes(in his conscience, my emphasis) that is what he is, someone said..

Didn`t God make you the way you are?I mean your character/personality, your essence.. Why would you need to become something else and go against who you are?Didn`t God make you this way?Did he do a mistake?Didn`t God made you to be you?

who we are can hate an idea of God.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 02:18:40 PM by Azul »
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Nephi

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 02:15:22 PM »
Didn`t God make you the way you are?I mean your character/personality, your essence.. Why would you need to become something else and go against who you are?Didn`t God make you this way?Did he do a mistake?Didn`t God make you to be you?

Did you just forget the whole story of Adam and Eve? Why did Christ come again?

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 02:20:58 PM »
Exactly. The most forgotten teaching of Christianity (and Judaism) is that we are *not* who God made us to be. It's the "Broken Nature" cosmology. The Universe is not as God intended, we are not born as God intended. Jesus job was basically two: healing our broken nature and deifying it.

Didn`t God make you the way you are?I mean your character/personality, your essence.. Why would you need to become something else and go against who you are?Didn`t God make you this way?Did he do a mistake?Didn`t God make you to be you?

Did you just forget the whole story of Adam and Eve? Why did Christ come again?
There is no such a thing as holly bullies. Not for "holy imperialism", not for the sake of unionist ecumenism.

Offline Azul

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2012, 02:47:17 PM »
Exactly. The most forgotten teaching of Christianity (and Judaism) is that we are *not* who God made us to be. It's the "Broken Nature" cosmology. The Universe is not as God intended, we are not born as God intended. Jesus job was basically two: healing our broken nature and deifying it.

Didn`t God make you the way you are?I mean your character/personality, your essence.. Why would you need to become something else and go against who you are?Didn`t God make you this way?Did he do a mistake?Didn`t God make you to be you?

Did you just forget the whole story of Adam and Eve? Why did Christ come again?

Uff.. Uff.. Christianity.. Christianity.. :)
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2012, 04:56:03 PM »
Sent to me (and a number of others) by a Byzantine Catholic priest of many years and much experience and used with his permission:
Quote

The very first thing they need to be taught is what the Church's teaching on "conscience" is, that "conscience" is not that little still voice that makes you feel guilty or not.   That it is a Spirit-guided application of God-given reason AND REVELATION to choose between objective good and evil.  More importantly still, the Church does NOT teach us to "follow your conscience", but "to INFORM your conscience to align it with the Church's teaching, and THEN follow it."
Emphases are mine.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 05:00:44 PM by J Michael »
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2012, 06:52:41 PM »
I might have to write my goodbye letter here soon too.

Does anyone think anymore?

Some of these threads lately are embarrassingly trite.

Regardless of how you decide things it is always in virtue of your conscious once it is at a reflective level.

The Church is no one's conscious as such once subjectivity is in play. People might allow "the Church" (whatever that means to them, the Priest they decide to listen to, the part of the Bible they think is relevant, the Patristic literature they find to be helpful) to inform their decisions, but in the end the radical openness of subjectivity means that for all people, they are choosing.

Luther was right about a lot of things. I would highly suggest actually reading his work as a descriptive analysis of hermeneutics rather than a prescriptive one.

Then move on to all the research done in his wake.

The Church's "teaching" is always a matter of subjectivity. This is no weakness and the recoiling from the insights of modernity is no answer to the problem. Subjectivity must be radically thought through by the Church in light of primarily Trinitarian thought.

Can't get around it, once you have reflected upon that which you thinking.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2012, 06:54:04 PM »
Sent to me (and a number of others) by a Byzantine Catholic priest of many years and much experience and used with his permission:
Quote

The very first thing they need to be taught is what the Church's teaching on "conscience" is, that "conscience" is not that little still voice that makes you feel guilty or not.   That it is a Spirit-guided application of God-given reason AND REVELATION to choose between objective good and evil.  More importantly still, the Church does NOT teach us to "follow your conscience", but "to INFORM your conscience to align it with the Church's teaching, and THEN follow it."
Emphases are mine.

Keep the emphasis cause everyone agrees on the Church's teaching.

I mean some people don't, but they aren't really representative of Orthodoxy.

To see examples of people disagreeing about the Church and its teachings, check out this link:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 06:54:21 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline biro

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2012, 07:13:56 PM »
Oh noes!  :o Where's everybody going?
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2012, 07:18:59 PM »
Oh noes!  :o Where's everybody going?

As much as it would please many, I was joking.

And if I did, there would be no letter. I find the whole dramatic board exit played out in Usenet circa 1989.
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Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2012, 10:45:45 AM »
Sent to me (and a number of others) by a Byzantine Catholic priest of many years and much experience and used with his permission:
Quote

The very first thing they need to be taught is what the Church's teaching on "conscience" is, that "conscience" is not that little still voice that makes you feel guilty or not.   That it is a Spirit-guided application of God-given reason AND REVELATION to choose between objective good and evil.  More importantly still, the Church does NOT teach us to "follow your conscience", but "to INFORM your conscience to align it with the Church's teaching, and THEN follow it."
Emphases are mine.
Thank you for the quote.

Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2012, 10:51:08 AM »
I might have to write my goodbye letter here soon too.

Does anyone think anymore?

Some of these threads lately are embarrassingly trite.

Regardless of how you decide things it is always in virtue of your conscious once it is at a reflective level.

The Church is no one's conscious as such once subjectivity is in play. People might allow "the Church" (whatever that means to them, the Priest they decide to listen to, the part of the Bible they think is relevant, the Patristic literature they find to be helpful) to inform their decisions, but in the end the radical openness of subjectivity means that for all people, they are choosing.

Luther was right about a lot of things. I would highly suggest actually reading his work as a descriptive analysis of hermeneutics rather than a prescriptive one.

Then move on to all the research done in his wake.

The Church's "teaching" is always a matter of subjectivity. This is no weakness and the recoiling from the insights of modernity is no answer to the problem. Subjectivity must be radically thought through by the Church in light of primarily Trinitarian thought.

Can't get around it, once you have reflected upon that which you thinking.

The quote I posted was never meant to be the be all and end all on the subject of conscience (as opposed to conscious  ;D) but something to reflect upon.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church has quite a lot to say about conscience.  If you're at all interested in that point of view, here's one of several links: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm#1776 .  I'm pretty sure Orthodoxy has something to say about it, too  ;).

Quote
The Church's "teaching" is always a matter of subjectivity.
  Really?  Interesting.  Maybe you could deign to elaborate in terms that those of us not quite as intelligent and thoughtful as you might understand.

You don't know what your Church teaches?  I'll admit to probably huge gaps in my own knowledge, but *you*  :o ::) :o ::)

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Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2012, 10:55:01 AM »
Sent to me (and a number of others) by a Byzantine Catholic priest of many years and much experience and used with his permission:
Quote

The very first thing they need to be taught is what the Church's teaching on "conscience" is, that "conscience" is not that little still voice that makes you feel guilty or not.   That it is a Spirit-guided application of God-given reason AND REVELATION to choose between objective good and evil.  More importantly still, the Church does NOT teach us to "follow your conscience", but "to INFORM your conscience to align it with the Church's teaching, and THEN follow it."
Emphases are mine.
Thank you for the quote.

 :)
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 03:03:49 PM »
Following your conscience is important, but it is also important to conform your conscience to the teaching of the Church. If someone thinks that they are not ready to have a baby and decide, based on their conscience, that having an abortion is the best course of action...something is wrong. It doesn't matter whether their conscience told them it was right or not.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2012, 03:10:51 PM »
conscience (as opposed to conscious  ;D)


When will my computer learn what I mean. If I had a dollar for every time I made this mistake I would be a millionaire.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 03:11:08 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2012, 03:32:51 PM »
conscience (as opposed to conscious  ;D)


When will my computer learn what I mean. If I had a dollar for every time I made this mistake I would be a millionaire.

Why spelling is important:

"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2012, 04:52:28 PM »
conscience (as opposed to conscious  ;D)


When will my computer learn what I mean. If I had a dollar for every time I made this mistake I would be a millionaire.

Why spelling is important:



Nice!

My problem is that they are the same thing in any sane world and I forget the difference without a difference others lend to it and get stuck in one and never give up.

I think it is a muscle memory thing. I just the most recent spelling for the same thing.

Again, there is no difference between conscious and conscience once one looks at both in a meaningful fashion.

Also I tend to use synonyms and homonyms when typing (but not speaking or writing by hand) due to a head injury (last of a series of concussions). And typing is somehow more exhausting than it once was. It is the symptom that never seems to go away completely.

It is a bit embarrassing, but I have excepted it for what it is.


Yes, that last bit was attentional.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline neon_knights

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2012, 05:07:07 PM »
It is a bit embarrassing, but I have excepted it for what it is.

Yes, that last bit was attentional.

Zing!

Zing!

Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2012, 05:11:33 PM »
It is a bit embarrassing, but I have excepted it for what it is.

Yes, that last bit was attentional.

Zing!

Zing!

Here ya go--take two, they're cheap  ;).

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Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »
Hey, thanks for advertising those Zing bars .... barley and soy free! Sounds wonderful.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2012, 01:43:24 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

It sounds very modernistic to me. Such a teaching can lead a person to believe almost anything is right from gay marriage to murder under the guise of self-defense. Slippery slope?

On the other hand, I exited the Roman Catholic Church and then joined the Orthodox Church when I finally came to the enlightened conclusion that Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy were wrong after studying the documents of Vatican I and the history of that council.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 01:48:09 PM by Maria »
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2013, 01:40:42 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline domNoah

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2013, 10:04:04 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

My Friend,

As a Catholic I can assure you that your instructors and assistants are completely wrong.  A Catholic is to conform his conscience to what the Church teaches.
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Offline domNoah

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2013, 10:06:03 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
The true story of the sword in the stone
http://tinyurl.com/l98rcxp

Ancient Eucharistic Miracles (East and West)
http://tinyurl.com/mnpg8og

St Anthony the Great War on demons
http://tinyurl.com/k7zcycx

http://www.alleluiaaudiobooks.com/

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2013, 11:02:39 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:03:58 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2013, 11:04:14 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

I studied St. Thomas when I was attending a Dominican Catholic university. Ascribing such garbage to St. Thomas is wrong.

People can have an ill formed conscience due to their own stupidity, but part of growing in humility, truth, and love, requires us to submit to authorities. If our pastors are not godly, but deceitful, and they attempt to mislead us, we the faithful will experience uneasiness.

Having felt this uneasiness myself with regard to the teachings of Vatican I (Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy) and Vatican II, especially some of the outrageous comments made by Catholic Answers in San Diego, I investigated further, and was lead into the Orthodox Church.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2013, 11:05:18 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2013, 11:11:29 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2013, 11:31:43 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly. Hence, they arrive at false conclusions justifying extramarital sexual relations and homosexuality.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:35:30 PM by Maria »
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2013, 11:36:02 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly.
Here's another comment on Aquinas and conscience:

"For Aquinas, every conscience binds, even an erring one. This means that if there is something that you believe you cannot do (after having taken care to form your conscience as well as you can), even if the Church commands it, then you cannot do it without committing a sin."

And:

""Let your conscience be your guide," we say. That is true. The ultimate guide for each person in his moral decisions is his conscience. We must follow the dictates of a certain conscience -- even if it is erroneous."
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 11:39:44 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2013, 11:39:58 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

Everytime I've heard a RC apologist speak on this subject, it's always coupled with the statement that one's conscience needs to be informed by and in line with the Church. By this standard, a truly informed conscience would not lead one to violate Church teaching.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2013, 11:42:12 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly.
Here's another comment on Aquinas and conscience:

"For Aquinas, every conscience binds, even an erring one. This means that if there is something that you believe you cannot do (after having taken care to form your conscience as well as you can), even if the Church commands it, then you cannot do it without committing a sin."

And:

""Let your conscience be your guide," we say. That is true. The ultimate guide for each person in his moral decisions is his conscience. We must follow the dictates of a certain conscience -- even if it is erroneous."

You have given yet another link to another .com site, which is not an educational site.
Anyone with some money can set up a nifty .com site.

http://www.aquinasonline.com/Questions/conscience.htm

This .com site is not worth the time. Furthermore, it is dangerous to read it.
Who is behind it?
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2013, 11:43:41 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

Everytime I've heard a RC apologist speak on this subject, it's always coupled with the statement that one's conscience needs to be informed by and in line with the Church. By this standard, a truly informed conscience would not lead one to violate Church teaching.

My informed conscience has led me to leave the Roman Catholic Church.
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2013, 11:44:24 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly.
Here's another comment on Aquinas and conscience:

"For Aquinas, every conscience binds, even an erring one. This means that if there is something that you believe you cannot do (after having taken care to form your conscience as well as you can), even if the Church commands it, then you cannot do it without committing a sin."

And:

""Let your conscience be your guide," we say. That is true. The ultimate guide for each person in his moral decisions is his conscience. We must follow the dictates of a certain conscience -- even if it is erroneous."

You have given yet another link to another .com site, which is not an educational site.
Anyone with some money can set up a nifty .com site.

http://www.aquinasonline.com/Questions/conscience.htm

This .com site is not worth the time. Furthermore, it is dangerous to read it.
Who is behind it?
How about the Catechism of the Catholic Church?  :)

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Maria

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2013, 11:48:02 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly.
Here's another comment on Aquinas and conscience:

"For Aquinas, every conscience binds, even an erring one. This means that if there is something that you believe you cannot do (after having taken care to form your conscience as well as you can), even if the Church commands it, then you cannot do it without committing a sin."

And:

""Let your conscience be your guide," we say. That is true. The ultimate guide for each person in his moral decisions is his conscience. We must follow the dictates of a certain conscience -- even if it is erroneous."

You have given yet another link to another .com site, which is not an educational site.
Anyone with some money can set up a nifty .com site.

http://www.aquinasonline.com/Questions/conscience.htm

This .com site is not worth the time. Furthermore, it is dangerous to read it.
Who is behind it?
How about the Catechism of the Catholic Church?  :)

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.

And reading that section was comforting.
I realized that the Roman Catholic Church had fallen into serious error (heresy) with Vatican I and Vatican II.

Studying Orthodoxy gave me peace of mind.
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Offline domNoah

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2013, 10:13:36 PM »

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.

Yeah, if you take it out of context of the other things around it.
.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

- the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."56

- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2013, 10:24:51 PM »

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.

Yeah, if you take it out of context of the other things around it.
.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

- the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."56

- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.


Yes, your duty is to inform your conscience. However, then you must act, following your conscience -- even if (objectively) it is in error, in which case, your ignorance is invincible and you are not culpable:

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 10:26:05 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2013, 10:41:08 PM »
I might have to write my goodbye letter here soon too.

Does anyone think anymore?

Some of these threads lately are embarrassingly trite.

Regardless of how you decide things it is always in virtue of your conscious once it is at a reflective level.

The Church is no one's conscious as such once subjectivity is in play. People might allow "the Church" (whatever that means to them, the Priest they decide to listen to, the part of the Bible they think is relevant, the Patristic literature they find to be helpful) to inform their decisions, but in the end the radical openness of subjectivity means that for all people, they are choosing.

Luther was right about a lot of things. I would highly suggest actually reading his work as a descriptive analysis of hermeneutics rather than a prescriptive one.

Then move on to all the research done in his wake.

The Church's "teaching" is always a matter of subjectivity. This is no weakness and the recoiling from the insights of modernity is no answer to the problem. Subjectivity must be radically thought through by the Church in light of primarily Trinitarian thought.

Can't get around it, once you have reflected upon that which you thinking.

Thank you Orthonorm. Excellent post

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2013, 11:03:13 PM »

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself.

Yeah, if you take it out of context of the other things around it.
.

1789 Some rules apply in every case:

- One may never do evil so that good may result from it;

- the Golden Rule: "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."56

- charity always proceeds by way of respect for one's neighbor and his conscience: "Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ."57 Therefore "it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble."58

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.


Yes, your duty is to inform your conscience. However, then you must act, following your conscience -- even if (objectively) it is in error, in which case, your ignorance is invincible and you are not culpable:

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

If it remains "no less an evil, a privation, a disorder," then there is also the obligation of one's fellow Christians to meet either privately with that disordered person to correct him/her in charity or to meet with that person's Spiritual Father/Confessor or Godparents and seek their help. We cannot ignore evil.  

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:05:06 PM by Maria »
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2013, 11:04:39 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

After reading through the thread, I think some people are getting it wrong regarding the WAY in which you were informed regarding the obligation to follow your conscience.

I do not think your teachers meant following your conscience at the expense of following, for example, the moral code of the 10 Commandments. Hmmmm, the Church and Bible tell me not to bear false witness, but I think I SHOULD bear false witness on a daily basis.

In the sense of conscience being  the "good angel on our shoulder" and us not listening and feeling bad when we do wrong anyway (listening to the bad angel on the other shoulder, so to speak) - that is where our consciences can get seared and of course a seared conscience in that sense can NEVER trump the Church (or even the Bible if you are a protestant sola scriptura-ist).

But, if I have Jews in my basement and the Gestapo is at the door asking if I am hiding Jews and I THINK the Church tells me in an absolutist sense to NEVER bear false witness to my neighbor, even if he is Gestapo, (whether Rome or Constantinople actually teaches such an absoluitst view of ethics, is debatable, but in this example, the Orthodox or RC Christian THINKS that is what the Church teaches and he doesn't feel right in his conscience about giving up Jews to the Gestapo, so then 100% he should follow his conscience over the Church (at least over what he thinks or understands the Church to teach, because, for him, it is the same thing ethically, even if he is wrong about what the Church really does teach and especially if he has taken any care to understand his faith and his Church but just has it wrong, or had a priest that got it wrong, whatever - see Orthonorm's post that we can NEVER escape subjectivity).


What about anathemas against Jews that CAME from the Church? It pains MY conscience that the Church ever made those and I would hope I would have stood against the Church regarding those had I lived in those days (although I likely would not have; hindsight is 20/20 and I likely would have the same prejudices as my culture).

The sense that your instructors are refering to, it seems to me, fall into this category of moral dilemma, when the Church's teaching (or perceived teaching) doesn't square with the reality on the ground (I have Jews in my basement and Nazis at my door) or the Church is acting in a manner INCONSISTENT with its own ethics and the love of God.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:09:54 PM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2013, 11:12:07 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

After reading through the thread, I think some people are getting it wrong regarding the WAY in which you were informed regarding the obligation to follow your conscience.

I do not think your teachers meant following your conscience at the expense of following, for example, the moral code of the 10 Commandments. Hmmmm, the Church and Bible tell me not to bear false witness, but I think I SHOULD bear false witness on a daily basis.

In the sense of conscience being  the "good angel on our shoulder" and us not listening and feeling bad when we do wrong anyway (listening to the bad angel on the other shoulder, so to speak) - that is where our consciences can get seared and of course a seared conscience in that sense can NEVER trump the Church (or even the Bible if you are a protestant sola scriptura-ist).

But, if I have Jews in my basement and the Gestapo is at the door asking if I am hiding Jews and I THINK the Church tells me in an absolutist sense to NEVER bear false witness to my neighbor, even if he is Gestapo, (whether Rome or Constantinople actually teaches such an absoluitst view of ethics, is debatable, but in this example, the Orthodox or RC Christian THINKS that is what the Church teaches and he doesn't feel right in his conscience about giving up Jews to the Gestapo, so then 100% he should follow his conscience over the Church (at least over what he thinks or understands the Church to teach, because, for him, it is the same thing ethically, even if he is wrong about what the Church really does teach and especially if he has taken any care to understand his faith and his Church but just has it wrong, or had a priest that got it wrong, whatever - see Orthonorm's post that we can NEVER escape subjectivity).


What about anathemas against Jews the CAME from the Church. It pains MY conscience that the Church ever made those and I would hope I would have stood against the Church regarding those had I lived in those days (although I likely would not have; hindsight is 20/20 and I likely would have the same prejudices as my culture).

The sense that your instructors are refering to, it seems to me, fall into this category of moral dilemma, when the Church's teachng (or perceived teaching) doesn't square with the reality on the ground (I have Jews in my basement and Nazis at my door) or the Church is acting in a manner INCONSISTENT with its own ethics and the love of God.



I am going to start a new thread to discuss this realistic question regarding hiding refugees from an ungodly government who seeks to kill them. For example, Nazis vs. Jews/Orthodox Christians was a real issue because Nazis imprisoned and killed both Jews and Orthodox Christians.

This threat is very real today in Iran where a U.S. Citizen is being held without bond and may be executed for preaching the word of God in an atheistic Islamic country.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,49448.new.html#new
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:22:42 PM by Maria »
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Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2013, 11:23:38 PM »
conscience (as opposed to conscious  ;D)


When will my computer learn what I mean. If I had a dollar for every time I made this mistake I would be a millionaire.

Why spelling is important:



Nice!

My problem is that they are the same thing in any sane world and I forget the difference without a difference others lend to it and get stuck in one and never give up.

I think it is a muscle memory thing. I just the most recent spelling for the same thing.

Again, there is no difference between conscious and conscience once one looks at both in a meaningful fashion.

Also I tend to use synonyms and homonyms when typing (but not speaking or writing by hand) due to a head injury (last of a series of concussions). And typing is somehow more exhausting than it once was. It is the symptom that never seems to go away completely.

It is a bit embarrassing, but I have excepted it for what it is.


Yes, that last bit was attentional.


I bet it is the light from the computer screen that makes typing exhausting. I have a freind who just recently got a concussion in a car accident and she can't even look at the screen for more than a few minutes without getting sick and getting headaches.
If you could get your hands on an old fashioned type-writer, I bet you wouldn't have the same fatigue (not that you would have any reason or desire to type on a type-writer in today's world, other than as an experiment).

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2013, 11:25:04 PM »
if you do have an old type-writer, you might want to "expect" that experiment!

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2013, 11:30:41 PM »
However, if your attention is to make askeweses for your computer typing you will acts the experiment!

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2013, 11:53:35 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Here is a question regarding the last part of that question. Generally, because of that insight regarding belief, the Church has not endorsed "forced conversions." But didn't the Byzantine empire enforce conversions on some of its conquered peoples? (not that the Orthodox Church forced the conversions, but the emperor did; although the Church would have had to have been passively silent at best and somewhat complicit at worst). Again, I am asking because I believe I have read that this was the case from more than one source (and not in sources necessarily hostile to Orthodoxy).

Anyway, if true, it's a sad case of "the chickens coming home to roost" because Muslims, or at least some of the people the muslims converted away from Orthodoxy, would have learned "forced conversions" from the Byzantines, perhaps having been forced into a conversion to the religion of the empire. And that is why they so readily embraced Islam, because their conversion to Christianity had been forced upon them, whether they had been Zoroastrians or Manichaens, or whatever before that.

Now, getting back to the thread, too bad, in either case, that persons of conscience did not rise up and say that forced conversions are bad even if the Emperor practices it, even if the Church practices it, even if the Imam practices it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:55:08 PM by BrotherAidan »

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2013, 12:10:52 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Here is a question regarding the last part of that question. Generally, because of that insight regarding belief, the Church has not endorsed "forced conversions." But didn't the Byzantine empire enforce conversions on some of its conquered peoples? (not that the Orthodox Church forced the conversions, but the emperor did; although the Church would have had to have been passively silent at best and somewhat complicit at worst). Again, I am asking because I believe I have read that this was the case from more than one source (and not in sources necessarily hostile to Orthodoxy).

Anyway, if true, it's a sad case of "the chickens coming home to roost" because Muslims, or at least some of the people the muslims converted away from Orthodoxy, would have learned "forced conversions" from the Byzantines, perhaps having been forced into a conversion to the religion of the empire. And that is why they so readily embraced Islam, because their conversion to Christianity had been forced upon them, whether they had been Zoroastrians or Manichaens, or whatever before that.

Now, getting back to the thread, too bad, in either case, that persons of conscience did not rise up and say that forced conversions are bad even if the Emperor practices it, even if the Church practices it, even if the Imam practices it.

Did not St. Vladimir of Russia force the conversion of thousands (millions) of Russians to Orthodox Christianity?
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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2013, 12:49:24 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray. Heterodox theologians like Brian Lewis do not know how to pray correctly.
Here's another comment on Aquinas and conscience:

"For Aquinas, every conscience binds, even an erring one. This means that if there is something that you believe you cannot do (after having taken care to form your conscience as well as you can), even if the Church commands it, then you cannot do it without committing a sin."

And:

""Let your conscience be your guide," we say. That is true. The ultimate guide for each person in his moral decisions is his conscience. We must follow the dictates of a certain conscience -- even if it is erroneous."

You cannot avoid this conclusion of Aquinas nor the role of subjectivity that Orthonorm pointed out.

The whole issue is essentially circular, if you "get" what Jetavan is getting at in the Aquinas quote and what Orthonorm was getting at. My own conscience compels me to follow the Church's teaching above the voice or objection of my own conscience; or, my own conscience compels me to follow my own conscience over the Church's teaching. Conscience tells conscience what to do.

You cannot get away from the subjectivity of the individual conscience (not to be confused with subjectivism - carefully follow the use and definition of words here). And as the Aquinas quote so ably indicates, you cannot act against your conscience (even if improperly formed) without sinning. You would receive the harsher judgment for going against conscience than for being mistaken in your conscience's belief.

Keep in mind, that we are talking here about situations that would involve the "higher good" or perhaps a "lesser evil" as opposed to an absolutist ethical stance. Or, even a mistaken absolutist formation of conscience over against an absolutist ethical stance of the Church.

Not just ethics either, we can also be talking about a doctrinal position that we feel we must take - there are plenty of examples in Church history, oh about every 500 years or so: the non-Chalcedonian Churches, the split between Rome and Constantinople 500 years later, the 95 Theses about another 500 years later. This is not to say either that all of these groups were correct objectively, or that they were all are correct "in their own way." It is just to say that each split was principled and based on the conscience of one group of Christians over agains the rest of the Church at that point in time. Which group ultimately followed their conscience against the Church to MAINTAIN the True Church is certainly a matter of the "eye of the beholder." Once again the issue of subjectivity.

So these aren't "seared" conscience type issues that the teachers in the original post were referencing with respect to conscience. We are not talking about intellectual or ethical laziness as a justifiable excuse for letting conscience to speak for itself over against the Church. Nor are we talking about ignoring one's conscience so much that is ceases to function or becomes hardened. Nor are we talking about taking the cheap or easy way out to avoid personal sacrifice or to protect personal pride or to justify bad doctrine and thereby disobeying or opposing a teaching of the Church. And we aren't talking about situational ethics or relativism as a means of elevating personal conscience above the Church: first because higher good/lesser evil positions still require an exposition of why that choice is more good or less evil, and so arrives at an objective judgment between goods or evils (whereas situationalism gets it cue from circumstance, relative to competing situations); second because even wrongly formed absolutist positions (if you are an absolutist) must be arbiters of  individual conscience over against the "correct" absolutist dictates of the Church if the subject truly believes the wrong formation in an absolute manner. Which again, is why this is circular (but not relative).

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #58 on: January 25, 2013, 01:01:04 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St, Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Here is a question regarding the last part of that question. Generally, because of that insight regarding belief, the Church has not endorsed "forced conversions." But didn't the Byzantine empire enforce conversions on some of its conquered peoples? (not that the Orthodox Church forced the conversions, but the emperor did; although the Church would have had to have been passively silent at best and somewhat complicit at worst). Again, I am asking because I believe I have read that this was the case from more than one source (and not in sources necessarily hostile to Orthodoxy).

Anyway, if true, it's a sad case of "the chickens coming home to roost" because Muslims, or at least some of the people the muslims converted away from Orthodoxy, would have learned "forced conversions" from the Byzantines, perhaps having been forced into a conversion to the religion of the empire. And that is why they so readily embraced Islam, because their conversion to Christianity had been forced upon them, whether they had been Zoroastrians or Manichaens, or whatever before that.

Now, getting back to the thread, too bad, in either case, that persons of conscience did not rise up and say that forced conversions are bad even if the Emperor practices it, even if the Church practices it, even if the Imam practices it.



Did not St. Vladimir of Russia force the conversion of thousands (millions) of Russians to Orthodox Christianity?

Rulers choosing for their OWN people in a culture where the ruler is seen as a sort of benevolent father for the whole tribe or nation and whose authority and position allows him to choose for his people as a beloved leader and for them to follow his choice as beloved followers is quite different from conquering another leader's beloved people and forcing them into a foreign belief.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 01:02:42 AM by BrotherAidan »

Offline The Iambic Pen

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2013, 02:54:49 AM »
Thank you all for the comments. I have been lax in my forum visiting lately. However, it may be good to take breaks of that kind. I find the more time on spend discussing religion on the Internet, the more confused I become.

Seeing more of the CCC in context helps. I need to read the whole thing through at some point. For now, it sits in pristine condition on my shelf.

In a way, I am reluctant to disparage the RCIA program at my parish. When I hear the horrors others have endured, a few confusing statements about conscience seem to pale in comparison. The sermons at mass are orthodox, and the building is about as beautiful as the Spirit of Vatican II will allow. The FSSP celebrate the TLM every Sunday evening at a nearby parish, so we may move in that direction someday.

I wish I could be Orthodox, I believe I should be Catholic, and I wish I didn't have to choose. Was there choosing in 19th century Russia?

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2013, 04:16:42 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

This is probably one of the most un-Catholic things I have ever heard.  Every Catholic I know says the opposite and places Church teaching way above their own ideas.

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2013, 04:44:54 AM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.

What does Orthodoxy teach about the role of conscience?  If one believes a Church teaching is false, can one claim the guidance of conscience, and then proceed how they wish?

Thank you.

This is probably one of the most un-Catholic things I have ever heard.  Every Catholic I know says the opposite and places Church teaching way above their own ideas.
"One's own ideas" is not identical to "one's conscience". But your point about not encouraging people to disobey Church teaching, is well taken.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 04:46:06 AM by Jetavan »
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2013, 05:17:49 PM »
Hi all. Interesting thread (I didn't see it in November, so I read it all today).

I might have to write my goodbye letter here soon too.

Does anyone think anymore?

Some of these threads lately are embarrassingly trite.

Regardless of how you decide things it is always in virtue of your conscious once it is at a reflective level.

The Church is no one's conscious as such once subjectivity is in play. People might allow "the Church" (whatever that means to them, the Priest they decide to listen to, the part of the Bible they think is relevant, the Patristic literature they find to be helpful) to inform their decisions, but in the end the radical openness of subjectivity means that for all people, they are choosing.

Long-time readers who know that you and I have butted heads once or twice in the past, may be surprised to hear that I think this is one of the best posts on this thread.

Why does a person follow church teaching, if not because of conscience?
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Offline Peter J

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2013, 05:20:05 PM »
I have been participating in a Catholic RCIA class for the past few months (round two, after a previous attempt several years ago).  In the class, it has been brought up by the instructors and assistants that Catholics are obliged to follow their informed consciences, even if their conscience urges them to violate Church teaching.  I have been doing some studying on this issue, as I do not believe that is an accurate representation of Church teaching.


What are the references to this teaching?

If one has done one's best to inform the conscience, then one is morally obligated to follow the conscience, even if the conscience is objectively in error.

"Moral theology has attempted to convey the traditional doctrine regarding the primacy of conscience by referring to it as the proximate norm, the ultimate and supreme subjective measure of the goodness or evil of what we do. The force of this is that a correct conscience always obliges us to follow it. But it also means that, even if, because of unavoidable lack of knowledge, our conscience is erroneous, it still remains the immediate norm or measure of the morality of our action and must be followed, or at least not acted against.

St. Thomas Aquinas supports what he says on this point by a couple of rather startling illustrations. Not to have extramarital sex, he says, can be mistakenly seen as a bad thing. In this case one does wrong in refraining because one would then be prepared to choose what is seen as evil. For the same reason it would be wrong for someone, he says, to believe in Jesus Christ when this is erroneously apprehended as a bad thing. In doing so in either case, according to St. Thomas and the tradition of the Church, one would commit sin."

Do you have the citation from the Summa on that?
Footnote 11: Summa Theologiae I-II, I9, 5.

Who wrote that footnote?
Publication date?
Check the link in the quote; the whole paper is there.

I no longer have my copies of Summa.

It seems like Brian Lewis took St. Thomas way out of context. That is the problem with modern theologians. Orthodox Theologians are those who pray.

I like it!
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Offline Peter J

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Offline Peter J

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2013, 10:10:44 AM »
Thank you all for the comments. I have been lax in my forum visiting lately. However, it may be good to take breaks of that kind. I find the more time on spend discussing religion on the Internet, the more confused I become.

Seeing more of the CCC in context helps. I need to read the whole thing through at some point. For now, it sits in pristine condition on my shelf.

In a way, I am reluctant to disparage the RCIA program at my parish. When I hear the horrors others have endured, a few confusing statements about conscience seem to pale in comparison. The sermons at mass are orthodox, and the building is about as beautiful as the Spirit of Vatican II will allow. The FSSP celebrate the TLM every Sunday evening at a nearby parish, so we may move in that direction someday.

I wish I could be Orthodox, I believe I should be Catholic, and I wish I didn't have to choose. Was there choosing in 19th century Russia?

In a way, I'm jealous of those like you who can join Orthodoxy without leaving Catholicism.
- Peter Jericho (a CAF poster)

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2013, 09:47:43 AM »
Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation of the See of Rome today during a consistory during which three canonizations were also announced.

In his statement to the cardinals present at the consistory, the Holy Father said: "After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 09:47:51 AM by Jetavan »
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Offline J Michael

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Offline J Michael

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2013, 02:12:12 PM »
Thank you all for the comments. I have been lax in my forum visiting lately. However, it may be good to take breaks of that kind. I find the more time on spend discussing religion on the Internet, the more confused I become.

Seeing more of the CCC in context helps. I need to read the whole thing through at some point. For now, it sits in pristine condition on my shelf.

In a way, I am reluctant to disparage the RCIA program at my parish. When I hear the horrors others have endured, a few confusing statements about conscience seem to pale in comparison. The sermons at mass are orthodox, and the building is about as beautiful as the Spirit of Vatican II will allow. The FSSP celebrate the TLM every Sunday evening at a nearby parish, so we may move in that direction someday.

I wish I could be Orthodox, I believe I should be Catholic, and I wish I didn't have to choose. Was there choosing in 19th century Russia?

In a way, I'm jealous of those like you who can join Orthodoxy without leaving Catholicism.

C'mon PeterJ--you *know* very well you can be completely orthodox as a Catholic  ;).
"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline akimel

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Re: Primacy of Conscience in Catholicism and Orthodoxy
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2013, 05:46:08 PM »
For a Catholic construal of the primacy of conscience, see this article by John Henry Newman.