Let your conscience be your guide
by: John Tyrrell
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Back in Meditation 53 (The Greater Sin), I wrote about Archbishop (now Cardinal) George Pell conducting a catechesis strongly encouraging young Catholics to follow doctrine, that they should do what they were told by the Church and by the church leadership, and that they should not base their moral decisions on individual conscience. He said: "We are not free to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Our conscience can be wrong."
Now that was a message to young Catholics.
This week, in answering a series of questions from Eugenio Scalfari, a leading Italian atheist, Pope Francis wrote that non-believers must “obey their conscience.” Apparently “God forgives those who obey their conscience” if we make a wrong decision. The Pope seems to have recognized than non-believers can indeed have a moral compass without any god, as he wrote that our actions can be good or bad even outside of the framework of the Church and that non-believers can live good lives if they perform good actions.
Isn't it so much better to be in this position rather than that of Catholics who are not free to decide for themselves what is right and wrong?
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