Is the Conscience a Moral Guide?

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St Paul saw the conscience as the centre of the soul "law engraved on our hearts." Acting on it is acting on our innermost convictions and involves intergrity.

Newman saw it as more intuitive - conscience is a messanger from God

The RC Church adopted Aquinas' view and teaches that not following the conscience was always wrong. It is a deep sense of right and wrong from God. It cannot motive you to do something that is morally wrong, that goes against Natural Law

  • Catholic's today are encouraged to inform their conscience before acting on them. However, there is disagreement abouit what you do when your informed conscience goes against established teaching of the Church
  • In principle, it should be impossible as Church teaching is seen as truth. However, many Catholics have difficulty accepting certain teachings
  • Catholics are prepared to ignore it on the basis of the conscience. Cardinal Ratzinger declared that Vatican II that an

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