Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Conscience vs authority

Sometimes the comments to blog posts can be as interesting as the post. A recent post at Pray Tell - Disagreeing and questioning…in union with the Pope and bishops - had comments of that kind. Here are a few ....

Bill deHaas gave a link to an interesting article by Brit theologian Nicholas Lash - Teaching or Commanding?

Paul Inwood brought up the concept of sensus fidelium and gave the example that at least 85% of Catholics do not accept the Church’s magisterial teaching on artificial birth control - does their dissent mean they aren't really "Catholic"?

Jared Gosnell commented that people who dissent in this way may be Catholic, but they've committed a mortal sin.

Philip Endean SJ replied to this and brought up "conscience" ...No. Even if we assume the rightness of official teaching, a person who acts out of a sincere and thought-through conviction that the prohibition (for whatever reason) is wrong-headed, or does not apply in a particular situation, is at most guilty of a mistake, not a sin, and certainly not a mortal one.

Jared Ostermann commented that the assumption by those who put authority in official Catholic teaching is that the Holy Spirit guides the church in teaching and development of doctrine.

But Adam Wood mentioned personal revelation, and asked ... Is the Holy Spirit’s guidance limited to only speaking to and through ordained men who have attained a certain rank within the Hierarchy?

This reminded me of a 2006 article in the Australian EJournal of Theology - The Primacy of Conscience by Brian Lewis. I guess there's a tension between religious experience/conscience and the authority of the church. I'd rather err on the side of personal experience, though I suppose most would say there should be a balance between the two.


Anonymous Victor said...

I believe that if a person has a sincere heart and his and/or her conscience knows "IT" then I don't think that "IT" is UP to U>S to judge with an iron fist. If any one does think they're "IT" and God's Angels makes "IT" clear that they are wrong and "IT" still continues to try and fool our heart of heart and truly didn't really believe that 'Jesus' was not being deceitful when He said in so many Words that He was The Son of The Living God and/or that no one can go to The Father without going through Him and don't truly believe all what Jesus The Christ said through The Holy Spirit while on earth and try and change some of what He said, then should we not be prepared to suffer Eternal Dam Nation if we're wrong in this life or in the next cause "IT" says somewhere in "The Bible" that Vengeance is mine sayeth "The Lord" and I know that "The Father's Love" has no end but for our sake, don't you think that enough is enough and that "Spiritual Reality" should set in for the "ONES" who have been brain washed by "The Evil Trinity" before "IT" is too late because they don't want or care to accept and/or believe at this time that "Jesus The Christ" really is "The Alpha or The Omaga" but He's simply a nice so called God who was also searching for His God like most do nowadays in their own way or should they simply be called those who only want to carry "Fund a Mental List" if you get my drift but then again God speaks in many tongues and not every body has The Ears to hear.

Does that make any sense?

Go Figure!

God Bless Peace

10:09 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

I think so.

2:09 PM  

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