We chatted about a number of things before the topic of
politics came up. She gave high approval ratings to certain politicians who hold
to political ideologies contrary to Catholic morals. I didn’t want to start an
argument, but I couldn’t let this one go by. So I simply asked her:
“Kathy, are you aware that the politicians you mentioned
staunchly support anti-Catholic causes such as partial-birth abortion, worldwide
condom distribution and stem-cell experimentation?” I noticed Kathy began to
squirm a bit in her seat.
“Father, I don’t judge any political leader on a single
issue like abortion,” she said. “I make my decision after weighing his position
on a broad range of issues.”
“What issue,” I replied, “could be more important than a
person’s life?” Her forced smile vanished. With a rather terse tone of voice,
she retorted: “Like most Catholics, on these matters, I follow my conscience.
Whomever I decide to support politically is, for me, a matter for my own
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A while ago I heard someone on the
radio say “Conscience is always student and never professor.” Society now has
this totally backwards, your ill formed conscience is now king and you can sound
really morally superior by saying “I have to follow my conscience.” Worse is
when they appeal to the words attributed to the Venerable John Henry Newman “He
who acts against his conscience loses his soul”, talk about taking something out
of context. Read the following for a letter he wrote on conscience.