Here is one of just another confused column on conscience and Communion. It goes on to pervert Catholic teaching on Conscience by dishonestly citing the example of some saints.
The Church is attempting to override the right of every individual to consider what is before him and then to operate according to the dictates of his own good conscience. The Church is mandating blind obedience which, even in the Middle Ages, was found objectionable by some of the Church’s most prominent and revered saints, including the woman who would not yield to her inquisitors on matters of conscience, Joan of Arc.
The Renaissance martyr Thomas More spoke of matters of conscience, too, saying: “In things touching conscience, every true and good subject is more bound to have respect to his said conscience and to his soul than to any other thing in all the world.”
More, who understood clearly what it was to safeguard one’s moral integrity, was accused of treason for not siding with his king. He was harshly sentenced: “Sir Thomas More, you are to be drawn on a hurdle through the City of London to Tyburn, there to be hanged till you be half dead, after that cut down yet alive, your bowels to be taken out of your body and burned before you, your privy parts cut off, your head cut off, your body to be divided in four parts, and your head and body to be set at such places as the King shall assign.”
The sentence was commuted and More was, instead, simply beheaded. To this day, he is revered for his insistence on honoring one’s own conscience, no matter the price.
In the spirit of a whole parade of Christian saints and martyrs, including Joan of Arc and Thomas More, Catholics must insist on their right to say to their Church, “Not sorry. I must honor my conscience. I must vote my conscience. I alone know what my relationship to my God is.”
St. Joan of Arc’s conscience was formed and in accordance with Church Teaching. Those who questioned her were acting contrary to Church teaching. In fact they were acting more out of allegiance to England then to Rome. Sound familiar? The same goes in the case of St. Thomas More. He would not deny the papacy and did deny King Henry VIII sovereignty over the Church. His conscience was also formed and in accordance with Church teaching. To use the example of these two great martyrs as an argument to go on being unfaithful to the Church and to continue to receive Communion is an insult to their witness. Thomas More is the antithesis of the modern Catholic politician who places political concerns over their faith. No surprise that she gets this wrong since she appears to support both abortion and gay marriage.
These relativistic arguments always break down into absurdity. The columnist has no problem judging the actions of the Bishops who support a communion ban. She infers that they are wrong to do so. If they are acting on their conscience according to her belief then how can she at the same time criticize them?
Ummm…actually….it is “More” and not “Moore…”
See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14689c.htm for moore info. 😀
Thomas Moore was an Irish poet. But you’re right about everything else! I remember reading about some sanctimonious CINO politician who flaunted a medal of Thomas More around her neck while justifying her craven refusal to obey Church teaching… makes my blood boil.
There are real problems on this topic because
1) people don’t understand what it might be to have a properly formed conscience and,
2) they don’t differentiate that conscience from their desirees.
Ignorance. Willful ignorance, at that.
St TM was exercising his conscience against extreme political pressure in an enormous exercise of heroic sanctity that resulted in him giving his life to defend the truth of the Church’s teachings against the political machinations of the day.
John Kerry and the like are completely rejecting the Church and are bending over backwards to cater to the abortion lobby. They are so caught up in the fashionable thought of the day, that they are willing to sell out the teachings of the Church. Doubling the horror, they flaunt their Cathlicism to widen their voter so they can have their cake and it it too.
I am particularly incensed about the bastardization of St. Thomas More’s writing. More on More:
“But in contrast to the modern claim that the individual can create his own moral values, More saw the “formation of conscience” as “the fruit” of an education “in the truth.” Far from being the arbitrator and creator of its own moral order, the human conscience is in need of conforming to the truth. For More, the formation of conscience is the result of a long process in which one discovers a preexisting created moral order.”
“Thomas More’s Correspondence on Conscience,” The Last Letters of Thomas More
edited by Alvaro De Silva, Review by Marc D. Guerra
“The sentence was commuted and More was, instead, simply beheaded.”
That Henry VIII. What an old softy!
That was an extremely illuminating example for the columnist to have chosen – the destructive and disrespectful child refusing to be instructed by legitimate authority in the matter of civilized behavior. I’d say that hits the nail on the head with regard to dissenters from Church teaching.
BTW, I’ve found this a remarkably accurate guide to character analysis: there’s something awry about people who use the expression “my God”. It may be merely spiritual pride, or it may be cafeteria Catholicism, or it could even indicate incipient paganism. You can count on it, however, that there’s something a little off in the attitude of someone who speaks of “my God” as if the Almighty were a house pet and slept at the foot of his bed.