The Vatican II sect exalts "conscience" above all else. When I attended a Vatican II high school (having converted to the True Church in 1981, at the beginning of my junior year), an ex-nun was head of the religion department. She would invite Episcopalian "priestesses" to explain why the Church was "misogynistic," and we were told we must always "follow your conscience." Engage in premarital sex? Need an abortion? Do "what your conscience tells you." (As a result, at least two girls with whom I graduated became pregnant and murdered their unborn child.) Divorce and "remarriage" by a justice of the peace was likewise OK if your conscience told you so, and you'd remain a "good Catholic." (Remember, this was in 1981, way before Frankie officially opened the door to the reception of "communion" by adulterers). There was one problem: the apostates talked about "conscience" without ever offering an explanation of what it really was and the correct principles behind it. As there seems to be very few correct explanations on the Internet, I will expound on the correct teaching regarding conscience and its use.
What is Conscience?
Conscience is a judgement of practical reason on the moral goodness or sinfulness of an action. It applies natural law/ Divine Law/ecclesiastical law to concrete cases. It may be divided according to several concepts:
- True and false conscience. A true conscience judges an action to be good and commanded by law when it is actually good and commanded by Divine or human law. A false conscience judges to be lawful what is unlawful and vice-versa. Ex. A man is allowed to use money at his disposal in any manner that he wishes as long as it is not for an evil purpose. If a man decided he had no right to use money which he found either (a) because he mistakenly thinks it is not at his disposal because it belongs to another, or (b) he was mistaken as to the moral principle, or (c) if he drew an incorrect inference, the man has a false conscience. (See also St. John 16: 2, "The hour cometh that whosoever kills you will think that he does a service to God").
- Good and bad conscience. When conscience is viewed as a guide to behavior from the point of view of the intellect, we call it true or false as above. When viewed from the point of view of the will, it is either good or bad. A person has a good conscience if it proceeds from a well-meaning intention and a right disposition to one's end and duties; a bad conscience does not so proceed. Ex. If the man in the hypothetical above decided that money that he found was truly his and at his disposal because he wished to know the truth and investigated to the best of his ability, he has a good conscience. If he decided this without sufficient investigation (due diligence), and only because he was prejudiced in his own favor, he has a bad conscience.
There are other divisions, but these two are most pertinent.
The Authority of Conscience
Conscience must be obeyed. You must do what it commands you to do and refrain from that which it forbids. It acts, in a sense, as "the Voice of God." "...all that is not from conscience is sin." (See Romans 14: 23). Furthermore, conscience obliges from the nature of things because apart from revelation, there is no other way of learning what God wishes one to do here and now. However, the authority of conscience is not unlimited.
- Conscience is not independent of external law and authority. It is not autonomous morality for the individual. It does not function to establish law or pass judgement on it, but to apply the law as expounded by the Church to a present case. it must always strive to agree with and express the objective teaching of the Church. Hence, the heretic Martin Luther was not an example of following his conscience when he stated, "Here I am, I can do no other." He was told of the errors of his ways by a true pope and exalted his own law over God's Law. Luther is without excuse.
- Conscience is not independent of the righteousness of the will. The will must be disposed towards the true end of life--the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven.
- Conscience is not independent of the certainty of the intellect. Judgement must not be formed by sentiment, emotion, or one's own wishes, but by evidence and firm conviction that yields unhesitating assent.
This was not intended to be an exhausted treatment on the subject of conscience, but merely to give a general overview. I have taken and condensed all the information above from theologians McHugh and Callan, Moral Theology, Volume 1, and theologian Jone, Moral Theology.
False Ideas of Conscience and Vatican II
The heretical Vatican II "Pastoral Constitution On The Church In The Modern World"(Gaudium et Spes), states in para. # 16:
"In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor. In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. Hence the more that a correct conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality."
Problems abound in this declaration. "...are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth." What "truth" is being invoked? Truth in matters of Faith and Morals. Wouldn't truth have to come from the infallible teaching of the Church? Replacing the sure possession of the truth established by the Magisterium, the Robber Council substitutes an "inquiry into the truth" as a general criterion of a general truth, which is something indeterminate. Hence, my former (thankfully defunct) "Catholic" high school, in imitation of Luther, would instruct you to "search for the truth," and tell you that it is permissible to follow your conscience even if it leads you to have sex outside of marriage or to murder your unborn child. Any "Catholic" who needs to "search for truth," has either lost their Faith or their marbles--probably both.
Next, this "search for the truth" ought to be done in union "with the rest of men" and thus also (and above all) with non-Catholics, i.e., with those who deny all or almost all of the truths taught by the Church. How can this type of "search" arrive at positive results, in as much as it must also be applied to "moral problems" which are part of "numerous problems" as stated in the heretical text? Henceforth, members of the Vatican II sect ought to resolve these "moral problems" ecumenically through dialogue, and not by applying the principles transmitted by the True Church in matters of faith and morality.
Finally, the conciliar text specifies that, when "correct conscience" leads them, humanity moves away from "blind choice." However, in order to resist the "blind choice" of the passions and temptations, people must be aided by Grace. Vatican II never mentions God's indispensable Grace. "Conformity" to "objective norms" of the moral law, placed in our hearts by God, now exclusively depends, for the Vatican II sect, on "correct" conscience, and therefore on the individual being plunged into his "search for the truth" along with everyone else.
A correct conscience, fully and properly informed by Church teaching, is the surest guide to help us get to Heaven. If you don't have one, you get the secular world's bastardized rule, "Let your conscience be your guide." These words were popularized by the Disney character Jiminy Cricket, a character from the movie Pinocchio, whose name is a minced oath/blasphemy for the Most Holy Name of Our Lord and Savior, "Jesus Christ." (It was also used by Judy Garland in the occult-themed movie The Wizard of Oz, when she exclaims, "Jiminy Crickets!" upon being startled by the Wizard's lights and smoke charade). Always seek the guidance of the True Church, or a phony "conscience" will lead you to an all too real Hell.