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What has Pope Francis Changed?

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Current Events, featured, Morality | 2 comments

A lot of good men and women, many of them my former teachers, have said that if Pope Francis allows communion for the divorced and remarried, it will either explicitly or implicitly contradict orthodox Catholic teaching about the Eucharist and/or marriage. The result is that for a while people have been banking on the Holy Spirit preventing the Pope from making such a decision. In other words, some faithful folks reason as follows: a) allowing divorced and remarried people to receive communion would be – at least practically – tantamount to heresy; b) the Pope can’t officially commit heresy (that’s one of the main reasons we have a Pope); c) so the Holy Spirit won’t allow the Pope to officially allow communion for the divorced and remarried. Okay, but now it’s starting to look like the Pope has made the decision to allow the divorced and remarried to receive communion. So all the folks who relied on the above reasoning are going to be tempted to doubt the institution of the papacy, or the irreformability of Catholic teaching, or the Holy Spirit, or all three. In other words, I’m afraid that because of the Holy Father’s recent statements a lot of good Catholics are going to start questioning their faith. So here’s my message: it’s okay if Pope Francis changes the Church’s current practice. It’s okay if people in adulterous relationships aren’t prevented from receiving communion. It doesn’t mean adultery isn’t adultery, and it doesn’t mean the Pope isn’t the Pope, and it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t generally refrain from receiving communion when they’re conscious of having done something gravely wrong. All it means is that there can be a change in pastoral practice to reflect the distinction between grave matter and mortal sin. This is an old distinction that most of us are familiar with. Grave matter means doing something really bad, like murder or blasphemy or adultery. Mortal sin means when you do something really bad, with sufficient knowledge and sufficient freedom.  Mortal sin (not grave matter!) is what kills the life of grace, what sets you on a trajectory towards hell, and betrays Jesus Christ. Got that? IT IS MORTAL SIN, NOT GRAVE MATTER, THAT KILLS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. You have to have enough knowledge and enough freedom to actually commit a mortal sin, even if your behavior objectively constitutes grave matter. But then how do we know when somebody has enough knowledge and enough freedom for their gravely evil act to qualify as a mortal sin? We don’t! Most of us can’t read souls, and so we lack any sure metric for sufficient knowledge or sufficient freedom. There’s no gauge for morally adequate knowledge. There’s no freedometer. So even though we can say that a certain act was really, really bad, we can’t know for sure if it was a mortal sin. We can judge the act, not the person. Pastorally, this distinction comes up pretty frequently. For instance, in the CDF’s 1975 document, Persona Humana, even though it says that masturbation is always grave matter, also says, “modern psychology provides much valid and useful information for formulating a more equitable judgment on moral responsibility and for orienting pastoral action. Psychology helps one to see how the immaturity of adolescence (which can sometimes persist...

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Communion and Consequences

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in featured, Morality, Politics | 1 comment

Communion and Consequences

Why are so many Catholics leading the civic charge towards American degeneracy? Our vice-president is Catholic, and champions abortion blithely, unblushingly, as a matter of course. Same goes for the House Minority Leader, the highest ranking female politician in our history so far. The last Secretary of Health and Human Services is Catholic, and warred with her own bishops in an effort to get Catholic money to go to drugs designed to kill kids and objectify women. Out of nine Supreme Court Justices, six self-identify as Catholics. Six! That’s a majority vote plus one! And that’s the governing body that just made a disorder of body, mind and soul legally equivalent to one of the fundamental metaphors for understanding how we’re loved by God. What’s going on here? It’s one thing for Catholics to be sinners, for God’s people to be tempted by the conditions of time and place to the point where they’re no longer distinguishable from their non-Catholic or non-Christian neighbors. That’s one thing. But it seems like another thing when you’ve got so many high-profile Catholics doing such disproportionate damage. Scandalous Catholics are nothing new, but why are there so many scandalous Catholics, and why are they so lamentably influential? My take? It’s because they receive communion. I bet these prominent, disastrous Catholic politicians go to Sunday mass with some regularity, and I’m sure every time they go they receive the Eucharist. And that’s really dangerous, because receiving the Eucharist always has an effect, and it’s not necessarily a good one. Drinking the Blood of Jesus can, of course, make you a saint, but you can also be drinking your own damnation. God in flesh is never something neutral – after contact you’re either a greater vehicle for good or a more effective tool for evil. So, obviously, it’s no surprise that many of the architects of our national downfall take communion. Judas took communion. And we take communion. We’d better be taking it with repentance and gratitude and awe, and above all with a prayer that God will help us get closer to him. Because one way or another, after we receive the Eucharist we’re going to be a better instrument in somebody’s hands.   Clearing the Heart to See the Truth Subscribe today to receive an email once a week.  A great way to get regular insights into the Catholic faith....

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Rome and Reasons for Hope

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Current Events, featured, Interior Life, Morality | 3 comments

Rome and Reasons for Hope

I just returned from my second pilgrimage to Rome in the last 10 months. This one was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Apostles of the Interior Life community, a Roman/American community of consecrated women, priests, and laity, of which I am a lay member. The Lord God lavished grace upon grace upon me, and gave me reasons for hope in this time of world-wide moral struggles. It is for this reason that I compose this entry. God is utterly generous and gratuitous in the bestowal of heavenly gifts.  Of this truth, I am a living witness. So, if you feel anxious or worried about this present darkness, be at peace and confident in this fact–in Christ, the battle is won, and the victory is ours. Consider the following: Without realizing the audacious events that were about to unfold in the U.S. regarding the Supreme Court and the redefinition of marriage, we were given the privilege to celebrate Holy Mass in the crypt of the  tomb of St. Peter directly beneath the High Papal Altar in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 26. While attending Mass, I was able to peer continually over the priest’s shoulder to eye the actual tomb of Peter. Immediately after the homily, all of the married couples present were invited to approach the altar and renew our wedding nuptials. My wife was able to enjoy the pilgrimage with me, so we were deeply honored to be able to renew our vows with all of the other wonderful married couples. Only later that afternoon did we find out about the SCOTUS ruling. After my shock and anger subsided, I realized what had happened earlier in the day–I renewed my marriage, along with around 20 other couples, on the bones of Peter–the Rock of Christ’s Church. It is THIS Church to which Christ gave this promise: the gates of Hell will not prevail. The next sight we visited was the church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, founder of the Redemptorists. This church is the custodian of a very popular and important icon: the original Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The original image was painted sometime before the 15th Century on the island of Crete, before it was stolen by a Roman merchant and brought to Italy. After various apparitions, miracles, and misfortunes, the holy image ended up on display in the current church in the mid-19th century under the care of the Redemportists. Known for the many miracles and profound fruits of her intercessory care, Our Lady of Perpetual Help  is one of the most popular and best known icon’s in the world. We all beseeched Our Lady for her continued intercession for our country and for the protection of marriages world wide. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we were there on the eve of the feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, June 27. By the way, the holy image is particularly known for bringing good out of evil circumstances. On the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, we went to Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica with Pope Francis. His message was that the church of our times, just like the times of Peter and Paul, is being challenged by a pagan culture and therefore needs to be a church of Prayer,...

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Wasting Money on the Poor; Wasting Time on the Dysfunctional

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in featured, Interior Life, Morality | 1 comment

Last spring I went to a lecture by Peter Brown, an expert on “Late Antiquity” (a time period centered around the early centuries of Christianity). The lecture dealt with the massive cultural and economic changes which occurred in the Roman empire due to the distinctively Christian way of conceiving the poor. Here’s more or less how Professor Brown put it: In pagan Rome, it was seen as socially irresponsible to give your money to the poor. Why? Well because it wouldn’t do any good. You’d give to the poor, they’d spend it, and then they’d be right back where they started from. So you’d be blowing your money on something with no long-term benefits. If you want to help society, do something that would improve the social infrastructure – don’t waste it on hopeless individuals. But then Jesus came along and told his followers that if you give your money to the poor, you’ll be “laying up treasure in Heaven.” Now once this idea took off, the poor became hugely important, since, after all, Christ had basically said that they were the currency exchange people for the next life. The poor were the folks who could change your Earth-bucks into Heaven-bucks, so it was a very savvy financial move to give them your money. Which is why, according to Brown, the poor became such a major factor in the economics of Christendom. Because in the Christian system it is wise to waste your money on the poor. So I thought that was interesting. Then this fall I got to go to a lecture by Leon Kass, who’s a sort of public intellectual figure. His presentation was on the “new poverty” in America – a poverty not characterized by material want, but by human dysfunctionality. Dr. Kass began his talk by mentioning that the leading nutritional problem among the poor in America today is not hunger, but obesity. His point was that it doesn’t work to simply keep treating poverty as a paucity of physical resources, when it has increasingly become a paucity of psychological and spiritual resources. Thus the new poverty is based on dysfunctionality. And it doesn’t really stop there, does it? America doesn’t just have a new type of poverty, it has a new type of wealth. Today’s elites aren’t just the ones with a lot of money; they’re the productive, the achievers, the successful. These are the new rich, and, like the rich of the Gospel, they have to take very intentional measures to make sure that their cache doesn’t go to their heads and cost them their souls. Like the rich man who wound up in torment because he didn’t give to Lazarus, the high achievers could go to Hell if they don’t stop to give to the poor. Give what? Money? But as we’ve just seen, the major problem with the poor around us isn’t that they lack money. It’s that they’re dysfunctional, that they lack basic skills or basic areas of human development (probably through no fault of their own) needed to make it in society. So what can you give them? You can give them time. Time is the lifeblood of love, and it’s also probably the most precious thing highly successful people can sacrifice. After all, we hear it over and...

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Is it enough to be a “Good Person”?

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in featured, Morality, Theology | 7 comments

Is it enough to be a “Good Person”?

In my experience, some people just don’t want to talk about the big questions – Does God exist? Is Jesus Lord and Savior? What must I do to be saved? – and their dismissal of these kinds of questions almost always appeals to the notion of “good person.” It usually goes something like this: “If God exists, then all He cares about is whether you’re a good person. Because at the end of the day, all that really matters is being a good person. And I’m a good person, so I don’t really need to worry about anything else.” What are we supposed to say to this? What do we say when someone pits “being a good person” against the urgency of accepting and spreading the Gospel? Well, I think there are a couple of things you can say to a “good person” who doesn’t feel the need to worry about God or His Christ or His Church: First off, ask the person: have you ever really tried being a good person? I mean a really good person? Because if you have, if you’ve really made an effort to be fair and courageous and to think your decisions through carefully, and only to say what should be said, and not to act on cravings or impulses you know are addictive and hurtful, and to really behave as though other people are just as important as you are – if you’ve ever tried to do that, then you know it’s incredibly difficult. It’s hard even to know how to be good, let alone actually being good. In fact, one of the best preparations for understanding who Jesus is and why we need Him as our Savior, is actually, sincerely putting “being a good person” as the number one priority of you life. When you make that your main goal, you’ll really see how desperately you need help–how desperately you need Christ. Or maybe this “good person” dismissal is trying to say that the only thing that matters is to be an okay person. An average person. Not a psychopath or a sociopath. Maybe what some people mean by “good person” is just a “pretty good person.” But is that really all that matters? Would anybody really say that the main thing in life is to be mediocre? Because if mediocrity is your priority, if that’s what matters to you, then you actually have some very serious problems – you are lost in life, and you badly need to get some direction. You need to ask God for help, and you need to be open to the help He sends you. Here’s another point: either Christianity is true or it isn’t. If it’s true then the things it says about how to be good are true as well. And if you don’t recognize that then you won’t know as much about how to be good. In other words, if Christianity is true then it matches up with reality – but in that case your ignoring or rejecting Christianity will set you in opposition to reality. And if you’re acting against reality then it doesn’t matter whether you’re a well-wishing sort of person, you’ll actually be doing a lot of harm. So if you really care about being good then you simply can’t...

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Who Are We To Judge

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in Current Events, featured, Morality, Theology | 6 comments

Who Are We To Judge

Recently, I was asked to be part of a Catholic Q&A panel along with two priests for an evening of beer, pretzels, and theology. With ingredients like that, it was bound to be a fun evening, and it was. I was honored to be asked to take part, as both priests were faithful and articulate.  The format made for an evening that was as challenging as it was interesting. We had no prep time, as the questions were presented to us with an immediate expected response.  Due to the packed house, we received two hours worth of questions from a very broad spectrum of issues. I enjoyed myself immensely. Any Q&A involving the teachings of the Catholic Church will soon attract controversy, and after about an hour into the evening, this event was no different. Our moderator drew a question that I knew would be coming: “My son is gay and is happy. Who are you (or the Catholic Church) to say otherwise?” A deafening hush ensued. Everyone’s gaze transfixed on the dais where my clerical colleagues and I were expected to attempt an answer. The question was worded so as to provide no easy escape. How does one question another’s experience without sounding utterly judgmental? The question’s wording implied that no objective moral standard could justly condemn activity that makes for a happy man. Fortunately, I was the last one to reply. Each priest responded well, I thought, by pointing out that we don’t judge people but acts, and that God wants our happiness, too. He knows best what makes us happy as He is the one who designed us. Therefore, He sets the terms on happiness, not us, and He has condemned homosexual activity outright (see Rom 1: 18-ff, 1 Cor 6:9, and 1 Tim 1:10.) These were very good points. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. I could go the direction of explaining objective moral norms and the God-given meaning of sex, but needed more time to organize my thoughts so as to answer the question properly. Plus, I knew that I needed to keep my responses brief due to time constraints.  Since the question appealed to human experience as the standard for moral evaluation, I decided to fight fire with fire. Many years ago, when I was single, I volunteered for 18 months with the Missionaries of Charity at a home for men dying with AIDS, called Seton House. Mother Theresa herself chose Denver, Colorado as the location for this AIDS home, and sent 8 of her sisters to run it. The vast majority of the infected occupants were homosexuals.  I volunteered every Monday night. My job was to stay awake with the men all night while the sisters slept, so that the men could be cared for round the clock. I was basically their mom; I bathed them (bed-ridden patients often lose all track of time so a 3am shower didn’t seem so odd to them,) changed their diapers, fed them, gave them water, held their hands, prayed with them, talked with them, sat with them, shared my life with them, and they shared theirs with me. I formed wonderful friendships with many. I got on up-close and personal look at their life style, and I heard many sad and sordid...

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Blueprint For Happiness

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in featured, Morality, Theology | 1 comment

Blueprint For Happiness

I am now in the second year of a two-year walk through the Catechism sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas during the Year of Faith. This spring we are focusing on Section Three of the Catechism. The response has been amazing, as we have taken hundreds of Catholics on a journey of faith through the doctrinal patrimony of the Church. I have received the most enthusiastic feedback from this current section of the Catechism, perhaps because it is the most controversial: the Moral section. Recently, our class examined the sections pertaining to the moral law and how it relates both to  the human person and to Jesus. As the Catechism explains, the moral law is the same as moral reality; it is how we can understand the difference between right and wrong. As article 1950 tells us, the Moral Law is God’s Fatherly instruction for Happiness. It is God our Father saying to us, “I designed you; I know how you work. DO what is right and you will thrive. DO what is wrong and you will diminish and destroy yourselves. I give you intelligence so that you can understand your own design.” This moral law, then, is a law written on our hearts and can therefore be known by anyone through use of reason. It is God’s blueprint for our happiness and contentment. If we could examine every decision that we have to make in life, every option which presents itself to us, and we could recognize which choice would be the best and lead us most directly to our own personal fulfillment and contentment, and then compare those choices to God’s will for us in these same instances, we would find that they are one and the same. The choice that is best for me is always the one that God wills and plans for me! This is different than seeking which choice seems most pleasing, or appears easiest. Hence, the moral law tells us what to do if we want to be happy; what not to do if we want to avoid our own demise. How different is this view of law compared to contemporary society. We view law as merely arbitrary rules that seek to limit our freedom. If we truly want to be happy, according to this view, we must limit law and expand our freedoms, freedom as defined as being able to choose whatever I deem fulfilling (versus what God deems fulfilling.) This is what is meant by the term rights. Any law that seeks to tell me that I don’t have a right to seek that which I deem fulfilling is therefore bad and needs to be eliminated. This sounds good and pleasing to the ear, but reveals a sad and tragic irony. Any society seeking to define for itself what constitutes human fulfillment and contentment apart from God’s law chooses for itself the very path of destruction God warns us about. Because such laws reject Divine Wisdom, they lose any binding force and can only be enforced through coercion. This is what Pope Benedict XVI referred to as the ‘tyranny of relativism, ’which sounds the death knell to freedom, fulfillment, and contentment, the very things we moderns claim to be achieving. At the end of one of my recent...

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An American Experience and the Inconsistency of Civil Rights

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Current Events, featured, History, Morality, Politics | 6 comments

An American Experience and the Inconsistency of Civil Rights

A few nights ago I watched an interesting documentary on PBS called American Experience. This particular episode was entitled, “1964.” The makers of the show examined that particular year as the year that ignited the social revolution in America. The issue that caused the combustion: Civil rights; in particular, the efforts of northern white college kids who headed to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 in order to assist southern black citizens to register to vote. As the show progressed, my sentiments certainly followed the trajectory of the show’s emotional appeal. The civil rights movement revealed both the ugly and the beautiful struggle of a certain segment of American citizenry to gain political access to a rule of government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. I greatly admired the efforts of these Northern white college kids and black civil rights activists in the face of possible violence and even death—as was the case when three volunteers met their doom one night when they encountered some Klansmen. Their bodies were later discovered in shallow graves near a dam in the process of being constructed. Yet, I was also aware of a particular undertone during the entirety of the program. This undertone became clear when, later in the episode, a historian made a statement that both shocked and rankled me. He said that these white kids returned home from their experiences in Mississippi with the stark realization that everything their parents had told them about America was a lie! America as a society, he opined, was utterly bankrupt. His statement was followed by footage of police brutality, footage of the Klan beating people and terrorizing citizens, footage of Republican senator Barry Goldwater stating publically that he didn’t support the civil rights movement, more revelations about the Klu Klux Klan and their involvement in southern politics, etc. Then the documentary shifted focus a little to Betty Friedan and her popular book The Feminine Mystique, which argued that homemakers and mothers, the backbone of the social fiber in America, were secretly sick and tired of the lives they were living, feeling trapped and desperate to get out and live lives freed from the constraints imposed on them by men. Again, the moral was clear: something was deeply, deeply, flawed with America. The good ol’ U.S. of A. not only was not good, but was morally broken and corrupt! Radical change was needed, and the true heroes of this change discovered their cause and their voice in 1964. This episode of American Experience was interesting and eye-opening. The program challenged me to have a deeper appreciation for the courage of the leaders of the civil rights movement. But the implied conclusion seemed to be if one is a compassionate, civil rights-caring American, one is liberal. However, the day after the airing of this program something happened that disputes the conclusion that the show seemed to advance—the annual March for Life. It took place in Washington, D.C. with hundreds of thousands of protestors marching through freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions to reveal the corruption of our day, abortion, and the 55 million citizens who not only will ever have the right to vote, but won’t even have the right to live! Who is leading the charge...

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Our Lady of Guadalupe and 50 Million Names

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Current Events, featured, Morality, Politics | 2 comments

Our Lady of Guadalupe and 50 Million Names

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe—indeed, the whole of the Advent season—reveals and reminds us of the utter importance of innocent life and its innate dignity. When the young virgin appeared miraculously to Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac, she made it known to him that he would have a significant role in converting to Christ 9 million Aztecs who worshiped their false gods with human sacrifice. The indelible image left upon his cloak was that of a young, dark-skinned woman standing on the moon, shrouded in glory with a mantel of stars covering her head. Around her waist, she wore the black sash that young mothers wore in Mexico at that time, indicating she was with child. This image conquered the world, as it not only secured a foothold for the holy faith of Christ in Mexico, but it also proved pivotal in one of the grandest battles in the history between Christianity and Islam not 40 years later, at Lepanto, Greece. Giovanni Andrea Doria, one of the Christian naval commanders, prayed before a replica of this very image in the early morning hours before the commencing of the great sea battle. By 4 in the afternoon, Doria, on behalf of all of Christendom, celebrated victory over the much larger Muslim fleet. All of the Christian naval commanders along with the Pope credited the victory to Our Lady’s intercession. Thus, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beautiful reminder of the powers and victories of this Virgin Mother of God over the forces of death and darkness. Unfortunately, these forces are reasserting influence on contemporary society in manifold ways. In the United States of America, abortion slays millions of innocent lives annually, and the coercion exerted on young mothers to rid their wombs of their own children reveals the sinister motives of those working at these so-called women’s clinics. These deaths rival that of the blood-thirsty idols of the Aztecs, who worshiped their spurious gods by offering countless lives of innocent people in order to consecrate their temples. It was against this macabre form of paganism that our Blessed Lady came to rescue God’s people. He heard the cries of the innocent. He sent the one human whose faith overcame the slaughter of the innocent child, Mary, the Mother of God.  He hears the cry of the innocent today, and He still sends the one whose faith helped bring about the victory.  In honor and devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Great Intercessor of Life and Patroness of the Americas, a dear friend of mine, Charlotte Ostermann, sponsored an event she called the 50 Million Names Project, launching it on December 12, 2013 with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Chancery chapel for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. This much-anticipated launch will allow those wishing to participate to quickly log-on to the online memorial site and formalize a name for one of more of the 50 million babies lost to abortion in this country alone. Charlotte developed a website that has one specific mission: to recognize each and every child as an individual and to honor them with our prayers and special intentions by naming them, thus giving them an identity that gets lost amidst the statistics and rhetoric. Charlotte is encouraging us to offer our prayers not...

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Conscience vs. Compassion

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in featured, Morality | 2 comments

Everybody knows you’re supposed to follow your conscience. At least I’ve never heard anyone say otherwise.  The strange thing is that usually conscience is described as a kind of gut impression, feeling, intuition, or instinct. The most common formulation I’ve heard is “Well, this is just how I feel about it, and I’ve got to follow my conscience.” Very frequently conscience is posed in opposition to some kind of authoritarian dictate, as in “The Catholic Church says abortion should be outlawed, but that doesn’t feel right to me, so I’m going to go with my conscience on this one.” Now the most striking thing about this way of equating conscience with feeling is its incongruity with the etymology of the word “conscience” itself.  The word “conscience” is a Latinate composite of cum + scientia (= conscience). Cum just means “with,” but scientia means “knowledge.” So to follow your conscience means to act according to your knowledge, not your feelings, instincts or intuitions. Which has some very interesting implications. For instance, it means that if you know that what the Catholic Church teaches is true, you are logically incapable of following your conscience in opposition to the Catholic Church – since you can’t follow your knowledge and act against your knowledge at the same time. Whereas if you can follow your conscience against the teachings of the Catholic Church, it means that you don’t know that the Catholic Church is a reliable source for true teaching. And if you call yourself a Catholic but you don’t recognize the Catholic Church as a reliable source for true teaching, then you need to consider whether there’s any point in having a Catholic Church, or in being associated with it, in the first place. Okay, but getting back to etymology. “Conscience” means acting according to knowledge, not feeling. What would be the latinate construction that meant acting according to one’s feelings? Well, we just have to substitute the Latin word for “feelings” for the Latin word for “knowledge.” And, since the Latin word for feeling is “passio,” we can make our new word pretty easily:   Acting according to one’s knowledge:     cum + scientia =               CON-SCIENCE Acting according to one’s feelings:         cum + passio =              COM-PASSION That’s right! It’s “Compassion”! Compassion is etymologically the word that describes acting on feeling instead of on knowledge. When people say they’re following their conscience, they usually mean they’re following their compassion. But look at the massive difference in meaning: conscience is to compassion as intellect is to emotion. And, according to Catholic anthropology, the great work of virtue consists precisely in not letting your emotions lead your life, but in forcing your emotions to submit to your intellect. So compassion should submit to conscience, not vice versa. What does this mean practically? It means this: BEWARE OF LETTING COMPASSION TAKE OVER CONSCIENCE’S ROLE! Compassion has in fact set itself up as the primary usurper of conscience, which explains why compassion is the leading cause of disobedience to the Church’s moral magisterium:   Why is Catholic teaching on abortion rejected? Because of compassion for pregnant women in difficult circumstances. Why is Catholic teaching on homosexuality rejected? Because of compassion for those suffering from same-sex attraction. Why...

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