Catholics and Conscience

From CUF founder H. Lyman Stebbins:

I feel that my conscience tells me that I must do God’s will. I as a Roman Catholic find that God’s will is shown to me by my teaching Church in those areas where my teaching Church does show it to me. Of course there are lots of areas–like coming to a press conference this morning–I didn’t call up Rome to find out if I should come or not. But there are lots of areas where they do solemnly tell me this is right and that is wrong; and when what I believe to be the voice of God tells me that, then I believe that is right and this is wrong. So that my conscience and the formal teaching of the Church are the same thing, the Church forms my conscience. Now, if there comes along somebody who says, ‘I’m a Catholic, but my conscience tells me something that is in opposition to what the Catholic Church teaches,’ I’m at a loss to know in what sense he is a Catholic, because it seems to me to be of the very essence of Catholicism to accept the Holy Roman Church as the authority of God.

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