Friday, 21 January 2011

"a reductive sense of conscience"

Today the Holy Father told an audience of police chiefs in Rome that public officials must offer a strong moral example.

"Society and public institutions must rediscover their soul, their moral and spiritual roots,"

"The singular vocation that the city of Rome requires today of you, who are public officials, is to offer a good example of the positive and useful interaction between a healthy lay status and the Christian faith."

"In our world ... the impression is given that moral consensus is lacking and consequently the foundations of social life are not able to function properly," the pontiff added.

The Holy Father also warned against "a reductive sense of conscience."

In the modern world the risk exists that an individual "with his own intuitions and his experiences, becomes the sole unit of measure ... on personal truth and personal morality," he said.

EWTN has just posted a translation of a talk given by the most excellent Bishop Athanasius Schnieder at a conference of cardinals and bishops held in Rome, December 17, 2010: "Proposals for a correct reading of the Second Vatican Council." It contains the following highly relevant passage:

The Council continues, saying: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” (ibid., n. 43) Such an error has become even more manifest in recent years in which one observes the phenomenon of people who, while professing to be Catholics, at the same time support laws contrary to the natural law and to the Divine law, and openly contradict the Magisterium of the Church. These words of the Council echo now: “Let there be no false opposition between professional and social activities on the one part, and religious life on the other.” (GS, n. 43) Moral, domestic, professional, scientific, social life must be guided by the faith and so ordered to the glory of God. (ibid.) Let us observe again, in these teachings of the Council, the importance of the primacy of the will of God and of His glory in the life of every one of the faithful and in all the Church. The Council affirms this not only in a document on the liturgy, but in the pastoral document par excellence: the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes.
This talk is well worth reading (here) but if you would rather listen to it, Fr Z has a Podcast available here.

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