The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Roman Catholic teaching on the primacy of conscience in matters of faith and morals is unequivocal: the person is alone with God to listen to God in examining conscience.

The Church's official teaching, the collective but sometimes fallible wisdom of the Church in matters Ordinary, is secondary.

Primacy of conscience goes directly to the question, what does it mean to be Roman Catholic?

Consider the following real life scenario:

A woman decides as a matter of conscience to keep her life for her six healthy living children rather than sacrifice her life for her unborn twins, one of whom now dead will poison her to death in days. It is the beginning of the ninth month. Both fetuses are seriously deformed. The other twin alive but expected to die a painful death within hours of delivery.

Surely in the eyes of a merciful Church she has committed no sin in choosing her life over death in this tragic and painful circumstance.

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