Toward an informed conscience


Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum was booed at a recent meeting with a group of young college Republicans for opposing same-sex marriage.

Santorum made the mistake of trying to explain over 1,500 years of evolving Christian thought on sex and marriage in 150 seconds. What he could have said is, “On this issue in particular, you should ask your minister, priest, faith-leader, or take a course or two in Christian (and other) history, philosophy, theology. Then let your informed conscience be your guide.”

The keyword here is “informed.” An informed conscience comes from study of the issue. If you disagree with the church about same sex-marriage (or artificial birth control, embryonic stem cells, abortion, etc.), then take the time to study the issue (e.g., Catholic Catechism) and to ask your priest why the church opposes same-sex marriage, etc.

An informed conscience also comes from prayer. It is a brave soul who so casually claims superior reasoning to Augustine, Aquinas, the popes and the saints. If you say, “I understand the church’s teaching on same-sex marriage, have prayed for enlightenment and I still disagree,” then the matter is between you and God.

Ray Ogden


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.