Always be followed by your conscience

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 24, 2007

Joe Murray has something on his mind.

Joe, who identifies himself as the US Convener of Rainbow Sash Movement, has announced the annual gimmick in which militant homosexuals will wear their identifying sash, and present themselves to receive Communion in various cathedrals, defying bishops to exclude them.

Now you must understand that Joe and his colleagues are all sweetness and light, bursting with charity toward everyone. The bishops are the problem. Got that? Clear? If they don't administer the Eucharist to people who are trumpeting their disdain for Church teaching, then: "They are desecrating the Holy Eucharist by making it a weapon of division and exclusion."

Joe Murray, no doubt hoping to promote unity and inclusiveness within the Church, says that the bishops have no way to know his heart, but he happens to know that they are acting out of "fear and their own homophobia." They have been "viciously" opposing equal rights, he says. And he can't resist asking "how much hush-money the Church has paid." You get the picture: spreading sweetness and light, and wondering why the bishops can't be equally nice.

Once or twice, in the course of reading the press release, you've just got to stop and scratch your head. For instance:

Church officials have chosen to go against their own teaching, that individual conscience is paramount in guiding the individual to spirituality.

Yes, one must respect an individual's conscience. But is conscience a guide to spirituality? I always thought the spirituality came first, and then the conscience kicked in to guide judgments on moral behavior. But if one's spirituality is framed by an a priori commitment to a particular sort of behavior, then the conscience is-- probably running in reverse, isn't it?

These Bishops need to be reminded they are pastors, while they call themselves Princes. Try finding that in the scriptures!

Hmm. Interesting observation. Except that to be fair, it would be easier to find a prince in the Scriptures than to find a contemporary American bishop who refers to himself as a prince.

Just by the way, I'm curious why Joe's press release capitalizes "Bishops" but not "Scriptures" or "Communion." Did I mention? I think he has something on his mind.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 10 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 8:37 PM ET USA

    His claim mighthave a wee bit of merit if Mr Murray's 'individual conscience' was formed in the mind of the Church rather than in his knickers.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 5:08 PM ET USA

    Spiritual blindness is part of Joe's spiritual and moral pathology. Pray for his conversion.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 3:56 PM ET USA

    Since when was it up to a single person to declare what is right if it goes against Scriptures. It is not the Bishops making the decision it is God who gave us pretty simple rules to fallow. I Think it is funny that people find ways to twist things to fit what they want. Imagine what it would be like if we let every one do what they thought was "RIGHT". A well formed conscince is one that has the basis of right and wrong not "What Feels Good." People need to get our Moral Compass fixed.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 3:30 PM ET USA

    Another point is that following one's conscience pertains to applying the moral norm to a particular situation. Conscience without reference to a moral norm is not conscience, but license.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 2:32 PM ET USA

    The Church does not just teach "conscience plain and simple". She teaches "a well-formed conscience", i.e., a conscience that has been informed by objective reality, and that we have a moral obligation to seek out that objective information. The problem is that the Rainbows just leave out that part of the Church's teachings, teachings based not on Scripture but on natural law. But then, who knows natural law any more?

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 2:25 PM ET USA

    I'm sure that some Bishops have chosen to go against their own teaching. The problem isn't that the teaching was misunderstood, it's that those officials weren't teaching before what the Church has always taught, and now there's some pressure for them to become Catholic. It was the change in tone to a more general and protestant "Jesus loves me" that led to this way of thinking by Joe Murray. That among other things.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 12:57 PM ET USA

    If we take Murray's conscience ploy to the limit, killing another person can be justified if your conscience does not object to the act. Gangsters have a need of self protection from opposing persons. So that should be all right. Self preservation is the strongest impulse man has. Of course, the legal ramifications are clear; but according to Murray morally a killer can be in the clear as long as his conscience permits the act. NONSENSE!

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 12:08 PM ET USA

    It's the annual running of the same-sex "Love Me, Love My Libido" campaign to get a half-dozen elderly souls to pose in front of the media's cameras, while they condemn the Church for trying to save their rather despicably human souls. One would think that these adults could at least try and control their lower urges and seek that salvation that Our Lord offers to all who are willing to follow Him along the narrow and hard path. But no, what matters to them is what lies below the waist.

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 11:56 AM ET USA

    Tominellay answered my question: Why is this in the Business/Finance section? Did vestments get mixed up with investments?

  • Posted by: - May. 24, 2007 11:39 AM ET USA

    ...moral bankruptcy...