Jesus Christ can forgive, through His priests, the most serious mortal sins through baptism and confession. As most readers know, mortal sins (sins that lead to hell) are mortal if they are 1) grave material and 2) done with full-knowledge and 3) executed with full consent of the will. In a recent blog post, I reminded readers of 15 Mortal Sins that most Catholics don’t know are grave matter. In today’s article, I will try to unmask how Satan tricks amateur theologians on the other two criteria of mortal sin (full knowledge and full consent of the will.) For lack of more politically-correct terms, I have tried to identify the tricks of Satan upon two groups of American Catholics: Republican Catholic Modernists are pro-life voters who think they know the moral tradition of the Church, but don’t (except a few very basic issues they rarely commit like abortion or sodomy.) Democratic Catholic Modernists are social justice Catholics who care about the poor, but rarely care about the moral tradition of the Church, even in the most serious issues like sodomy. Both groups are greatly in danger of diabolical deceit in regards to moral theology.
Republican Catholic Modernists become moral relativists by admitting that certain sins are grave sin, but then follow that up by saying that such sins almost never reach the level of “mortal” because of one loophole or another. Let’s say, for example, a teenager named Johnny had been told by his priest that because he has an addiction to masturbation, he does not have full consent of the will to commit that sin, to the point that that grave sin of masturbation is not a mortal sin. Thus, Johnny can go to Holy Communion without confession as long as he makes an act of contrition at Mass. By that theology, if Johnny masturbates once a week it’s a mortal sin, but if Johnny masturbates every day it’s only a venial sin. Of course, this is absurd. Why? Because according to this theology, Johnny could ostensibly come out of his occasional mortal sin by either going to confession –or– by starting to masturbate every day.
On the topic of full-knowledge, it is extremely important to note that a grave sin that is allegedly committed without full knowledge is actually still a mortal sin if the person was too lazy to find out the truth. St. Thomas Aquinas explains: “Ignorance sometimes causes an act to be involuntary, and sometimes not. And since moral good and evil consist in action in so far as it is voluntary, as was stated above, it is evident that when ignorance causes an act to be involuntary, it takes away the character of moral good and evil; but not, when it does not cause the act to be involuntary…If then reason or conscience err with an error that is involuntary, either directly, or through negligence, so that one errs about what one ought to know; then such an error of reason or conscience does not excuse the will…”—Summa Theologica I—II Q 19. The key there is “about what one ought to know.” For example, since you “ought to know” that you don’t wear yoga pants to Mass, then it’s still a mortal sin, even if you haven’t heard a homily about it.
I propose that the first solution to such arrogant and legalistic moral theology is simply to admit that God’s grace is powerful enough to heal Johnny or convert the yoga pants girl without the need for their priests to use loopholes “to get them out of sin.” We must realize it’s not that hard to do the will of Jesus Christ:
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Mt 11:30
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.“—1 John 5:3
Secondly, we must use common-sense instead of Pharisaical games surrounding the law. Supernatural faith leads us to believe and know that God can terminate sinful patterns if one cooperates with His grace via the sacraments and good ascetical practices (fasting, etc.) Again, that means you don’t get a “pass” into invincible ignorance if you could have, would have, should have known the truth…but were too lazy to pray or study.
Democratic Catholic Modernists, on the other hand, promote something called “the primacy of conscience” to raise subjective moral theology above objective Divine Revelation. In other words, they teach that one’s feelings about God are more important than the the Magisterium of the Catholic Church when it comes to moral theology. The rest of this blog post will be an attempt to unmask this “primacy of conscience” as nothing but a cancerous moral relativism infecting the highest levels of the Church. I hope to give you some keys to refute it, too.
An article in America Magazine quotes St. Thomas Aquinas: “Anyone upon whom the ecclesiastical authorities, in ignorance of the true facts, impose a demand that offends against his clear conscience should perish in excommunication rather than violate his conscience.”—St. Thomas Aquinas, Sentences, IV.38.2.4. The authors at America Magazine then use this quote to explain that conscience refers less to an individual’s coordination to Divine Revelation than a “human experience” found in a “communal search for truth.” The article reads: “The Latin word conscientia literally means ‘knowledge together,’ perhaps better rendered as ‘to know together.’ It suggests what human experience universally demonstrates, that being liberated from the confining prison of one’s individual self into the broadening and challenging company of others is a surer way to come to right knowledge of the truth, including moral truth, and right practical judgment, including moral judgment, of what one ought to do or not do. This communal search for truth, conscience and morality builds a sure safeguard against both an isolating egoism and a personal relativism that negates all universal truth.”
If “communal search for truth” with no Divine Revelation sounds communist more than Catholic, then you are correct.
Furthermore, St. Thomas Aquinas is quoted out of context. St. Thomas Aquinas also adds: “We must therefore conclude that, absolutely speaking, every will at variance with reason, whether right or erring, is always evil.” (In other words, a conscience can’t make a bad act to be good just because you want it to be.) This is because “conscience is nothing else than the application of knowledge to some action.” (STh I-II, q. 19 a. 5). That “knowledge” is not a subjective feeling, but rather the soul’s coordination to objective truth that comes from God. God’s truth is found in natural law and Divine Revelation which are never opposed as is implied in the above article in America Magazine.
As noted above, the America Magazine describes conscience as “human experience” in a “communal search for truth.” The same article later quotes the Apostle John: “The anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you.”—1 John 2:27. Although this is one of my favorite lines from St. John, the authors are not using this line to align the Christian mind to the law of Christ despite all heretical opposition from the legalistic hierarchy at the time (as St. John meant it originally) but rather that a personal understanding of moral theology trumps even the traditional Magisterium of the Catholic Church, cherry-picking so far as even to write: “Joseph Ratzinger (sic) pointed out that ‘not everything that exists in the church must for that reason be also a legitimate tradition…. There is a distorting as well as legitimate tradition.’” (I obviously believe Pope Benedict XVI was also quoted out of context here, as he meant little ‘t’ tradition was flexible, not big-T-Tradition.)
Practically, this not only turns Catholics into Protestants (where everyone is his own pope), but it actually turns Catholics into modern Satanists, at least when the individual conscience attempts to subvert the Magisterium. If you think this is an exaggeration, remember that the motto for all modern Satanists is: “Do what thou wilt.” A convert from yoga and astrology to the Catholic faith writes, “I picked up the autobiography of Aleister Crowley, perhaps the premier master of the occult, who was known as ‘the wickedest man in the world.’ His creed is summed up in his dictum ‘“Do what thou wilt” shall be the whole of the Law.’ He was to the occult what the Nazis and Communists were to politics, the logical and full flowering of the ideas of Nietzsche.”
But Divine Revelation has the same source as natural law:
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.”—Jer 31:33
“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.”—Ez 11:19
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”—Jn 1:4
“For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; His eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”—Rom 1:20
Of course, salvation can not be reached without grace, even when following one’s conscience and natural law. But a pagan following his conscience prepares him to accept Divine Revelation and grace. But most importantly: Catholics cannot go against the natural law (the 10 Commandments) and still claim to follow Divine Revelation (Jesus Christ and His Church.)
When St. Paul writes above that the natural world shows forth God’s “eternal power,” this means that those who do “sins against nature” “are inexcusable.”—Rom 1:20. This means you don’t need to be Jewish or Catholic to know that homosexual sins are wrong. Why? Because they’re already written as “wrong” on the human heart. Thus, when a Catholic cleric claims that an “internal forum” discussion with one’s spiritual director under the aegis of “primacy of conscience” is sufficient for an LGBT adherent to go to Holy Communion without confession—this is not only against the Bible and the Catholic Church—it’s actually against the baseline law of God written on every human heart that comes before baptism. In fact, even the natural world around us tells us that violent sins like sodomy and abortion are wrong even before we get to Divine Revelation.
That even a pagan conscience has to be overturned to commit an abortion or an LGBT sin is seen in the rage revealed when Christians are yelled at when they challenge such practices with peace and love at an abortion center or an LGBT parade.
But the America Magazine authors do not want you to remember that we have an inherent sense of right and wrong that transcends the opinion polls. In that article, they repeatedly point to the “sensus fidei” (sense of the faith among the faithful) as if it were an opinion poll of moral theology for liberal heretics. Hence, primacy of conscience for them is nothing more than modern broken consciences ratifying each other with no thought of how Catholics lived in the past. This is very different from what GK Chesterton wrote: “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”—Orthodoxy.
To accurately learn the moral theology of the Catholic Church, please purchase either the Roman Catechism (long and expensive) or the Catechism of Pope St. Pius X (short and cheap.)
Indeed, if there is ever an apparent disconnect between what God wrote on our hearts (through the natural law and common-sense) we must remember that the faith infused in our hearts at baptism is completely on a one-to-one correlation with the Bible and the traditional Magisterium. But this newly-invented “primacy of conscience” that disconnects conscience from the Magisterium does not come from Christ and the Apostles. The “primacy of conscience” (at least as used by modernists, detached from the Magisterium) is nothing else but, “Do What Thou Wilt,” which is the same as modern Satanism.