Blessed Cardinal Newman on Conscience

Conscience is not a long-sighted selfishness, nor a desire to be consistent with oneself; but it is a messenger from Him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by His representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas, and even though the eternal priesthood throughout the world should cease to be, in it the sacerdotal principle would remain and have a sway …

Conscience is a stern monitor, but in this century it has been superseded by a counterfeit, which the eighteen centuries prior to it never heard of, and could not have mistaken for it, if they had. It is the right of self will … the right of thinking, speaking, writing, and acting, according to [one’s] judgment or [one’s] humour, without any thought of God at all… [such that it is the] very right and freedom of conscience to dispense with conscience.

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