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Respect Life:

A Well-Formed Conscience

The Church equips its members to address political and social questions by helping them to develop a well-formed conscience.  Catholics have a serious and lifelong obligation to form their consciences in accord with human reason and the teaching of the Church.  Conscience is not something that allows us to justify doing whatever we want, nor is it a mere “feeling” about what we should or should not do.  Rather, conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil.  Conscience always requires serious attempts to make sound moral judgments based on the truths of our faith.  As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Conscience is a judgement of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed.  In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right”. 

USCCB Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

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