Pope stands by using one’s conscience
Pope Francis reaffirmed the “primacy” of using one’s conscience to navigate tough moral questions in his first comments since he was publicly accused of spreading heresy by emphasizing conscience over hard and fast Catholic rules.
Francis issued a video message to a conference organized by Italian bishops on his controversial 2016 document on family life, “The Joy of Love.”
Francis told the conference that priests must inform Catholic consciences “but not replace them.” He stressed the distinction between one’s conscience — where God reveals himself — and one’s ego that thinks it can do as it pleases.
When it was released, “The Joy of Love” sparked controversy because it cautiously opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Conservatives accused the pope of sowing confusion and undermining the church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.
A group of traditionalist and conservative priests and scholars accused Francis of spreading heresy.