Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Jiminy Cricket Morality

I can't help wondering how priests - priests of all people! - could possibly justify to themselves the repeated and systematic abuse of children.

And I can't help wondering if there is any connection between the outbreak of such abuse and the abandonment of traditional notions such as 'custody of the eyes', and their replacement with the supremacy of conscience (hence Jiminy Cricket morality "Always let your conscience be your guide.')

Of course we should follow our conscience - but our first responsibility is to make sure that it is a well formed conscience.

'Love God and do what you will' is great - as long as you remember what Our Lord said: 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.'

But in the second half of the 20th century, the vogue was for the supremacy of conscience without the discipline of conforming it to the will of Christ.

And we sinners are fearfully good at justifying our desires and corrupting our intellects to the extent that we can pretend to ourselves that our conscience sanctions all sorts of terrible things, left to our own devices.

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