Our consciences can tell us the right-and-wrong of what others are doing, if we have formed our own conscience according to objective teaching.
Look, if someone is speeding, I’m not going to say they’re not breaking the law, because I don’t know what internal state they’re in or what their reasons are. Those things are mitigating circumstances, but, they are breaking the law.
The law holds us accountable, in some cases, if we go along with something that is illegal.
It’s a favorite plot line (if you watch Law and Order, for example) for somebody to lie to protect a friend. That situation is taken to extremes (on the show) most often when a juvenile is involved.
I learned about “cognitive dissonance” in first-semester college psychology, but so many people have no idea how this common rationalization works.
In particular, like here, people are trying to create a third kind of sin, the gray sin, neither mortal nor venial, and so gray, that we’re not sure if it’s a sin at all.
That priest on EWTN that does the Christ in the City program has pointed out, quoting yet another moral scholar like Acquinas or somebody, that venial sin is the second-worst kind of offense against God. There’s almost no point in quibbling over it, when you stop and think about it.
Missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin, unless you have a good reason; doesn’t everybody have a good reason, who misses Mass?