I don’t post here all that often but recently I had a “discussion” (that’s being kind) with some people about moral theology. We differed. We all used the Bible, Catechism, priests, all the best efforts—and then our consciences differed. Some said “the Church says that and if you do not agree you are leading people to mortal sin!” At first I thought it was one overly judgmental individual but I found there was a pattern.
When I was a Baptist I saw the Bible used to judge others. They had “key questions” to “prove” whether someone was saved. They knew that only those who believed in eternal security, faith alone, and scripture alone could be saved. They knew it and you’d never tell them there were other views that were not of the devil!
What I found here were people who used the Catechism the same way. They took this paragraph and that paragraph the way Evangelicals Bible verse hop. And you could not disagree without being told you were leading people into grave error by even suggesting your views were possibly true. I was told about the narrow road the same way a Baptist did—when telling me Catholics were going down the wide one!
Folks! Catechism thumping is not what we’re about! And judgments of others are wrong. Even with the Catechism to guide us there is a lot of room for conscience. There is a big difference between reading the Bible or Catechism not liking what you see and rejecting it and reading it with a different conclusion and acting in good conscience.
I absolutely hated having my fellow Baptists tell my Catholic husband he was unsaved for “praying to Mary” There was no clear teaching that told them that. Some had that view and if they felt it that strongly they shouldn’t pray to her. We should never violate our consciences. But they had no right to declare him unsaved.
When it comes down to what your conscience is saying when you read the Bible, Catechism, and writings of respected leaders (such as the many writings of our current Holy Father), go to your priest/confessor. If he does not violate your conscience by too liberal a view you may find it is safe to go with that. Follow along with much prayer. Conscience without prayer is a mind without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Advice—never let Catechism thumpers turn you scrupulous!