Did I put my girlfriend in a lose-lose situation?

So I have been told that one is obligated to listen to their conscience…even if it contradicts with what the Church teaches.

My girlfriend is from another religion and her conscience says that Catholicism isn’t the only one true religion…just one of them…and then when she met me I told her how that was false and how one should follow the teachings of the Catholic Church to get the fullness of the truth and be saved…

if she were to convert to Catholicism then wouldn’t that be going against her conscience and be damned?..and if she doesn’t convert she will be going against the church and be damned (since she no longer has invincible ignorance)?..I worry I just put her in a situation where she won’t be able to saved :eek::crying:

Um, no, this is not correct.

Well, yes, it is true the Church does have the fullness of truth.

a) She should convert to the Catholic Church because it is true.
b) You have an erroneous understanding of conscience and what the Church teaches about it.

Erroneous understanding of Church teaching.

Please encourage your friend to investigate the Church on its merits.

And, I would suggest you think twice about a romantic relationship with a non-Christian or non-Catholic.

The Church teaches us to follow our informed conscience, that is, a conscience in line with what the Church teaches.

Conversion to the Catholic faith isn’t accomplished by simply telling someone the Church is the one true faith, but is an action of the Holy Spirit. The Church’s teaching on no salvation outside the Catholic Church goes something like this: if an individual, believing the Catholic Church to be the church founded by Jesus Christ and containing the full repository of truth, voluntarily leaves the Church, that person cannot be saved unless he repents and turns back. On the other hand, if an individual sincerely believes the Church is not the one true faith, that person can still be saved through the all knowing mercy and justice of God who alone sees the heart.

I’m not informed of how you proceeded to teach her about Catholicism but it sounds to me that you are not in a good position to teach. When you are dating someone, you definitely have a strong interest in that person agreeing with you. But do you really understand her and her faith formation, if any? You may discuss your faith, you must show your faith, but you should not get into trying to convert her at this point. It is best for HER to want to have what you have and that is usually accomplished by how you treat her. Are you respecting her right to make up her own mind? Are you truly listening and asking her questions about herself?

I think you misunderstand the concept of conscience. A person’s conscience doesn’t just fall out of the sky and land on them. A person chooses what to believe, based on the information they have. (Though once an opinion is formed, people often disregard information that contradicts it.) A Catholic’s job is to diligently form an informed conscience. Your conscience should not contradict Church teaching. If it does, it might mena a misunderstanding of Church teachings or one of those situations I mentioned above. We are not supposed to favor our own conscience over Church teaching, but Church teaching is supposed to inform our conscience.

No you didn’t. The Church is the way in which we attain salvation. Her conscience is formed by her Protestant background so she won’t accept the Church at first. But the Church is the only institution on earth that offers the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, who told us that whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life and vise versa. Don’t turn her away from the church. You could be the reason she’ll come into full communion with Christ. And by the sound of it you truly care for her and will love to see her come into communion with Christ.

God bless

Priez pour pape Francois

Um. I’m sure you are a smart, charismatic fellow and all…but…you merely telling your girlfriend that the Catholic church is the “one true Church” may not be quite enough to convince her.
I think, for the “invincible ignorance” defense to collapse, the person has to actually believe it is the only way to be saved, really “understand” this…and then, refuse to convert.
But it sounds like she doesn’t think or beleive Catholicism is the one true church.
So then she’d still fall under the “ignorant” category in court, for…the judge.


First, you must know there is such thing as erroneous conscience. Talk to her about it.

The conscience is (the voice of God within) and why Catholics who have a well formed conscience and a healthy understanding of what the Church is (the Bride of Christ, guided by the Holy Ghost), should be very willing to embrace the teachings of Humanae Vitae. But was Humanae Vitae a divinely revealed truth intended just for Catholics? Humanae Vitae clearly answers this question in the negative. In order to see this, relevant portions of Humanae Vitae will be examined which speak directly to this question. However, some preliminary work must be done on two very important moral concepts, conscience and the natural law, in particular, the Catholic understanding of how these concepts extend to mankind in general.

Aquinas in Disputed Question on Truth, On Conscience, tells us that while a conscience always binds, it does not necessarily excuse. There is such a thing as an “informed conscience” since one’s conscience may be badly formed and one may be culpable for that. The binding nature of conscience comes from judging that something should be done or not done. By conscience we judge that something done is well done or ill done, and in this sense conscience is said to excuse, accuse, or torment. [ST First Part Q79 A13].

Aquinas says that every kind of conscience binds whether correct or erroneous. This on the surface appears disturbing if one fails to ask, “Is the action obligated by an erroneous conscience good?” Aquinas did not miss this point. He argues that an erroneous conscience is one that does not know, i.e., ignores what is truly good, evil and indifferent. He then considers that since you can only do what you know you ought to do, it follows that an erroneous conscience excuses as well as binds, all the more so because you cannot be held responsible for an act you do not know you are committing. He quickly qualifies this statement, however, by observing that there are degrees of ignorance and not every kind of it renders an act involuntary. You can be responsible for your ignorance.

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