I guess John Courtney Murrray, SJ is out of favor these days


I am re reading a book I have had for a long time called “Recovering Catholics” by Ernie Larsen and Janee Parnegg (1992). The views of John Murray were widely accepted post Vatican II especially concerning the sanctity of an individual’s conscience. This was known as using one’s “internal forum”.

This is a quote from p 40 of this book: "Understand that living in the internal forum mode, our task is to grow up, comprehend, reflect on, and make our decisions about how much power we choose to give to those faulty, probably well-intentioned, perhaps quite intelligent and holy people…basically faulty and flawed people just like us, doing the best they can with what they have. No longer must we give them all our power. Humbly listen, yes. Blindly, unquestioningly follow, no."

“Back in the day” many used this kind of thinking to justify contraception and other unsanctioned behaviors. I didn’t really buy into that then or now.

However, I am receiving great comfort as I re read this book. For me it is not always possible to have Christ AND the Church center stage in my life.

Any thoughts?:shrug:


I don’t know who that Jesuit is and I haven’t read the book you mentioned but I do know that there are many people who call themselves theologians or biblical scholars out there whose views are their own personal views and not the views of the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Church). I look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church or documents coming from the Vatican for the real deal and I take what the parallell magisterium (some theologians) says with a large grain of salt.


That’s good advice since there is no such thing as a parallel magisterium. If a theologian such as Murray contradicts the Magisterium, he’s not expressing his own opinion. He’s wrong.

One’s conscience can never give one license to violate divine or natural law.

– Mark L. Chance.


I didn’t see anything in what you quoted about our responsibility to have a properly formed conscience. Nor did I see anything that reiterates that the Magisterium, while comprised of flawed people, nonetheless is protected from doctrinal error by God.


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