Marcus Tullius Cicero
One of the Catholic principles most embattled in our increasingly secularized society is that of conscience. Conscience, like religion, the secularists insist, is a private matter that must be sacrificed when it seems to conflict with the common good. In this view, both conscience and religion are, in effect, entirely subjective matters, which have no place in public debate. It’s easy to see how this view of conscience quickly gives way to relativism, “what’s right for me.”

Au contraire, says Matthew Hanely, in this column from The Catholic Thing. Conscience, rightly speaking, is conformed to Truth, and truth is not relativistic.

Conscience – and Cicero – under Siege

By Matthew Hanley

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has not been shy about carrying water for a distinctive brand of politicized medicine. If it is in the Orwellian “Affordable Care Act” (where promised savings of $2,500 on insurance premiums morph into $3,000 increases), the NEJM is ready to offer its “scientific” imprimatur. It ran earnest pro-rationing and pro-euthanasia pieces not long after Obamacare’s opponents were denounced as delusional alarmists; insiders now admit they see a need for death panels.I was making my way through another article in the NEJM last month, fully prepared for its slanted perspective, when something extraordinary happened. Well, I should say that the author ended an exceptionally disturbing and poorly argued piece, entitled “Recognizing Conscience in Abortion Provision,” with an extraordinarily instructive statement


The author, Dr. Lisa Harris from the University of Michigan, wants us to believe that the term “conscience” should not be conceded as the sole property of abortion opponents because some people, like her, feel compelled to provide abortion as a matter of conscience…


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