Dubious conscience

By : Arturo Ramo

 Sometimes we haven’t got a fully knowledge of what we perceive with our senses. For example, when we see a thin shadow, we could believe it is from a man, but in reality, it is the shadow of a tree.

A similar thing happens with the conscience: we couldn’t be sure if an action is right or not. This is called dubious conscience.

 Dubious conscience is the one which doesn’t know what to think about the morality of an action; its doubt prevents it from give a definitive judgement, because it is not clear to do an action or to avoid it.

 Dubious conscience can be positive or negative. Negative one appears when we have not good reasons. For example: to have doubts about the validity of the mass if we were sit far from the communion table or if the confession is valid because absolution is distributed too fast. It is advised to dismiss this kind of doubts, because they only cause us instability in our souls.

Positive doubt appears when there are serious reasons to have doubts, but not enough to be sure of doing right. It could also appear when it is not clear if there are some laws which regulate it. For example: when we are not sure about the ecumenical validity of the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje.

 Moralists state that it is not fair to take some action if we have a positive doubt. In any case, we could choose the part of an action we think is more positive or close to the law. For example, if we are in doubt of attending Mass and we can’t know if there is an obligation of do it, we must go.

 Even so, we must take the necessary actions to clarify it, by reading books of religious doctrine or by consulting with a priest. When two of our obligations are in conflict, we must choose the lesser evil and follow the ideas which are closer to Christian sensibility.

Arturo Ramo

Independent Forum Of Opinion

Spain

 

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