What is the Role of Conscience in Moral Decision-Making?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / October 15, 2021 /
decision making; conscience

The Modern Misunderstanding of Conscience The Catholic Church teaches that the conscience is a natural facility of our reason that directs us to do good and avoid evil; that makes judgments about the good and evil of particular acts; and that bears witness after the fact to the good or evil that we have done,…

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Does God Forgive Abortion?

By Sofia Infante / June 11, 2021 /
silhouette of a woman praying to God

“The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy.” ~ Saint Faustina’s Diary   Abortion is one of the foremost causes of suffering in the world, and one of the least acknowledged. The child in the womb suffers in silence, and the mother carries grief, shame, and guilt. A cruel irony…

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What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / June 5, 2020 /
man holding bible

Pro-abortionists sometimes claim that there is nothing forbidding abortion in the Bible.  For example: Ex-priest Daniel C. Maguire says, “There has been no systematic thinking in Jewish Christian tradition on abortion.  There is nothing in the Bible on it.”1 Roy Bowen Ward, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion at Miami University of Ohio, writes, “One thing…

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Does Abortion Really Incur Excommunication?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / May 26, 2020 /
catholic church germany Mass

What Exactly Is Excommunication? Excommunication is a sanction that deprives a Catholic of all participation in the common blessings of the society of the Church.1  It is the most serious penalty the Church can inflict, and is used only in the most severe cases.  The excommunicated person remains a Catholic because his baptism cannot be…

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Why Not Abortion if it Sends Babies Straight to Heaven?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / May 1, 2020 /
Teddy bear in an empty child's room

Most women understandably feel some degree of guilt about having an abortion. After all, abortion is a grossly unnatural act, and people who believe in God (as most aborting women do to varying degrees) have difficulty justifying the deliberate killing of a child that they know was willed into existence by Him. All of us…

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Can Catholics Apply the Principle of Probabilism to Abortion Decisions?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / September 7, 2018 /
ten commandments

Some baptized Catholics who support abortion use a distorted understanding of Church teaching on the “primacy” of conscience to support their views. They also frequently misrepresent theological principles regarding Catholic sexual ethics. One of the most common abuses involves probabilism, which simply means that if a definitive judgment has not yet been rendered by the…

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Has the Catholic Church Always Condemned Abortion?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / August 31, 2018 /

Almost everyone knows that the Catholic Church opposes abortion.  However, few are aware of the long and rich history of the Church’s reverence and respect for human life, and fewer still can explain exactly why the Church cannot change her teachings on abortion. This article will address a number of common questions regarding the teachings…

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Why Should Celibate Priests Speak about Abortion?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / August 28, 2018 /
priestly ordination

When the battle over abortion began in earnest nearly half a century ago, pro-abortion strategists correctly identified their number one enemy as the Roman Catholic Church.  They were fully aware that, if a large number of priests began to speak forcefully and knowledgably against abortion, the Church would quickly become a mighty force for the…

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What is the Principle of ‘Double Effect’?

By Brian Clowes, PhD / May 24, 2017 /

The very rare cases when a pregnancy poses a genuine and immediate threat to the mother’s life are a source of great confusion, especially among Catholics. It is absolutely true that the Catholic Church bans direct abortion in all cases. However, the mother’s life may be saved by surgery that does not directly attack the…

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Conscience and Health Care Workers

By Dr. Joseph Meaney / May 11, 2017 /

This is the second of Dr. Joseph Meaney’s five-part series on conscience, the second installment in HLI’s Educational Series. We invite you to read our other series on contraception, or to listen to Dr. Meaney’s recent short talk on conscience with HLI staff and leadership. In this publication I will discuss the important question of…

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