QUOTE TO NOTE: Pope Francis on Freedom & Conscience

computer_key_Quotation_MarksPope Francis used his weekly Angelus address to discuss conscience and freedom as aspects of the Catholic faith, emphasizing what many LGBT Catholics and their allies already know about these central Catholic teachings. The Pope speaks about Jesus’ determined journey to Jerusalem in Luke’s Gospel, where he will meet death, and how faith is always accepted and never imposed even for Jesus. He continues:

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

“All this makes us think. It tells us, for example, the importance, even for Jesus, of conscience: listening in his heart to the Father’s voice, and following it…Jesus wants us free, and this freedom – where is it found? It is to be found in the inner dialogue with God in conscience. If a Christian does not know how to talk with God, does not know how to listen to God, in his own conscience, then he is not free – he is not free.

“So we also must learn to listen more to our conscience. Be careful, however: this does not mean we ought to follow our ego, do whatever interests us, whatever suits us, whatever pleases us. That is not conscience. Conscience is the interior space in which we can listen to and hear the truth, the good, the voice of God. It is the inner place of our relationship with Him, who speaks to our heart and helps us to discern, to understand the path we ought to take, and once the decision is made, to move forward, to remain faithful.”

Advocates for more inclusive Catholic communities that welcome all, including those bound by conscience to challenge existing unjust structures, can take hope that Pope Francis may respect conscience more than his predecessors.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

1 reply
  1. Joseph Gentilini
    Joseph Gentilini says:

    It is because of my relationship with God and listening to my conscience, that I found my vocation – to be a gay Catholic man in relationship with my partner of 32 years and with God. My story is in the book: Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love, and Relationship. My journey was painful because I grew up thinking that God spoke only in the hierarchy. I could not accept my gayness initially and went into therapy to change. My family was not supportive of me as a gay son. I placed all my pain with the Cross of Jesus. Over many years, I grew to integrate my homosexuality with my personality and my spirituality; I stopped therapy to change; and my family reconciled with me. My God led me to Leo and Leo led me back to God! Thanks. Joe Gentilini

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