19 May 2018

20th May 2018 - Pentecost Sunday - What is an informed conscience?

Ireland goes to the polls in the coming week to decide what is literally a matter of life and death as voters decide on whether to retain or repeal the equal protection of life given to both the mother and the unborn child in the Irish constitution. SS102fm didn't host any debates or discussions on the referendum because a) we wanted to give our listeners a "sacred space" on a Sunday morning away from the 'noise' of main stream media and b) because to do so would have meant having to give balanced airtime to both sides of the campaign under BAI rules which we could not do.

However, on this mornings programme we decided to repeat an interview which we conducted with Bishop-emeritus Dr Donal Murray back in 2015 about the issue of conscience and having an informed conscience. At that time, the interview was ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum and the purpose of the interview was to set out clearly what is meant from a Catholic point of view about discerning and voting with your conscience. 

"Freedom of conscience" is regarded as one the key human rights of the current age but what does it actually mean from a Catholic perspective? What is conscience? Can a person be compelled to act against their conscience? How is a person to form his conscience so that it is not just their opinion but a considered and informed discernment?

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Some links around the issue of conscience:

This Sunday is the Solemnity of Pentecost, when the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate on the Christian community. We pray that as we enter into these final days of discernment, that people will be open to the promptings of that same Spirit, to discern in truth and faith the decisions they must make and that they will seek the intercession of the Spirit to unlock those gifts of wisdom and right judgement which are available to all.

Gospel - John 15:26-27,16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:‘When the Advocate comes,whom I shall send to you from the Father,the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,he will be my witness.And you too will be witnesses,because you have been with me from the outset.‘I still have many things to say to youbut they would be too much for you now.But when the Spirit of truth comeshe will lead you to the complete truth,since he will not be speaking as from himselfbut will say only what he has learnt;and he will tell you of the things to come.He will glorify me,since all he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.Everything the Father has is mine;that is why I said:All he tells youwill be taken from what is mine.’

This weeks short lectio divina on the radio programme, is focused not on the gospel of the day but rather on the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-11). However reflection on the Sunday gospel and the great feast of Pentecost:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week in Ordinary time

With Vespers of Pentecost we finally close out the Easter season and enter into Ordinary Time. We have celebrated with many Alleluia's for seven weeks the joy of the Lord's Resurrection and now we enter back into the ordinary seasons of liturgy and time.

Saints of the Week

May 21st - Mary, Mother of the Church
May 22nd - St Rita of Cascia
May 23rd - St Goban Gobhnena
May 25th - St Bede
May 26th - St Philip Neri

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