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Couples need help following their consciences, pope says

Warns against confusing a rightly formed conscience with personal preferences dominated by selfishness

Couples need help following their consciences, pope says

Pope Francis offers a blessing during his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP)

November 14, 2017

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Marriage and family life are blessings for individuals and for society, but both are filled with difficult choices that Catholic couples must be helped to face prayerfully and in the light of their consciences, Pope Francis said.

Unfortunately, too many people today confuse a rightly formed conscience with personal preferences dominated by selfishness, the pope said in a video message to an Italian meeting on Amoris Laetitia, his exhortation on the family.

"The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which is always to be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of the individual" even when the individual's decisions impact his or her marriage and family life, the pope said.

"There are those who even speak of 'egolatry,' that is, the true worship of the ego on whose altar everything, including the dearest affections, are sacrificed."

Confusing conscience with selfishness "is not harmless," the pope said. "This is a 'pollution' that corrodes souls and confounds minds and hearts, producing false illusions."

The conference sponsored by the Italian bishops' conference was focused on "conscience and norm" in Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation.

In his message to the meeting Nov. 11 in Rome, Pope Francis said the church must strengthen its programs "to respond to the desire for family that emerges in the soul of the young generations" and to help couples once they are married.

"Love between a man and a woman is obviously among the most generative human experiences; it is the leaven of a culture of encounter, and introduces to the present world an injection of sociality," he said.

Marriage and family life are "the most effective antidote against the individualism that currently runs rampant," he said, but it does not do one any good to pretend that they are free from situations requiring difficult choices.

Full Story: Couples need help forming, following their consciences, pope says

Source: Catholic News Service

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