Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 433 IN BRIEF 1743 “God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf. Sir 15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him” ( GS 17 § 1). 1744 Freedom is the power to act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one’s own. Freedom attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good. 1745 Freedom characterizes properly human acts. It makes the human being responsible for acts of which he is the voluntary agent. His deliberate acts properly belong to him. 1746 The imputability or responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified by ignorance, duress, fear, and other psychological or social factors. 1747 The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable require- ment of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything. 1748 “For freedom Christ has set us free” ( Gal 5:1). A rticle 4 THE MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS 1749 Freedom makes man a moral subject. When he acts delib- erately, man is, so to speak, the father of his acts. Human acts, that is, acts that are freely chosen in consequence of a judgment of con- science, can be morally evaluated. They are either good or evil. I. T he S ources of M orality 1750 The morality of human acts depends on: — the object chosen; — the end in view or the intention; — the circumstances of the action. 1732