Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 441 1789 Some rules apply in every case: — One may never do evil so that good may result from it; — the Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” 56 —charity always proceeds by way of respect for one’s neighbor and his conscience: “Thus sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience . . . you sin against Christ.” 57 Therefore “it is right not to . . . do anything that makes your brother stumble.” 58 IV. E rroneous J udgment 1790 Ahuman being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed. 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsi- bility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” 59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. 1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s author- ity and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct. 1793 If—on the contrary—the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience. 1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” 60 56 Mt 7:12; cf. Lk 6:31; Tob 4:15. 57 1 Cor 8:12. 58 Rom 14:21. 59 GS 16. 60 1 Tim 5; cf. 3:9; 2 Tim 3; 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 24:16. 1756 1970 1827 1971 1704 133 1860