This text presents an ethical-theological reflection on moral conscience and liberty, in the light of the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council. On the one hand, it seeks to show that the various elements of the Christian conception of moral conscience create openings for the possibility of freedom. On the other, it provides evidence that the Council’s doctrine corresponds to a change in paradigm, not only for this specific theme, but also for a reflection on morality in general, since the doctrine on moral conscience may be seen as a synthesis of all discourse on morals. The selection of the aspects to be covered seeks to aid understanding the significance of the contribution of Vatican II to this theme. Various elements are identified that help in framing these theological-moral categories and to understand how far an appropriate conception of the conscience permits a broad, personalised approach to human morality from the perspective of the believer, presenting a number of consequences for ethical reflection. It also seeks to clarify if liberty constitutes a condition for acting in conscience or if liberty is the result of our acting in conscience.
- Freedom of conscience
- Gaudium et Spes