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On Conscience: Two Essays

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  50 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Prepared and co-published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, this book is a combination of two lengthy essays written by Cardinal Ratzinger and delivered in talks when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both talks deal with the importance of conscience and its exercise in particular circumstances.

Ratzinger's reflections

Hardcover, 82 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by National Catholic Bioethics Center (first published November 30th 2006)
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Feb 19, 2010 L.S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, apologetics
Ratzinger defineşte conştiinţa drept "bastion al libertăţii" umane, fiind cea mai înaltă normă căriea omul se poate supune chiar şi împotriva autorităţii. Puterea de justificare a conştiinţei subiective nu trebuie să ducă la o validare a relativismului, la o dictatură a pluralismului moral. Deoarece stâlpii de reazem ai existenţei umane sunt identificaţi în domeniul religios şi cel moral, Cardinalul arată că "sentimentul de vinovăţie, capacitatea omului de a recunoaşte vina, aparţine în mod stru ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
In the first essay, Ratzinger uses the question of whether or not conscience binds as a entrance into a broader discussion of what conscience is and how it is formed. Is it really the case that a man can only be held responsible for what his conscience tells him, so that the less he knows, the less responsible he is, and the easier his salvation will be?

Ratzinger calls for a more thoughtful understanding of conscience and a return to the distinction between two levels of conscience: (Platonic)
James Andersen
Short and to the point Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI does a spectacular job of describing the nature of conscience. The book is very short, and is broken up into 2 parts, one more recent in a convention on Bioethics and the other back in the 80s to Bishops concerning their roles as being called not only to pass down but to live out morality.

He makes it known that Conscience has taken on a new meaning, and that we worship conscience like as if it were God rather than being a witness to God, however
May 04, 2012 Shawna rated it it was ok
oh my. way over my head and incredibly challenging. for every paragraph i had to take 3 days to digest it. it was intense. the second essay i thought was better then the first. there were a few times where i was thinking wow that was incredibly beautiful, like when he mentions the Church not being outdated and how she would betray humanity if she renounced the guardianship of Truth. and conscience being a a witness and an organ not an oracle and how we need to care for it, form it, and educate i ...more
Wendy Wong Schirmer
Nov 19, 2015 Wendy Wong Schirmer rated it really liked it
The conscience matters. But what if that conscience is badly formed? What, then, do we allow to form our conscience?
Nov 08, 2011 Conor rated it it was amazing
A powerful book with two incredible essays on conscience by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. One of the key themes here is anamnesis of God -- which might loosely be rendered memory of God. I think this idea, which occurs frequently in Ratzinger and Benedict's thought, is one of his great contributions to the Church. Ratzinger does a good job of showing why conscience cannot be mere subjectivism, but must be rooted in the Truth and Logos. I highly recommend this short, but dense essays.
Nov 10, 2011 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A world were I dared to enter, but couldn't find the right words to explain or describe it. This book is based upon the conscience, that "inner worm" as it is sometimes called, that provides us with the means to decide what is right from wrong.

Beautiful book, not just for catholics and I would encourage all to read it! Empower yourself for what life may throw at you and learn to understand this great gift we all call - conscience.
Jun 10, 2008 Marissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ability of Pope Benedict to construct a logical, easy to follow argument is astounding. The more I read by this man the more my respect grows. A great essay detailing the need for individuals to do moral work through out their lives. I can't do either essay justice, but would be of intrest to non-Catholics as well.
Michael Ortiz
May 20, 2010 Michael Ortiz rated it it was amazing

A short but profound discussion of what conscience is. By the way, it's not a green-light for what I want, or want to believe. Fantastic work.
Aug 21, 2008 Neva rated it it was amazing
If you like to HAVE YOUR BRAIN PAN EXPLODED, I suggest you give this book a gander.
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Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, an ...more
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