Tuesday, July 20

Quote of the Day - special papal edition

“Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”. - Joseph Ratzinger, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, 1967

I'd heard this quote when our priest talked about the primacy of conscience, but couldn't actually find it online, which irked me when I wrote about the role of conscience here. The good Terence over at Queering the Church found and posted it. Thanks T.

*P.S. - I couldn't find any free images of His Holiness which didn't make him look either frail or evil (both of which I think are inappropriate here), so here's a kitten instead.


  1. Like you, I was delighted to find the quote on line, after an initial fruitless search.

    Thanks for re-posting it. It needs to be better known, and there are probably many more out there looking for it, just as we were.

  2. Thanks for the quote AND the kitten. I love both, but for obviously different reasons.