January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
Acute Awareness in Examining Our Consciences part two

    Last week my article presented an examination of conscience over the first three Commandments. Though I shall continue with the examination, I refer you to the two previous articles as found in the archives, if you have not read them. I encourage you to print these articles out and refer to them for helping you make a good confession. My reference is a booklet entitled: A Contemporary Adult Guide to Conscience for the Sacrament of Confession by Fr. Richard J. Rego.

    Today I will dwell on the next two commandments, first the Fourth Commandment: "Thou shalt honor thy Father and Mother." In today's society this commandment is not only violated, but practically ignored because of the lack of respect for authority which begins in the family unit with the parents.

  • Have I disobeyed my parents or other lawful superiors while under their authority?
  • Have I treated parents with the proper respect, especially when they may have become burdensome?
  • Have I abandoned, ignored, or failed to be of help to parents in their old age?
  • Have I complied with the just decrees of all lawful authority?

    The Fifth Commandment is one that I will treat both today and next week because of the severity of this command and the disregard so many have today for human life as the culture of death strives to suffocate the life out of the culture of life.

  • Have I caused the death or injury of another by neglect or by a positive act, such as drunk driving or selling illegal drugs?
  • Have I committed the sin of murder?
  • Have I in any way participated in a direct abortion? Direct abortion, under any circumstances whatsoever, is intrinsically evil and is, objectively, a mortal sin.... ďAll involved in the deliberate and successful effort to eject a non-viable fetus from the motherís womb incur an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.Ē (Code of Canon Law)
  • Have I, as a state or federal legislator, voted for any form of legislation that promotes or funds direct abortions? It is always objectively a gravely sinful act for a legislator to vote for abortion funding. ...
  • Have I had a direct sterilization such as a vasectomy or a tubal ligation? (If an operation that must be performed for a personís health has the secondary effect of a sterilization, then the sterilization is not direct and there is no sin.)
  • Have I practiced any form of contraception whatsoever? Contraception is the use of a condom, I.U.D., diaphragm, the contraceptive pill, sponges, pre-mature withdrawal by the man, or any other measure that would impede the transmission of human life. ... Contraception, an intrinsically evil act, is never, under any circumstances whatsoever, morally acceptable! Natural Family Planning, however, is essentially different from contraception. ... The use of Natural Family Planning for serious or just reasons, is a morally acceptable way of limiting births.
  • Have I, in any way, engaged in other sins against human life such as artificial insemination or in vitro (test tube) fertilization, in any form, or for any reason whatsoever?
  • Have I participated in surrogate motherhood?
  • Have I engaged in the contribution of sperm extracted through masturbation or any other means?
  • Have I been part of a pre-natal diagnostic procedure done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion depending upon the results?
  • Have I participated in the destruction of embryos?
  • Have I participated in the freezing of embryos?
  • Have I used human embryos for experimental or commercial purposes?

    There is more to be considered with the Fifth Commandment which will be covered next week. God bless you!

Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

For past columns by Sister Lucy, see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER Archives

January 5, 2001
volume 12, no. 5
Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER column

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