Cardinal Cupich – “Rights of Conscience”?


Going through Newman’s letter to the Duke of Norfolk reminded me of that deplorable address given by Cardinal Cupich this past Febuary 9th at the Von Hügel Institute in St. Edmund College, Cambridge. There, the Cardinal quoted from this very letter to the Duke where Newman says, “Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ” in a way to espouse that Christians may “affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal”. Did you read that? “Affirm the necessity”? And when he says “living at some distance”, no doubt is meant not conforming to God’s law. One is reminded of the 8th book of St. Augustine’s confessions wherein he makes the famous line – “Give me chastity and continency, only not yet!” That is, no doubt, the practical equivalence. Oh yes, I know what he said afterwards: “….affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal, while nevertheless calling a person ‘to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized’ (AL 303)”. Regardless of his citing from Amoris, this is inadequate since two things are being affirmed – (1) the situational “necessity” of contravening God’s law (for a time, at least), and (2) the eventually hoped for ability to graduate oneself to keep God’s law. That certainly would have been news to our Lord who said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’, and not keep My commandments” (Luke 6:46), or even more so to St. John the Apostle who wrote with an additional note, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3). Golly, I can’t think of two verses which anathema the “New Paradigm” more than this.

Back to Newman; as I read further into his letter to the Duke, I came across some more detail which most certainly offsets the pseudo-intellectualized mania of Cupich. Speaking against the contemporary fight for the “rights of conscience” , Newman writes:
“There too the idea, the presence of a Moral Governor is far away from the use of it, frequent and emphatic as that use of it is. When men advocate the rights of conscience, they in no sense mean the rights of a Creator, nor the duty to Him, in thought and deed, of the creature; but the right of thinking, speaking, writings, and acting, according to their judgment or their humour, without any thought of God at all. They do not even pretend to go by any moral rule, but they demand, what they think is an Englishman’s prerogative, for each to be his own master in all things, and to profess what he pleases, asking no one’s leave, and accounting priest or preacher, speaker or writer, unutterably impertinent, who dares to say a word against his going to perdition, if he like it, in his own way. Conscience has rights because it has duties; but in this age, with a large portion of the public, it is the very right and freedom of conscience to dispense with conscience, to ignore a Lawgiver and Judge, to be independent of unseen obligations. It becomes a licence to take up any or no religion, to take up this or that and let it go again, to go to church, to go to chapel, to boast of being above all religions and to be an impartial critic of each of them. Conscience is a stern monitor, but in this century it has been superseded by a counterfeit, which the eighteen centuries prior to it never heard of, and could not have mistaken for it, if they had. It is the right of self-will….” (Section 5 – Conscience)

5 thoughts on “Cardinal Cupich – “Rights of Conscience”?

  1. E.T. Read your response to me on Anglicanorum Coetibus Society Blog. Seems as if I have been assigned to Moderation Limbo and my musings suppressed. I did not want you to get the wrong impression that I am either unwilling or unable to respond. Should I be set free from what I hope is just a temporary purgatory I will indeed address your post. Fr. Deacon Kevin Kirwan

      • Kevin Kirwan says:
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        March 23, 2018 at 4:57 pm
        E.T. I will be happy to answer your post. I however have two posts still in purgatory which I have a pretty good feeling would be joined by whatever I write to you. I am more than willing to have a lively dialogue. I think it would be interesting and informative for the readership. Of course I am hesitant to make the effort to do so until I believe my labors would at least be aired.

        E.T. as you can see this post and a couple others are awaiting moderation. I can tell you are a serious and godly young man. My personal e-mail is I would be more than happy to correspond with you on a personal basis. Please contact me and I will send you a book I wrote over ten years ago which may or may not give you something to chew or at least consider?

        Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Catholicism are really the only two options available to a world headed for destruction. I may be able to give a good defense for the better option being Orthodox Catholicism…maybe not? Fr. Deacon Kevin

  2. Pingback: Catholic Tractarian

  3. Pingback: Unveiling The New Paradigm: How Cupich, Wuerl, Bergoglio, Schönborn, Marx, and Co. Dont Need to Change Doctrine | Erick Ybarra – Tractatus Adversus Haereses

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