Good morning father,
I thank you for the time you spend for the rubric.
I have been asked the following questions about the ignorance of moral truth but I don’t know the answer.
Maybe they are misleading.
I wrote misleading because I can’t judge the intention for which they were put to me.
Maybe with those questions they wanted to undermine my faith.
If someone lives in ignorance about a certain topic, relating to our faith, must he seek the truth even if he suspects that he won’t follow it?
I don’t mean the case where someone should be teached. I am mainly referring to the case where someone who lives in ignorance should anyhow try to learn what he does not know, even though he fears he won’t be really able to change himself accordingly.
How to deal with such a case?
I entrust you affectionately to the Lord.
1. This is the answer in brief:
in the first case, if you know the interlocutor won’t be able to observe the moral norm, you will try to instruct him gradually.
If you Do not reveal all the moral norms immediately it is an act of charity towards him because if you are sure he will persevere in his error the situation could be aggravated as his behaviour would make it worse by ignoring the awareness he would have otherwise reached.
2. Therefore, he is left materially in error and yet with the will to reveal the whole truth to him little by little.
Having the concern to tell him the whole truth is an act of charity because moral evil is not simply an infringement of a law that is external to us, so if you get away with it all the better like when you don’t get a fine even though you have been wrong.
The moral law is internal to us, it is written in our very nature.
So leaving him in error means to let him get hurt more and more . This obviously cannot be considered as charity.
3. “Gradually” means always telling him what is true and never what is false.
However, while he is told the truth, he is also offered all the means and aids to be able to conform.
First of all those of grace, which is granted to us in the ordinary way by the sacraments.
4. Remember the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.” (CCC1793)
5. In the second case it is a person who is afraid of knowing the truth because he knows he will not be able to observe it. And therefore he prefers to remain in ignorance.
This ignorance in theology is called affected, because it is willed
This kind of ignorance is guilty, sinful.
6. Furthermore, it can never be said that God’s law is impossible to be observed and superior to man’s strength, especially if he allows himself to be helped by grace.
It would be blasphemous to say so.
7. The ignorance that proceeds from a precise choice of not wanting to know the moral norm “to sin with more freedom” is said to be affected (Sum theological, I-II, 76, 3).
It is always guilty and it never excuses.
I thank you for entrusting me to Lord, I entrust you to God too. I wish you all the best and I bless you.
translated by Emanuele Menchiari