.- The director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said in Madrid this week that when legislators approve norms that “go against natural law and common sense,” they deprive themselves of authority. With likely approval of same-sex unions by the Spanish House of Representatives just days away, the Vatican spokesman said that in these cases, “the first victim is the legislator, because he loses his authority and opens the door” to licit protests such as conscientious objection.
Navarro-Valls was in Spain to receive an honorary doctorate from the Cardinal Herrera University, together with the 1997 Nobel Prize for Medicine recipient, Stanley B. Prusiner.
Although he clarified he was not speaking for the Vatican, Navarro-Valls said that “the highest guide for a person’s conduct is his conscience, and it is inviolable and cannot be violated by another that is of lower rank such as positive law.”
“Whoever acts against his conscience abdicates himself,” he continued, and that is the source of the “problem of formal conscience,” which must be based “on the truth and not on opinions.” Otherwise, “there is confusion between rights, which are in accord with the nature of the human person, and desires and whims.”