.- The director of the Holy Seeâs Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said in Madrid this week that when legislators approve norms that âgo against natural law and common sense,â 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, âthe first victim is the legislator, because he loses his authority and opens the doorâ 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 âthe highest guide for a personâs conduct is his conscience, and it is inviolable and cannot be violated by another that is of lower rank such as positive law.â
âWhoever acts against his conscience abdicates himself,â he continued, and that is the source of the âproblem of formal conscience,â which must be based âon the truth and not on opinions.â Otherwise, âthere is confusion between rights, which are in accord with the nature of the human person, and desires and whims.â