The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 23, Issue 4, Winter 2023

The Thirtieth Anniversary of Veritatis Splendor

Matthew K. Minerd
Pages 615-636

What You Don’t Know Can Still Harm You
Memory and Docility as Virtues for Forming an Unformed Conscience

What are the virtues of a well-formed conscience? Thomists consider conscience a matter of practical judgment, which leaves a malformed conscience susceptible to an inability to tell good from evil. Often, this malformed conscience is the effect of laziness, vice, or our own moral ignorance. To ensure a well-formed conscience, one needs all the moral virtues provided by Christ. This article focuses on two of those virtues—memory and docility—and extolls their importance in overcoming moral ignorance.