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Williams, a Catholic priest, ethicist and CBS News Vatican analyst, challenges the popular notion that conscience is always an inerrant guide in this thoughtful look at a timely topic. Proposing that conscience recognizes, but does not determine, good and evil, Williams dissects its role, showing how conscience is "formed" and can even be corrupted. Although he holds that conscience is deserving of respect as that place where a person is alone with God, he says it does not automatically respond correctly and is in need of training through prayer and moral education. Such instruction, he writes, is to be found in the Bible and natural law as well as in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Williams says consciences must be evaluated regularly and offers practical steps to conduct periodic self-tests. He deals with conscientious objection and its application as well. Readers willing to accept or consider the book's basis in Catholic teaching will find this to be an excellent guide for dealing with the panoply of moral choices presented by contemporary culture. (Sept. 18)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.