I would say, when we are speaking of a man of conscience, we mean one who looks at things this way. A man of conscience is one who never acquires tolerance, well-being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion at the expense of truth.
Thus, two standards become apparent for ascertaining the presence of a real voice of conscience. First, conscience is not identical to personal wishes and taste. Second, conscience cannot be reduced to social advantage, to group consensus, or to the demands of political and social power.
—from On Conscience, a collection of two essays by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVII) – from the first essay Conscience and Truth which was the keynote address of the Tenth Bishops’ Workshop of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, on “Catholic Conscience: Foundation and Formation,” February 1991