The sensus fidelium

The secular media by focusing on the sex abuse particulars are missing the deeper story laid out in Hans Kung’s letter making waves across the Catholic world. KUng’s  letter to the bishops is a comprehensive catalogue of the failed attempt to reverse the democratic gains of the Vatican Council

That story is the adamantine refusal of the institutional church to understand the new moment (begun with Vatican ll) of the changed relationship between the People of God and the clerical caste. It is a case of power relationships deeply embedded in an ancient structure which is clerically dominated, hierarchic and patriarchal. This culture of secrecy will take decades to reverse.The present situation of the institutional church may have to get worse befpre ot gets better.

Bishops chosen by Rome by secretive processes have been imposed on dioceses to teach what headquarters deem as orthodoxy but not to listen or facilitate any serious dialogue bubbling up from the lived experience of the people.

The New Catholic Times:Sensus Fidelium ( is the online necessary attempt to renew the Catholic Church and respond to the ever present promptings of God’s Holy Spirit as she emerges in our generation. This is  a virtual impossibility without the full and critical participation of the baptized. This Church principle is called the Sensus Fidelium. The late Holy Father, Pope John Paul ll alluded to this sacred principle in the last months of 2004.

He gave these instructions to the U.S. Bishops:

An appreciation of the distinct gifts and apostolate of  the laity will naturally lead to a strengthened commitment to fostering among the laity a sense of shared responsibility for the life and mission of the Church,”

“Certainly this will involve a conscious effort on the part of each bishop to develop, within his particular Church,structures of communion and participation which make it possible… to listen to the Spirit who lives and speaks in the faithful,”

Can it be more clearer than that?

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