Recently that falsely branded newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, had the audacity to call on the Church to correct its “unjust teaching” on the subject of the ordination of women.
In making this demand the National Catholic Reporter stated that: “Our message is that we believe the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale; therefore, women should be ordained. We have heard the faithful assent to this in countless conversations in parish halls, lecture halls and family gatherings. It has been studied and prayed over individually and in groups.”
It was however interesting to read what Pope Benedict XVI had to say about the sensus fidelium in his message to the International Theological Commission at the conclusion of their Plenary Assembly. Here is an extract from the pope’s message:
“Today, however, it is particularly important to clarify the criteria used to distinguish the authentic sensus fidelium from its counterfeits. In fact, it is not some kind of public opinion of the Church, and it is unthinkable to mention it in order to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, this is because the sensus fidei can not grow authentically in the believer except to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the life of the Church, and this requires a responsible adherence to her Magisterium.”
I think it is abundantly clear that the National Catholic Reporter is really clueless on the subject of the sensus fidelium and probably many other subjects too. It would therefore be wise if this newspaper decided to stick to simply reporting only factual news and avoided offering their opinions to the Church.
The full text of the pope’s message is available here.