Sunday, June 08, 2008

On the "sensus fidelium"

Derek Remus explains the real nature of the "sensus fidelium" as it pertains to Humanae Vitae:

The sense of the faithful does not refer to a non-existent authority of the majority of Catholics to make a certain doctrine true simply because of their consensus concerning that doctrine.

Rather, it refers to the "universal agreement in matters of faith and morals" that exists among the faithful as a consequence of the faithful's adherence to divine revelation as interpreted by the Successor of St. Peter and the bishops in union with him.


[T]he universal agreement of the faithful in faith and morals must be understood as an agreement where the faithful are "joined together." Joined together in what? In their adherence to the truth that God has revealed and that is interpreted by the Magisterium. It is truth that creates universal agreement, not universal agreement that determines truth.


The widespread rebellion of Catholics against Humanae Vitae, therefore, is not the supernatural sense of the faithful at all, for it does not stem from adherence to the truth of divine revelation. On the contrary, it is disobedience to that truth.

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