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The International Theological Commission (ITC) has released a study on the Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church, exploring the relationship between the sense of the faithful and the guidance of the teaching magisterium.

The sensus fidei-- the sense of the faithful—refers to “the personal capacity of the believer, within the communion of the Church, to discern the truth of faith,” the ITC document explains. That sense, the commission says, “is a vital resource for the new evangelization.”

Tracing the development of the Church’s understanding of the sensus fidei from the Scriptures and Church fathers through the 20th century, the ITC emphasizes that this “spiritual instinct” is a gift of faith, and as such it is strengthened by prayer and active participation in the life of the Church.

While faithful Catholics have a natural instinct for the truths of the faith, the ITC says, the magisterium exists to test and guide those instincts. Acknowledging that at times the faithful may find it difficult to accept certain Church teachings, the document argues that the gift of faith, which gives rise to the sensus fidei, will impel loyal Catholics to seek a better understanding:


The faithful must reflect on the teaching that has been given, making every effort to understand and accept it. Resistance, as a matter of principle, to the teaching of the magisterium is incompatible with the authentic sensus fidei.

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/head...ryid=21927

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congre...ei_en.html



How are the faithful supposed to "discern the truth of the faith" when they're not taught it in the first place? Until and unless something is done about catechesis -- RCIA, religious formation in Catholic schools, sermons with some meat -- all of these studies and committees are a waste of time.

If I were king of the forest, I'd have a top-down -- from the Vatican, expected to be followed in all dioceses -- RCIA program that teaches not only the dogmas and doctrines, but also the "how-tos" of the faith (basically, I'd beef up FE and turn it into an RCIA program). Then I'd take the same materials and break things down for schools.  I'd have RCIA programs offered the way they are now -- in parish basements and such -- but also offer classes over the internet and through snail-mail home study.

I see big problems with the present way of doing things for a number of reasons:  1)  the way things are done now, a renegade RCIA instructor can teach bullcrap and get away with it; there's no consistency, 2) the fact that, in a given parish, RCIA classes are offered once a week for however many weeks, on the same day each week, makes it pretty hard for someone who works during those times to attend (and someone like me, with no car, might be SOL, too), 3) any sort of class open to everyone tends to get geared toward the "lowest common denominator," intellectually speaking. A class can go on for an hour about something a scholarly-type person understood from the first sentence out of the instructor's mouth. Good way to turn off the intellectuals before they even become Catholic.

My RCIA course would also have plenty of footnotes with info about supplementary material the scholarly type can go investigate on his own, too. Or maybe a second, complementary book that contains all that material so it's all in one place. People who want to "go deeper" should totally be encouraged to. At the very least, they shouldn't be bored to death for 20 weeks or however long it takes to get through an RCIA program.

I'd allow the autodidacts to be baptized and confirmed by their parish priests outside the Easter season. When they know the Faith, bring 'em in. (I was confirmed by my priest outside of the Easter season, and I was very grateful for that).

I'd also include in my RCIA program information about "The Big Lies" so the new Catholic can defend himself when these things come up:

  a. Protestant arguments against Catholicism
  b. The Crusades
  c. The Spanish Inquisition
  d. Galileo and Science, etc.
  e. the "Hitler's Pope" nonsense
  f. Jewish-Catholic relations
  g. the clergy sexual abuse scandals

No one would walk out of from my RCIA course not having some basic defenses down. No reason to bring folks into the Church only to have them walk away as soon as they see some lying show on the "History" Channel.

We make it way too hard to become Catholic, we don't FEED our catechumens MEAT, and, once Catholic, most folks are hearing sermons that don't teach much of anything. I want Catholics to be dining on metaphorical filet mignon, man!

OK, I'm done dreaming...


(07-07-2014, 06:21 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: [ -> ]How are the faithful supposed to "discern the truth of the faith" when they're not taught it in the first place? Until and unless something is done about catechesis -- RCIA, religious formation in Catholic schools, sermons with some meat -- all of these studies and committees are a waste of time.

If I were king of the forest, I'd have a top-down -- from the Vatican, expected to be followed in all dioceses -- RCIA program that teaches not only the dogmas and doctrines, but also the "how-tos" of the faith (basically, I'd beef up FE and turn it into an RCIA program). Then I'd take the same materials and break things down for schools.  I'd have RCIA programs offered the way they are now -- in parish basements and such -- but also offer classes over the internet and through snail-mail home study.

I see big problems with the present way of doing things for a number of reasons:  1)  the way things are done now, a renegade RCIA instructor can teach bullcrap and get away with it; there's no consistency, 2) the fact that, in a given parish, RCIA classes are offered once a week for however many weeks, on the same day each week, makes it pretty hard for someone who works during those times to attend (and someone like me, with no car, might be SOL, too), 3) any sort of class open to everyone tends to get geared toward the "lowest common denominator," intellectually speaking. A class can go on for an hour about something a scholarly-type person understood from the first sentence out of the instructor's mouth. Good way to turn off the intellectuals before they even become Catholic.

My RCIA course would also have plenty of footnotes with info about supplementary material the scholarly type can go investigate on his own, too. Or maybe a second, complementary book that contains all that material so it's all in one place. People who want to "go deeper" should totally be encouraged to. At the very least, they shouldn't be bored to death for 20 weeks or however long it takes to get through an RCIA program.

I'd allow the autodidacts to be baptized and confirmed by their parish priests outside the Easter season. When they know the Faith, bring 'em in. (I was confirmed by my priest outside of the Easter season, and I was very grateful for that).

I'd also include in my RCIA program information about "The Big Lies" so the new Catholic can defend himself when these things come up:

   a. Protestant arguments against Catholicism
   b. The Crusades
   c. The Spanish Inquisition
   d. Galileo and Science, etc.
   e. the "Hitler's Pope" nonsense
   f. Jewish-Catholic relations
   g. the clergy sexual abuse scandals

No one would walk out of from my RCIA course not having some basic defenses down. No reason to bring folks into the Church only to have them walk away as soon as they see some lying show on the "History" Channel.

We make it way too hard to become Catholic, we don't FEED our catechumens MEAT, and, once Catholic, most folks are hearing sermons that don't teach much of anything. I want Catholics to be dining on metaphorical filet mignon, man!

OK, I'm done dreaming...

Not much else to be said. ^^^^^^^^^
it would be nice if the Pope wrote an encyclical dispelling many of the anti-Catholic myths once and for all.
If he can write and have an opinion on the economy he certainly can defend the Church against historic and modern prejudice.