Sensus fidelium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The concept of sensus fidelium (also referred to as sensus fidei fidelium, and related to sensus fidei fidelis, which is also called sensus fidei or sensum fidei) in Roman Catholic teachings can be implicitly traced back to the early Fathers of the Church. In literal terms, sensus fidelium simply means the “sense of the faithful” and refers to doctrinal truth recognised (sensed) by the whole body of the faithful. Note that sensus fidei by itself as commonly used in theological dialogue, which literally means the “sense of the faith”, refers to this understanding as belonging to the individual believer within the community of the faithful.[1]

While most Catholic doctrines and theological teachings either originate in scripture or are established by the higher levels of the Church hierarchy, sensus fidelium works from the ground up, from the beliefs of the masses of the faithful, not only as understood through the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible, but also as inspired by the Holy Spirit, which guides the faithful at large within the framework of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that:

Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word.[2]

But sensus fidelium is not a basis for a democratic approach to determining the teachings of the Holy See. It stipulates that the concepts involved must be viewed under the guidance of the Magisterium. However, in his letter to the 1998 Inquisition Symposium, Pope John Paul II suggested that sensus fidei may also be used in the other direction, i.e. to reflect on the past actions of the Magisterium. He stated that:

One must appeal to the “sensus fidei” to find the criteria for a just judgment on the past of the life of the Church.[3]

The pontiff then referred to the freedoms provided in the context of Dignitatis Humanae, stating that: “The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it wins over the mind with both gentleness and power.”

Some theologians have commented critically on the Church’s failure to effectively listen to the sensum fidei, such as Donal Dorr, who has also noted a western and ethnocentric leaning in Catholic social teaching.[4] There are opposing theologians, such as George Weigel, who believe that Catholic social doctrine is emerging as more liberal and attentive to this tendency in the community of the faithful.[5]

A key example of the recent use of sensus fidelium was the development of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as defined by Pope Pius IX. It came about not so much because of proofs in scripture or ancient tradition, but due to a sensus fidelium shared by the faithful and the Magisterium.[6] The Vatican quotes in this context the encyclical Fulgens Corona, where Pope Pius XII supported such a faith:

If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?[7]

A related term is sensus Ecclesiæ’, or sense of the Church.


An excellent brief article on the sensus fidelium appeared on the LaSalette Blog by Paul Anthony Melanson:

Monday, January 23, 2006

A proper understanding of the sensus fidelium

What do we mean by the sensus fidelium? For an understanding of this concept, we need look no further than to my good friend Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. In The Catholic Catechism – A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church, Fr. Hardon explains that:

“Those who believe, and insofar as they believe, are one community not only or mainly because they subjectively believe but because what they believe is objectively true, indeed is the Truth that became man and dwelled among us. Against this background, it is easier to see what universal agreement among the faithful must mean. They are faithful insofar as they are agreed on the truth, where the source of their agreement is not a semantic use of the name ‘Christian’ or ‘Catholic,’ but the deeply interior adherence to what God has revealed.

Consequently, whether they realize it or not, all who agree on the revealed truth, under the guidance of the sacred magisterium, belong to the faithful. Their agreement on the truth and allegiance to the magisterium gives them universality, i.e., spiritual unity. The truth interiorly possessed gives them consensus, and not the other way around, as though their consensus on some doctrine made it true.” (pp. 226-227).

There are those within the Church, however, who would appeal to the sensus fidelium in an attempt to justify dissent. Their argument is that if a significant portion of those who identify themselves as Catholics hold or adhere to a dissenting opinion, the Holy Father and Bishops should submit their minds and wills to that group’s opinion. In other words, such people would have us believe that the sensus fidelium is something independent of the Magisterium.

But such an attitude is in direct opposition to the teaching of Vatican II:

“The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One (cf. Jn 2:20, 27), cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole people’s supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the People of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the Word of God (cf. 1 Thes. 2:13). Through it, the People of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints (cf. Jude 3), penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life.” (Lumen Gentium, No. 12; citing St. Augustine, De Praed. Sanct. 14, 27:PL 44, 980).

Moreover, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, had this to say:

“Although theological faith as such then cannot err, the believer can still have erroneous opinions since all his thoughts do not spring from faith. Not all the ideas which circulate among the People of God are compatible with the faith. This is all the more so given that people can be swayed by a public opinion influenced by modern communications media” (No. 35).

Those who attempt to justify their dissent by referring to the sensus fidelium would do well to meditate upon these passages as well as Lumen Gentium, No. 25.

posted by Paul Anthony Melanson at 8:01 AM


Funeral Rites Should be Denied to Publicly Pro-Abort Catholics: Vatican Official

Says Catholics also “should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names”

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 21, 2009 ( – In an address to’s 14th Annual Partnership Dinner Friday evening, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, said that funeral rites should not be given to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He also defended the duty of Catholics to speak in charity against the scandal caused by such figures.

The archbishop said that, while “we must speak the truth in charity,” Catholics also “should have the courage to look truth in the eye and call things by their common names.”

“It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself in this manner,” he told the crowd of about 200 guests.

Burke hammered home his message of the need for fidelity to Church teaching on the part of Catholics in politics in his 50-minute speech. The archbishop, known for his unwavering and vocal defense of the Church’s teachings on life and family issues, was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of his address.

In what appeared to be a reference to the Kennedy funeral scandal, Burke said that “neither Holy Communion nor funeral rites should be administered to” politicians who support abortion or same-sex “marriage.”  “To deny these is not a judgment of the soul, but a recognition of the scandal and its effects,” he said.

Burke said that when a politician is associated “with greatly sinful acts about fundamental questions like abortion and marriage, his repentance must also be public.”

“Anyone who grasps the gravity of what he has done will understand the need to make it public,” said Burke.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, a staunch abortion and same-sex “marriage” supporter, was laid to rest in a highly publicized and laudatory Catholic funeral ceremony in Boston on August 29.  Catholic pro-life leaders had pleaded with Cardinal Sean O’Malley not to allow the public ceremony, but the cardinal ultimately presided over the rites.  In turn, other leaders in the Catholic community, most notably Fr. Thomas Rosica, the CEO of Canada’s Salt & Light television network, lambasted the pro-life response to the funeral as uncharitable.

About the pro-life leaders and activists who expressed concern about Kennedy’s funeral, Rosica wrote on his blog, “many so-called lovers of life and activists in the pro-life movement, as well as well-known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America, have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

Burke, however, defended those who spoke out against such scandal, pointing out that unity within the Church is ultimately based upon the truth.

“The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth in love,” he said.  “This does not destroy unity but helps to repair a breach in the life of the Church.”


Father Roger Landry, Editor of the Fall River Diocese diocesan newspaper had an excellent editorial in the September 11, 2009 edition of that newspaper.  His editorial and the comments which appeared on the Blog where it has been publshed together constitute another expression of the sensus fidelium on the subject of the impotence of the hierarchy in the United States to curb the spread of public dissent by Catholic pro-abortion politicians.



Success of Bishops with Pro-abort Catholics

[Editor’s Note: the following editorial, written by Father Roger Landry, appeared in the September 11 edition of The Anchor from the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts.]

Last week, our editorial argued that one of the most important lessons pastors of the Church in the United States need to draw from the history of interactions with Senator Ted Kennedy on the sanctity of human life is that a strategy of conscience-education-alone with “personally opposed, publicly pro-choice” Catholic politicians hasn’t worked. The attempt to engage, teach and help persuade such politicians to conversion didn’t succeed with Senator Kennedy and it hasn’t succeeded yet with other pro-choice Catholic legislators.

To say that it hasn’t succeeded, however, is really not strong enough. It’s possible, after all, to fail a test with a grade of 59; in such a case a student would be able to take some solace that, while there are some areas in need of improvement, he was close to minimal success. If a student fails a test with close to a zero, on the other hand, he obviously needs to make some radical changes if he ever hopes to succeed. And that is closer to the candid assessment that leaders of the Church need to make relative to the education-alone strategy during the past few decades.

Let us take an honest look at the numbers. When we survey the long list of pro-choice Catholic politicians from both parties — Kennedy, Kerry, Giuliani, Schwarzenegger, Daschle, Dodd, Durban, Leahy, Mikulski, Pelosi, Delahunt, Capuano, Markey, McGovern, Meehan, Granholm, Sebelius, Pataki, Richardson, Cellucci, Cuomo, and Biden to name just a handful — is it possible to say that the strategy has worked with any of them? Over the last three and a half decades, can we point to even one success story?

Another way to assess the results of the education-alone strategy is to measure the direction that pro-choice Catholic politicians have moved over the years. Even if they haven’t experienced a total conversion, have they moved closer toward limiting abortions or toward making abortions easier to access? The facts show that the vast majority of personally opposed, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators have become far less personally opposed and far more publicly in favor over the duration of the strategy.

In the initial years after Roe vs. Wade, publicly pro-choice Catholic legislators generally whispered their support for abortion. They displayed a palpable sense of shame, letting their abortion position out just enough so that it wouldn’t cost them the votes of abortion supporters. That discomfort began to dissipate after Governor Mario Cuomo’s 1984 pro-choice defense at Notre Dame. We’ve now come to a situation when pro-choice Catholic legislators vigorously curry the favor of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Emily’s List; scores of Catholics in Congress have the chutzpah to co-sponsor the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate almost every abortion restriction ever passed at the federal or state level; and 16 out of 25 Catholic Senators vote against conscience protections to prevent their fellow Catholics in the medical field from being forced to participate in abortions and sterilizations.

After looking at these facts, it seems clear that the education-alone strategy has failed even to deter many Catholics in Congress from becoming among the most radical supporters, defenders, and would-be public-funders of abortion on Capitol Hill.

Why has the education-alone strategy been such a colossal failure? There are several reasons, but one of the most important, and least noted, is that it shares many of the same flawed approaches as the “personally opposed, publicly pro-choice” position it seeks to remedy.

Today there are many “personally opposed, publicly pro-choice” Catholic legislators for whom this phrase seems to be just an empty slogan, because they give almost no evidence that they even have any personal opposition toward abortion. At least initially, however, there were some who sincerely held that irreconcilable position. These public figures had a deep personal repugnance for abortion but, for various reasons, were uncomfortable voting in favor of any laws that would prevent others from doing what they themselves maintain they would never personally do. Many hoped that women would not choose to abort their unborn sons or daughters. Some even spoke out on why they thought abortion was wrong and supported educational endeavors to help women in difficult pregnancies learn about fetal development.

No matter how much some politicians stressed education in the early days, however, it was trumped by the educational value and power of the law. The law taught forcefully that there was nothing wrong with abortion as long as a mother, and a mother alone, deemed it desirable for her physical or mental health. Even though the politicians held offices in which they could work to change what the law itself teaches about the morality of abortion, they did not exercise them; and even though they professionally were accustomed, in every piece of legislation, to imposing some notion of the good on those who disagree with them, with regard to the issue of abortion they left everything to the judgment, ill-informed or not, of the conscience of the mother. The essence of their position has been that, no matter how wrong they know abortion to be, the mother should have the right to do that wrong — a lethal, permanent wrong to her unborn child. They give the ill-informed conscience of the potential wrongdoer greater weight than the truth about abortion, the life of the unborn child, and the soul and psyche of the soon-to-be-forever-wounded mother combined.

When we examine the education-alone approach of pastors with respect to pro-choice politicians, we see that it has basically become a personally opposed, publicly pro-choice position as well. There’s obviously a clear personal repugnance on the part of pastors to the pro-choice Catholic politicians’ separation between faith and moral action, schizophrenia between private and public personality, and lip service to the Church’s teachings. Many pastors have sought to exercise their teaching office, stating forthrightly what abortion is and what the responsibilities of all legislators are with respect to it. All of their teaching, however, has been trumped by the weightier educational value of the de facto “law” that has left everything to the conscience, however ill-informed, of the pro-choice Catholic politicians. These men and women have learned over time that, regardless of what canon law says, they are at liberty to ignore the Church’s teachings on life. Even though the U.S. bishops have taught with one voice that pro-choice Catholic legislators should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, if they pay no heed to that teaching and present themselves anyway, they have observed that in practice they will almost never be denied. With Senator Kennedy’s funeral, they have now grasped that even a 100% pro-abortion voting record will not only not prevent them from having a Catholic funeral, but will not even stop them from receiving possibly one of the most publicly panegyrical Catholic funerals in U.S. history.

The upshot — these smart men and women have concluded — is that the Church’s practice is essentially “pro-choice” with respect to “pro-choice” Catholic politicians. The politicians’ own determination in conscience, erroneous or not, is given greater weight than, combined, the truth proclaimed by the Church, the duty to protect the politicians’ souls from a potentially mortal wound, and the responsibility to do all that is possible according to one’s office to try to stop the killing. The education-alone approach has failed for the same reason that the personally opposed, publicly pro-choice position has led to massive abortion on demand: the nature of sin is that the easier it is to commit, and the fewer the consequences for doing it, the more sin we’ll have.

Jesus spoke of a different way in the Gospel (Mt 18:15-18). It involves not merely general educational statements that we hope offenders will apply to themselves in conscience, but the type of one-on-one instruction traditionally called fraternal correction. If that fails, and fails repeatedly, Jesus enjoined us to regard the offender as someone who no longer belongs to the community, who is no longer a member in good standing. This may seem harsh, but we should remember that Jesus always seeks nothing but the best for his Church and for individual sinners, even obstinate sinners. Implied in Jesus’ strategy is that education involves not just information, but formation, and that you can’t form disciples without discipline. This is a lesson that, after four decades of the undeniable failure of another approach, we need to consider anew.


Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 12:06 AM By Central Valley
What have the California bishops done except pose for photo ops with pro abort politicians and activists at the concrete cathedral in LA. Has anyone found a link yet between ACORN and the California Bishops Conference?

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 5:24 AM By St. Christopher
Shunning. This is what is called for. Just think of it — the Church really stands for the practice of being “pro-choice” if you are a “pro-choice politician (or celebrity).” More basic, however, is the message that the Church, as run by the present group of bishops, is little more than a political organization, rather than a religious one. Stop the consent. Say “no”, I do not consent to being politically led by an episcopacy that produces leadership like Cardinal O’Malley and his ilk. Stop contributing to them; stop granting them attention; publicly critisize these robbers. There are many ways to worship, consistent with the Catholic faith and in fidelity to the Pope. Remember, the Catholic Church in America is where these people want it to — Pro-abortion President Obama leading young Notre Dame graduates, many, many “Catholic” leaders thumbing their noses at the Church’s teachings, many women religious saying that they are going “beyond Christ” and then pretending that this makes them holy. What utter nonsense and moral rubbish. Don’t consent, and say it out loud.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 7:22 AM By Doug in Charleston
These “self-dubbed” and once baptized catholics whom refuse to abide by all ancient Roman Catholic Church teaching, doctrine, law, and practices, are fully aware of what they are doing defying God. They are hypocrits calling themselves Roman Catholic. They have been given opportunities time and again to publicly or privately confess their wrong-doing and in amending their lives. Their pride, that which flows from the devil, keeps them from believing with their whole heart and soul the teachings, doctrine, laws, and practices of Holy Mother the Church; therefore we only fool ourselves of letting them believe or self-dub themselves as catholics. It is time that they be excommunicated, and if these zombies should decide to sincerely confess their evils, repent sorrowfully, and amend their evil lives then the Church should welcome them back into the fold. Read some of St Paul’s Epistle’s in a true version of the New Testament, the old fashioned Duoay-Rhiems Bible. He describes what we shoulld do. May God Bless you all to have a holy weekend and I invite you to attend a holy Tridentine Latin Mass this weekend. You will receive more Sanctifying Grace than you will ever know! It will open up your Catholic eyes again to see the Light.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 7:42 AM By John
The priestly class has always shielded the royal class (those with the gold and power). Not until the Faithful demand that their errant bishop resigns will there be any true shepherding.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 9:39 AM By Barbara
It all goes back to Vatican II. Before that such nonsense would not have been tolerated. What pope since then has used his authority over errant bishops?

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 10:24 AM By The Truth Hurts
“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the Truth be your delight…proclaim it…but with a certain congeniality”-St Catherine of Siena. St. Louis de Montefort wrote in True Devotion to Mary pages 25-27 #47-48 “I have said that this time would come to pass, particularly at the end of the world* {*end of a time} and indeed presently, because the Most High with His holy Mother has to form for Himself great saints who shall surpass most of the other saints in sanctity as much as the cedars of Lebanon outgrow the little shrubs. These great souls, full of grace and zeal, shall be chosen to match themselves against the enemies of God, who shall rage on all sides and they shall be singularly devout to our Blessed Lady, illuminated by her light, strengthened with her nourishment, led by her spirit, supported by her arm and sheltered under her spirit and sheltered under her protection, so that they shall fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they shall fight, overthrow and crush the heretics with their heresies, the schismatic’s with ther schisms, the idolaters with their idolatries and the sinners with their impieties…By their words and their examples they shall draw the whole world to true devotion to Mary. This shall bring upon them many enemies, but shall also bring many victories and much glory for God alone.”

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 10:36 AM By Gene
Our bishops have neglected their primary function; to teach and spread the true Catholic faith. Sadly they seem to go out of their way to sidestep the pro abortion Catholic politicos. It seems the USCCB is too interested in good press from the secular media and do not want to appear “too militant” God forbid they ever join the Church Militant. They seem very happy in the Wimp corner.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 10:40 AM By garvan
I wonder if any of those errant “Catholic” politicians would have been converted had their bishops laid it out on the line that they were on the wide road to hell. But that would have been “judgmental”, wouldn’t it?

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 11:22 AM By Anne T.
We need to start giving ONLY to pro-life organizations, businesess, bishops, priests and politicians. I know it is hard, I have been careless at times, but that is the answer.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 1:46 PM By russell e. snow PhD
I think is it simpler than we make it. There are really two Catholic Churches in the US: the American Catholic Church and the Catholic Church in a America. The Catholic politicians are members of the American Catholic Church, which gives them a pass on abortion, especially if they have a good record on other social issues. The American Catholic Church, of which most bishops are members, actually believes in universal salvation, but they cannot openly teach it, because they are not ready to break with Rome officially. They already have de facto. The actual split may be coming.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 1:47 PM By MarkF
All, can I just ask a few questions? Does anyone here not support Archbishop Chaput of Denver? I exchanged several e-mails with him about the question of refusing communion to politicians who support ant-Catholic laws, i.e., abortion, same-sex “marriage.” He said that he tells these people that they are not disposed to receive communion but leaves it up their conscience to abstain or not. I totally agree with Fr. Landry that this strategy has not changed any hearts and is equivalent to a pro-choice stance, but…can’t we give Archbishop Chaput’s method some respect? Can’t we at least think that he knows more than we do on this matter? I suspect that what the bishops are worried about starting a conflict in the Church, and start us down a path where there is no end in site. Maybe if we start to deny communion to politicians who support abortion and same-sex “marriage”, we will end up denying communion to those who are against charging abortionists and the women who get them with murder, or deny communion to those who don’t support making homosexual behavior legal. I don’t know about this at all…I really am upset by the seeming paralysis in the Church. Perhaps the real solution is good catechesis and time. These old sixties radicals will be gone in twenty years or so and as we’ve seen, they don’t reproduce.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 3:11 PM By Dave N.
Even the bishops that complain (e.g. Bp. D’Arcy and the Notre Dame scandal) are “all full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” They don’t want to back up what they say with concrete action.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 3:41 PM By Anne T.
The pro-abortion politician is not so smart because even though he/she thinks he/she is getting away with it, none of us gets away with anything. God sees it all.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 3:52 PM By Rick Gibson
I think we all know what the problem is: the American Church is internally divided on the question. The Notre Dame/Obama incident was the clearest recent example of this. Large parts of the American Church either flatly disagree with the pro-life position, or are not willing to break ranks with political liberals over the issue. I think it is kind of silly to expect Catholic elected officials to lead on this issue, when institutions like Notre Dame refuse to do so. The Church needs to speak with one voice. What we need is for the hierarchy to discipline those who hold leadership positions in the Church, yet undermine its teachings. We need to move past statements, such as the bishops made about Notre Dame, and move on actions, such as asking the Father President of Notre Dame to reconsider either his position on abortion or his membership in the Church.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 4:05 PM By John F. Maguire
The editor’s phrase “pro-abort Catholics” is faulty. (1) The (peculiar) word “pro-abort” can never properly be used to predicate the term Catholic because no one can ever be a “pro-abort” QUA Catholic. (2) The same holds true for the predicate *abortocratic*. The word *abortocratic* can never properly be used to predicate the term Catholic because no one can ever be an abortocratic Catholic qua Catholic. Put obversely: It is only SELF-CONTRADICTORY Catholics who, because they deny the equal status of preborn infants before the law, can be called abortocrats. (3) Withal, the word “pro-abort” remains a peculiarity. Sister Act is right to challenge its very formation. We do not say of a gambler that he is “a pro-gamble” — why should we say of an abortocrat that he is “a pro-abort”? Just as we already have the word gambler for gamblers, so we already have the word abortocrat for abortocrats. (4) This article lists the usual suspects, but these persons are not abortocratic Catholics AS Catholics; they are abortocratic Catholics AS self-contradictory Catholics.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 5:01 PM By Leonard
Why do you think so many genuinely true practicing Catholics don’t support their bishop’s agenda? The Bishops did not handle the sexual scandals well and they still are active in a cover-up. Many bishops are not pro-life by what they don’t say and what they don’t teach. Needles to say I believe this is why so many good Catholics don’t financially support their parish and bishop.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 5:33 PM By Dad
This makes me SICK! When are the church leader going to actually promote God’s laws? The heretic pseudo-Catholics have gotten away with their hypocrisy for too long! They gain tremendous advantages by claiming to be Catholic; yet, they do NOT promote Catholic values! ALL church leaders have a obligation to God to STOP this heresy! These phony Catholics do NOT deserve to abuse their association with the church! In times past, they would have been tortured for their behavior! I REFUSE to give ONE DIME to the bishop’s fund until he stops supporting Richardson…And I’ve told him WHY! ALL that they understand is money! Well, until they start acting like Catholic leaders, they do NOT deserve our money! It is SICK that it has some to this! Jesus weeps!

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 5:48 PM By John Cullen
Wow! This editorial should be read by every bishop in the United States!

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 5:48 PM By Elizabeth
They all need to be spoken to by their home Bishop as AB Burke did confidentially. Then the politician is given time to re-think and fully return to the Church………… If not, they are not allowed to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of OUR LORD. However, in the case of those politicians who are in Washington D.C. I understand that there has to be a mutal agreement with the Bishop of Washington D.C. where the politician stays alot during the year and the politicians home Bishop! And I say if they persist and because they are so public in their promulgating and voting for abortion, same sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research………EXCOMMUNICATE THEM!!!!!!!! It is for their soul and the souls of everyone involved, including the people in the pews.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 6:12 PM By Dan
Reading snippets of Charles Rice on Notre Dame, I get the feeling that the princes of the Church love, as John (7:42am) says, the “royal class” and enjoy the feelings of power and trappings of success, more than the cross. And the cross is what any bishop will get if he offends the royal class. Deep down, I don’t think our bishops think Catholic pro-abort pols are in danger of hell. Maybe a few extra days in purgatory, but hey– most of us are going there anyway. So what’s the beef? In the larger scheme of things, I wonder if Dies Irae has any meaning for the Church, at least in the West.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 6:28 PM By Suzanne
There is a shameful link between the archdiocese of Chgo. and ACORN to answer the first commenter. They provided funds for ACORN on the south side. It is obscene and disgusting that our Church would be involved with such corrupt people.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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