February 19, 2014
(1Ti 2:1-4) I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men: For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
NCR: With Reforms Unclear, Francis Starts Possible Bellwether Week
In the space of eight days, the pontiff is to:
- hear reports from three groups studying reform of the Vatican's finances;
- welcome cardinals from around the world for a special ceremony adding new members to their ranks; and
- kick off more formal preparations for an October meeting of the world's bishops that could lead to changes in the church's pastoral practices focused on family life.
Francis scheduled the summit last year and took the unusual step of sending bishops around the world a questionnaire for ordinary Catholics to fill out about how they understand and practice church teaching on marriage, sex and other issues related to the family.
The results, at least those reported by bishops in Europe and the United States, have been eye-opening. Bishops themselves reported that the church's core teachings on sexual morals, birth control, homosexuality, marriage and divorce are rejected as unrealistic and outdated by the vast majority of Catholics, who nevertheless said they were active in parish life and considered their faith vitally important.
"On the matter of artificial contraception the responses might be characterized by the saying, 'That train left the station long ago,'" Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, recently wrote on his blog, summarizing his survey's findings. "Catholics have made up their minds and the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) suggests the rejection of church teaching on this subject."
German and Swiss bishops released similar survey results earlier this month. German bishops reported this: "The church's statements on premarital sexual relations, on homosexuality, on those divorced and remarried and on birth control ... are virtually never accepted, or are expressly rejected in the vast majority of cases."
The Swiss bishops went further, saying the church's very mission was being threatened by its insistence on such directives.
BISHOP ROBERT LYNCH BLOG LINK: http://bishopsblog.dosp.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL SURVEY RESULTS: http://home.
POPE BENEDICT: This gift, the sensus fidei, constitutes in the believer a kind of supernatural instinct that has a connatural life with the same object of faith. It is a criterion for discerning whether or not a truth belongs to the deposit of the living apostolic tradition. It also has a propositional value because the Holy Spirit does not cease to speak to the Churches and lead them to the whole truth. 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 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.
POPE FRANCIS: The Pope said the Magisterium, the Church’s teaching authority, has the “duty to pay attention to what the Spirit tells the church through authentic manifestations of the ‘sense of the faithful’.”
But he told the theologians this sense “must not be confused with the sociological reality of majority opinion. That is something else. It is therefore important, and it is your task, to elaborate the criteria that permit discernment of authentic expressions of the ‘sense of the faithful.’”
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Fortitude
11. Mathois said, 'I like to find some light but continual work, rather than a heavy work that is quickly finished.'
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