Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cardinal Erdo and Blessed John Paul on surveys

Cardinal Erdo, Relator of the Extraordinary Synod Bishops on the Family, has given an interview to CNS (see the video above.)

He makes the point that the consultation was addressed directly to Bishops' Conferences but also to individual Bishops - and that they have the responsibility of consulting the Church entrusted to their pastoral care. He also makes it clear that this is not a survey of public opinion as though we might make the message of the Gospel or the magisterium of the Church depend on an opinion survey.

Many thanks to a correspondent for drawing my attention to a quotation from Blessed John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio. He speaks of the supernatural sense of faith in evangelical discernment but then says:
The "supernatural sense of faith" however does not consist solely or necessarily in the consensus of the faithful. Following Christ, the Church seeks the truth, which is not always the same as the majority opinion. She listens to conscience and not to power, and in this way she defends the poor and the downtrodden. The Church values sociological and statistical research, when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth. Such research alone, however, is not to be considered in itself an expression of the sense of faith. (Familiaris Consortio n.5)
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