Don't exclude us.
A good beginning to understanding sensus fidelium is not with a convention of present-day theologians (NCR, July 3-16), but go back to Cardinal John Henry Newman, who coined the word in the first place. He pointed out the church is three parts--magisterium; theologians, be they ordained or not; and the rest of us, the sensus fidelium. Yes, we the folks are equally included, but always excluded by the other two parts up until the Second Vatican Council.
The media always asks, what does the church say? They want to know what the pope or the bishops say. They are the magisterium and for centuries have had all the answers. Well, not anymore. The sensus fidelium, we the people, have our own answers and the magisterium and the bishops best include us. The best way is through assemblies and dialogue sessions with all three parts co-equally gathered, and through synods.
(Fr.) BILL BRUNNER, SSC Jefferson City, Iowa