Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Humanae Vitae and the "Sensus Fidelium"

On the occasion of Rick's post, interested MOJ readers may want to read these two entries in the HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism (1995):  "sensus fidelium" (at pp. 1182-83); "reception of doctrine" (pp. 1081-82).  My hunch is that anyone familiar with the theological role of the sensus fidelium in the discernment and development of moral knowledge would be troubled, if not by the moral position decreed in Humanae Vitae, at least by the magisterium's decreeing, in HV, that that position is "the" position of the Roman Catholic Church.  It has always seemed to me that it is way over the top, even for one who accepts the position decreed in HV, to think that faithful Catholics cannot reasonably reject the position decreed in HV.  And if faithful Catholics can reasonably reject the position, was it right for Paul VI to issue HV?


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