A RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF WORSHIP

A Right Understanding of Worship

The way back to God is the way of worship. If all that we are and become and do in our many-leveled life could be made one in worship, we should be saints. Some people think that Christian morality is no more than a series of don’ts; others a little less ill-informed think it is no more than a series of dos. These things are included, for being and doing are interdependent, but it is being that comes first in importance; and Christian morality tells us first of all not what we should do, still less what we should not do, but what we should be.
That is why you cannot possibly separate, as some people would have us do, the Church’s moral teaching from its beliefs about God’s revelation of himself to the world. You cannot possibly separate them, because the moral teaching is entirely determined by the doctrine; and if you try to isolate it, you destroy it. You could isolate this or that element in it; you could cling to the ideals of justice, kindness, generosity, fortitude; but these virtues would then cease to be the Christian virtues, because they would be divorced from worship.
FATHER GERALD VANN, O.P.
Father Vann (+ 1963) was an English Dominican and a popular preacher, lecturer, and author.

THE PASTORAL CHALLENGES OF THE FAMILY IN THE CONTEXT OF EVANGELIZATION

“The family is experiencing very difficult times requiring the church’s compassion and understanding in offering guidance to families ‘as they are.”

Synod 2014 Working Paper

The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization

By the Synod of Bishops General Secretariat

Origins, Pages 157-183, July 17, 2014 Volume 44 Number 10

Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization

Contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion and the right of parents to be primary educators of their children will be among the topics facing the third extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to the 24,600-word “instrumentum laboris,” or working paper, made public June 26 at the Vatican by the Synod Secretariat. The document will serve as the basis for discussions at the synod, scheduled for Oct. 5-19. It summarizes the thousands of responses received from bishops’ conferences, dioceses, parishes, academic institutions and individual Catholics and non-Catholics to a series of questions posed by the Vatican on marriage and family life. “Many respondents confirmed that even when the church’s teaching about marriage and the family is known, many Christians have difficulty accepting it in its entirety,” it says. Catechesis about marriage and family “cannot be limited exclusively to the preparation of couples for marriage,” but must instead permeate the entire church, the document adds. The working document says many bishops’ conferences encouraged the church to consider “more widely exercising mercy, clemency and indulgence toward” divorced and remarried Catholics. On the topic of same-sex marriages, the document said the church needs to “develop a ministry that can maintain the proper balance between accepting persons in a spirit of compassion and gradually guiding them to authentic human and Christian maturity.” The text of the working document follows

INTRODUCTION

0 n Oct. 8, 2013, Pope Francis convoked the third extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops to treat the topic “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops began its preparation by sending the preparatory document, which generated significant reflection among the people of God. The results of that consultation are presented in this instrumentum laboris. . . . .

The Holy Father has determined that the work of the Synod of Bishops is to take place in two stages forming an single organic unity. In the third extraordinary general assembly in 2014, the synod fathers will thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations received from the particular churches in order to respond to the new challenges of the family. The ordinary general assembly in 2015, representing a great part of the episcopate and continuing the work of the previous synod, will reflect further on the points discussed so as to formulate appropriate pastoral guidelines.

The instrumentum laboris is based on the responses to the questions in the preparatory document that was divided into eight groups of questions on marriage and the family. After its publication in November 2013, this document was distributed worldwide.

A great number of detailed responses to the questions was submitted by the synods of the Eastern Catholic churches sui iuris, the episcopal conferences, the departments of the Roman Curia and the Union of Superiors General. In addition, other responses — categorized as observations — were sent directly to the General Secretariat by a significant number of dioceses, parishes, movements, groups, ecclesial associations and families, not to mention academic institutions, specialists both Catholic and non-Catholic, all interested in sharing their reflections.

The present text is divided into three parts and, for an orderly treatment at the synodal assembly, reflects the eight major subjects treated in the series of questions. The first part, devoted to the Gospel of the family, treats the divine plan and the vocation of the person in Christ. Within this perspective, the section gives indications — positive as well as negative — of the faithful’s knowledge and acceptance of pertinent teachings on the family from the Bible and the documents of the church’s magisterium as well as the faithful’s understanding of the natural law.

The second part treats various challenges and actual situations related to the pastoral care of the family. The third part is devoted to the topic of an openness to life and the responsibility of parents in the upbringing of their children — characteristic of marriage between a man and a woman — with particular reference to difficult pastoral situations.

The present document, the fruit of a collegial effort by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and the ordinary council of the General Secretariat to gather and examine the results of the consultation of the particular churches, is placed in the hands of the members of the synod assembly as the instrumentum laboris. The document offers a broad, yet by no means exhaustive perspective on the present-day situation of the family, on the challenges of the family and on the reflections related to the family today.

The topics that are not included in the document, those in response to Question 9 in the preparatory document (miscellaneous), will be treated in the ordinary general assembly of 2015.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri General Secretary Vatican City, June 24, 2014

PREFACE

The proclamation of the Gospel of the family is an integral part of the mission of the church, since the revelation of God sheds light on the relationship between a man and a woman, their love for each other and the fruitfulness of their relationship. In these times a widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis is posing a challenge in the church’s work of evangelizing the family, the vital nucleus of society and the ecclesial community.

This proclamation of the Gospel of the family takes place in continuity with the synodal assembly on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” and the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI.

The extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the topic “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization,” aware that “tradition, originating with the apostles, proceeds in the . . .

COMMENTARY

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, one of three presidents appointed by Pope Francis to direct the daily sessions of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops in October, told Catholic News Service that he found responses to a Vatican questionnaire about marriage and family issues “shocking, if I am allowed to use that word.”

“Shocking because almost in all parts of the world the questionnaires indicated that the teaching of the church regarding family life is not clearly understood by people, and the language by which the church proposes the teaching seems to be a language not accessible to people,” the cardinal said in an interview in mid-May.

“So this is my hope, not far change — how can you change the biblical teachings? But maybe a real pastoral and evangelical concern for the church: How do we present the good news of the family to this generation, with its limitations, with its greatness, with its unique experiences?”

Cardinal Tagle will take turns with Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris and Cardinal Raymund° Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, running the general sessions of the synod, which will be held Oct. 5-19.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., will represent the U.S. at the 2014 synod as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Other presidents of national bishops’ conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic churches, Vatican officials and three superiors of men’s religious orders, chosen by the Union of Superiors General, will be full voting members. Usually the pope also makes several appointments..

The extraordinary synod — held outside the normal three-year cycle of synods — will not make any final. . . .

ISSN 0093-609X, Origins, CNS Documentary Service, is published weekly (except biweekly during July, August and December’s last week) by Catholic News Service, 3211 4th Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100. Copyright © 2014 by Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Periodical-class postage paid at Washington, D.C. Editor, Edmond Brosnan; Associate Editor, Mary Esslinger; Director of CNS, Tony Spence                                                                                                                                    Editorial: (202) 541-3284. Circulation: (202) 541-3290 – www.originsonline.com.                                                                                                                                                                    Subscriptions: One year, $114; two years, $199; three years, $284; foreign postage additional. Single copy: $8.                                                                                                                     Back issues: Inquire for availability and rates. Attach mailing label to change of address requests and subscription correspondence.                                                                  Postmaster: Send address changes to Origins, CNS Documentary Service, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100.                                                                               Documentation in Origins is selected on the basis of interest and usefulness in reference to current issues. Publication does not signify endorsement by Origins or its sponsoring body, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

158 origins

continued on page 158

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20140626_instrumentum-laboris-familia_en.html

‘SENSUS FIDEI’ IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

“Is the ‘sensus fidei’ something different from the majority opinion of the faithful in a given time or place, and if so how does it differ?

‘Sensus Fidei’ in the Life of the Church

International Theological Commission

Humble listening and proper consultation are necessary to discern the “sensus fidei” (sense of the faith) and “sensus fidelium” (sense of the faithful), especially on matters of controversy within the church, according to a new document from the International Theological Commission. Prepared by a 10-member subcommission and published on the Vatican website in late June with the approval of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the document aims to explain the meaning, purpose and limits of the capacity of individual believers and of the church as a whole to discern the truth of faith. “When the reception of magisterial teaching by the faithful meets with difficulty and resistance, appropriate action on both sides is required,” it says, calling for “constant communication and regular dialogue on practical issues and matters of faith and morals between members of the church.” The document charges theologians with the task of critically examining “expressions of popular piety, new currents of thought and also new movements in the church for the sake of fidelity to the apostolic tradition.” Laypeople must commit to active participation in the liturgy and the sacraments, constant prayer, active engagement in the church’s mission and “a willingness to follow the commands of God,” the theologians said. Church leadership, for its part, must be open to what Pope Francis calls “new ways for the journey,” as discerned by laypeople. “One of the reasons why bishops and priests need to be close to their people on the journey and to walk with them is precisely so as to recognize ‘new ways’ as they are sensed by the people,” the document says. The full text follows:

Preliminary Note

In its quinquennium of 2009-2014, the International Theological Commission studied the nature of sensus fidei and its place in the life of the church. The work took place in a subcommission presided by Msgr. Paul McPartlan and composed of the following members: Father Serge Thomas Bonino, OP (secretary-general); Sister Sara Butler, MSBT; Rev. Antonio Castellano, SDB; Rev. Adelbert Denaux; Msgr. Tomislav Ivancic; Bishop Jan Liesen; Rev. Leonard Santedi Kinkupu, Dr. Thomas Söding, and Msgr. Jerzy Szymik.

The general discussions of this theme were held in numerous meetings of the subcommission and during the plenary sessions of the same International Theological Commission held in Rome between 2011 and 2014. The text “Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church” was approved in forma specifica by the majority of members of the commission by a written vote and was then submitted to its president, Cardinal Gerhard L. Willer, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who authorized its publication.

INTRODUCTION

1. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father” and bears witness to the Son (Jn 15:26), all of the baptized participate in the prophetic office of Jesus Christ, “the faithful and true witness” (Rv 3:14). They are to bear witness to the Gospel and to the apostolic faith in the church and in the world. The Holy Spirit anoints them and equips them for that high calling, conferring on them a very personal and intimate knowledge of the faith of the church.

In the first Letter of St. John, the faithful are told: “You have been anointed by the holy one, and all of you have knowledge. … The anointing that you received from [Christ] abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. … His anointing teaches you about all things” (1 In 2:20, 27).

2. As a result, the faithful have an instinct for the truth of the Gospel that enables them to recognize and endorse authentic Christian doctrine and practice, and to reject what is false. That supernatural instinct, intrinsically linked to the gift of faith received in the communion of the church, is called the sensus fidei, and it enables Christians to fulfill their prophetic calling.

In his first Angelus address, Pope Francis quoted the words of a humble elderly woman he once met, “If the Lord did not forgive everything, the world would not exist”; and he commented with admiration, “That is the wisdom the Holy Spirit gives.”‘ The woman’s insight is a striking manifestation of the sensus fidei, which, as well as enabling a certain discernment with regard to the things of faith, fosters true wisdom and gives rise, as here, to proclamation of the truth. It is clear, therefore, that the sensus fidei is a vital resource for the new evangelization to which the church is strongly committed in our time.’

3. As a theological concept, the sensus fidei refers to two realities that are distinct though closely connected, the proper subject of one being the church, “pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tm 3:15),3 while the subject of the other is the individual believer who belongs to the church through the sacraments of initiation and who, by means of regular celebration of the Eucharist in particular, participates in her faith and life.

“The fathers and theologians of the first few centuries considered the faith of the church to be a sure point of reference for discerning the content of the apostolic tradition.”

On the one hand, the sensus fidei refers to the personal capacity of the believer, within the communion of the church, to discern the truth of faith. On the other hand, the sensus fidei refers to a communal and ecclesial reality: the instinct of faith of the church herself, by which she recognizes her Lord and proclaims his word.

The sensus fidei in this sense is reflected in the convergence of the baptized in a lived adhesion to a doctrine of faith or to an element of Christian praxis. This convergence (consensus) plays a vital role in the church: The consensus fidelium is a sure criterion for determining whether a particular doctrine or practice belongs to the apostolic faith.’

(Continued in Origins for July 3, 2014 – Volume 44, Number 9)

 

COMMENTARY – Page 134

The International Theological Commission was instituted by Pope Paul W in 1969 as an international body of theologians charged with advising the pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican agencies on doctrinal issues. Its members are appointed by the pope and serve five-year, renewable terms. The commission’s president is the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, German Cardinal Gerhard Muller.

As explained in the preliminary note, the commission has been studying the nature of the “sensus fidei” since 2009. The text presented here was developed by a subcommittee, discussed during four years of the commission’s plenary sessions, approved by a majority of its members in a written vote and approved for publication by Cardinal Millie,: Current members of the commission, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in June 2009, includes:

—Archbishop Study Hon Tai-Fai. SDB (China, secretary, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Vatican City).

—Archbishop Jan Wilhelmus Maria Liesen (Breda, Netherlands).

—Bishop Charles Morerod, OP (Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, Switzerland).

—Bishop Paul Rouhana, OLM (titular bishop of Antarado, bishop, Patriarchal Vicariate of Sarba, Lebanon).

— Father Peter Damian Akpunonu (Nigeria, biblical exegesis, University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary!, Chicago, Ill).

—Father Serge Thomas Bonino OR secretary-general (philosophy, the Catholic Institute of Toulouse; theology, Dominican Study Home of Toulouse, France).

—Father Geraldo Luiz Borges Hackmann (systematic theology, Pontifical Catholic University do Rio Grande do Sul of Porto Alegre, Brazil)

—Sister Sara Butler,

(Continued on Page 135)

NOTE: Complete text on link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/index.cfm

_________________________________________

ISSN 0093-609X, Origins, CNS Documentary Service, is published weekly (except biweekly during July, August and December’s last week) by Catholic News Service, 3211 4th Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100. Copyright CO 2014 by Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Periodical-class postage paid at Washington, D.C. Editor, Edmond Brosnan; Associate Editor, Mary Esslinger; Director of CNS, Tony Spence.

Editorial: (202) 541-3284. Circulation: (202) 541-3290 – www.originsonline.com.

Subscriptions: One year, $114; two years, $199; three years, $284; foreign postage additional. Single copy: $8. Back issues: Inquire for availability and rates. Attach mailing label to change of address requests and subscription correspondence. Postmaster: Send address changes to Origins, CNS Documentary Service, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100.

Documentation in Origins is selected on the basis of interest and usefulness in reference to current issues. Publication does not signify endorsement by Origins or its sponsoring body, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Page 133-134  of   Origins – Pages 133-154.