Spirits that Speak
I want to thank the author of Summa Contra Mundum for his cogent exposition of the faults of democracy in deciding key church teachings. While there is certainly a place for majority opinion and democratic rule in the "filigree" of the faith, the core of the faith should not and must not go with anything approaching a majority opinion. In fact, the core of the faith should be central in forming majority opinion. The truly faithful should receive what is taught and assume it into their own lives.
Some time ago, I was arrogant enough to assume that a person of some 30 or 40 years on earth was sufficiently knowledgable to challenge the authority of a Church with 2000 years of teaching and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I recall the occasion precisely. Pope John Paul II had just released the encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" and I was hearing all sorts of the usual media nonsense regarding how this was a blow against all right-thinking church members, blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately, at that time, I believed it. I said to some close friends that if what the media announced was true, I was obliged to leave the Catholic Church and join the only other Church that had legitimate claim to descend from Jesus Christ Himself (in my mind, the Orthodox faith--but I don't wish to argue this point). My friend, being much cooler-headed about this matter pointed out how the media exaggerated everything and constantly made a mess of anything dealing with the church. She suggested that I actually read the encyclical and decide. I hadn't realized that ordinary people had access to these documents in any reasonable way. She got me a copy of "Veritatis Splendor" and it the course of my reading I was convicted by the Holy Spirit of the hubris I had been spouting for years.
Such an experience makes it very difficult for me to take seriously anyone who is in dissent about essential Church teachings. I say to myself, "60 years vs. 2000 years and the Holy Spirit--no contest."
Thanks again to the wonderful blogwriter who gave me this point of departure!