Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

Liberal Catholics Need to Complain More

We all know - or at least we should by now - that 6 out of 7 Catholics don't practice their faith regularly. That's 6 out of 7 that are baptized members of our Catholic family, who don't grace our church doors until maybe Christmas, or its time to get married. This is what Statistics Canada tells us anyway.

We assume that they don't come to church more often because they have a hard time seeing the relevance of what we say and do in church impacting on their daily lives. For the most part, I think this is true.

But there's another dimension to their absence. Quite often, those who don't come to church anymore have found some problem with their faith that they have a difficult time reconciling.

For some, its the lack of married or female clergy, or some other matter or church doctrine that they don't understand or can't accept. For others, its having been hurt by a mean priest in the past, or unwelcomed by an unfriendly congregation. Many of these issues earn them the blanket label of "liberal" Catholic. And so they exercise the only right they think that they have - the right to disappear.

Now when a "conservative" has an issue, ANY issue, with lack of doctrinal orthodoxy, with a decision their priest or bishop has made, with the order the sacraments are received in, with the length of their pastor's hair-cut, they don't HESITATE to complain, writing letters to their diocese, letters to Rome, letters to the WCR, until their voices are heard. No wonder they have grown so powerful in the church, despite the fact that considering the stats, they're actually a small minority.

Liberals, who form the vast majority, don't complain. They just stop coming to church.

Unfortunate that they do, because by doing so they remove themselves from any dialogue process.

Since its earliest times, the SENSUS FIDELIUM, that is, "consensus of the faithful", has always been a part of the sacred, lived Tradition of the Catholic church, influencing the evolution of doctrine and the direction the magisterium has taken in guiding the church in the face of a changing world.

What then should we be hearing from a Sensus Fidelium that is silent? that is ABSENT? What is that silence really saying? And what are the consequences if we don't start listening?