Is this sensus fidelium? No!
In the previous post, we saw how disappointed the far left group "Call to Action" is over the working document for the Synod on the family. Call to Action and other left leaning groups, especially those born in the 1970's think that the meaning of sensus fidelium is that you take a poll and find out what Catholics believe and then that is the mark by which you define doctrine or redefine it. Of course this is the smoke of Satan and I am sure Pope Francis would agree.
The sensus fidelium as Pope St. John Paul II made clear: “does not consist solely or necessarily in the consensus of the faithful. Following Christ, the Church seeks the truth, which is not always the same as the majority opinion.” “The Church values sociological and statistical research,” continues the pope, “when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth.”
And Pope Benedict reiterated the following: “It is particularly important today to clarify the criteria used to distinguish the authentic sensus fidelium from its counterfeits. In fact, it is not some kind of public opinion of the Church, and it is unthinkable to mention it in order to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, this is because the sensus fidei cannot grow authentically in the believer except to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the life of the Church, and this requires a responsible adherence to her Magisterium.”
The authentic sensus fidelium comes into play when the Church defines certain doctrines to be dogmas. The two doctrines that sum this up the best are the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. These were believed by Catholics around the world since the early Church but never defined as dogmas until 1864 for the IC and 1950 for the Assumption. There was no poll taken when the pope defined these as dogma but he knew that the sense of the faithful along with a tradition of belief going back to the early Church was present.
To a certain extent we can say that limbo is a doctrine in the loose sense. We can say there are a significant number of people who believe in it, especially as it regards the Old Testament figures who died before the Christ-Event. But as it regards unbaptized children, I don't think we can say it goes back to the early Church or that there is a consistent belief in it both in the east and the west by the majority of Catholics. Therefore it does not appear that any Church Council or pope acting alone would elevate it to the status of an actual doctrine and then a dogma. Could this happen? Unlikely but possible.
The sensus fidelium has nothing to do with redefining doctrine if Catholics become unfaithful! This is what Call to Action wants the synod to do, confirm unfaithful catholics in their infidelity! No that won't happen.
In other words, Call to Action and other groups like them are heretics at worst or heterodox at best. They are a new breed of gnostics. They think they have a special knowledge that is only known to them and not the authentic teachers of the Faith, the Pope and Bishops in union with him, the Magisterium, which is more than just the pope(s) and bishops currently living, but the Tradition of the Magisterium!
So, just as on the left there is a new breed of gnostics, so too on the right although the right's gnosticism is different. They are more like the left in terms of being cafeteria catholics. They pick and choose what is essential for them but leave out what they don't like. This is especially true of the SSPX who some say accept 95 percent of Vatican II but leave the other 5% out, they won't tocuh it like a kid and his broccoli.
When it comes to the Mass the right sometimes make themselves a faux magisterium. They think they know better than a council or any subsequent popes. And they pontificate upon the liturgy disconnected from actual papal authority. It happens on the left too, especially with those clergy and laity (PI please take note) who refuse to acknowledge the authority of Pope Benedict to issue SP and the rights of a stable group of laity to have the EF when requested in various parishes, even if the pastor has to seek someone to celebrate it for them!
But for the right, they fail to recognize that the OF Mass is the normative Mass of the Church and the EF is the exception. I would suspect if the FSSP had a parish in a southern city and it was the only Catholic Church that they would have to take into account parishioners who petitioned for the OF Mass, if a stable group of them existed, and provide the OF Mass for them.
But for the laity to say that they reject the normative Mass of the Catholic Church outright would be heterodox.