Does the united voice of the laity take precedence over the Magisterium?

The RICA instructor said that when a majority of the laity is united in conscience about the right or wrong of a particular teaching in the Catholic Church, the voice of the laity on that issue would take precedence over the voice of the Magisterium and the Pope. The instructor said that this is the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI on the layman’s place in the Magisterium. If that statement were true, wouldn’t Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation be right in breaking away from the Catholic Church? The instructor said that Martin Luther was right in objecting to the Pope’s decree concerning selling/buying of indulgences to guarantee oneself a place in Heaven. Therefore, since a majority of the laity felt that this was wrong and broke away from the Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation was due to the working of the Holy Spirit. I always thought that the Protestant Reformation was due to the working of the Devil, since it created division and numerous denominations within Christianity. Jesus prayed that His mystical body be united as one, not broken into pieces. Is the instructor (who is working on a Doctorate in Theology) correct in teaching this?


Your instructor needs to show you word for word, where the Catholic Church officially teaches this. He or she will not be able to do this because the Magisterium does not teach it. The Church is not a democracy. Further, your pastor should be advised that this is being taught in the parish RCIA. If he does nothing about it, the bishop should be advised. This is serious.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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