• Vimal Tirimanna DVK
Keywords: Ecclesial Decision-Making, Laity, Lay Participation, Official Church Teaching, Sensus Fidelium, Sensus Fidei, Synod on the Family


Traditionally, Christian theology has upheld the fact that all the baptized are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and consequently, the Christian community as a whole will not be allowed to fall into error by the same Spirit, with regard to its faith and morals. Vatican II officially resurrected this traditional belief in and through the concept of sensus fidelium as expressed explicitly in LG, 12. However, during the post- Vatican II era what the concept implies with regard to the process of
official Church teaching, namely, to consult all the baptized (majority of whom are the laity) has not happened, resulting in a glaring gap between the teachings of the clerical hierarchy and the rest of the Church. The article, while insisting that majority or public opinion cannot be equated to sensus fidelium, nevertheless, points out the indispensable need to consult and listen to the laity if the Church’s teaching is to be credible in the eyes of the contemporary believers.

Author Biography

Vimal Tirimanna, DVK

Dr Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR, lectures in moral theology at the Pontifical Academia Alfonsiana, Rome, the Pontifical Collegio di San Beda, Rome, and at the National
Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka, Kandy, Sri Lanka. From 1997 to 2012, he was the
theologian-representative of the Sri Lankan bishops at the Office of Theological
Concerns (OTC) of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and from 2002 to 2012, he was the Executive Secretary of the same OTC. In 2010, the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity appointed him a member of the Catholic delegation to the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). He has published many
theological articles in local and international periodicals, and has edited and written a
few books. He has also been invited to present papers in many international theological seminars and conferences, in all the five continents. Email:


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How to Cite
Tirimanna, V. (2015). THE PROCESS OF FORMULATING OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHINGS. Asian Horizons, 9(02), 360-377. Retrieved from