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A Ministry of Discernment
The Bishop and the Sense of the Faithful
Both the faithful and bishops are called to learn and to teach. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the faithful of the local church witness to the apostolic tradition with their lives, and so are teachers. Learning to receive and respond to the sense of the faithful is an essential way the bishop grows in his personal ability to teach the church's faith in authentic and meaningful ways. How is the bishop's ministry of discernment formed by spirituality, and what structures strengthen it? Ignatian spirituality and the structures of discernment in the Society of Jesus model ways for bishops to cultivate discernment as a spiritual habit and provide insight for renovating diocesan structures to incorporate discerning dialogue with the faithful. In A Ministry of Discernment, Amanda Osheim moves from ecclesiological theory to imagining spiritual practices and church structures in the hope of contributing not only to the academic conversation about the sensus fidelium but also to the ways the church practically lives out our response to the Holy Spirit.
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