Saturday, October 13, 2007

Your "Tradition" Means Your Church

"Orthodox," I'm not sure that the answers you provided to the last question are fully accurate. I say that because I think that you take "It is tradition, seek no farther," to mean "I'll believe it if my church tells me to believe it" whether or not the doctrine is truly "traditional" in the sense of having ancient origins, and frankly whether or not he apostles and early Christians held to that doctrine.

To illustrate the problem, I've presented a statement that is supposedly "traditional" in the sense of having ancient origins. Furthermore, the statement is a statement that an enormous number of people claim to believe to be true, and you will note that they believe it to be quite important as they have attached an “anathema” to anyone who would “have the temerity to reject this definition":

Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith, to the glory of God our saviour, for the exaltation of the catholic religion and for the salvation of the christian people, with the approval of the sacred council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable. So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

Applying the maxim, “It is a tradition, seek no farther,” please affirm or deny the doctrine in bold, or – to phrase it as a question – please tell us, how the maxim ("It is a tradition, seek no farther") can help an ordinary person decide whether this alleged “tradition received from the beginning of the christian faith” should be affirmed or denied, bearing in mind your claims that “tradition is consensus,” and that “‘Tradition says it’ has retained unity”?

No comments: