To: ultima ratio
Tradition is not so definite that it can be codified once and for all, not when some of its is oral. But even the written part is subject to change, because language changes. Scripture itself is under the same rule, especially since the very words of Ourl Ord were in a language other than that in which they were committed to writing. Institutions are what provide constancy, and in the case of the Church that means the apostolic succession and Petrine supremacy. My problem is that you are asking me to accept your interpretation rather than Rome's. That seems to me private judgement, and I cannot accept yours anymore than Gary Will's, someone whose views we both reject.
posted on 11/25/2002 9:42:27 AM PST
First of all, I posted CARDINAL RATZINGER'S argument, not mine. I have brought his perspective home to most of you, that's all. It is his position, as well as that of Vatican I that the Pope is not an absolute monarch. The papacy is at the service of Tradition, not the other way around.
The problem with most of you on this site is you're not accustomed to thinking in this way. Such a prospect forces you to reexamine your basic premises about the papacy itself and its limitations. This is because if Tradition is master of the pope and not the other way around, then our first duty is to Tradition, not to the pope, especially one who would assault Tradition in favor of endless innovations. This is because Tradition is nothing less than the faith itself.
But when you suggest that the Petrine supremacy is actually necessary for some kind of liturgical constancy, you are speaking foolishly. The east has done quite well preserving its heritage without the papacy. In fact, it has retained its Tradition intact without a pope, whereas we have discarded ours with a pope.
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