Wednesday, February 9

Your monthly dose of tradition

Keep the faith, even unto death
This wasn't my original intent for a post today, honest.  Then I read good Terence over at Queering the Church....and the daily office....and both were talking about the same thing.

Terence was talking about how Benedict XVI recently admitted the patent errors that were made in the trial and execution of St. Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic church almost 600 years ago.  This is important and not to be made light of, as the RC has a whole lot invested in the concept of a holy, consistent and unbroken tradition from the Ressurection to Right Now (tm).  There's a quote from then-father Joseph Ratzinger which he recalls...

“Not everything that exists in the Church must for that reason be also a legitimate tradition…. There is a distorting tradition as well as a legitimate tradition, ….[and] …consequently tradition must not be considered only affirmatively but also critically.”

That links into the gospel reading today from Mark 7, where the pharisees berate Jesus because his minions disciples don't wash their hands before they eat (thus defying ancient jewish tradition, ergo eating like heathens).  And, as expected from that Nazarene Hippy, he lays the smack-down on the Man.

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

This ties into a recent 'kerfluffle' which most may not have read about.

Seems that roughly 1/3 of all german theologians signed a petition that pointedly and unapologetically says that retrenchment Catholicism is destroying the church and the only way to save the Bride of Christ is for her to become transparent, open and give the Body of Christ (the laity) back the control of their own parishes.  Obviously, there are issues with all of this, but what really takes the cake is that it shatters the largest myths regarding dissent in the Roman church.

It's not just me (who we all know is a heretic and possibly a lunatic).  It's not just the americans (who we all know are second-class catholics, infected with that liberation theology).  It's not just the laity (who we know are just ignorant and misguided by the World).  It's not one or two scattered priests (who we understand could be led into darkness by the Devil).  One hundred and fourty four german theologians...the colleagues of Dr. Joseph Ratzinger...believe that the Magesterium is at variance with the Deposit of Faith and that the Vatican does not call the tune to which people of good faith and moral conscience must dance.

Really not a lot I can do to expand on this.  We, as a community, must examine the traditions we hold and ensure that they are useful and godly, not just comfortable or self-identifying.  We must, for ourselves, consider what we believe and why.

"Why don't you decide for yourselves what is right?" (Luke 12:54)

Thinking for yourself?....damned hippies.

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