Thursday, 13 January 2011

Cafeteria Traditionalism?

I do have a lot of sympathy with this post by William Oddie. A Catholic is not obliged to think that every initiative undertaken by a Pope is wise - Papal infallibility is limited to formal teaching intended to be held by the universal Church - but I think William Oddie expresses something that is a danger for someone who criticises the Holy Father (my italics added):
Being a Catholic means believing many things, some of them more important than others. But one core principle is surely indispensable. Quite simply, you trust the pope. For, once you start thinking you are a better and more faithful Catholic than he is, you are well on your way to the funny farm.
We need to take care that we do not argue that we, in fact, are better at living the Catholic faith than Pope Benedict XVI or Pope John Paul II.

I also find it interesting that the traditional tendency in the Church can be very vociferous in criticising ecclesiastical authorities who, in their view, defy Pope Benedict XVI by not implementing (their view, not mine) the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. The traditional tendency can then criticise the same Pope Benedict XVI over his invitation to religious leaders to join him in Assisi in October. So, from expectations of an obedience that has a distinct sense of the ultramontane about it to a freedom with regard to the wishes of the Holy See that reflects a rather less strict idea of obedience. Cafeteria Traditionalism?

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