Sunday, 31 July 2016
Francis, Bishop of Rome! Your power and authority is very, very limited. Be very careful about what you attempt to do!
by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
Parish of Saint Mary
Brethren, I make known unto you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received and wherein you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received. (I Cor. 15: 1-2)
To receive and to pass on. That is the essence of what the Catholic Church means by Tradition with a capital T. We are not a people of the Book, like Islam, the basis of which faith is entirely the Koran. And there are Protestant Christians who are also people of the Book, but their book is the Bible. And for them the whole faith is contained in the Bible and the purpose of study is to constantly read and examine and analyze the text of the Bible. That this foundation is shaky should be obvious: for the original languages of the Bible are Hebrew and Greek, and therefore every translation is subject to that fundamental dictum that translation always involves in a sense a betrayal, for every translation bears the marks and prejudices of particular people and of a particular culture. There is no total objectivity in translation and in a faith like Christianity that insists that the ultimate truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ whose words are recorded in the gospels this problem is acute. But we Catholics have always believed from the very beginning that what has been handed down, the Tradition, is not merely what is recorded faithfully in the Bible, especially in the New Testament, but also includes the oral tradition handed down from Jesus to the Apostles and to the Church.