Cardinal Gregory and the ‘Dominant’ Rite

“Tradition dies a slow death, sometimes a bloody death,” said Cardinal Wilton Gregory told an audience at Catholic University earlier this month. Well, if tradition dies, so too does the authority of Cardinal Gregory.

Think about it: What authority does any bishop have, apart from the fact that he represents the sacred tradition of the Catholic Church, that he is understood to “hold and teach the Catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles,” that in fact he is a successor to the apostles?

The Second Vatican Council, in Dei Verbum taught that Scripture and Tradition (with a capital T) “coming from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end.” Therefore Tradition and Scripture “are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.”

Together these two streams of wisdom nourish the Catholic faith, and when belief in that faith declines, so does the tradition (with a small t) of respect for Catholic leadership. Even in our secularized society, and even after years of scandal, most Americans still treat Catholic prelates with at least the outward signs of respect.

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