Thursday, February 18, 2016

Traditionalism Excludes Direct Personal Knowledge of God

The Unity of God: His Existence and Nature

The Existence of God

The Natural Knowability of the Existence of God

§ 3. Errors Regarding the Natural Knowability of God

1. Traditionalism
Traditionalism, which developed as a reaction against the rationalism of the Enlightenment, proceeds from the view that God, in a comprehensive primitive Revelation, bestowed on man simultaneously with speech a sum of religious and moral basic truths, which have been reproduced in mankind through tradition. General reason (raison générale) or common sense (sens commun) guarantees the unfalsified transference of the original heritage of the Revelation. The individual receives it through oral teaching. Reason cannot achieve of itself the knowledge of the existence of God (scepticism). The knowledge of God is, like every religious and moral knowledge, a knowledge of faith : Deum esse traditur sive creditur. The chief exponents of traditionalism in its strict form are L. G. A. de Bonald, F. de Lamennais and L. E. Bautain. It was represented in a moderated form by A. Bonnetty and G. Ventura. This theory was condemned by Pope Gregory XVI (D 1622/27), Pope Pius IX (D 1649/52) and by the Vatican Council (D 1785 et seq. 1806).
The semi-traditionalists of the School of Löwe (G. C. Ubaghs, † 1875) admit, indeed, that natural reason from the contemplation of natural things can with certainty recognise the existence of God, but only on the supposition that it has already, through instruction, imbibed the idea of God originating from the primitive Revelation. Traditionalism is to be rejected on philosophical and theological grounds : a) Language does not generate concepts, it presupposes them. b) Acceptance of the Revelation presupposes, according to reason, knowledge of the Revealing God, and the certain conviction of the truth of His testimony.

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Dr. Ludwig Ott, Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books, 1974, 15-16.

P.S. Catholics are believers in God, Jesus Christ, loyally under the living Magisterium of the Church of all time, authoritatively exercised by the Roman Pontiff and all the faithful united to Him. Catholicism is the only legitimate "-ism!" And it does not forbid but rather presupposes and promotes a personal relationship with God with everything that entails including primarily the direct communication between God and the believer.
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