Monday, July 3, 2017

Pope Benedict Corrects a Page in the Relativism Handbook, in his Defense of the Integral Holiness of the Roman Ritual

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."
Pope Benedict XVI on the traditional Catholic rituals.

I was reminded of that statement when I read this categorically opposite statement by Herder, a pioneer of cultural relativism:

"Could it be that what a nation at one time considers good, fair, useful, pleasant, true, it considers at another time bad, ugly, useless, unpleasant, false? -- And yet this happens! observes...that ruling customs, that favorite concepts of honor, of merit, of what is useful can blind an age with a magical light, that a taste in these and those sciences can constitute the tone of a century, and yet all this dies with the century."
Johann Gottfried Herder, Philosophical Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, 256 (Referenced in Maria Baghramian, Relativism, New York: Routledge, 2004, 69).

What may be true of nations and centuries (albeit, of course, only in a limited sense, because there are a great many obvious and permanent truths regarding the world, man and God, e.g. all men are born and die within a relatively short span) it is certainly false regarding the Church and her Tradition. "The gates of Hell will not prevail against Her!" Matthew 16:18

The continuation of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is a exercise of that Divine permanence, at least as important as the preservation of the other ancient Rites of the Church, for us of the Greco-Roman Western heritage. The Catholic faith is not relative, it is universal and trans-historical. It's heritage is from Saint Peter, Christ, King David, Moses, Abraham, Adam, God!
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