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It Looks Like a Duck

G.K. Chesterton once said that tradition is the "democracy of the dead". What he meant by that should be obvious, but to be absolutely clear: when we respect tradition, we respect what has been decided by others who lived before we came around. In doing this, we give voice to those who are no longer with us. For the last 2000 years this is what has set the Catholic Church apart from all schismatics, heretics, and other sectarian groups. The Barque of St. Peter is the only one that stands fast in the same truth when all others are shifting with the wind.

Thus, it is not surprising to find Martin Luther (and all his spiritual children) saying that it is ok to break with the past and seek a new way to practice the faith (he was not the first to promote this ungodly philosophy, but is one of the most well known). Some do it in the name of "finding the original way" (as though everyone between the Apostles and themselves got it wrong), others do it in the name of modernism (as though new is always better), and others find some mish-mash of these two.

For someone to call themselves Catholic and promote this kind of thinking is a clear testimony that they have been misled about what it means to be Catholic. There are many today who wish to claim that the Catholic Church has found a "new way" and is leaving behind the past. If you have ever heard someone use the term "pre-vatican-2" as though it is an automatic condemnation, this is the exact same thing. (As a side-note, communion received in the hand is "pre-vatican-2"! It was practiced for a short time by a few in the early Church, and then finally condemned when it was recognized how irreverent it was. Just sayin' . . . )

If anyone is trying to say everything from 1965 to the present is the new rule and all things before 1965 are no longer applicable, then they have fallen into this error. Going back to Chesterton at the beginning, we find that this perspective is essentially seeking to silence the vast majority of Saints (this may explain the push to canonize as quickly as possible all Popes involved with the Second Vatican Council!). This effort is extremely non-catholic, because it has never been the tradition to reject tradition. They may seek to use other terms for their agenda, but if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck . . .


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