Posted on

Truly Rad Trad

In his Wednesday audience talks, Pope Benedict has been unpacking a notion dear to the Fathers of the Church: the Apostolic Tradition. The talks are worth our study, especially the most recent, “The Living Gospel, Proclaimed in its Integrity” (May 3, 2006), in which he invokes characters as diverse as Tertullian of Carthage and Clement of Rome. Good stuff.

Tradition is, therefore, the living Gospel, proclaimed by the apostles in its integrity, in virtue of the plentitude of her unique and unrepeatable experience: By her work, faith is communicated to others, until it reaches us, until the end of the world. Tradition, therefore, is the history of the Spirit that acts in the history of the Church through the mediation of the Apostles and their successors, in faithful continuity with the experience of the origins.

It is what Pope St. Clement of Rome explained toward the end of the first century: “The Apostles,” he wrote, “proclaimed the Gospel to us sent by the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent by God. Christ, therefore, comes from God, the Apostles from Christ: Both proceed in an orderly way from the will of God. Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that disputes would arise around the episcopal function. Therefore, foreseeing the future perfectly, they established the chosen ones and ordered them that at their death other men of proven virtue assume their service” [Ad Corinthios,” 42.44: PG 1, 292.296].

This chain of service continues to our day; it will continue until the end of the world…

Read the rest at Zenit.