Monday, February 01, 2010

The Reality of the Papacy

Contra the understanding of some of our Prot pals (and the yearnings of some of our Catholic pals), the Pope doesn't have the power of secular monarchs. He can't say "Make it so!!" regarding liturgical practice (or anything else, for that matter.)

The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law; rather, he is the guardian of the authentic Tradition and, thereby, the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and he is thereby able to oppose those people who, for their part, want to do whatever comes into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile.

If you understand that correctly, you'll also have a very good insight into the reality of "infallibility." And it won't be the understanding of our separated bredderns.

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