Leave Tradition Alone
Leave Tradition Alone
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2005.05.04 00:00
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   When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope last month, the whole world spoke up as if they had a say in the matter in the first place. The opinions of Catholics and non-Catholics were covered with the same weight as comments from Catholic priests and cardinals, resulting in numerous heated debates. There are many strong opinions as to what the pope's goals should be because there are many different groups concerned about addressing the problems of the world. People with interest in the matter generally react either with disappointment that there is no prospect of "reform" in the Catholic Church, or approval of a continuation of the conservative legacy left by Pope John Paul II. But as long as the Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church, what he does and stands for should not be evaluated in a "world-wide poll" but rather examined within the framework of Catholic principles and traditions. 
   "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires," Pope Benedict XVI said. He strongly stated that the church must fight against threats such as "radical individualism" and "vague religious mysticism." The Pope opposes rock music, homosexuality, and holds strong views against abortion and euthanasia.
Pluralists within the Catholic Church disagree with Ratzinger? strict views on moral Catholicism. Concerning highly controversial issues such as euthanasia and homosexuality, many argue that, due to "development" in ideas, i.e. the recently growing worldwide approval of euthanasia and homosexuality, we should go with the world flow. Yet staunch Catholics insist that Catholic truths must be kept, because there are moral truths that do not change with time. These truths, they state, are the only standards by which we can evaluate a swiftly tilting world growing more and more "confused" with time about its moral values.
   Basically it comes down to a question as to whether or not there are universal truths that can be trusted regardless of time. Pluralists say that there is no absolute truth, advocating respect for different beliefs. Ironically, these do not seem to include traditional Catholic beliefs. If Pope Benedict XVI takes a conservative stand on issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women, he does so because it is a Catholic tradition. Tradition, especially in a religion with doctrines and precepts, is not supposed to change with the "flow of the world."

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