Lucian Păuleţ: Tradition and traditions: From a Model of the Church to a Model of Society – A Response to Challenges in the Black Sea Region

It is a common perception that some of the most conservative institutions in the world are the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. As some say: In 2.000 years, the Church has not changed anything. On the one hand, the statement is true as regards the Tradition of the Church, that is, all that was handed on by the Apostles and contributes toward the holiness of life and increase in faith of the peoples of God (Dei Verbum 8). On the other hand, there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down (Dei Verbum 8). In other words, the Church remains the same as regards her essence (this is preserved by Tradition), while she needs to change as regards her historical forms of life (these are traditions).
This conference will show the distinction between Tradition and traditions according to Yves Congar, one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. His thesis is that the Church must preserve Tradition and reform traditions. To accomplish this goal, that is a true reform within Church without schisms, Congar proposes four conditions for an authentic reform.
This conference claims that this model of reform in the Church can be transferred to the present societies in the Black Sea Region. Mutatis mutandis, the four conditions of true reform are applicable to modern societies. Thus, distinguishing between Tradition and traditions, each society can preserve what is essential to its’ own identity and ethos, while accepting the changes suggested by the present and future situations of life.


Dialog 50-5 Paulet

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