Author Richard Dawkins claims that people believe in things for different reasons, some good, some bad. Dawkins claims that Catholics believe that Mary never died, because of Tradition, and that Mary assumed into Heaven because the Pope said so in 1950.
[quote=Sirach14]Author Richard Dawkins claims that people believe in things for different reasons, some good, some bad. Dawkins claims that Catholics believe that Mary never died, because of Tradition, and that Mary assumed into Heaven because the Pope said so in 1950.
In addition to being wrong on many points, including that Catholics believe Mary never died, is there any reason for discussing this?
Dear Richard is a great scientist, but here, he is out of his field and depth.
When Catholics speak of Tradition, they do not merely speak of something that has been passed on from generation to generation with unavoidable distortions, additions and subtractions. They speak of the unwritten word of God. God spoke through Christ to the apostles. Some of the things they heard were set down in writing, some were not. Those that were not is what is called Tradition.
Just as the Bible is the word of God, written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so is Tradition the word of God preserved through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
It is not the Pope who thought up the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption of Mary. On the day before either of those dogmas was formally proclaimed, Catholics believed in them because they were part of Church teaching through the centuries. Indeed any Catholic denying these truths on the day before they were proclaimed would have been sinning seriously against faith but would not have put himself outside the Church. Any Catholic denying them today would be guilty of heresy and putting himself out the Church. That is the difference. A legal difference so to say.
Scientists deal with observable phenomena. The Holy Spirit is quite beyond their ken.