Latent Tradition?

Hi all,

I’m not sure if this is the right area of the forum to ask this question, but I’m new and thought this was the best choice. Feel free to direct me someplace else if you see it fit.

I was reading through a website about Catholic matters and one of the articles uses the term ‘latent Tradition’ a few times. A sample of the usage: “The true tradition of the Church is, at times, not what is expressed publicly but Latent Tradition, the tradition that lies deep in the hearts of the faithful.” (Emphasis mine)

I know what Tradition is and I know the definition of latent (my working definition: existing, yet not developed or manifested), but I’ve never heard about this latent Tradition before. The site goes on to say that certain beliefs, practices, etc. are affirmed in this latent Tradition.

My questions are these:
(1) Is latent Tradition really a thing the Church talks about, uses, accepts, etc.?
(2) If yes to (1), can beliefs, practice, etc. really be affirmed in the latent Tradition or must we hold off on affirming until we get to well established Tradition?

Thanks for any and all help,
JAS

Well, you didn’t link to the article, so I couldn’t tell the context, but the first hit here I got was here, the second to a women’s ordination site, and the third to a google book protesting the infallibility of the pope declared at the Forst Vatican Council, so I think this latent Tradition idea is something used to justify lack of adherence to Church teaching. Next thing you know, Senator Pelosi will pick up on it to justify her suppprt for legalized abortion.

The reference is to womenpriests.org/paffirm.asp

"The treasure of revealed doctrine is carried in the faith of all the believers. This is its natural home. It is known as the sense of faith, or the sense of believers.

The Church teaches that ‘the entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief.’ (Lumen Gentium § 12)

The true tradition of the Church is, at times, not what is expressed publicly but Latent Tradition, the tradition that lies deep in the hearts of the faithful."

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.