Editor's Note: I wrote a piece on my papal link blog that I think is important to republish here.
Does The Pope Use Tradition with a Double Standard?
Jamie Manson, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter in her article, Pope Treats Tradition With Double Standard (Again), manages to write a critique of the selective traditionalism of the Pope without making any distinction in her article between Apostolic Tradition and the various disciplines and ecclesial traditions that have sprung up over the centuries. One would think that would be an important thing to note.
Here's the gist of her argument against this "traditionalist" Pope's resignation:
...Because Benedict XVI, high priest of maintaining tradition at all costs, had determined that the tradition of staying pope until one dies was a cost too great to bear. Benedict, who revived clerical dress from the Middle Ages and reinstituted the 16th-century old Latin Mass, decided that the traditional belief that a pope should never retire was, well, just too medieval.
And here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 83:
Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.
Sacred Tradition belongs to the Deposit of Faith alongside Scripture. It is a mode of Divine Revelation, higher than any infallible utterance of the Holy See or any Ecumenical Council. Other traditions and disciplines are there to help the Deposit of Faith and our embrace of it.
For instance, Anglican clergymen who are married and convert to Catholicism can stay married and be ordained priests because the discipline of celibacy in this very specific instance would hinder the Gospel and the mission of the Church. It does not nullify Divine Revelation.
And calling that a "double standard" is seriously off the mark. Seriously, folks.
Source Article: NCRonline.org/blogs by Jamie Manson