No: 12 Leader: According to paragraph 85 of the Catholic Catechism, the Magisterium does not just interpret the Bible, it also interprets Tradition. It would therefore be inappropriate to say something along the lines of "Altar girls are contrary to Tradition".

Thread ID: 7 At 5/6/2008 7:05:37 AM Bill Sockey '75 wrote:

"Tradition" must be taken in two ways: human tradition and Sacred Tradition.

Sacred Tradition means what has been handed down from the Apostles touching on Catholic Faith and morals. The Magisterium interprets both what is authentic Tradition and what it means.

Altar servers are a matter of human tradition, not Sacred Tradition, like unmarried priests in the Roman rite, but married priests in some Eastern rites -- or unleavened Communion bread in the West, but leavened bread in the East. There are good reasons for limiting service at the altar to males, but this is not a matter handed down from the Apostles so the Church can decide the matter for itself (and can makes mistakes, as permitted by God's providence).

Incidentally, the Magisterium maintains that the male priesthood was handed down from the Apostles as Sacred Tradition.



Back to Questions