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Germany: International Council of Christians and Jews (Iccj). Card. Marx, “in the Catholic Church, tradition and reform together”

The story of God’s people is always a story of new beginnings, which “reminds us in the present what may have been forgotten. That’s why tradition and reform are concepts that apply at the same time, for the Churches as much as for the other social groups”. This has been stated by the president of the German Bishops Conference, card. Reinhard Marx, as he spoke at the yearly meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews (Iccj), which is taking place in Bonn, about “Martin Luther after 500 years of tradition and reform in Hebraism and Christianity”. Called to voice the Catholic position about the “tradition and reform” pairing, Marx stated that “a community of faith that does not critically deals with its own history is incapable of dialogue”. So, the efforts made by the Council to deal with God’s Word have marked, for the Catholic Church, the beginning of a dialogue with the other religions. Christians and Jews, together, consider tradition “a dynamic process or, in biblical terms, a walk of faith in history”, and this commits both “to keeping the testimony of revelation alive”. As to the “binding elements of tradition”, Marx believes “they can only be found in an ecclesial process of communication”: the recent Synod for Family Life is an example of an “ecclesial quest for a binding tradition”. “The Catholic Church is both a church of tradition and a church of reform. It wants and must be a church of reform, because it is a church of tradition”, he concluded.

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