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In the recent incident of the “Lefebrian case” which stirred the waters of the Catholic Church, the theme of tradition has returned to arouse debate and to divide. It is the big question of the post-Council, which is ceaselessly proposed and which sometimes explodes loudly. On numerous occasions, Joseph Ratzinger, first as Cardinal and then as Pope, has intervened on the issue, well aware of its delicate nature and reach, as can be understood from one of his most important speeches on the subject to the Roman Curia in 2005. There are then the sharp brief pages by the theologian Yves Congar and the brilliant writer Gilbert K. Chersterton. The passage from the autobiography of the great erudite Muslim, Taha Hussein, is captivating: a story of development that bears witness to what it really means to have to reckon with one’s own tradition.

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