Believe it or not, I just got this, honestly, in e-mail, from Catholic Answers. Since I do have a Catholic Answers Forums ID (nope, I’ve never posted–can you imagine the result if I did?) I get all their e-mails (fund raising requests, too!). Anyway, Karl Keating’s e-mail started out:
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers:
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Assumption, best known to Evangelicals and Fundamentalists as “the Marian dogma that isn’t mentioned in Scripture.” We can concede that point–it is true that Scripture nowhere mentions the Assumption–while noting the antiquity of the belief plus the fact that nothing in Scripture contradicts the Assumption.
There’s the essence of Rome’s apologetic. It doesn’t have to be in Scripture. In fact, it doesn’t have to be in any meaningful definition of “tradition” either. As long as some gnostics mentioned it around the same time others were writing fiction like The Acts of Philip (remember the Talpiot Tomb story?) then it’s OK, and besides that, Scripture doesn’t contradict it! There’s a compelling argument, since, of course, the number of things that you could allege Scripture does not “contradict” is almost limitless, isn’t it? Scripture doesn’t contradict 4-gig jump drives, either! But that doesn’t excuse adding things to the gospel as de fide doctrines! Rome isn’t saying, “Oh, isn’t it interesting to speculate about such things as this?” If that is all she was doing, then you might find such argumentation useful, but when you realize that this is the best she can come up with in defense of something she claims is a constituent and undeniable part of the gospel itself, you realize just how far from the truth Rome truly is.