The Binding Force of Tradition

The Binding Force of Tradition

Publisher: Sensus Traditionis Press
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
Pages: 62
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In The Binding Force of Tradition, Fr. Ripperger provides a study of the object and nature of Sacred Tradition and the moral requirement of Catholics to accept the Sacred tradition. Sacred tradition and the Magisterium are surprisingly complex albeit important topics, especially when dealing with the sensus fidelium and the ordinary Magisterium.

Fr. Ripperger answers several vital questions including: "Since normally the rule of faith is the teaching of tradition and Scripture as taught by the Magisterium, what does one do when the members of the Magisterium lapse into heresy?" This has been an especially important question in modern times.

Many Catholics wonder whether the rejection of tradition is a sin. Fr. Ripperger gives a clear and concise answer: yes it is. He goes on to provide a brilliant analysis of how it is in fact a sin against charity, hope, justice, and more.

Fr. Ripperger, in his characteristic manner, leaves no stone unturned. Delve into The Binding Force of Tradition to find out the answer to all of your questions on Catholic tradition. 

"The rite of the Mass must have all its splendor bequeathed to it by the tradition because, insofar as it does so, it will appeal to what is noble in man and it becomes an instrument of conversion, which was often the case before the Second Vatican Council. Many people converted due to the sheer splendor, clarity, and depth of the ancient liturgy."

"As was observed, tradition is very similar to law; each time the tradition is changed, it erodes the force of the tradition. Changing the minor traditions of the little things results psychologically in people beginning to question the bigger things, the more important things, as well as the things that cannot be changed, especially when a number of things are being changed. Because so many of the traditions have been changed within the Church, we now have generations that lack virtually any knowledge of the tradition or any concept that the tradition morally binds them. This is an injustice against the two generations that have been robbed of the Church’s doctrinal, moral, and disciplinary patrimony."

"When novelty arises, confusion ensues. One of the effects of novelty or heresy is that it tends to confuse the faithful rather than to clarify what the Church has always believed. Authentic development of doctrine always provides a clearer understanding of the constant teaching of the Church. Novelty does not."

"The proposition of modernists is that the rule of faith is immanent, i.e. without ourselves and so we judge what we are to believe based upon our own personal experience."

"Notional assent is an intellectual judgment that a particular proposition is true but in the practical living of a person’s life, it is not followed."

Very often those who attend the ancient rite of Mass and who have a love for all aspects of the Sacred Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church are often told that this is merely a matter of preference in relationship to everything that has come to us since the Second Vatican Council. In this respect, the modernists adhere faithfully to their principle that the subjective dispositions of the individual are to remain sacrosanct as well as respected. In their mind, if this simply means that there are some who like the old forms and the old teachings, that is to be respected as long as those who adhere to those old forms and teachings accepts the full validity of what has come since the Second Vatican Council.

However, those who adhere to the Sacred Tradition find it alarming that the tradition is very often dismissed with a slight of hand or just simply ignored as if it had no import, binding force or relevance. Those who adhere to the Sacred Tradition very often have a vague understanding or impression that the tradition is something more than a preference. Rooted in their Sensus Fidelium is something telling them that it is even more than just a recognition and love of the good and the beauty of those things that are passed on to us through the Sacred Tradition. It is much more than that. In this humble and inadequate work, it is my hope that it will contribute to a serious recognition that the Sacred Tradition is something binding on all of us for a variety of different reasons.

Fr. Chad Ripperger:
Fr. Chad Ripperger

Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph.D. is a theologian, Thomistic psychologist, philosopher, author, and exorcist. Father Ripperger was originally ordained in 1997, as a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). He now has his own society, the Doloran Fathers, also known as the Society of the Most Sorrowful Mother, which is located in the archdiocese of Denver. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and a master's degree in theology from Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Ripperger has developed a stellar reputation as a stalwart defender of Catholic tradition. He has an outspoken, no-nonsense approach to the Faith, which many of the faithful see as a breath of fresh air.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Clifford Wheeler
Father Chad WWE Friday night smackdown

Father Chads epic no holds bar match against the heretics. This book will go down in history as a legendary victory for Father Chad.

Tina S
A must read for those who are trying to understand why tradition is so important.

This book is wonderful. It is laid out well. Some would call it a dry read. It's just the opposite. While it is technical, it explains things in such a way that makes it clear. Listening to one of Fr. Ripperger's lectures can be hard at times because he goes so fast so he can cover everything within his time slot. This book allows me to go back and reread what I missed at the lecture. This is a must read for those who are trying to understand why tradition is so important.

Good book

It is a good book talking about an important aspect of Tradition and how we are morally bound to it.

Jason Stringer
Important topic

A good concise review of the importance and non-negotiable nature of tradition, short but dense, highly recommend


So much essential and frequently misunderstood information packed into a short book. A must-read and a must-own.

Lisa Vigliotta
Returning to the source

This will restore and renew the foundation of our Catholic Faith. Excellent read.

Important book for these times

Great book! Fr. Ripperger is fantastic!


Fr. Ripperger explains the nature of tradition and the Magisterium and (as the title of the work implies) how we are bound to give assent to them. Although short, it is by no means a shallow read, and Fr. Ripperger goes into great detail to explain his reasoning, offering over a hundred footnotes and citations for reference.

Scholarly discussion

The book breaks down what is meant by rule, what is meant by faith, so as to get to the bottom of what is meant by “rule of faith” in a scholastic sense. Ripperger also talks a lot about the ordinary magisterium which has always been so perplexing and mysterious to me. My favorite part of the book was the end where he elaborates on how the rejection of tradition is a sin in many ways. My biggest objection to the book is it’s a little small for its price.

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