This was carried through in the next step, less speculatively, very cautiously, by that group of thinkers which took Aristotle into their theology, and formulate – especially Thomas Aquinas – the relation in such a way that they said: Reason is adequate to interpret authority; reason at no point is against authority, but you are able to interpret that which is given in the living tradition in rational terms, and you don’t need to hurt or destroy reason in order to interpret the meaning of the living tradition. This is the Thomistic position even today.

But then the last step developed, namely, the separation of reason from authority. Duns Scotus, Occam the nominalist, asserted that reason is inadequate to the authority, the living tradition; reason is not able to express it. This was stated very sharply in later nominalism. But if reason is not able to interpret the tradition, then the tradition becomes authority in a quite different way. Now it becomes the commanding authority to which you have to subject yourselves even if you don’t understand it. We call this positivism: the tradition is given, positivistic ally: there it is, you simply have to look, at it and accept it, subjecting yourselves to it; and it is given by the Church. Thinking never can show the meaning of the tradition; it can only show different possibilities which can be derived from the decisions of the Church and the living tradition. Reason can develop probabilities and improbabilities, but never realities. It cannot show how things should be. They are all dependent on the will of God. The will of God is irrational and is given. It is given in nature, so we must be empiricists in order to find out how the natural laws are. We are not in the center of nature. They are in the Church orders, in the canon law, so we must subject ourselves to these decisions, positivistically; we must take them as positive laws; we cannot understand them in rational terms.