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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 04 Oct 2001

scared traditions QUESTION from LAURA THOMPSON October 19, 2000 What does the Roman Catholic Church consider as a sacred traditions.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on December 17, 2000 Dear Mrs. Thompson:
Sacred Tradition are all those those things taught by Jesus and the Apostles. It is the deposit of the Christian Faith.
Sacred Tradition is NOT customs or disciplinary or organizational rules. It is the Revelation of God, the Word of God.
Part of that Sacred Tradition was written in a specially inspired written form that we call the Bible. The Bible is a sub-set of the total Sacred Tradition.
When the Catholic Church was deciding what books and writings were to be included in the Bible, those writings had to meet certain standards and qualifications in order to be considered Sacred Scripture. One of those standards and qualifications was that the writing in question HAD to conform to the Sacred Oral Tradition that the Church had taught since 33AD. If a book or writing did not conform to the Sacred Tradition of the Church then it was NOT included in the Bible.
As to the false concept of sola scriptura (the bible alone) the CHURCH, not the Bible, is the pillar and foundation of truth according to the Bible (1 Tim 3:15).
No where in the Bible does the Bible claim to be the sole authority. If it was a sole authority then where in the Bible does the Bible list the books of the Bible. It doesn't. The authority lies elsewhere.
St. Paul said to HOLD FAST TO TRADITIONS I handed down to you (1 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15) and to actually SHUN those people who refused to abide by those Traditions (2 Thess 3:16).
The Traditions Paul is talking about is not customs and rules of men, but Tradition with a capital T = the Word of God. The Word of God that is the New Testament did not exist in a confirmed fashion for several hundred years. Yet the Church had authoritative teaching. Where? in the Sacred Oral Tradition. The LIVING Tradition of the Living Word of God.
St. Paul affirms that NOT EVERYTHING that Jesus taught was written down (John 21:25) so we know FOR A FACT that some of the Word of God is written down in Scripture. Yet it is STILL the Word of God. The Word is not writing in a book. The Word is the living Logos, the Christ (John 1:1)
Thus the bottom line is that Sacred Scripture is the Divine Revelation of God through the Apostles. Such Revelation ceased when the last apostle died. Neither Church nor Pope can invent Revelation (Sacred Tradition).
The Catholic Church has never invented a Sacred Tradition. No Pope has ever invented a Sacred Tradition. Sacred Tradition is set forever by the deposit of faith given to us by Jesus and the Apostles. It can never be changed, subtracted from, or added to. (though Martin Luther did subtract from the Scripture.
Luther is a prime example of the arrogance of the Protestant revolution. Luther ripped out 7 books from the Old Testament and wanted to rip out the book of James from the New Testament since the book of James did not fit his arrogant opinions. Then Luther ADDED to scripture by putting the word alone in Romans 3:28 that says, We are justified by faith, not of works, lest any man should boast Luther sinfully added the word alone so that the verse reads, We are justified by faith alone, not of works..... What tremendous sin and arrogance.
Fact is that the only legitimate place in the New Testament where the words faith and alone come together is in James 2:24: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
The Catholic Church alone has been 100% true to the Full teachings of Jesus and the Apostles (Sacred Tradition).
Examples of Oral Tradition, as opposed to Sacred Scripture, is the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption of Mary, the Church's teaching on abortion and contraception, the exclusion of women from Holy Orders, etc. Each of these things are REQUIRED for belief for Catholics. If a Catholic doesn't believe in these things they are NOT in communion with the Church and may even be a heretic. Each of these things has there implication in Scripture but may not be specifically spelled out in Scripture. They are, nevertheless, the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. It is just that these specific teachings were not necessarily included in Scripture, but they were always included in the Traditions (teachings) of the Apostles or derived from that teaching.
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