Authority, One or Two Sources?


#1

Does the Catholic Church teach that there is only one source of authority, the Word of God, which comes in two forms, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? Or does it teach that these are actually two different sources?

A friend said his reading has led him to believe that there are two camps in the Church disagreeing with each other on the issue, but I want to know what the official Church teaching is on the issue. Documentation would be an extra benefit.

Also, could you please explain the role of the Magestarium in all this.

Thanks,
Everyman


#2

[quote=Everyman]Does the Catholic Church teach that there is only one source of authority, the Word of God, which comes in two forms, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? Or does it teach that these are actually two different sources?

A friend said his reading has led him to believe that there are two camps in the Church disagreeing with each other on the issue, but I want to know what the official Church teaching is on the issue. Documentation would be an extra benefit.

Also, could you please explain the role of the Magestarium in all this.

Thanks,
Everyman
[/quote]

Actually its three: Scripture, Tradition and the Magestrium. Look on the Church as being a three legged stool with each of these being one of the legs. The role of the Magestrium is teaching-it interprets the Scripture and the Traditions and instrcucts us as to the meaning of each.


#3

This section of the Catechism might help:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a2.htm


#4

If someone were to ask a Christian, do you believe in one God or three, the correct response would be that we believe in one God who exists in three persons.

Likewise, we only have “authority” - the word of God - which exists in three sources. Just as each person of the Trinity is fully God, each “leg” of our “footstool” is fully revelation. In Scripture we see material sufficiency in that every Catholic teaching is either explicitely or implicitly taught through Scripture. Tradition serves largely an interpretive function - if Scripture were a book of baseball rules that tell that one must hit with a bat and run bases, Tradition would be the coach who teaches the kids how to “choke up” or lead off first base. For instance, Scripture tells us that we must be baptised, but Tradition tells us the manner in which that is done. Lastly, the Magisterium is the continued guidance of the Spirit to apply the once-given-for-all Revelation to contemporary situations, such as Euthanasia, pornography, and embryonic stem-cell research. The ONE revelation addressed these issues, but only in categorical ways, such as teachings on the sanctity of life and against fornication, but the teaching authority of the Church translates these more general teachings of Scripture and Tradition into specific, contemporary language.


#5

Estesbob,

You said,

[quote=estesbob]Actually its three: Scripture, Tradition and the Magestrium. Look on the Church as being a three legged stool with each of these being one of the legs. The role of the Magestrium is teaching-it interprets the Scripture and the Traditions and instrcucts us as to the meaning of each.
[/quote]

But the Catechism section I was given to read says,
“Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.”

So, really, we know from this that the Magesterium is not part of the Wrod of God, but only the authorial teaching component of the Church. But still to my original question: one or two?

-Everyman


#6

Nevermind, I just found the answer to my question:

“‘Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God’ (DV 10) in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.”
-The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Thank you, Madia.

-Everyman


#7

[quote=Everyman]Does the Catholic Church teach that there is only one source of authority, the Word of God, which comes in two forms, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? Or does it teach that these are actually two different sources?

[/quote]

The Holy Scripture is a product of Sacred Tradition. To see how this was done, research the Canon of the New Testament.


#8

[quote=Ignatius]The Holy Scripture is a product of Sacred Tradition. To see how this was done, research the Canon of the New Testament.
[/quote]

Yes, the Catechism says the Gospel is the source of “all saving truth and moral discipline”.

The Catechism says the whole Gospel is handed down in Sacred Tradition:
"Through Tradition, ‘the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.’ "

Thus all the apostles believed , the entire Gospel, was handed down “through Tradition”

Of course this Gospel they handed down, the source of **“all saving truth and moral discipline”, **is simply the Catholic faith.

We often think of the Gospel of only the words of Jesus in the four narratives of His life, the four Gospels. But actually the Gospel is everything the apostles handed down, in other words, the entire Catholic faith. Thus, to proclaim the Gospel, we simply proclaim the Catholic Faith. To teach the Gospel, we teach the Catholic faith.

So, when the apostles taught the Gospel, they did not do so by reading the four Gospels from beginning to end. No one could learn like that, and they don’t contain the whole Gospel. Thus the apostles had to organize what they taught. They had to first, teach the trinity, that is who God the Father was, who Jesus was, who the Holy Spirit was. They had to teach the hierarchy of truths, that is the basics of salvation history, using the scriptures, and then teach the articles of the creed, the sacraments, the commandents and prayer. In other words, the Gospel they taught was the Catholic faith. See the Directory for Catechesis for more on this.
Catehisms are simply a summary of the Gospel the apostles taught and preached.

Later the New Testament was written.
The Catechism says certain elements of this tradition were written in scripture.
#126
"The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on…"

Thus only parts of the Gospel were written in scripture. The whole Gospel is handed down in Tradition, of which the Catechisms are a summary of this Gospel the apostles taught and preached. In other words, as taught infallibly in the Directory for Catehesis

** Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways. **
** In local catechisms, the Church communicates the Gospel in a manner accessible to the human person so that it may be really perceived as the “Good News” of salvation. **


#9

[quote=Everyman]Does the Catholic Church teach that there is only one source of authority, the Word of God, which comes in two forms, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition? Or does it teach that these are actually two different sources?

A friend said his reading has led him to believe that there are two camps in the Church disagreeing with each other on the issue, but I want to know what the official Church teaching is on the issue. Documentation would be an extra benefit.

Also, could you please explain the role of the Magestarium in all this.

Thanks,
Everyman
[/quote]

There is ONE source of authority - God! Revealed to us in the person of Christ through two sources of Divine Revelation - Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.


#10

There is only one source of authority, Divine Revelation, which is preserved and transmitted through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, interpreted, preached and disseminated through the Magesterium under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit.


closed #11

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