In relation to these last three or four posts, I think it good to remember that there are a number of things widely held in Catholic tradition that have come from non-canonical sources. The name of Mary’s mother (and father?) being one…The idea that Joseph was older possibly with children from a previous marriage is another…
As mentioned above by others, the Church, especially the very early Church, can and does use some of these “non-canonical” sources as points of study…
I think that this is a very good thread and I thank Wandile for starting it. It gives us all an opportunity to come to a better understanding of the “Bible” and it’s purpose in the Church.
I believe that here in the West, even we Latin Rite Catholics can have a somewhat skewed understanding that stems largely from the fall out of the Protestant Reformation and the adoption of “Sola Scriptura”. (can’t speak for eastern rites on this), The constant need, in discussions with certain protestants, to, “Show me in the Bible”…(meaning a specific 66 book canon) can lead us to become a bit too “dogmatic” about the canon ourselves.
Since history demonstrates that differences in specific canons has never (so far as I am aware) led to a Schism within the Church, this should give us all an insight into how the Church views these things matters.
So - We can be pretty certain that, whatever other obstacles reunification between East and West might encounter - the Books of the canon will not be one of them.