Church tradition

Few questions on catholic church tradition

how is church tradition decided?

what constitutes what is correct tradition?

why if what is described today as young earth creation or biblical creation was the almost unanimous view of the early church and fathers, why than is this not part of catholic dogma?

thanks.

The Catholic Church teaches that Tradition and Holy Scripture are the two sources of divine revelation. Tradition is the unwritten word of God and Holy Scripture is the written word of God. Ultimately, it is the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church, the pope and bishops of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit who decide what constitutes Tradition. Tradition is found in the actual practice and faith of the Church and the people of God. For example, infant baptism, though not expressly found in Holy Scripture, has been practiced in the Church since apostolic times and so it is a part of the Tradition of the Church. Another example is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary which the pope infallibly defined in 1854. Mary’s Immaculate Conception is at least implicitly contained in the sources of divine revelation, i.e., Holy Scripture and Tradition. And through the centuries, the developement of this dogma was being more expressly believed and practiced by the Church. The Church was already celebrating the feast of Mary’s Immaculate Conception many centuries before Pope Pius IX declared it to be an infallible truth of the faith.

I’m not to sure what you mean by biblical creation not being a dogma of the Catholic Church. That God created the entire universe of creatures “in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), the Catholic Church holds this as a dogma of the faith. For Holy Scripture is the inspired word of God.

thanks for responce, you said

" the pope and bishops of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit who decide what constitutes Tradition"

is their no formula? is it arbitrary?

on creation i was not saying about god being the creator, but young earth global flood special creation is what the almost universal position among early church fathers was. So I was just wondering why that is not dogma as well?

This is an oversimplificcation but Dogma is generally defined when controversies come before the Church. A council will be called to determine what the true teaching is. For example, the First Council of Nicaea was called regarding the Arian harasy. We believe that in certain situations, a council (and the pope) can speak infallibly on a matter of faith and morality because the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and the apostles and their successors where given authority by Jesus to settle these matters for the Church (see the Council of Jerusalem in the Bible) and define dogma. Thus, dogma has been defined as needed, but, again, only in very specific situations, faith and morals.

The writings of the Church fathers are important to figuring out Dogma but just because a Church father wrote something, does not guarantee its 100% correctness. The Church cannot speak infallibly or make dogma regarding science, and the age of the earth (and global flood) is a matter of science. Catholics are allowed to believe in a young earth although most do not because we also read scripture in light of its genre. While the creation account conveys inerrant truth about creation and original sin, most Catholics do not read it as an exact historical account of events, but they may.

JMR

It is certainly not arbitrary. The pope and bishops of the Church might gather in an ecumenical council and decide on certain matters of faith or morals. On a particular concern, they would probably ask does this particular concern contradict Holy Scripture, is it something handed down directly from the apostles such as infant baptism, is it in conformity with the faith of the Church, is it universally held or practiced in the Church, is it in conformity with the sense of the faith held not only by the bishops but by the faithful too, did the fathers of the Church have anything to say on the matter. I think things of this nature the bishops of the Church would look into.

I do not understand what you mean by young earth global flood special creation. If I’m not mistaken, the majority of the early fathers of the Church interpreted the creation chapters of Genesis literally, meaning, God created the world in seven 24 hour days. Augustine held to a different interpretation of the seven days I think. I believe he held that God created everything on the first day in seed like form which eventually under God’s providence came the different species of plants and animals.

[quote="jjsmity]young earth global flood special creation is what the almost universal position among early church fathers was. So I was just wondering why that is not dogma as well?
[/quote]

Rich is making an important distinction, jjsmity, and his distinction answers your question. ‘Young earth / global flood / special creation’ is not the position of the early fathers, even if the two end up in relatively the same place. The ECFs didn’t have any scientific evidence to fall back upon, and therefore, their position was that (in the absence of other evidence) Scripture provided details about the creation of the universe (including the opportunity to generate estimates of the age of the earth, to assert the historicity of the global flood epic, and hold to creation rather than evolution (which, in all honesty, wouldn’t have occurred to them at all)).

Young earth creationists, on the other hand, espouse a completely different perspective: they reject the scientific evidence that is available to us today, and either propose that where Scripture and science appear to be in ‘conflict’, Scripture wins; or they propose that Scripture is, in fact, a scientific text.

Augustine explicitly spoke against both these theses, warning us not to pit Scripture against reason and science, and teaching that Scripture isn’t attempting to teach natural science, but rather, salvation history.

Therefore, it is not the case that ‘Sacred Tradition’ or even the ECFs taught Young Earth Creationism. So, that’s the reason that it’s not ‘dogma’.

Sacred Tradition are the parts of the faith that are handed down to us from the apostles through the Church. If it is determined that a teaching needs to be examined to see if it is dogma, the magisterium will generally look at it in an ecumenical council. They will argue the teaching in light of Holy Scripture, the writings of the Church fathers, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Afterwards, the teaching may be declared dogma, or something all Christians must profess. They could also declare it a false teaching or something Christians must not profess. They could also declare it a theological theory, which means it’s one of the many mysteries we just don’t understand completely and possibly won’t know until the end of times.

A Catholic is free to believe such a teaching, but it is not a professed dogma of the Church. Young earth creation falls into this last category. The Church determines that the creation stories do not have to be interpreted so literally by the faithful, as long as they believe that the entire world was created by God, that the human race was created in God’s image from one man and one woman, and that we are all born with the dignity of being in God’s image as well as the stain of original sin.

thanks for clarifying. But when did the church put “science” above the bible and tradition?

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called
1 tim 6.20

well I have to call you out as far off on this subject. But I have to ask since when did the church have to fall back on “science” to understand the world why not god the bible and tradition?

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called
1 tim 6.20

the early church fathers almost universally taught creation as understood as young earth position. I have been in trouble before and dont wish to go into it but even the ccc admits it. Anyone interested can easily find the truth of it by reading up on it.

If you do wish, I would love to debate your claims against young earth creation to witch you clearly have been mislead. Please pm me if you would like for more info.

You’re “calling me out” by… just baldly asserting I’m wrong? Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur:wink:

But I have to ask since when did the church have to fall back on “science” to understand the world why not god the bible and tradition?

Is the Bible a science book? Is its purpose to describe natural science, or our supernatural destiny? The Church doesn’t “fall back on ‘science’”: she allows science to speak in the context in which it is competent, and she speaks in the context in which she is competent. No conflict, no contradictions, no drama.

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called
1 tim 6.20

The word that you want to use in order to denigrate science is really γνώσεως (from ‘gnosis’ – knowledge). In Latin, the word for ‘knowledge’ here is scientiæ. However, that doesn’t mean that 1 Timothy 6:20 is talking about ‘science’, per se, at least in the way that we understand ‘science’. The use of the word for ‘knowledge’ to mean ‘science’ only goes back as far as the 1400s or so. So, when the KJV translates this word as ‘science’, it’s being anachronistic – when 1 Timothy was written, what was being railed against was ψευδωνύμου γνώσεως, or “[that which is] falsely called ‘knowledge’ [of the faith]”.

the early church fathers almost universally taught creation as understood as young earth position.

Like I said – they may have ended up in the same spot – but their motivations that led them there are based on radically different points of view. Early Church Fathers may well have thought that the earth was flat, too. Shall we argue for that viewpoint as well? :hmmm:

I have been in trouble before and dont wish to go into it but even the ccc admits it. Anyone interested can easily find the truth of it by reading up on it.

Do you have a Catechism citation you’d like to discuss?

If you do wish, I would love to debate your claims against young earth creation to witch you clearly have been mislead. Please pm me if you would like for more info.

No thank you. This isn’t my first rodeo; I’ve been around and around this argument time and again. It always boils down to one of two assertions: either that the Bible isn’t true if it isn’t scientifically accurate in a literalistic way in all its verses, or that the Bible really is intended as a science text. I don’t find either assertion convincing (nor, as it turns out, does the Church). Which are you proposing?

I learn about the faith because I love Jesus. Learning the faith helps me grow closer to the one I love.

-Tim-

you are falsely calling “science” old earth big bang evolution whatever it is you claim contradicts genisis, thus under warning from the bible. Science meaning is knowledge, you are falsely claiming we have knowledge that contradicts the young earth postion held by the early church fathers, thus leading me to conclude not only is it your rodeo, you refuse to even get a clear picture of the debate and understand the side you claim is false early church fathers young earth view].

do science and bible contradict… no never does. Do evolution millions of years contradict bible and early church fathers…yes. Is evolution/big bang/millions of years science? no pm if interested, again your calling it falsely science as timothy letters warns.

flat earth? typical atheist yes atheist argument,tell me were early church fathers held that view? tell me were in bible?

answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/who-invented-the-flat-earth/

btw those who do believe in flat earth today are evolutionist.

.I dont have ccc number right here, its under the creation section, they mention as anyone knows it was majority view. I think this site may help a catholic site.

kolbecenter.org/the-traditional-catholic-doctrine-of-creation/
kolbecenter.org/

I am proposing the bible is the word of god, and relabel source for what it says, creation happened as god plainly said in genesis. This does not contradict science in anyway or the early church fathers, it does with evolution and millions of years. We cannot talk on this anymore pm me if you wish i dont want to get in trouble it has already happened just for asking questions on this topic.

Freely asserted, freely denied. :shrug:

whatever it is you claim contradicts genisis

Nope; I’m claiming that there’s no contradiction.

Science meaning is knowledge

No – the etymology of the word ‘science’ is ultimately from the Latin scientia. Science, on the other hand, takes on a whole other definition, which includes the scientific method, observation, experimentation, etc, etc.

you are falsely claiming we have knowledge that contradicts the young earth postion

Scientists don’t have evidence that stands in contradiction of the ‘young earth’ claims? That’s news to me … and to them, as well. :wink:

Do evolution millions of years contradict bible

Nope. Not unless you require the Bible to be a science book that is making historical, scientific claims about creation.

.I dont have ccc number right here, its under the creation section, they mention as anyone knows it was majority view.

When you find it, please provide it here. Thanks! :thumbsup:

I think this site may help a catholic site.

There are some Catholics who believe in a literal, six day creation. That does not imply that this is the teaching of the Catholic Church. In fact, the Church does not teach six day creation dogmatically; rather, she teaches that the creation stories reveal certain facts about God. From the catechism: “Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation - its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the ‘beginning’: creation, fall, and promise of salvation.” (CCC, #289)

I am proposing the bible is the word of god, and relabel source for what it says

I believe this, too.

creation happened as god plainly said in genesis.

Now we’ve moved from ‘Bible as Word of God’ to ‘your personal interpretation of what the Word of God means’. Big difference, there…

BTW, for those who don’t know this:

Most of the pioneers in what we now consider the “sciences” were, in fact, Catholic clergy. The idea of the Big Bang was first floated by a Catholic priest (sorry, I can’t remember his name right now, but I’m sure others here know it). Gregor Mendel, the “father” of genetics, was a Catholic monk. And there’s more, including St. Albert the Great (Albertus Magnus, OP - called “the Great” in his own lifetime!), who was the teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas and is the patron of natural scientists. Seriously, the Church has, in most circumstances, encouraged the sciences. Even today, many breakthroughs in medicine are being done by Catholic clergy. Why? Because the original point of science was to understand the majesty of God’s creation and how He made the world.

Georges Lemaître.

The church considers it her role to speak authoritatively and infallibly only on matters of faith and morals, those things which pertain to man’s salvation.

It isn’t Church Tradition. It is Sacred Tradition - truth revealed to us by God.

Tradition doesn’t come from the Church nor is it property of the Church. Tradition is truth which comes from God and would be true whether the Church existed or not.

-Tim-

I dont know how we have not had thread closed yet. To me you seem very closed mined and debating somewhere else you dont want to do. So please allow this thread to get back on topic. Your claims to me are very typical and easily shown false to anyone interested.

but how does the church decide this is from god and how to tell.

How do you tell the bible is from God?

Good question. Your questions seem to have already been answered. :shrug:

To me you seem very closed mined

I’m pretty ‘closed-minded’ about the truth of a[sup]2[/sup]+b[sup]2[/sup]=c[sup]2[/sup], too. That doesn’t imply I’m wrong. :wink:

By the same token, though, you seem pretty ‘closed-minded’ about the assertion that young earth creationism is in error.

Your claims to me are very typical and easily shown false to anyone interested.

We seem to have the same opinion of each other’s assertions.

Seriously, though: I am answering your questions; you just don’t like the answers I’m giving you. Big difference… :shrug:

We decide exactly as they did in Chapter 15 of Acts of the Apostles.

*The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate… (Acts 15:6-7)

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church… (Acts 15:22)*

The Bishops of the Church get together, pray about it, discuss it, pray some more and come to a decision. Sometimes they vote. Just like in the Bible.

-Tim-

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