The Irony of Tradition


#1

Many non-Catholic christians say the Church has too many “traditions of men” that make it a false religion that does not look like the Christianity of the Bible. The irony is that the Church has the authority of Jesus,The Holy Spirit and the Apostles teaching office to say what is true God given Tradition and what is not. So the traditions that the non-Catholics have come up with after the Reformation are just “traditions of men”. Am I correct?

Jeffrey


#2

Absolutely correct! But they don’t wanna hear that either!
:eek: :rotfl: :rotfl:


#3

[quote=GerardPaul]Many non-Catholic christians say the Church has too many “traditions of men” that make it a false religion that does not look like the Christianity of the Bible. The irony is that the Church has the authority of Jesus,The Holy Spirit and the Apostles teaching office to say what is true God given Tradition and what is not. So the traditions that the non-Catholics have come up with after the Reformation are just “traditions of men”. Am I correct?

Jeffrey
[/quote]

OK then.

What are the “true God given Traditions”?

Since Jesus has “given” the RCC a divine “teaching office” perhaps you could enlighten us “benighted” Evangelicals and Protestants.

Since you have the “advantage” of the Magesterium, maybe you could give us a definitve list of infallible teachings, for example.

Thanks and Peace


#4

You may want to take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You’ll find the list of infallible teachings there.

As for definitive, the teachings are definitive, the list however is not, in that God allows us to, over time, ponder on what he has taught us through Christ. He has given us the Holy Spirit to ensure that we didn’t mistake what we’d been taught as the church further unpacked the truth.

The Traditions are the Liturgy which has been passed on through the ages, in which much truth about Christ and his mother has been retained.

God Bless you EA_Man. Looks like you’re still hanging out here.

CARose


#5

Here’s the difference in four words:

One.
Holy.
Catholic.
Apostolic.


#6

I hope I say all of this with the right words.

I can confidently believe everything the Catholic Church teaches - without even knowing everything that the Catholic Church teaches - because Christ gave the Church 1. the authority to bind and loose on earth and in heaven, 2. the authority to teach the faith and law, 3. protection against ever teaching error and 4. His promise that the gates of sheol would not prevail against it.

Those are four God-given Traditions. The Bible is another.

Others include the Sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession and Absolution, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and Annointing of the Sick. Christ instituted those, so those, too are God-given Traditions.

One rather comprehensive list of infallible teachings is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


#7

[quote=CARose]You may want to take a look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You’ll find the list of infallible teachings there.

As for definitive, the teachings are definitive, the list however is not, in that God allows us to, over time, ponder on what he has taught us through Christ. He has given us the Holy Spirit to ensure that we didn’t mistake what we’d been taught as the church further unpacked the truth.

The Traditions are the Liturgy which has been passed on through the ages, in which much truth about Christ and his mother has been retained.

God Bless you EA_Man. Looks like you’re still hanging out here.

CARose
[/quote]

God Bless you as well.

You may want to check with the Vatican though, as they have never issued an"infallible" Catechism. Now I can understand your confusion, after all since the RCC claims that it contains the “fullness of truth” you would think that they would have produced an infallible list of infallible teachings after all these years. Surprisingly, they have not.

Instead they offer maximal authority claims and anathemas for those that do not submit. They offer minimal truth claims and demand assent even when the Magesterium’s teaching is either vague or not definitive. That’s rather self-serving to my mind.

Peace


#8

[quote=ElizabethJoy]One rather comprehensive list of infallible teachings is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

Again, no.

See the above response.

The RCC has never issued either an infallible Catechism or commentary. Again rather surprising given the authority claims it makes.

Peace


#9

quote: EA_Man

Instead they offer maximal authority claims and anathemas for those that do not submit. They offer minimal truth claims and demand assent even when the Magesterium’s teaching is either vague or not definitive.

Well stated, EA_Man.

I suppose an individual could view it as:

God did entrust the faith to Moses, but
2500 years later, the Mosaic Law was
riddled with “the traditions of men.”

Example: when Christ was asked why His
disciples had failed to wash their hands
before a meal, Christ’s response was the
equivalent of**:** You will not find that demand
in the Law of Moses, but in the Oral Traditions
of rabbinic Pharisaism.

And further: You have added to the burden
of My people with laws of your own devising.

see footnote # 16

usccb.org/nab/bible/matthew/matthew11.htm#v28

Sound familiar?

reen12


#10

[quote=reen12]quote: EA_Man

Well stated, EA_Man.

I suppose an individual could view it as:

God did entrust the faith to Moses, but
2500 years later, the Mosaic Law was
riddled with “the traditions of men.”

Example: when Christ was asked why His
disciples had failed to wash their hands
before a meal, Christ’s response was the
equivalent of**:** You will not find that demand
in the Law of Moses, but in the Oral Traditions
of rabbinic Pharisaism.

verses 1-13

usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark7.htm

And further: You have added to the burden
of My people with laws of your own devising.

see footnote # 16

usccb.org/nab/bible/matthew/matthew11.htm#v28

Sound familiar?

reen12
[/quote]


#11

Example: when Christ was asked why His
disciples had failed to wash their hands
before a meal, Christ’s response was the
equivalent of**:** You will not find that demand
in the Law of Moses, but in the Oral Traditions
of rabbinic Pharisaism.

quote: reen12

For reference to above, please see 1-13

usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark7.htm

reen12


#12

The RCC has never issued either an infallible Catechism or commentary. Again rather surprising given the authority claims it makes.

Unlike most n-C denoms, the Catholic Church allows the Nicene & Apostle’s creeds to suffice as lists of infallible statements of what we believe. That’s infallible enough. These creeds can change somewhat as we come to better understand God and His word, but the doctrines themselves will never change because they are the same as those taught by the apostles.

You won’t find infallible statements on the young earth, dinosaurs in the Bible, or a definitive time for Christ’s return.

I personally believe that a great deal of the insanity and weird doctrine of n-Cs comes from their error of Sola Scriptura and their feverish efforts to reassure themselves by saying that all truth is in the Bible and that it has the answer for everything and is factually and historically acccurate in every fine detail, even in science and math and in the numbers it gives for the size of the armies that fought in battles.(Sola Scriptura is unscriptural according to 1st Timothy 3:15 anyway)

The Catholic Church recognizes that some things are meant as parables, some as historic records (like a census), and some as expressions of belief at that time.

Prize winning example: Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is forgotten.

At that time, the Jews did not have any concept of an afterlife… in fact many today do not believe in a resurrection of the dead as we Christians do. There is no contradiction…the Jews just didn’t understand that at that point, later OT passages offer a context that makes sense of all this.

Does this mean that the Word of God is in error or uninspired? Absolutely not! It does mean that some things like science are not its forte as it is a religious work and not a scientific one and trying to make it appear as an accurate scientific one is foolish in that you are asking it to do something that even God never intended it to do.

The living Tradition of the church does however inform our understanding of what the ECF held as infallible beliefs that they passed on to us from Christ Himself through His apostles without a break.

Infallible statements are made primarily whenever someone attacks or denys a Christian truth. At that point infallible definitions are made of what the church has always believed, but the doctrines never change.

So…if one wants a list of infallible teachings of the Catholic Church… no problem.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.


#13

quote=Church Militanthe Catholic Church allows the Nicene & Apostle’s creeds to suffice as lists of infallible statements of what we believe.
[/quote]

So what about the Catechism of the Catholic Church or ex cathedra statements from the pope or the pronouncements of ecumenical councils? They are not enumerated in the credal statements that you cite.

If the creeds suffice for infallible lists of what to believe, does that mean the sources that I have cited are not to be believed?

[font=Arial][size=2]

[/size]I personally believe that a great deal of the insanity and weird doctrine of n-Cs comes from their error of Sola Scriptura and their feverish efforts to reassure themselves by saying that all truth is in the Bible and that it has the answer for everything and is factually and historically acccurate in every fine detail, even in science and math and in the numbers it gives for the size of the armies that fought in battles.

Does this mean that the Word of God is in error or uninspired? Absolutely not! It does mean that some things like science are not its forte as it is a religious work and not a scientific one and trying to make it appear as an accurate scientific one is foolish in that you are asking it to do something that even God never intended it to do.

So the Word of God is inspired and errant?

Can we believe “every fine detail” of Scripture or not?

You are making contradictory statements; on the one hand you say we can’t take the Bible literally for matters of science, math, or even historical detail, yet on the other hand you say it is the inerrant, inspired Word of God.

Which is it? Are some parts errant and others inerrant?
If so, can you provide an infallible list of those parts that are and are not inerrant?

Thanks

[/font]


#14

Dear EA_Man,

How about this - part of a post I wrote for the For Lutherans…
thread:

quote: reen12

These two positions, then, reflect the over-riding
dispute: Is the RCC reflecting theological* reality*,
with the whole of the sacramental system
or
did the RCC distort the mandate, in terms of "passing on"
what was actually “passed on” by the Apostles -
i.e., has it created “man-made” laws that actually
mis-represent and mis-interpret the clear teachings of Christ

Had the RCC become, by the 16th century, a mirror
image of rabbinic Pharisaism, at the time of Jesus?

“You have burdened My people with laws [and “interpretations”?]
of your own making.” [That is, you have taken the Mosaic
Law, which *was

entrusted to Moses, and layered on
burdensome commands of your own making {Oral Law} ]

I thought, last night:
Jesus came and set the Pharisees straight on what
they had done to His Father’s people.

The only way the “laws of your own making” can be
undone, in terms of the RCC, is the actual second
coming of Christ…the parousia.

Forget what He may, or may not say, to the Lutherans.

Will He say to the Church:

“You have taken what *was *entrusted to you, and
burdened My people with laws of your *own *making.”


In the meantime, those who are repelled, by what
they see as the distortion of the original mandate,
given to the Church, find refuge from these burdens -
in Christ, through faith, sola fides],searching the Scriptures
for what their Lord actually said, sola scriptura] and trusting
in Him for their justification and salvation sola gratia] -
while producing fruits through His loving power.


And, if some of those, in non-Catholic Christian demonimations,
are deprived of the realization of what the Mass is -a sacrifice-
who will Christ hold responsible for this existential reality?

Those who were entrusted with that knowledge, and who,
by imposing the “traditions of men”, injured the consciences
and hearts of those who broke away.

Those who were unable to endure the unendurable…the
distortion of the “good news”, and the obfuscation of same,
by those who were entrusted with the gospel - and who
proceeded, through the centuries, to generate man-made
laws, [doctrines, dogmas], all the while claiming that they
were defended, in this enterprise, by the protection and
guidance of the Holy Spirit.

That’s the fruit of 47 years of thought.

Maranatha…Come, Lord Jesus, and rescue Your Church.

Best,
reen12


#15

[quote=reen12]Dear EA_Man,

How about this - part of a post I wrote for the For Lutherans…
thread: (see reen12’s post farther up).

That’s the fruit of 47 years of thought.

Maranatha…Come, Lord Jesus, and rescue Your Church.

Best,
reen12
[/quote]

47 years of thought. And this is the best you could come up with? Are you sure you understand Catholicism or are you just overlaying it with your own perceptions, your own ideas about what is and what isn’t a “tradition of men”? I rather think so.

The Catholic Church has four levels of teaching: Dogma, doctrine, disciplines and devotions.

Dogmas must be believed. They have their core truths within the Creeds.

Doctrine also is to be believed but does not demand that it must be believed. Doctrine is researched from the Creeds through study of Scripture, oral Tradition and prayer to see if they ought to be elevated to the distinction of dogma, which is why a few Marian dogmas were pronounced centuries after the Creeds were accepted. Those dogmas are the fruit of the process I outlined.

Disciplines are those minor traditions of the Church subject to change, such as which day a feast will be celebrated or what saints will be removed from the universal calendar (but remain on local diocesan calendars or those of religious orders), etc.

Devotions are the popular and personal prayers of the faithful that are not a part of the Liturgy of the Mass or of the Office.

It’s really just that simple.


#16

Hi again EA_Man,

Glad to see you’re back again this morning. I wasn’t going to reply to your post last night regarding the Catechism and list of infallible doctrine, etc, but I thought on it more and decided I’d like to try again to help you see what I see. I don’t know that you have any interest in trying to understand the Catholic perspective, but since you are here and continue to ask, I’ll see if this helps.

But, I also read that you have a concern, and a valid concern I might add, about what you perceive to be what CM is saying.

CM, correct me if I misstate your intent, but I believe this is what he was trying to explain regarding the Inerrant nature of the Bible. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and as such is Inerrant. This is not the same as saying that we fallible human beings are incapable of misunderstanding the intent of a given passage.

An example of the kind of thing I believe CM was referring to would be the story of creation as given in Genesis. Genesis actually gives two stories of creation, I believe one has man created before the animals and the other, man is created after the animals. If we were to believe that in this case the bible were meant to give us a scientific account of the creation of the world, we would be left with a contradiction and inconsistancy within the word of God. If, on the other hand, we recognize that the story of creation, that which is common to both stories, is that Man was created different and unique from the animals, from all the rest of creation for that matter. Man was created by God, in the image of God and the earth and the animals have been given to him to protect and care for. Woman was created so that she could be the companion of man, and they together are given the gift of co-creating new souls who are called to give Glory and Honor to God.

The bible is inerrant, and I am sorry that it might have appeared that CM was suggesting otherwise. It is us mere humans who need guidance and an authority to ensure we understand what is being taught in the beautiful passages of scripture. Just as the Egyptian Eunich needed assistance, so too do we need a teacher, our Church, as given to us by Christ when he told the Apostles to go and teach the good news.

But I digress from the purpose of why I logged in today.

I’ve got a long reply, so I’ll continue in my next post …

CARose


#17

cont …

I’m sure you’re aware of what the Catechism is and is meant to be but I’ll state it again anyway, quoting directly from the Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, as appended to the beginning of the Catechism itself. Pg 4"The project was the object of extensive consultation among all Catholic Bishops, their Episcopal Conferences or Synods, and of theological and catechetical institutes. As a whole, it received a broadly favorable acceptance on the part of the Episcopate of the Catholic Church, who generously accepted my invitation to share responsibility for an enterprise which directly concerns the life of the Church. This response elicits in me a deep feeling of joy, because the harmony of so many voices truly expresses what could be called the “symphony” of the faith. The achievement of this Catechism thus reflects the collegial nature of the Episcopate; it testifies to the Church’s catholicity.

2. Arrangement of the Material

A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in the Church and the Authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors, and saints of the Church, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help to illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problesm which had not yet emerged in the past.
This catechism will thus contain both the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light. …

3. The Doctinal Value of the Text

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom! …

Therefore, I ask all the Church’s Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Eph 3:8). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf 1 Peter 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.

Then, there is one other quick excerpt I would like to share, this from the Prologue to the Catechism, found on page 12, section 25.Above All - Charity[indent]25 To conclude this Prologue, it is fitting to recall this pastoral principle stated by the Roman Catechism:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love. (cf. 1 Cor 13:8)

more …
[/indent]


#18

EA_Man

The teaching authority of the church proceeds from its infallible magisterium, retaining over the course of 2000 years, the Truth of the Faith given to us by Jesus Christ himself. The infallible truths are stated definitively when needed to address challenges to the faithful which arise over the course of history. It is for this reason that the list is not a single, unchanging, infallible list. Once defined, and declared dogma of the Church, these Truths, which arise from the Unchanging and Unchangable Eternal God do not change and remain on the list of truths which the Church has clearly enumerated. But over time, as questions arise, or heresies threaten the faith of God’s people, clarifications are made to the teachings that have existed since Christ gave it to His Apostles. It is at times, like this, as in the early years of the church the Trinity was clearly defined in response to a heresy, that the church leans heavily on the Holy Spirit at work in her people and ultimately our Pope.

I know this is a difficult belief to accept, but we truly trust that the Holy Spirit has continued to guide the Church and all the followers of Christ, as promised to us by Christ himself when he gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and promised us that the gates of the netherworld would NOT prevail. I believe that when Christ made such a promise, he did so as God, and as God, he foresaw all the men who would be tempted by the power of the position of steward for his church and he knew that he could shore up the strength of even the weakest of these men such that the truth would prevail.

We have had mere men in the position of pope and this has continued for 2000 years. In the course of history, there have been occations where some of these men have not been all we would have desired. And yet through the gracious providence of God, none of the men who lived less than holy lives while in the post of Pope have ever sought to declare and define from the Chair of Peter, a truth which contradicted scripture. They may not have lived up to our expectations in many ways, but they did not corrupt the deposit of faith in matters of Faith and Morals as retained by the church. They did not have the authority to make the changes and the Holy Spirit, God himself, ensured that such error did not occur. I believe this with all my heart. I believe Christ when he says that the gates of hell will not prevail.

CARose


#19

[quote=CARose]EA_Man

The teaching authority of the church proceeds from its infallible magisterium, retaining over the course of 2000 years, the Truth of the Faith given to us by Jesus Christ himself. The infallible truths are stated definitively when needed to address challenges to the faithful which arise over the course of history. It is for this reason that the list is not a single, unchanging, infallible list. Once defined, and declared dogma of the Church, these Truths, which arise from the Unchanging and Unchangable Eternal God do not change and remain on the list of truths which the Church has clearly enumerated. But over time, as questions arise, or heresies threaten the faith of God’s people, clarifications are made to the teachings that have existed since Christ gave it to His Apostles. It is at times, like this, as in the early years of the church the Trinity was clearly defined in response to a heresy, that the church leans heavily on the Holy Spirit at work in her people and ultimately our Pope.

I know this is a difficult belief to accept, but we truly trust that the Holy Spirit has continued to guide the Church and all the followers of Christ, as promised to us by Christ himself when he gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and promised us that the gates of the netherworld would NOT prevail. I believe that when Christ made such a promise, he did so as God, and as God, he foresaw all the men who would be tempted by the power of the position of steward for his church and he knew that he could shore up the strength of even the weakest of these men such that the truth would prevail.

We have had mere men in the position of pope and this has continued for 2000 years. In the course of history, there have been occations where some of these men have not been all we would have desired. And yet through the gracious providence of God, none of the men who lived less than holy lives while in the post of Pope have ever sought to declare and define from the Chair of Peter, a truth which contradicted scripture. They may not have lived up to our expectations in many ways, but they did not corrupt the deposit of faith in matters of Faith and Morals as retained by the church. They did not have the authority to make the changes and the Holy Spirit, God himself, ensured that such error did not occur. I believe this with all my heart. I believe Christ when he says that the gates of hell will not prevail.

CARose
[/quote]

So we have a fallible list of infallible teachings?

Again, if the Magesterium is protected by the Holy Spirit as you say, why can’t it, or why won’t it produce a list of infallible teachings?

All of this sounds suspiciously like an admission that the Church does not have such a list, and either won’t or can’t produce such a list. Furthermore, of what advantage is infallibility if the laity is not even cognizant of those teachings that have been declared infallible?

Very curious…

Peace


#20

[quote=EA_Man]So we have a fallible list of infallible teachings?

[/quote]

No, it’s not a fallible list of infallible teachings, it’s a list which is as complete as is needed at any given time in history.

As humans, we are constantly finding new ways to confuse ourselves regarding the beauty which is Christ. And to illuminate our path to God, we have clarifications given to us by the church over time.

But the list given at one time, the truths, once clarified, remain infallible as ever.

CARose


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