Theoretical theology and common faith


#1

Hey there,

I read something by a former Catholic now Adventist, who claimed that the Catholic Church in theory regard Scripture and Tradition equally, but in reality they favor Tradition.

He also said, that while there is a clear difference about praying to Mary (for intercession) and praying to God - but only among scholars. The average Catholic doesn’t know the difference.

Of course there will always be a number of people who just don’t get it no matter how many times you tell them. I’ve grown up in a rather strictly grace-alone, faith-alone church, but there are still people who think they can go to Heaven if they just behave well.

He is in no way an anti-catholic, he says that he still loves the Catholic Church and all, he just cannot agree with all her teachings.

A last thing: Does anyone have any insight into how the faith of the average Catholic has been over the centuries? For instance: When the liturgy was in Latin, and few people could understand it, would the priest still preach in the common language? Would he talk to them in private about matters of faith? Would he explain the meaning of the Latin words?

  • Steffen

#2

He doesn’t seem to know that Sacred Scripture was born of Sacred Tradition, not the other way around. Even the OT was born of Jewish Tradition, not handed to them by God on a silver platter. You just can’t have one without the other. It’s like saying I favor my mother over my father as my real parent.

He also said, that while there is a clear difference about praying to Mary (for intercession) and praying to God - but only among scholars. The average Catholic doesn’t know the difference.

Sounds like an assumption on his part invented by him to support his decision to leave the Church. Subjective opinions are not arguments.

Of course there will always be a number of people who just don’t get it no matter how many times you tell them. I’ve grown up in a rather strictly grace-alone, faith-alone church, but there are still people who think they can go to Heaven if they just behave well.

Certainly, but they are merely wrong. The fact that they are wrong doesn’t change or make a dent in the fact that the teachings they are wrong about are still true. Yes? :wink:

He is in no way an anti-catholic, he says that he still loves the Catholic Church and all, he just cannot agree with all her teachings.

He apparently doesn’t know the teachings of the Catholic Church, although it is good he isn’t a bitter ex-Catholic. There’s still hope he can be reclaimed for the faith IF he is really interested in the truth instead of merely looking for ways to stay out of the Church.

A last thing: Does anyone have any insight into how the faith of the average Catholic has been over the centuries? For instance: When the liturgy was in Latin, and few people could understand it, would the priest still preach in the common language? Would he talk to them in private about matters of faith? Would he explain the meaning of the Latin words?

  • Steffen

Sermons and homilies and private teaching were never addressed to the common people in anything other than their own languages down through the ages. To have preached in Latin (or Greek or Hebrew or whatever other language they didn’t speak) would have been pointless.

I don’t know how far back having a missal with both the Latin and the vernacular goes back, but in the days when most people were illiterate they would have been pointless, as well.

People were taught the meaning of the main prayers said in Latin, such as the Our Father, etc. I do not know if they understood all the Latin prayers of the Mass. But then, one does not have to understand the prayers in order to assist at Mass. If that were the case it would have excluded the mentally disabled and small children from participating–something the Church has never done.


#3

The Catholic Church is like a three legged stool - Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium. Take any one away and the stool collapses.


#4

I attended an adventist church school for a time in my youth, however, they were not former Catholics, so I don’t think that thay would matter all that much.
He is right in some areas, many Catholics do not know their faith, and in this day and age there is no excuse as access to the truth is easily found.

He is wrong in that the Church does hold them as equal, why?
Because the Bible is Tradition. One may ask, what was the gospel before it was written?

He did speak in the common tongue yes, but the mass was not officially codified latin until Pope Pius V; which was a result of many liturgical differences in defferent areas, such as vernacular and cultural customs creeping in. We also have to remember, that when the mass first came into being in Western Europe, Latin was the common tongue, and it remained that way for a long period of time, until the Frankish Empire, when it began to simply be that of the literate class.

Yes, he would have, provided he was educated in such matters, as priests were not always educated.

I believe people would have known enough to practice the faith as taught by the local clergy, or, if there was a monastery near by, which brings me to the fact that in almost all times of faith there have been great saints preaching to the masses the chief dogmas and morals of the faith.


#5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.