Tradition and Apostolic Succession

What does it mean by the catholic church uses tradition and apolistic tradition? I know protestants use bible only

That’s a pretty broad question.

Have a look at this Catholic Answers tract on the subject:

We will be happy to answer any questions that you still have.

I noticed that the title of your post says “Apostolic Succession” but the body says “Apostolic Tradition.” These are not the same thing. Succession means that every Bishop is guaranteed to be ordained by a Bishop who was ordained by a Bishop, and so forth, until you get back to one of the Apostles. Every Catholic Bishop is assured of valid succession.

By any chance are you MrPizzaDude? Your handwriting is rather strikingly similar, in addition to other details.

You are speaking of apples and oranges. As one of the posters above said, Apostolic Succession refers to the fact that every Catholic Bishop has been ordained by another Bishop, etc. in a long line leading directly to one of the Apostoles, each of whom was ordained by Christ. So, each Catholic Bishop now living has been ordained by Christ through the long line of Bishops from now to then. Each Bishop then has his authority to teach, ordain other Bishops and Priests, and to celebrate the Sacraments and to authorize other ordained men to celebrate the Sacraments and to teach in the name of Christ - to do all in the name of Christ by the authority Christ gave the first Apostles, who have handed this authority on directly to the men presently exercising the Priesthood. Thus, only a validly ordained Catholic Priest or Bishop can validly celebrate Mass and conscrate the Eucharist, ordain other men, and celebrate the other Sacraments, and fogive sins, and teach in Christ’s name. The only Sacraments non-Catholics may celebrate validly are Baptism and Marriage.

Tradition refers to the fact that the Revelation by God, through Christ was first handed on by word of mouth to the First Christians by the Apostoles and continues to be done so today. The first New Testament writings were not yet complete until the last Apostle died, therefore the Bible ( at least the New Testament ) came after the Message of Salvation had been passed to the faithful by word of mouth under the guidance of the Church by the Holy Spirit. So while the Catholic Church holds that the Scriptures are Divinely Inspired, the contents of the Bible were first handed on by word of mouth ( Tradition ). There would be no Bible without the Traditional, word of mouth teaching.

So the Catholic Church holds Tradition in a higher position of authority than the Bible, because, as St. John said, " …all the books in the world would not hold all that Christ did and said…" The Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, examines all that has been handed on by Tradition, which never conflicts with the Bible but may go beyond what is specifically mentioned there, as the Magisterium teaches what Christ has taught and God the Father and the Holy Spirit have Revealed. Tradition gives a broader and more complete understanding of the Truth contained in the Scriptures.


Aha! You ARE him. Thanks, I just found the proof. Why another account?

I wondered what this could possibly mean, so I did a bit of checking. I see that the science of textual criticism is alive and well on CAF. Well played, Sirach2 - truly a worthy candidate of the CAF Nobel Prize in linguistic science.

If you ever build a CAF “troll detector” then sign me up as an initial subscriber. I don’t appreciate people who create bogus accounts to drain away Catholic resources.

Yes I am him, IF I remember I was drunk that night and I was scared of hell so I guess I created another account but I’m not going to use that account anymore and just keep the orgingal

Elementary Watson.

or is it, “nice thinking 99”

:bowdown2: I respond to either alias, McCartney. Thanks!

Next case . . . :smiley:

My turn to do a bit of checking. I had to look up what “science of textual criticism” meant. :doh2:

I’m glad to see that you figured it out. You must be pretty adept, yourself!

Apostolic Tradition, apostolic succession, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and ecclesial traditions are discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 50-141.

The “science” part is redundant, but I always include it because the English word “criticism” doesn’t normally mean what it means in “textual criticism.”

The science got a HUGE boost with the advent of computing technology. Researchers have created vast databases of thousands of ancient texts. We have the ability, as never before, to accurately date documents, identify literary “glosses,” etc.

The surprising result is that we have a far better understanding of the actual text of the Bible than anyone since the Apostolic Age. Modern Bibles have the ability to be far more reliable than ever before (unless the translator inserts bias, as with the NIV:

Yikes, I have to use hunt-and-poke slo-mo procedures. Nice!
Thanks, David.

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