Trent & Tradition


What was the essence of the partim…partim issue? Why did the Fathers of the council reject partim…partim? How did Vatican II handle the issue? Did it seek clarify it?


What is Partim???


Latin for partly…It’s about the relationship of scripture and the authority of tradition…Some of the fathers wanted to say that revelation is contained partly in scripture and partly in tradition. It did not find a place in the final wording of the document and thus Trent left open the question whether or not tradition is a source additional to scripture or whether it is a source parallel to scripture, not containing any additional truths, but the same truths under another aspect.

Do you think there are truths, in addition to Scripture, in Tradition? If so, in what sense?


Hi Fighting,

If Trent did not do it, certainly Vatican II did it.

Here from Dei Verbum:

  1. Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth, they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence.(6)

Both Tradition and Sacred Scripture are the word of God as handed down through Christ and the apostles.

Full text :



You all dont answer questions directly–your quoting Vatican II about scripture and Tradition both being the word of God and both being venerated—HE DIDNT ASK THAT—To answer your question about doctrines being in scripture and oral Tradition—It is clear that all Catholic doctrines are not explicitly in scripture. (Assumption, Immaculate Conception, Indulgences, purgatory) A Catholic can argue that these doctrines are implicit in scripture. A Catholic can also argue (believe) that these doctrines arent at all in scripture , but are contained in oral Tradition handed down from the apostles preserved in the Church. Trent left it open because it is just that open. Just like other areas of theology are open. (grace : Molinist, Thomist–Mary’s death etc)


Hi Lockhaven,

He did ask that. Read the post again… and leave the monitoring to the forum staff.



from dei verbum 10
This teaching office **is not above the Word of God, but serves it, **teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit; it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed.

SO if the teaching office is a servant of the Word of God, where does that that place her, knowing scripture is the Word of God?


The answer to your question is clearly stated in the post immediately prior to yours.


[quote=myfavouritmartin]SO if the teaching office is a servant of the Word of God, where does that that place her, knowing scripture is the Word of God?

The organic unity of Scripture and Tradition means that they are both equally Dei Verbum (the word of God) first spoken from Christ’s lips to the Apostles, the Magesterium (teaching office) serves the word of God, but teaches only that which can be defined as Apostolic, drawing from the fides quae; the deposit of faith divinely revealed.


So Vatican II talks of Tradition then Scripture- which is the correct chronological order of things. This order is contrary, however, to Trent. Can anyone elucidate why this was so at Trent? Could it be something to do with the Council’s purpose to address the Protestant criticisms? Was it essential to stress the relevance of Sacred Scripture at Trent?


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