Where in Catholic teaching does it mandate to follow Tradition?
A major tactic of Protestants is to preach that Holy Tradition is not necessary to be followed. Protestants say that Holy Tradition is just a series of meaningless rituals, and they are not necessary to have a relationship with God.
As my missionary friend says, Catholics preach a system, but Protestants preach a relationship.
So wait, our so-called ‘system’ PRECLUDES a relationship with God?
See, that kind of tactic automatically boxes people and assumes that one ‘box’ cannot contain anything in the ‘other box’.
Sacred Tradition (big T) is NOT the same as tradition (little t). Sacred Tradition would include things that Protestants themselves accept, such as the idea that we celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sunday (Scripture alone does not indicate the ‘change’ from Saturday), the idea of the Trinity, etc. Yes, all those things are IMPLICIT in Scripture but never actually ‘stated’. Why, the Bible itself is not given ‘as such’ in Scripture.
Why on earth would Catholics go to church on Sunday and receive our Lord in communion if this were not a relationship with God? Really, think about it. Our Protestant brothers and sisters go to church on Sunday too. Why should their attendance be touted as them going to have a ‘relationship’ but Catholics at church accused of simply ‘following some dead ritual’?
Until Protestants (and to be fair, some Catholics) can get out of this silly idea that their teachings share NOTHING and that therefore, one group is all about GOD and the other isn’t, or one is all about FORM and the other isn’t, etc., we’ll be talking past each other instead of actually learning FROM each other.
Because, for those who have converted from Catholic to Protestant, the “system” has precluded a relationship with God. For them, it really was empty rituals. For them, they did not experience God for the first time until they stepped into a Protestant church. Could it be, then, that Protestant churches are doing something right to help people believe in God, and foster community? Is there something Catholics can learn from Protestants? Maybe the rock bands are worth it after all?
We don’t encounter Christ in isolation. He came from heaven down to earth 2000 years ago. The only way to meet the real Jesus is to find where he has kept his complete presence these past two millennia. Of course, this necessitates a living Tradition that is handed down to us, which we must accept to find the true Christ; living, because Christ is alive; Tradition, because we can only encounter Christ through what is handed on to us by the community where Christ resides, which came before we existed.
I recommend reading Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis.
Where specifically does the Church address this? Nicaea II: 4. If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema.
Note that “tradition” is meant to be taken as meaning “Holy Tradition”; i.e a font of revelation.
Pope Benedict XVI says that “all the knowledge of the Faith is not a substitute for a relationship with Jesus Christ”. Assuming your missionary friend is Protestant, tell him to put that in his pipe and smoke it.
Tell your friend that the Bible is written from that tradition but not all of that tradition is in the Bible. St. John told us that Christ did and said many things which " not all the books in the world could hold. " And Christ told us that he would send the Holy Spirit who would teach us all things and who would be with the Church until the end of times.
This is exactly it! The BIBLE teaches us that it is Tradition, not the Bible alone , that we must hold to. Yes, we hold on to the Traditions - BOTH Scripture (Epistle or Letter) and Word! So there were clearly Traditions that were taught by the Church that were NOT in the Letters. Some eventually were incorporated into the New Testament for sure, but the bible itself, tells us to obey the Traditions of word taught by of the Church as well as Traditions in Scripture.
It cant be any clearer! Your friend my twist this verse into all kinds of meanings, but the simple plain reading of this is the Catholic view. The Protestant view is the fallible interpretation of Scripture.
I dont disagree with your assessment that Protestant, some Protestant , traditions are very good a focusing on a relationship with Christ. That is good! I dont know if it makes rock bands in Church valid, but thats another issue! But, it is simply a sad fact that most Catholics who leave the Church with the experience you point out - see Tradition as a barrier- simply NEVER bothered to try to understand! They had a responsibility to try to understand! But the fact is that EVERY Tradition that seemed to be a barrier to the exCatholic is actually just a path TO Christ! They are not an end in themselves! The Rosary, Confession, Mary, etc, ALL lead to Christ! They help us deepen our relationship with Him ! They are no different than the myriad of Protestant Harvest Festivals, devotions, books, speakers! The only difference is that the Catholic Church doesnt reinvent the wheel every generation. Once we find a good devotion , such as the Rosary or the Divine Mercy , we pass it on from one generation to the next. That may have the risk of going stale or losing meaning and becoming a barrier. But that is NOT an inherent problem with the devotion. The tradition is not the barrier! The barrier is the lack of understanding and wrong thinking without investigating and asking questions!
Im not saying that is the case with every ex Catholic. Some have very honest and sound theological reasons for leaving. Im not saying they are right, but at least their arguments are cogent, intellectual and took some investigation! But that is NOT the situation for most ex Catholics. Studies prove it! The vast majority, studies show, of converts out of the Church were due to the conversion experience you alluded to. They dont necessarily have a great grasp of the Catholic faith, a friend invites them to their Church, challenges them on some basic ideas for which they are not able to respond, and then have a real encounter with Christ at the Protestant church. That is M.O. Evangelicals have had for a few decades now. Its not working as well lately because the internet provides very easy access to the truth. And now more Protestants are realizing the lies theyve been fed for years about Catholicism. One of those lies is that Tradition is nothing but man made rules. The fact is that the bible demonstrates that there are Traditions taught by the Church that are not necessarily in the bible . And these Traditions are all intended to bring us to Christ just as any Harvest Festival, or Tent Revival intends to do!
Poor catechesis. Plain and simple.
Catholics have a huge community.
I’m thinking of the vast of amount of charity work the at the has done and continues to do. the Universities and institutions of higher learning.
That’s like saying “the dentist asks me to floss, but I disagree” and then becoming angry when you teeth fall out.
I hear what you’re saying, basically, but having a relationship with God is not only a solitary endeavor. It’s not about how happy God makes us. Or our warm feelings about our churches.
Our most intimate moment with Christ comes during communal Eucharist.
I don’t think the music has that much to do with it, although it’s a favorite subject to bash and blame.
It’s about knowing what you profess to believe. If adults have no clue what the Mass is about, yes, that’s a big problem.
From A UNM Lobo.
and also, you can read the fathers of the church, starting with those who learned from the apostles, right down to today, to see how it hasn’t changed. protestants can only go back 500 years to luther et al, when they seem to think our Lord walked the earth and founded their church. check out jimmy akins ‘fathers know best’, pretty good read. to be fair, there’s always something we can learn from each other, just not in the realm of church doctrine. music? sure. homilies? no prob. brotherhood? not so much. protestants pretty much start a church with like minded people, when they don’t like the one they’re in. if you find one that suits you, sure, you can fit right in. catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. part of His body. we may not always get along on the outside, but we come together where and when it counts. at the eucharist, in charity, and in love.
Catholics have relationship first with God, and also with others, through the sacraments, and other ways. Take a look at the Diary of St. Faustina, or either St. Teresa, or read about Mother Theresa; do you see relationship?
I am not sure what they mean by “system”. In a way, all Christians follow a system, in that scriptures are read, in relationship to each other, and to one’s own life; people go to church, get married, pray, believe, love their children, love their neighbor, and other things. They all follow tradition, too. One of the traditions most Protestants follow is that there is this 27 book volume, which is called the “New Testament” which was established by the Catholic Magisterium as “scripture”. Protestants follow that “system” - that Catholic system. Does your friend think (systematic) bible reading interferes with relationship?
If you want to have a loving relationship with someone, you learn as much as you can about them. This includes the bible, and also the people who lived immediately after the apostles, who were directly or indirectly taught by them - the Early Church Fathers. Many Protestants recognize the ECFs, as well as the Spirit’s guidance through Sacred Tradition down through the centuries.
It sounds good to say “I care nothing about tradition, just a loving relationship between me and God.” How loving is it to narrowly restrict what you want to learn about God?