Would some Catholic beliefs and sacraments be lost?

If we only had the 4 gospels and none of the rest of the New Testament, what sacraments and beliefs wouldn’t exist in the Catholic Church?

THe answers is none. We have Sacred Tradition handed down from Jesus to his Aposteles protected by the Holy Spirit. No sacraments would change and the infallibly defined beliefs would be the same just as they are the same today as they were two thousands years ago.

So if Corinthians and Timothy were gone, would the Church still not ordain women?

Yes. Would not ordain. That is a schismatic Protestant 20th century invention. Did Christ have a lady in his group of 12 ?

Nevertheless, we have our Lady, Mary. And, we believe she is everymuch as influential to us today … as the Greatest of Saints in Heaven ! And sadly, it is the Protestants who reject her prominent role to us !!! Go figure …:o

Catholics cherish the role of women of faith, more than any others. It was Christ who elevated women to their 1st Century heights !!! And, we proudly honor and follow his Traditions to us in this regard …


As long as we were still guided by the Holy Spirit, we would still have the same Church

Did the church ordain women prior to the date that Paul wrote those two epistles? No.

The question is absurd, and so are most of the answers. You can no more have Sacred Tradition without its embodiment in Sacred Scripture than you can have a naked Scripture without a Church to read it with. You can’t alter a fundamental fact of an historically real work of God–the Church we have with the history we have with the Scriptures we have with the confession we have with the Tradition we have, etc.–and pretend you’re talking about the same thing, anymore. This question is on par with “Can God make a burrito so hot he couldn’t eat it?”

I suppose they didn’t. But then what do protestants churches that have female ministers say about that? I want to look into it.

I wouldn’t say it was absurd. It’s no different than asking if some of what the Church believes and teaches are only backed up by the rest of the New Testament other than the gospels.

An individual who has recieved the sacrament of Holy Orders and is thus ordained into the priesthood in the Catholic Church is not the same as a minister.

There are many female ministers in the Catholic Church but there is no valid ordaination outside of the Catholic Church.

Women can be ministers, and can even take on a pastoral role, but they cannot be priests.


Most of them don’t believe in any kind of priesthood, so it doesn’t matter for them.

The Catholic Church has priests, not just preachers or “ministers.”

Mostly, but there are female priest in amongst Anglicans.

The wording might be the same, but unless anglicans have reverted back to a theology of sacrifice in their church services, then no they don’t have “priests”. The word priest continued to be used simply because they wanted to stick with it and didn’t consider themselves to be “illegitimate” after the english refrometion. But the point people on this thread are getting at is, a “priest” offers sacrifice by his nature as a priest. That is what the mass is, a sacrifice. That concept of sacrifice doesn’t exist in protestantism and so the anglican example isn’t valid despite the fact that they choose to still use the english word “priest” to refer to their ministers.

I think even without the Apostolic letters the Tradition would have protected the Church guided by the Hoy Spirit.

(GASP) Did a Lutheran just argue for Tradition?

Yes I did. Because Luther argued for tradition. Because Luther was not a Calvinist.

God bless

The canon of scripture would obviously be different, and that is Catholic teaching, so technically the answer is yes. Also we likely would have forgotten some historical factoids found in the book of Acts and elsewhere. However, we would still have Sacred Tradition as a whole, so I dare say everything essential to the Catholic Faith would still be here.

No they would not. Matthew 19: 10-12 would still be there. That and the fact that there is no record at all of any woman apostles.

Opps… your right… wish i could change my vote…

Jesus broke all kinds of social and religious taboos (spoke alone with the Samaritan woman at the well, stopped the stoning of the adulteress, cured people and picked grain on the Sabbath, threw money changers and animal sellers out of the Temple, etc.), yet he did not have women apostles, not even His Mother, not Mary Magdelene, not Martha anad Mary. Why not? They certainly had faith enough. The reason is not “because it was a male-dominated society”.

It is because each priest acts “in persona Christi”, in the person of Christ, during the Mass. Jesus was a man. Yes, He was a human, and we all, men and women, are equal in our humanity. But that it not the point. It’s not necessary to be a priest to be saved. In fact, the vast majority of men are not priests either. The priests are there to distribute God’s grace in the form of the Sacraments in Jesus’ stead. For some divine reason, Jesus came as a man - He is the Son and the Father is the Father. We didn’t pick it to be that way. That is what has been revealed. We have no authority to change it, as declared by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Being a priest isn’t about “having power”. Think about it, what power (in a secular way) does a priest really have anyway? They often live alone and preach to people who ignore God’s commandments.

It IS about serving, but there are many ways to serve. Each person has to find the way they’ve been called that fits in with the revealed plan of the Holy Spirit-led Church.

(I had answered that “the question is absurd and so are the answers.”

I stand by my reply. Formally, you’re quite wrong that the two forms of your question are “no different.” The original question is a counterfactual of history; you’re asking us to talk about a world that doesn’t exist, and for all we know could not possibly exist, and make statements about what reality would be like in that (un)reality. The second form of the question is merely an exegetical curiosity with pretty much no interesting consequences. Anyway, it’s only the first form I care about addressing.

The problem with that question is not only that it is facially preposterous, being a question about unreality, but that it has only doctrinal errors for answers. A “Yes” answer tends to ignore the divine purpose unfolding through the Spirit’s work, suggesting a shallow contingency in which the Church has based central components of its character on scant exegetical grounds. A “No” answer tends to ignore the divine purpose unfolding through the Scriptures, suggesting a shallow contingency in which the Church has made up Scripture or kept Scripture around for reasons unrelated to her dogmatic constitution. Both of these views run directly athwart the Tradition as we have received it. I do think we have to agree that in many cases God could have done things otherwise than He has, but it is simply foolish for us to set ourselves up as judges of the counterfactuals of divine volition.

In addition to pointing out that it is Luther, not Sacred Tradition, which sets up a “canon within the canon” to set aside the inconvenient bits (like that pesky St. James or those irritating Maccabbees), let me offer the following traditional sources to buttress my argument that you cannot sensibly ask a question about the Holy Spirit’s work that divides that work from the actual Scriptures that the Spirit inspired:

(just a handy overview of St. Thomas Aquinas on Scripture: nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/Taqandss.htm )
St. Thomas, in his Summa: ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.FP_Q1_A8.html “Sacred Scripture, since it has no science above itself, can dispute with one who denies its principles only if the opponent admits some at least of the truths obtained through divine revelation; thus we can argue with heretics from texts in Holy Writ, and against those who deny one article of faith, we can argue from another. If our opponent believes nothing of divine revelation, there is no longer any means of proving the articles of faith by reasoning, but only of answering his objections—if he has any—against faith. Since faith rests upon infallible truth, and since the contrary of a truth can never be demonstrated, it is clear that the arguments brought against faith cannot be demonstrations, but are difficulties that can be answered.”

St. Augustine, in his de doctrina Cristiana: ccel.org/ccel/augustine/doctrine.x_1.html “In all these books those who fear God and are of a meek and pious disposition seek the will of God. And in pursuing this search the first rule to be observed is, as I said, to know these books, if not yet with the understanding, still to read them so as to commit them to memory, or at least so as not to remain wholly ignorant of them. Next, those matters that are plainly laid down in them, whether rules of life or rules of faith, are to be searched into more carefully and more diligently; and the more of these a man discovers, the more capacious does his understanding become. For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life,—to wit, hope and love, of which I have spoken in the previous book.”

So that, although Christianity is not a [mere] book religion ( scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm#108 ), nonetheless the deposit of faith includes both the spoken and written Apostolic teaching ( scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a2.htm#76 ). so intimately and centrally intertwined in the dogmatic constitution of the Church that the spoken and written Word can no more be severed than Christ’s True Body ( scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a2.htm#76 ); the Scriptures and the rest of the Tradition must be received with equal seriousness ( scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a2.htm#82 ), which means neither can possibly treat the other as optional.

It is thus not only absurd facially (as a question about unreality) but absurd morally and doctrinally (as a question which substitutes an unreality for the revealed reality, and asks us to answer Yes or No when either answer tends to lead us into error).

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