The Source of Sacred Tradition

The Roman Catholic Church indelibly asserts that their “sacred tradition” was truly transmitted by the apostles and preserved through the ages by the “teaching Authority.” The assertion is clearly stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia under “Tradition and Living Magisterium.”

“The Council [of Trent], as is evident, held that there are Divine traditions not contained in Holy Scripture, revelations made to the Apostles either orally by Jesus Christ or by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and transmitted by the Apostles to the Church.”

Yet when put those traditions to the test, nothing from ante-Nicene history can be found to support them but sketchy out-of-context evidence. And that’s for only a few of the doctrines, for most no evidence can be found at all. The Catholic Church, however, is not ignorant of this fact; in fact they justify the discrepancies in the same article.

“The designation of unwritten Divine traditions was not always given all the clearness desirable especially in early times… The living magisterium, therefore, makes extensive use of documents of the past, but it does so while judging and interpreting, gladly finding in them its present thought, but likewise, when needful, distinguishing its present thought from what is traditional only in appearance. It is revealed truth always living in the mind of the Church, or, if it is preferred, the present thought of the Church in continuity with her traditional thought, which is for it the final criterion, according to which the living magisterium adopts as true or rejects as false the often obscure and confused formulas which occur in the monuments of the past. Thus are explained both her respect for the writings of the Fathers of the Church and her supreme independence towards those writings–she judges them more than she is judged by them.”

In other words, the truth does not exist within the historical evidence, according the Catholic Church it resides in the mind, or present thought of the “teaching authority.” But it stands to reason that if the apostles passed on those doctrines, history must support it. It is not reasonable that present thought should contradict traditional thought and still be regard as truth. Why would the Holy Spirit lead early church leaders to believe something contrary to what He leads current leaders to believe?

The truth of history makes no difference to the Catholic hierarchy because they believe that they alone are the keepers of truth. They decide what is true or untrue regardless of the evidence. Since they alone are the true interpreters of the Bible, guided by divine assistance, according to them, they interpret Mathew 28:20 as applying to them. And in their ostentatious minds, they like to imagine that God has granted them infallibility. One might logically ask, as if logic has anything to do with it, why the Bible is not expanding with time. But I suppose that even the most pretentious have their limits.


7 Responses to The Source of Sacred Tradition

  1. David says:

    It’s really great how you mischaracterize the Catholic Encyclopedia. You quote a few words from the beginning of section I of the article then use elipses to skip…nearly 3 sections and 13 paragraphs of content.

    The fact is that some traditions don’t have much documentation, but so what? Protestants do the same thing all the time. Even sola scriptura folks are not sola scriptura. Your traditions are different, ok? But ours are original.


  2. What do you mean by original?


  3. David says:

    Original. From the origin of Christianity. Original.


  4. David of MI says:

    Just to make it clear, this is a different David than me. I’m the David that asked about the if a child dies do they go to Heaven question. I completely support your blog Brian and I think that you masterfully challenge the Roman Catholic Church down to it’s core. Thank you for your hard work.


  5. David of MI,

    Thank you so much for your encouragement, support and kind words! I really appreciate your comments and good exegeses!

    God bless!

    David the Catholic,

    Nice try :)


  6. David says:

    Same to you, but I’m not buying it. I hope you don’t quote your Bible that way.


  7. […] examines Papias and Apostolic Tradition while examining his understanding of the source of holy […]


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