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Truths of the Catholic Church series

Sacred Tradition

Christ commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel.

In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways

… in writing (Sacred Scripture) Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the message of salvation was committed to writing by the Apostles, and other men.

 

… orally (Sacred Tradition) by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, the Apostles handed on what they themselves had received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit.

 

We must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.

 

But, it is important to remember that, the first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament. And the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

 

In this living transmission of the Gospel called Tradition, the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is and all that she believes.

 

The task of interpreting the Word of God (Scripture and Tradition) has been entrusted to the Bishops. It is the Magisterium's task to defend God's people from deviations and falseness of the Word. And also, to guarantee God’s people the verifiable possibility of professing the true faith, without error. Yet the Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant.

 

 The first 20 Ecumenical Councils, a gathering of all of the Catholic Bishops of the world - in communion with the Pope, were for the purpose of discussing, interpreting, confirming and regulating Catholic doctrine and discipline.

The 21st Ecumenical Council: Vatican II, convened by Bl. John XXIII, was with a unique purpose: not to evaluate Church doctrine, but to focus on ‘the manner in which the sacred doctrine is spread’ and ‘that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be taught more effectively.


Bl. John XXIII

Decrees from past Ecumenical Councils

1st Council: Nicaea Defined the true divinity of Jesus. The Council confirmed that Jesus ‘is begotten, not made, of the same substance as the Father.’

2nd Council: Constantinople I confirmed that the Holy Spirit was truly God “with the Father and the Son, He is worshipped and glorified

3rd Council: Ephesus decreed that Mary truly became the Mother of God by human conception of the Son of God in her womb. Declared that Christ is true God and true man, that he has two natures (human and divine) joined in one person.

19th Council: Trent Doctrinal decrees: restatement of belief in opposition to the new theologies and to reform the discipline of the Church. Of all councils, the 19th lasted the longest and issued the largest number of dogmatic and reformatory decrees.

21st Council: Vatican II ‘the manner in which the sacred doctrine is spread’ and ‘that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be taught more effectively’.



 
 

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