Bible & Tradition

From Dei Verbum, paragraphs 9 and 10:

“9. 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)

“10. Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church. Holding fast to this deposit the entire holy people united with their shepherds remain always steadfast in the teaching of the Apostles, in the common life, in the breaking of the bread and in prayers (see Acts 2, 42, Greek text), so that holding to, practicing and professing the heritage of the faith, it becomes on the part of the bishops and faithful a single common effort. (7)”

Why Should I Confess My Sins To A Priest?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Have you ever been asked why you confess your sins to a priest? Have you ever wondered why you should confess your sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among […]

“Have you been saved?”

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

Whose Truth Will Set You Free?

“It’s a non-denominational Bible Study,” my friend’s wife said at the restaurant. “It’s not tied to one Church or another, so it’s really good for everyone,” she explained with a confidence that nobody would be offended. She was excited to tell us about this new program she was coordinating with other women from her neighborhood.  She explained they were of “all faith […]

Why Do You Confess Your Sins to a Priest?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Have you ever been asked why you confess sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic […]

Whose Bible is it, anyway?

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

We needn’t be bitter in defending our beliefs. Even though many fundamentalists think the Catholic Church is under the control of Satan and all or most Catholics are headed for hell, not all think that—and we shouldn’t think the same of them. However narrow-minded their faith often is, it’s also usually genuine, both in personal sincerity and in basic Christian […]

Who’s in authority here?

Night image of St. Peter's Basilica, Ponte Sant’Angelo and Tiber River in Rome, Italy.

All the beliefs that divide Catholics from fundamentalists are derived from the teaching authority of the Church. Because Catholics believe in the Church, they believe a fuller, more complex and mysterious set of things than the narrowed down fundamentalist. Thus, the Church is the essential point of divergence. In the fundamentalist view, the Catholic Church exalts itself over the Bible, […]

Whose Bible is it, anyway?

"St. Jerome Writing" by Caravaggio

We needn’t be bitter in defending our beliefs. Even though many fundamentalists think the Catholic Church is under the control of Satan and all or most Catholics are headed for hell, not all think that — and we shouldn’t think the same of them. However narrow-minded their faith often is, it’s also usually genuine, both in personal sincerity and in […]

Why the Protestant Approach to Scripture Cannot be Right

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Protestant Belief in Sola Scripture (Scripture Alone) One of the “pillars” or founding principles of the Protestant Reformation is the Protestant teaching of Sola Scriptura. Simply defined, Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer. In other words, if a teaching is not contained in the Bible, then it is to […]

Does Jesus Want Us “Out of the Church”?

Night image of St. Peter's Basilica, Ponte Sant’Angelo and Tiber River in Rome, Italy.

I just read a news story praising a Nashville-based literary agency that represents “top progressive Christian authors.” It stated that many of the authors have been influenced by Phyllis Tickle, who penned, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why.  Such a book smacks of the differences between Protestants and Catholics. Whereas they talk about changing, Catholics talk about a “New […]

Why Sola Scriptura Cannot be True

Jerome in Meditation by Caravaggio

The Protestant Belief in Sola Scripture (Scripture Alone) One of the “pillars” or founding principles of the Protestant Reformation is the Protestant teaching of Sola Scriptura. Simply defined, Sola Scriptura is the belief that the Bible alone is the sole rule of faith for the believer. In other words, if a teaching is not contained in the Bible, then it is to […]