I am not a Catholic, and don't have any plans to become one. However, it is quite unfair to say that they are following "traditions of men," at least in their understanding: which is based upon Scriptures, though perhaps in a manner different from Protestant thought. "Traditions of men" are those which are not inspired of God- such were the traditions of men that our Lord countered. The Tradition of Catholic and Orthodox tradition is not understood as such. Rather, the understanding is one of Holy Tradition, not simply made up, but inspired by the Holy Spirit acting within the Church. In particular, the Holy Spirit acts when the Church is gathered in council, what we know as the Ecunemical Councils. The basis for such a council is found in Acts, where the apostles and elders "with the whole church" declare a set of regulations which they drew up, giving authority by saying "it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit". Rather presumptious? It would be if some guy had stood up and declared it, or ever groups of people (who the Council was countering in this case).
And such is the nature of the canonization of the Scriptures: the New Testament was accepted by the Church through the work of the Holy Spirit within the Church. Indeed, the New Testament is Tradition, canonical, written, infallible Tradition, handed down to us from the Apostles.
Also- and here I have some difficulty- the Church establishes Holy Tradition through the general workings and writings of the Church. In Orthodox thought, the Liturgy in particular expresses Church dogma, and is an expression of Holy Tradition- the Holy Spirit at work within the Church as a whole in this instance. The Fathers- in consensus- are also establishers of Holy Tradition, the Holy Spirit working through them together: not on their own but in consensus.
That is- sort of- the nature of Tradition as Catholics and Orthodox understand it (though Catholics would add the Pope's authority, at which Orthodox would of course cringe).
posted on 04/14/2003 8:02:59 PM PDT
**Also- and here I have some difficulty- the Church establishes Holy Tradition through the general workings and writings of the Church. In Orthodox thought, the Liturgy in particular expresses Church dogma, and is an expression of Holy Tradition- the Holy Spirit at work within the Church as a whole in this instance. The Fathers- in consensus- are also establishers of Holy Tradition, the Holy Spirit working through them together: not on their own but in consensus.**
And it is Holy Tradition that the Protestants miss altogether. In a way I feel sad for them.
posted on 04/14/2003 8:31:41 PM PDT
((†With God all things are possible.†))
Tradition of man nullifies the Scripture. This is what Jesus claimed.
Traditions that conflict with scripture can only be called "Tradition of man".We know that the Holy Spirit can't contradict himself. No matter how you claim to come to your tradition, either by council or consensus of holy men of the church, if it is in opposition to scripture it can't be Holy Tradition.
Raising Mary to a position of co-redemptress or co-mediatrix is one that comes to mind.
posted on 04/15/2003 4:50:35 PM PDT
To: Cleburne; Salvation
Yes. Think of it this way. When Jesus ascended into Heaven there was no book or writings of his teachings. He- by His own Choice- passed on his teachings to various followers. Later those followers spread his teachings. Eventually, some of those teachings were written down. The act of recording those teachings didn't mean that Jesus' teachings that weren't recorded suddenly became invalid. Later, councils decided which writings should be included in Scripture. Those Scriptures were part of the ``Tradition'' that Christians recieved from Jesus Himself. Jesus himself was responsible for passing on his teachings to his followers in oral form. To claim that this ``Tradition'' is not satisfactory, is to claim that Jesus' ministry was itself deficient. No council has the authority to decide that some of Jesus' teachings can be shed. To recognize only the teachings of Jesus which were recorded in that form is to make the Council of Nicea superior to Christ himself.
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)
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