Jegsy Scarr

Ask a Catholic! (i.e, me...)

300 posts in this topic

But then why not hope Piers Morgan changes his mind?

 

Well, of course I hope he'll change his mind, but it does seem unlikely. But meanwhile, he's not giving a great impression of Catholicism. Still, I don't know whether or not I'd want him to leave. It's a tough one...

 

xxx

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Well, of course I hope he'll change his mind, but it does seem unlikely. But meanwhile, he's not giving a great impression of Catholicism. Still, I don't know whether or not I'd want him to leave. It's a tough one...

 

xxx

It makes sense that it would be tough. This is only anecdotal, so obviously I might be off, but it does seem like a lot of Roman Catholics in the U.S. disagree with quite a few teachings of Roman Catholocism, but still call themselves Catholic. Honestly, I'd be shocked if the majority of Roman Catholics didn't use birth control, for example. Among the youth, I would guess most support same-sex marriage, as well.

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It makes sense that it would be tough. This is only anecdotal, so obviously I might be off, but it does seem like a lot of Roman Catholics in the U.S. disagree with quite a few teachings of Roman Catholocism, but still call themselves Catholic. Honestly, I'd be shocked if the majority of Roman Catholics didn't use birth control, for example. Among the youth, I would guess most support same-sex marriage, as well.

 

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if most Catholics today used contraception. Not in more Catholic countries (Europe, South America, etc), but probably in the USA and UK anyway. If not most of them, then probably a large number at least...

 

xxx

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Do you know anything about the older rules for fasting and abstinence? The number of days etc

 

There were also some changes about the duration of fasting before receiving communion -

 

In the 50's it was from midnight. 

Then it became 3 hours before reception.

Now it is 1 hour before reception.

 

I didn't know about this until recently, so I was wondering if you know anything about the changes made regarding fasting and abstinence?

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Do you know anything about the older rules for fasting and abstinence? The number of days etc

 

There were also some changes about the duration of fasting before receiving communion -

 

In the 50's it was from midnight. 

Then it became 3 hours before reception.

Now it is 1 hour before reception.

 

I didn't know about this until recently, so I was wondering if you know anything about the changes made regarding fasting and abstinence?

 

Voilà:

 

http://fisheaters.com/fasting.html

 

That's actually a pretty good website about traditional Catholicism. Although, it's very very traditional Catholicism, and they really seem to hate anything post Vatican II. But it's good for reference, and they do have some nice resources.

 

xxx

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Voilà:

 

http://fisheaters.com/fasting.html

 

That's actually a pretty good website about traditional Catholicism. Although, it's very very traditional Catholicism, and they really seem to hate anything post Vatican II. But it's good for reference, and they do have some nice resources.

 

xxx

 

Thanks for posting that site as a reference! I am an American and Catholic and I've been looking for resources to learn more about my faith. Are there any other sites or books you'd suggest for someone who is looking to learn about the Catholic faith? My boyfriend is not Catholic, but wants to learn more. I haven't had much luck finding good resources geared more toward non-Catholics.

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Thanks for posting that site as a reference! I am an American and Catholic and I've been looking for resources to learn more about my faith. Are there any other sites or books you'd suggest for someone who is looking to learn about the Catholic faith? My boyfriend is not Catholic, but wants to learn more. I haven't had much luck finding good resources geared more toward non-Catholics.

 

http://www.catholic.com/ (Catholic Answers)

Can't go wrong with Catholic Answers. They have (phone-in) radio shows every weekday, and they're archived on the site back to 2008. There are also some videos (not as many, though), a blog, an online shop where you can buy books and CDs and whatnot, lots of articles and links, and there's a forum, too.

 

http://jimmyakin.com/

Jimmy Akin is one of Catholic Answers senior apologists, and his website has some really good articles. He's also got a YouTube channel, with quite a lot of videos about different subjects. He made a nice little video when he heard Pope Benedict was retiring, which was very nice (he cried). Also, he has an epic beard.

 

http://www.chastity.com/

This is one of Catholic Answers's sister sites. It's got a lot of resources about waiting till marriage, as well as recordings of chastity talks by different speakers. There's a good section of Q&A stuff.

 

Catholicism for Dummies

I bought the book almost as a joke, and it's turned out to be one of the better resources on the faith I have! Although it's covering a wide range of topics rather than focussing in depth on any particular thing, it's still pretty thorough, and definitely great for getting started. (Make sure you get the latest (2nd) edition, with all the new translations of the Mass)

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is obviously a good resource, and it's all available online for free. But it's very heavy reading, and not particularly easy to digest. I've got a copy of the YouCat (Youth Catechism), which is basically a version of the catechism which just contains the main points. It's designed for teenagers and young adults, so it's a lot easier to read, with diagrams and drawings, quotes from the Bible and from saints, and references to the main Catechism if you want to go into more depth. And it has a nice foreword from Pope Benedict.

 

Good News About Sex & Marriage by Christopher West

This is a book specifically about the Church's teachings on marriage and sexuality, which I'm including, because I think it's a really good book. I'm keeping a copy to give to my fiance when I get one...

 

Those are the main ones I can think of. Catholic.com is probably the best, because it's got stuff about everything, and plenty of resources to get more information.

 

xxx

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Do Catholics believe that people can achieve 'holiness' while they are living or before death here on earth? My question springs from the terminology used frequently by Catholics to refer to priests, bishops, the pope, members of the church as 'holy'. Further if this is true how do you support it thru scripture? Also why do Catholics believe in Saints? What exactly are they to the Catholic? Also why do Catholics pray to Saints? Further how do you support the existence of sainthood thru scripture?

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Wow, that's a lot of questions!

 

 

Do Catholics believe that people can achieve 'holiness' while they are living or before death here on earth? My question springs from the terminology used frequently by Catholics to refer to priests, bishops, the pope, members of the church as 'holy'. Further if this is true how do you support it thru scripture? 

 

I assume you mean terms like "Holy Father" being used to refer to the Pope. Remember that the term "holy" can have two meanings. "Holiness", or "being holy", means fulfilling the will of God in your life. I'll come back to that in a moment.

 

The other meaning of the term "holy" means someone or something that belongs to God, or has been consecrated to God. For example, in the Bible, you'll hear of places being called "holy places". That doesn't mean that the place has done something to fulfil God's will: it's simply a place which God has set apart and chosen, therefore holy. In the Bible, you'll also see the term "holy" being used for Christians. Again, this is a reference to how Christians have been called by God to be His. So when the term "holy" is used to describe someone like the Pope, it's not because he's necessarily fulfilled the will of God, but because he's been set apart by God as leader of His Church on earth.

 

Okay, back to the first meaning of "holiness", as in fulfilling the will of God in your life. So by this definition, the saints in Heaven are holy: they've fulfilled God's will. You can also use the term to refer to someone who fulfils God's will in smaller ways: if you live out your life in accordance to God's will, then you are acting in a holy way. And of course, the ultimate in holiness is God Himself, because He is holy by His very essence.

 

Can someone achieve perfect holiness whilst still on earth? Well, we know that only perfectly holy things can enter Heaven. So what happens if you're not perfectly holy when you die? Catholics believe that after death, those who are bound for Heaven but are not completely holy go through a process of purification in order to achieve the perfect holiness required for Heaven. We refer to this process as "Purgatory". Now, we don't know for sure if everyone goes through Purgatory. It may be the case that some people do achieve perfect holiness whilst still on earth, or God purifies people whilst they are still alive so they can go straight to Heaven.

 

 

 Also why do Catholics believe in Saints? What exactly are they to the Catholic? Also why do Catholics pray to Saints? Further how do you support the existence of sainthood thru scripture?

 

The term "saint" just means, a person (human or angel) who is in Heaven. So relatives who have died and went to Heaven are saints. There's probably millions of people who are saints in Heaven, most of them ordinary people who we've never heard of and have no way of knowing that they're in Heaven. But there are some people who we know for sure are in Heaven, known as the canonised saints. These are people who the Church has declared to be definitely in Heaven. So for example, Mary, St Peter, St Paul, St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Siena, and so on.

 

Why do we pray to saints? We ask people on earth to pray for us all the time. Often, I'll ask friends to pray for me, or I'll pray for family members who need help. As Catholics, we don't believe that just because someone has died, we should stop asking them to pray for us. The Church is Christ's Body, made up of all believers. He doesn't have two separate bodies, one on earth and one in Heaven, so even Christians who have died are still part of His Body, part of the Church. We know from the Bible that we're not separated from each other by death (Rom 8:35-39). We see in the Bible that we're asked to pray for each other, and we don't see any reason why that would end after death. In Revelations 5:8-14, we see the "elders" receiving and offering the prayers of the faithful.

 

Basically, we're all one family, and families pray together. If you're Catholic, you don't have to ask saints in Heaven to pray for you, but it's encouraged.

 

(That's a really basic explanation of saints, so if you've got any more questions, let me know!)

 

xxx

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Thank you, that was very enlightening.

 

I guess my further questions on the matter derive from the cononisation of saints by the Church. More over in a border sense the 'holiness' of the Catholic Church. Though I imagine that your answer will derive something to the affect that the Catholic Church is always holy because it is set appart by God to do His will. However my problem is that I struggle to comprehend some of these terms of 'holiness'. I believe in the Trinity as being holy and I agree with you that God is holy by His very essence. Further I will agree that anything/anyone in heaven must be holy because God can't be in the presence of 'un-holiness' so then this does apply to those in heaven if you wish to call them saints and also angels of the Lord (who I believe are spirits created by God).

 

However my disconnect is how can we really know who these people are since by our nature we are sinful and fall short of Gods' holy nature.With the exception being those already mentioned in the Bible (since the scriptures are holy because they are God breathed thru those who recieved an indewelling of the Holy Spirit) as being in heaven with God such as angels, Ellijah, Paul....etc. Were does this 'holy knowledge' or determination come from? More over sense those who made this determination are setting themselves apart as possesing the knowledge of God on the level of the Apostles. Which we know can't be true for those here on earth even members of the church sin and are thus 'un-holy. (Romans 3:23)

 

Even the Apostles admitted that they were sinful until the day they died and were cleansed by the blood of Christ at judgement. This leads me to my question on Purgatory how do you support its exsistence in scripture when it only seems to speak of Gods judgement not an actual 'place of judgement'. Further Christ speaks of this in a 'same day' occurance in Luke 23:40-43.

 

Also why does the church separate sins into categories such as mortal or venial sins. In the Bible it seems to me that all sin is well sin. Sin is by definition is anything that is un-holy and separtes us from the presence of God. So with that being the case dosen't that kinda make all sin in a way equal because all sin separates from God? And sense we believe God is holy how can we believe that God sees one sin as any worse than another sin?

 

Sorry as you can guess I do have a lot of questions about Catholicism. I do not in anyway intend to be attacking you. I am just simply vehemently curious. Further should you have a question for me I would gladly respond and return your kindness.

 

So anything you can impart would be appreciated since I am trying to further understand your faith which is at the moment perplexing to me.

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Sorry as you can guess I do have a lot of questions about Catholicism. I do not in anyway intend to be attacking you. I am just simply vehemently curious. Further should you have a question for me I would gladly respond and return your kindness.

 

So anything you can impart would be appreciated since I am trying to further understand your faith which is at the moment perplexing to me.

 

lol! That's absolutely fine! I love answering these things!

 

 

 

Thank you, that was very enlightening.

 

I guess my further questions on the matter derive from the cononisation of saints by the Church. More over in a border sense the 'holiness' of the Catholic Church. Though I imagine that your answer will derive something to the affect that the Catholic Church is always holy because it is set appart by God to do His will. However my problem is that I struggle to comprehend some of these terms of 'holiness'. I believe in the Trinity as being holy and I agree with you that God is holy by His very essence. Further I will agree that anything/anyone in heaven must be holy because God can't be in the presence of 'un-holiness' so then this does apply to those in heaven if you wish to call them saints and also angels of the Lord (who I believe are spirits created by God).

 

However my disconnect is how can we really know who these people are since by our nature we are sinful and fall short of Gods' holy nature.With the exception being those already mentioned in the Bible (since the scriptures are holy because they are God breathed thru those who recieved an indewelling of the Holy Spirit) as being in heaven with God such as angels, Ellijah, Paul....etc. Were does this 'holy knowledge' or determination come from? More over sense those who made this determination are setting themselves apart as possesing the knowledge of God on the level of the Apostles. Which we know can't be true for those here on earth even members of the church sin and are thus 'un-holy. (Romans 3:23)

 

Even the Apostles admitted that they were sinful until the day they died and were cleansed by the blood of Christ at judgement. 

 

Okay, so how can we know if someone is in Heaven or not? As I said, the process in which the Church recognises someone as being a saint is called "canonisation". Here's how the process works. To explain it, I'll use the example of a guy named Bob who has just died, and his friends believe he was an awesome guy, who almost certainly went to Heaven:

 

So the first thing his friends would have to do is make a formal request to their local diocese that they look into Bob's life and consider him as a canonisation candidate. They have to be able to verify Bob actually existed, and that he did some really amazing things. It's not really enough just to be a "good" person: really, you have to have shown courage and virtue far beyond what was expected of you. That doesn't mean that you had to be perfect or sinless, of course, because no one is perfect. But it has to be an exemplary life, because canonisation is a recognition not just that someone is in Heaven, but that they lived a life worthy of imitation. So if they can prove that Bob lived such a life, then the diocese will declare Bob a "Servant of God", which means that he lived a good life. But he's not declared a saint yet.

 

The diocese will do a few more investigations. Next, the diocese will send a proposal to Rome, so they can continue investigating the case. A group of theologians called the Congregation for the Causes of Saints scrutinise all the evidence, and if a majority agree, the proposal is sent to a group of bishops and cardinals. And if they approve, they'll declare Bob as "venerable". But he's not declared a saint yet.

 

Now, if you were martyred for the faith, or you've already had a posthumous miracle attributed to your intercession, then you're automatically declared "blessed". Bob wasn't martyred and he's not had a miracle attributed to him yet, so he needs that before he's declared "blessed" (beatified). Here's how that works. Basically, if you ask a person who has dies to pray for you, then the only way they'll be able to hear your prayer is if they're in Heaven and God allows them to hear it. If you're in Hell, you can't hear prayers, and besides, you wouldn't be able to pray to God and ask Him to grant it, because you have no contact with God in Hell. Same thing if you're going through Purgatory. But if you're in Heaven, you might be able to hear the prayer if God permits it. And you can ask God to answer that prayer. Now, to be declared "blessed", we couldn't just say, "Please Bob, ask God to help me get this job", and then when you get the job use that as "proof". That could easily be a coincidence. What we need is an actual miracle. For example, if you broke your leg the day before your wedding, prayed to Bob to ask God to heal you, and then suddenly, your leg heals up, then that'd be a miracle, because science can't explain a broken leg healing in a day. We believe that God might grant that miracle if He really wanted Bob to be recognised as blessed. So you have evidence and documentation for that miracle, you send it to the Pope, he approves it, and Bob is beatified.

 

To become a saint, all Bob needs is one more miracle attributed to his intercession. If you can do that, then Bob becomes a saint! Yay for Bob!

 

So the process goes like this:

 

1. The Servant of God Bob

2. Venerable Bob

3. Blessed Bob

4. Saint Bob

 

 

 

This leads me to my question on Purgatory how do you support its exsistence in scripture when it only seems to speak of Gods judgement not an actual 'place of judgement'. Further Christ speaks of this in a 'same day' occurance in Luke 23:40-43.

 

Okay, Purgatory. Firstly, we don't necessarily believe that purgatory is an actual "place". It's just a process of purification. We also don't know how long purgatory takes. It might be a process which occurs outside of actual time. It could be completed in an instant. We see this purification after death referred to in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

 

 

 

For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble—each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

 

Now, this is referring to the works of the faithful being tested by God after death. Our works are going through "fire", fire being something which consumes, but also something which purifies. Some works are being purified, and some are being burned. Now, this can't be a reference to Heaven, because only perfect things exist in Heaven. It can't be Hell, because it says that the person is saved. And it's not just the works, but the person themselves who are going through the purifying fire.

 

 

Also why does the church separate sins into categories such as mortal or venial sins. In the Bible it seems to me that all sin is well sin. Sin is by definition is anything that is un-holy and separtes us from the presence of God. So with that being the case dosen't that kinda make all sin in a way equal because all sin separates from God? And sense we believe God is holy how can we believe that God sees one sin as any worse than another sin?

 

All sin is bad, yes, but some is worse than others. For example, being rude to someone is a less serious sin than killing someone. We believe that less serious sins will wound your spiritual life, but wouldn't be enough to completely separate you from God. However, venial sin is still bad, because it does tend to be that the more venial sins you commit, the more likely it'd be that you'd commit a serious sin. Serious sins are called mortal sins because they kill the life of your sanctifying grace, and you've chosen to cut yourself off from God completely. If you die with mortal sin on your conscience, then you will go to Hell, because you've deliberately chosen to turn away from God.

 

xxx

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Jegsy has done a great job explaining the intercession through saints. Here's some additional scriptures

Mortal Vs Venial Sins

These passages explicitly state certain sins..

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy,drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5
no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Canonization of saints it’s a complicated process
http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/practices/honoring_saints/canonization.htm#investigation


Matthew 10:1
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

Matthew 10:8
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.


John 14:12
Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.

Mark 16:17-18
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.


Acts 9:40
But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.†And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

Another Example is in Acts 20

There were many saints who raised dead, healed the sick and others had gifts such as Odor of Sanctity, Levitation, Stigmata, Bilocation, Gift of Tongues, Prophecy, Incorruptible, Mystical Fast etc



​If you wish to read more about saints and how they lived their lives. Here's an extract from
12 steps to holiness by St. Alphonsus Liguori

http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/silence2.htm

EDIT : Forgot to add this but I'm not sure about other Catholics but I've read many stories about saints to find out how often they prayed? How many hours per day? How often did they fast? what sacrifices they made? How were they able to find god? How they lived their lives?

These questions have always made me curious about saints and I've read many saints stories / watched documentaries to find out about their lives.

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Staying Pure thanks for the Scripture references that is also what I was looking for. Naturally while Catholics believe in both sacred tradition and the holy scriptures for the moment since I am not Catholic scripture really does it for me. I am still doing research and will look further into those links. Thanks again.

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Thanks for posting that site as a reference! I am an American and Catholic and I've been looking for resources to learn more about my faith. Are there any other sites or books you'd suggest for someone who is looking to learn about the Catholic faith? My boyfriend is not Catholic, but wants to learn more. I haven't had much luck finding good resources geared more toward non-Catholics.

 

Try Catholic & Christian! It is an easy to understand book that breaks things down! It gives a lot of history too, which I really like! :)

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Staying Pure thanks for the Scripture references that is also what I was looking for. Naturally while Catholics believe in both sacred tradition and the holy scriptures for the moment since I am not Catholic scripture really does it for me. I am still doing research and will look further into those links. Thanks again.

But don't you think without tradition scriptures don't exist. By tradition I mean teachings / interpretations passed on from centuries ago. Now when the revolution took place. There were many interpretations of the bible.Martin Luther preached something,John Calvin thought something else, Huldrych Zwingli, John Smyth,Theodore Beza thought something else.

The end results different interpretation, many denominations. They all couldn't agree on common beliefs. For instance, Luther and Calvin had very different views on Baptism. Calvin thought perseverance of saints ( once saved always saved) Lutherans don't believe in that doctrine. Those who follow teachings of Luther refer to his sermons, and those who follow teachings of Calvin refer to his sermons isn't that tradition?

Some have combined the teachings and some have taken a new route.

Some believe salvation can be lost while others don't they say its a gift? Is the difference in opinion biblical or is that tradition ( their interpretations of scriptures)?

They have trusted on the authority of historians, biblical scholars, and theologians to provide them with the most reliable texts, the most accurate translations, and the most historically and culturally faithful interpretations of those texts in the same way Catholics have trusted the sacred tradition and the church.

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Try Catholic & Christian! It is an easy to understand book that breaks things down! It gives a lot of history too, which I really like! :)

 

Do you by any chance know the author? I tried looking it up and can't find it! I'm definitely interested in checking it out

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Ooh! I think I'd say Easter. The Easter vigil Mass is always really cool, with the candles and whatnot. Although I love the Christmas Eve Mass, too, so...That's a tough one...

 

xxx

 

Agreed! Those are tough choices. I'd have to go with Easter Vigil though since I love seeing everyone go through the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation. It brings back memories of my own First Communion and Confirmation and always reminds me why I love my faith :)

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Before I misplace these links again lol thought I would post them over here. What did the first century Christians believe?






St. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Clement of Rome the 4th pope who is mentioned in Philippians 4:3, Justin Martyr, Saint Irenaeus of lyons

They received the teachings from the disciples and their letters are still accessible if anyone wishes to read them..

You got to remember, back then they didn't have xerox or printing press (was invented 1448). Oral communication was the preferred mode of communication and everything had to be hand written. Clearly, in the first century, only if you were really rich you could purchase the bible or it was virtually impossible...

You would have to use papyrus or Parchment (sheepskin / goatskin / calfskin)

 

 

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What exactly are the contents and teachings of Sacred Tradition that the apostles supposedly passed down that were not written in Scripture?

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I hope Jegsy does not mind if I answer this one.  There are essentially two parts to Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church:

 

1) Sacred Tradition written (e.g., Scripture)  - refers to Catholic teaching that has been passed down from the apostles via the authority of Christ transmitted in the written word.

 

2) Sacred Tradition unwritten - refers to Catholic teaching passed down from the apostles via Christ not written down. Examples of this would be the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Infallibility of the Pope, or Catholic understanding of sacraments.

 

Linked together with these two parts is the authority of the church to teach (magisterium).

 

However, each of the parts are connected to teach other. You cannot isolate one part from the other.  The imagery is similar to building a house made with bricks.  The bricks are the scripture: provide stability to build doctrine, the unwritten Sacred Tradition is the mortar (holds the bricks of scripture together in the right position), and the magisterium is the tool (shovel) used to communicate or transfer this knowledge.

 

I know this is a very brief treatment of this topic, so i provided some resources:

 

1) http://www.mark-shea.com/tradition.html

2) http://live.lcdiocese.org/the-catholic-difference/82-what-is-sacred-tradition-and-why-is-it-important.html

 

 

Try Catholic & Christian! It is an easy to understand book that breaks things down! It gives a lot of history too, which I really like! :)

 

Do you by any chance know the author? I tried looking it up and can't find it! I'm definitely interested in checking it out

The author's name is Alan Schreck

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