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  1. Tradition Handing on a Living Faith

  2. Tradition vs. tradition • Tradition – the process by which the Church reflects on, deepens it’s understanding of, cherishes, and hands on to every generation everything it believes to be essential to the faith. • tradition – rituals that we do, often depending on our culture, which enhance our faith (stations of the cross, blessing with holy water, sign of the cross, etc…)

  3. Scripture ALONE vs. Scripture AND Tradition

  4. Scripture Alone • “Sola Scriptura” • Held by some Christians • God has given us divine truth ONLY in the Bible

  5. Scripture and Tradition • Catholic Approach • Divine truth is available to us in the Scriptures and in the wisdom of the church • God has given us and honors our reasoning, reflection, and learning • We use our reasoning and experiences to receive truth from God

  6. Scripture and Tradition in the Bible • “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” – 2 Thess. 2:15 • “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” – 1 Timothy 3:15 • “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

  7. Tradition Came First • When was the Bible/canon put together??? • The Church did not grow out of the scriptures, rather, scripture grew out of the Tradition of the early Church • Tradition has always been essential • Scripture and Tradition are woven together in the Catholic faith

  8. The Church’s Teaching Voice • We need to be united by common faith and unity in diversity • The Magisterium– the official teaching voice of the Church in the pope and bishops of the world (the successors of the Apostles)

  9. How does the Church teach? • Pastoral Letters • Catechism • Ecumenical Councils • Papal Encyclical • Doctrine – official teachings of the Magisterium which does not change but can evolve over time • Dogmas – doctrines taught under the fullest solemnity and authority of the Church and cannot be changed

  10. The Pope and Apostolic Succession • Tradition is handed down through Apostolic Succession • Authority given to the Apostles by Jesus passed down to the bishops • “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

  11. Infallibility • Doctrine of the Church • When the Church makes a solemn definition of matters of faith and morals, the Church is free from the possibility of error • Not a human characteristic but a gift of the Holy Spirit!!! • Exercised when the pope defines a matter regarding faith and morals speaking as the head of the Church or the bishops in communion with the pope

  12. Infallible Statements • The Immaculate Conception– established as a universal feast in 1476 and declared to be a dogma of the Church in 1854 • The Assumption – tradition held since the 7th century and declared a dogma in 1950