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Apostolic Tradition

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

The term “Apostolic Tradition” is used to identify both the original divine revelation and the transmission of this revelation since apostolic times.

The CEC quotes from DV 8 about the two forms of revelation, but then goes on to say that the transmission of this revelation since apostolic times is Tradition. This is confusing.

CEC should have distinguished two basic forms of public revelation, namely oral and written---and called the first Sacred Tradition and the second Sacred Scripture.

Here CEC distinguishes Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium. But Tradition is apparently oral divine revelation and not, as was said earlier, the deposit of faith kept intact over the centuries.

Excellent statement that, “The work of authentic interpreter of the Word of God is confided solely to the Church’s Magisterium, to the Pope and to the Bishops in communion with him.”

Quoting from Vatican II, CEC says that Sacred Scripture teaches the truth that God wants to communicate to the human race. But there is no affirmation that the Scriptures are without error. The implication of CEC is that Sacred Scripture are without error in religious matters, but not necessarily without error.

The same idea as before, that Sacred Scripture teaches “salvation truth” without error. But again this does not mean that Sacred Scripture does not contain error.

The insistence that the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Sacred Scripture is the primary “avant tout” interpreter of Sacred Scripture is ambiguous. Check the passage quoted from Origen, Homily in Exodus 4,5. Given the strong Origenist mind — DeLubac and his promise in the proposed Draft, this deserves investigation.

Excellent. Direct quotation from Vatican II defining faith as, “Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace.”

Copyright © 1998 by Inter Mirifica

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