Help me to understand sacred tradition

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Mom23's picture
Help me to understand sacred tradition

I’m trying to get a handle on the whole idea of sacred tradition in the Catholic church. Does it precede the Bible? To Catholics, which one would be the most authoritative answer for any specific question where there might be a difference of opinion? Does anyone know the official viewpoint on this? Thanks!

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Cognostic's picture
The Pope is God's

The Pope is God's representative here on earth. His word is god's word. If the Pope calls it tradition, it's tradition and a natural extension of the bible. Catholicism is just one big personality cult, led by a man in a funny hat who dresses like Liberache.

dogalmighty's picture
Well, you see, woo woo magic

Well, you see, woo woo magic is funny...whatever seems to illicit the most favorable emotion in the masses, becomes and is, tradition. Look no further than Yul, the scandanavian pagan celebration that was adopted by the romans and religions, due to its popularity amongst the masses, now known as christmas...which in true origin has zero to do with present reason for celebration. Also easter is another good example. Its pagan origins rooted in ancient germanic belief in the goddess of spring, Eostre. So really, religious tradition is rooted in woo woo,ness, as woo woo doctrine is invented to meet popularity.

LogicFTW's picture
Once you understand what

Once you understand what "sacred" means in "sacred tradition."

It is pretty easy to understand.

As others above have stated, the word "sacred" in this situation usually means:
Some religious leaders decided they like an idea, so they plagiarized it. Usually 100's or 1000's of years ago.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ MOM 23

@ MOM 23

Sacred Authority in the Roman(Latin Rite, Catholic) Churches.

In Catholic hierarchy the final arbiter of the dogma is the Pope. Purported to be an unbroken succession of men leading the Pauline church from Simon Peter (Peter) in the mid 1st Century.
This of course is entirely bollocks. and can be proven so in a matter of minutes with a quick study of history.

In practice the authority lies in a group called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith it used to be called Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition which should be enough to send chills down your spine.

"Founded by Pope Paul III in 1542, the congregation's sole objective is to "spread sound Catholic doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines." Its headquarters are at the Palace of the Holy Office, just outside Vatican City. The congregation employs an advisory board including cardinals, bishops, priests, lay theologians, and canon lawyers. The current Prefect is Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, who was appointed by Pope Francis for a five-year term beginning July 2017.Wiki

Your second part: do the Catholics claim that their authority precedes the bible? Complicated question!
Well the bible you most probably use in your daily rituals was pronounced the definitive version 1n 1949 from a new translation in the 1930's of the Greek texts (none older than the 3rd century CE).
The oldest complete bible (Codex) we have is dated to the early 4th century. (see Codex Sinaia)

"the bible" is a collection of texts approved by the Roman church after 492CE and has been radically changed ever since then, so it really is an impossible question you asked.

Before then each church used a text or collection of texts that they wanted to consider authentic. There were many different sects an ways of worship. The sect that became the most powerful and took over much of the Christian World was the Latin (pauline) tradition that systematically destroyed as much of the other surviving traditions as possible.

What I suspect you want to ask: "is the Apostolic Tradition and Authority of the Catholic Church upheld in the early christian texts?"

Well no, in the texts there are no mentions of such a thing, and there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of a "Peter" aka "Simon Peter" or "Cephas" at all historically. He is not mentioned anywhere outside of the bible.

In fact the biblical texts we have mention 72 Apostles, but each gospel disagrees on their names, origins and authority.

As a side note Papal Infallibility was not a "thing" until about the 1870's, when it became official dogma. Unofficially and with no biblical support it had been considered "true" since the Middle Ages, but like most dogmas it is a political thing, about power not truth.

boomer47's picture
@Tin Man

@Tin Man

Catholic apologists will be happy to show you clear biblical authority for any sacred practice you care to name.

You understand of course that other christian sects don't agree because they ain't Catholic. That also means they are all heretics and going to hell.

Willing to bet that if pushed, any catholic biblical hermeneutics expert could find scriptural authority for Canon law trumping civil law. IE for covering up child abused, for centuries.

"As a side note Papal Infallibility was not a "thing" until about the 1870's, when it became official dogma"

However, in 1854, Pope Pius 1X declared Mary as 'the immaculate conception, ( conceived free from original sin) to be dogma

Since 1870, a pope has spoken ex cathedra (literally 'from the chair [of St Peter]) once. That was Pope Pius X11 in 1950, when he declared the assumption of Mary [ bodily into heaven[] to be dogma.

I agree it's all about power . Imo it has been since the sect we call christianity invented a hierarchical institution, with priests and bishops.AND of course declared themselves superior to ordinary human beings

Before that time, the pope and the church had enormous temporal power for centuries. EG for centuries, no member of the clergy could be tried by civil authorities, for any crime what so ever . The accused had to be turned over to church authorities for trial by church tribunal. Mkay.

The infallibility of the pope was a de facto matter for centuries, didn't need to be official : The pope could change history and dethrone princes'. EG It was Pope Urban 11 who declared the first crusade in 1096. It was pope Clement V11 who refused to annul Henry V111's marriage to Catherine of Aragon. That led directly to the formation of the Church of England and the dissolution of the obscenely wealthy monasteries.(their wealth went to the crown)

Having said that, I remains my opinion that neither of those papal decisions had anything to do with religion and everything to do with politics and papal power. ---The doctrine of papal infallibility was conveniently declared around the time of the unification of Italy and the dissolution of the papal states.

So to answer the OP; a sacred tradition is is anything the church says it is. Dominican and Jesuit sophists have been finding biblical authority for all kinds of thing for centuries---

Of course every other christian sect does the same thing and always has.

*Fascinating to realise that it is the Catholic Church alone which reverse the mother of Jesus ,one very slender scriptural authority. That a world wide Marian cult, of staggeringly complex superstitions has come into being over centuries.


Reference: "Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary" by Mary Douglas, world renowned Social Anthropologist.

"Dame Mary Douglas, DBE FBA (25 March 1921 – 16 May 2007) was a British anthropologist, known for her writings on human culture and symbolism, whose area of speciality was social anthropology. Douglas was considered a follower of Émile Durkheim and a proponent of structuralist analysis, with a strong interest in comparative religion.[2]"

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cranky

@ Cranky

I agree 100% except I WROTE THAT reply not that clanking reclamation dump waiting to happen.

Tin-Man's picture


HEY! How the hell did you get me mixed up with Old Man??? Isn't it obvious I am MUCH prettier than he is? You should be able to tell that even WITHOUT your glasses.... *walking away grumbling to self*... (Shit... Now I gotta go get a new polishing job done on my chrome. Must be starting to look all dull and crusty like Old Man's trike.... *grumble-grumble-grumble*...)

boomer47's picture
@ OLD man

@ OLD man

" @ Cranky

I agree 100% except I WROTE THAT reply not that clanking reclamation dump waiting to happen.'

Wot? Are you casting accusatory aspersions old boy? I do hope it's not at the pedantry and or didacticism of moi or anyone else here.

In case you haven't noticed, some here are crotchety seniors, to be treated delicately, lest we become peeved ** and say something unkind .

@Tin- man

Don't worry, I didn't know Old man was such a pernickety old man.


**there are 3 stages; miffed, then peeved ,following which we fly into a perfect tizzy.

Right now I'm a bit peeved: Just got back from supermarket. : no cereal ,except some Kelloggs muck I won't give to my dog . NO pasta, or passata , no sugar free drinks, no milk., no eggs, . I guess frightened people do irrational things.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cranky

@ Cranky

Well yes I was peeved and positively cantankerous that my erudite and learned piece should be confused with the semi illiterate maunderings of the self styled "comedian" of the forums.

From your reply I am not sure if your dotage is preventing you from realising the grievous sin you committed. Mixing up a post from me with a post from Tin Man...heresy!

Anyways you are forgiven. I shall just exact my revenge next time TM wants an oil change....(mmmmwahahahahhahaah) and just add some liquefied Cog poo to the 20w-40w he normally uses...oh you should see the sparks fly!

Fun for all the children.

BTW the supermarkets are the same here. Fortunately my other half and I have always kept at least two weeks reserve of most essentials ....habits of previous very hard times when she was very ill and needed 24/7 care.

Apart from that dont these dick heads realise that you can actually WASH your arse? Even the Romans and Greeks used the sponge and vinegar in a bucket technique...ffs.

Arghhh..."DORIS>>>find me another cloud to shout at , this one is cratered. ."

boomer47's picture
@Old man

@Old man

Ah ,Mkay and mea culpa..

WASH my derriere? Now there's thought. Especially as I have one of those hose attachments in the shower. Probably a bit more hygienic than using old mismatched socks.

---I always have not less than a month's supply of food on hand.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Half the world thinks toilet

Half the world thinks toilet paper degenerate....

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