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Reflections: Latin Mass/Cath.Trad. (Tradition)

The Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

Return to Ltn. Mass/Trad. Rflctns. | Latin Mass/Trad.Sctn.

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Tradition / Traditions

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Tradition / Traditions

 

Category
Quotation

Tradition / Traditions

Also See: Traditional Catholic (Topic Page)

"Reject not the tradition of old men which they have learned from their fathers; From it you will obtain the knowledge how to answer in time of need." (Sirach 8:9)

"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:2)

"I say this so that no one may deceive you by specious arguments. For even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing as I observe your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ." (St. Paul, Col. 2:4-8)

"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." (St. Paul, 2 Thes. 2:15)

"We instruct you, brothers, in the name of (our) Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us." (St. Paul, 2 Thes. 3:6)

"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions. ['Nihil innovetur nisi quod traditum est']" (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)  

"Be zealously affected to command that in all the churches the pure tradition be held." (St. Agatho I, 680 A.D.)

"Not all the truths revealed for us by God are found in the Bible; some are found only in Divine Tradition." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Divine Tradition has the same force as the Bible, since it too contains God's revelation to men." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The truths which God has revealed are contained in Holy Scripture and in Tradition." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema." (Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.)

"[W]e must keep for ever, firm and unmoved, the tradition which we received by succession from the fathers" (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"[N]othing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning." (Pope Agatho)

"Divine Tradition must be believed as firmly as the Bible because it also contains the word of God." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are promoters of tradition." (Pope St. Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910 A.D.)

"We must attach to Tradition the same importance as the revealed word of God which Holy Scripture contains." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"We should not conform with human traditions to the extent of setting aside the command of God." (St. Basil, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Why, then, should we not devote ourselves to imitate the examples set by our fathers?" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"With these things let us be satisfied, and let us abide by them, not removing everlasting boundaries, nor overpassing the divine tradition." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church) 

"It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church ... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church) 

"It behooves us unanimously to observe the ecclesiastical traditions, whether defined or simply retained by customary practice of the Church." (St. Peter Canisuis, Doctor of the Church)

"[Y]oung people should cultivate toward adults respect and trust, and although they are naturally attracted to novelties, they should duly appreciate praiseworthy traditions." (Second Vatican Council)

"But he who can abide firmly in the Apostolic tradition, he shall be saved" [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"It is needful also to make use of Tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy Apostles handed down some things in the Scriptures, other things in Tradition." (St. Epiphanius of Salamis)

"We should believe not otherwise than has been handed down by the tradition of the Church of God" [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Tradition is the non-written word of God, which has been transmitted by word of mouth by Jesus Christ and by the apostles, and which has come down to us through the centuries by the means of the Church, without being altered." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Divine Tradition is the unwritten word of God - that is, truths revealed by God, though not written in the Bible, and given to the Church through word of mouth by Jesus Christ or by the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Likewise, (I profess) that the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions must be accepted and revered; also, that power of granting indulgences has been left to the Church of Christ, and that their use is very salutary for Christian people." (Profession of faith from the Constitution "Nuper ad nos", 1743 A.D.)

"The fruits of a tree must decide whether it be a good or a poor one (Lk. vi. 44). One should examine if there have been satisfactory results from abandoning the paths marked out by the Church, and so zealously kept to by our fathers in the faith." (Liturgical Year)

"The various customs of the Church in the divine worship are in no way contrary to the truth: wherefore we must observe them, and to disregard them is unlawful." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium." (First Vatican Council)

"It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." (Second Vatican Council)

"It will not be out of place to consider the ancient tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which was revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the Apostles, and guarded by the Fathers. For upon this faith the Church is built, and if anyone were to lapse from it he would no longer be Christian either in fact or in name." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church)

"If anyone in word and mind does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers all even to the last portion that has been handed down and preached in the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church of God, and likewise by the holy Fathers and the five venerable universal Councils, let him be condemned." (Lateran Council, 649 A.D.)

"The customs of God's people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But especially contradictory is a notion of tradition which opposes the universal magisterium of the church possessed by the bishop of Rome and the body of bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his church." (Pope John Paul II, 1988)

"But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the Apostles themselves or by plenary councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"The natural inclination concerns the precepts of the natural law. Again, a laudable custom has the force of a precept; since as Augustine says in an epistle On the Fast of the Sabbath (Ep. 36), 'a custom of God's people should be looked upon as law.' Hence both sin and transgression may be against a laudable custom and against a natural inclination." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Moreover that the Apostles handed down much that was unwritten, Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, tells us in these words: Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught of us, whether by word or by epistle. And to the Corinthians he writes, Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the traditions as I have delivered them to you." (John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"[Our] first safety is to guard the rule of the right faith and to deviate in no wise from the ordinances of the Fathers; because we cannot pass over the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ who said: 'Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church' ...[Matt. 16:18]. These [words] which were spoken, are proved by the effects of the deeds, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved without stain. Desiring not to be separated from this hope and faith and following the ordinances of the Fathers, we anathematize all heresies" (Pope St. Hormisdas, 517 A.D.)

"Can. 750 §1 A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium which is manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful under the guidance of the sacred magisterium. All are therefore bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Wherefore by actions also, especially if they be repeated, so as to make a custom, law can be changed and expounded; and also something can be established which obtains force of law, in so far as by repeated external actions, the inward movement of the will, and concepts of reason are most effectually declared; for when a thing is done again and again, it seems to proceed from a deliberate judgment of reason. Accordingly, custom has the force of a law, abolishes law, and is the interpreter of law." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"...if that which is done be, in itself, not conducive to God's glory, nor raise man's mind to God, nor curb inordinate concupiscence, or again if it be not in accordance with the commandments of God and of the Church, or if it be contrary to the general custom - which, according to Augustine (Ad Casulan. Ep. 36), 'has the force of law' - all this must be reckoned excessive and superstitious, because consisting, as it does, of mere externals, it has no connection with the internal worship of God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

 "But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the Second Council of Nicaea, where it condemns those 'who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church' ... Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: 'I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church'." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)

"Surely, 'blind and leaders of the blind' [Matt. 15:14] are they who, puffed up by the proud name of science, reach such a point in their raving that they pervert the eternal concept of truth, and the true sense of religion by introducing a new system, 'in which from an exaggerated and unbridled desire for novelty, truth is not sought where it certainly exists, and neglecting the holy and apostolic traditions, other doctrines empty, futile, uncertain, and unapproved by the Church are adopted, on which men in their extreme vanity think that truth itself is based and maintained.'" (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)

"The Apostles, led by the inward instinct of the Holy Ghost, handed down to the churches certain instructions which they did not put in writing, but which have been ordained, in accordance with the observance of the Church as practiced by the faithful as time went on. Wherefore the Apostle says (2 Thessalonians 2:14): 'Stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word' - that is by word of mouth - 'or by our epistle' - that is by word put into writing. Among these traditions is the worship of Christ's image. Wherefore it is said that Blessed Luke painted the image of Christ, which is in Rome." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Those, therefore, who dare to think or to teach otherwise or to spurn according to wretched heretics the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent anything novel, or to reject anything from these things which have been consecrated by the Church: either the Gospel or the figure of the Cross, or the (representational) picture, or the sacred relics of the martyr; or to invent perversely and cunningly for the overthrow of any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; or even, as it were, to use the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries as common things; if indeed they are bishops or clerics, we order (them) to be deposed; monks, however, or laymen, to be excommunicated." (Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.)

"Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact - one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history - the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way." (Pope St. Pius X, Oath Against Modernism, 1910 A.D.)

"Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For Sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, while sacred tradition takes the word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and hands it on to their successors in its full purity, so that led by the light of the Spirit of truth they may in proclaiming it preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence. Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church." (Second Vatican Council)

"If anyone according to the wicked heretics in any manner whatsoever, by any word whatsoever, or at any time or place whatsoever illicitly removing the bounds which the holy Fathers of the Catholic Church have rather firmly established [Prov. 22:28], that is, the five holy and universal Synods, in order rashly to seek for novelties and expositions of another faith; or books, or letters, or writings, or subscriptions, or false testimonies, or synods, or records of deeds, or vain ordinations unknown to ecclesiastical rule; or unsuitable and irrational tenures of place; and briefly, if it is customary for the most impious heretics to do anything else, (if anyone) through diabolical operation crookedly and cunningly acts contrary to the pious preachings of the orthodox (teachers) of the Catholic Church, that is to say, its paternal and synodal proclamations, to the destruction of the most sincere confession unto the Lord our God, and persists without repentance unto the end impiously doing these things, let such a person be condemned forever, and let all the people say: so be it, so be it [Ps. 105:48]." (Lateran Council, 649 A.D.)

"While St. Paul opposed any attempt to force Gentile converts to adopt Jewish customs, hence his celebrated rebuke to St. Peter in Galatians 2, neither he nor the other Apostles considered it necessary for Jewish Christians to abandon their traditional rites. Commenting on this, Cardinal Newman writes: 'But they neither abandoned the Jewish rites themselves nor obliged any others to do so who were used to them. Custom was quite a sufficient reason for retaining them; every Christian was to remain in the state in which he was called... Now from this obedience to the Jewish law, enjoined and displayed by Our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, we learn the great importance of retaining those religious forms to which we are accustomed, even though they are in themselves indifferent, or not of Divine origin... Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting... In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether.'" (Davies)

"'Guard.' [St. Paul] says, 'what has been committed.' (1 Tm. 6:20) What does it mean, 'what has been committed'? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. 'Guard,' he says, 'what has been committed.' Keep the talent [see Mt. 25:14-30] of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine give has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. skilled craftsman] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, by means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.) 

"The Holy Ghost has not kept the Books of sacred scripture from passing into the hands of the sects separated from the center of unity; but He has reserved to the Church the treasure of tradition, which transmits, surely and fully, from one generation to another, the word which is life and light. This tradition is kept up by the truth and the holiness of the Man-God, ever existing in His members, ever tangible and visible in the Church. Holiness, which is inherent in the Church, is tradition in its purest and strongest form; because it is the truth, not only preached, but reduced to action and work, as it was in Christ Jesus, and as it is in God. It is the deposit, which the disciples of the apostles had the mission to hand faithfully down to their successors, just as the apostles themselves had received it from the Word, who had come upon the earth. Hence, St. Paul did not content himself with entrusting dogmatic teaching to his disciple Timothy; he said to him: 'Be thou an example to the faithful, in word, and in living.' He said much the same to Titus: 'Show thyself an example of good works, in doctrine and in integrity of life.' He repeated to all: 'Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.' He sent Timothy to the Corinthians, that he might remind them, or, where it was necessary, might teach them, not only the dogmas of his Gospel, but likewise his ways in Christ Jesus, that is, his manner of life. For this manner of life of the apostle was, in a certain measure, his teaching everywhere in all the Churches; and he lauded the faithful of Corinth for being mindful to imitate him in all things, which was a keeping to the tradition of Christ. As for the Thessalonians, they had so thoroughly entered into this teaching, taken from their apostle's life, that, as St. Paul says of them, they had become a pattern to all believers; this silent teaching of Christian revelation, which they showed forth in their conduct, made it superfluous for the messengers of the Gospel to say much." (Liturgical Year)

"Of the dogmas and kerygmas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teachings and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kergyma to a mere term. For instance, to take the first and most general example, who taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East in prayer? Which of the saints left us in writing the words of the epiclesis at the consecration of the Bread of Eucharist and the Cup of Benediction? For we are not content with those words the Apostle or the gospel has recorded, but we say other things also, both before and after: and we regard these other words, which we have received from unwritten teaching, as being of great importance to the mystery. Where is it written that we are to bless the baptism water, the oil of anointing, and even the one who is being baptized? Is it not from silent and mystical tradition?... And the rest of the things done at Baptism, where is it written that we are to renounce Satan and his angels? Does this not come from that secret and arcane teaching which our Fathers guarded in a silence not too curiously meddled with and not idly investigated, when they had learned well that reverence for the mysteries is best preserved by silence... In the same way the Apostles and Fathers who, in the beginning, prescribed the Church's rites, guarded in secrecy and silence the dignity of the mysteries; for that which is blabbed at random and in the public ear is no mystery at all. This is the reason for our handing on of unwritten precepts and practices: that the knowledge of our dogmas may not be neglected and held in contempt by the multitude through too great a familiarity." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)

"The sacred and holy ecumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Spirit, with the same three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, keeping this constantly in view, that with the abolishing of errors, the purity itself of the Gospel is preserved in the Church, which promised before through the Prophets in the Holy Scriptures our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded 'to be preached' by His apostles 'to every creature' as the source of every saving truth and of instruction in morals [Matt. 28:19 ff., Mark 16:15], and [the Synod] clearly perceiving that this truth and instruction are contained in the written books and in the unwritten traditions, which have been received by the apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the apostles themselves, at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, have come down even to us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, [the Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and holds in veneration with an equal affection of piety and reverence all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament, since one God is the author or both, and also the traditions themselves, those that appertain both to faith and to morals, as having been dictated either by Christ's own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. And so that no doubt may arise in anyone's mind as to which are the books that are accepted by this Synod, it has decreed that a list of the Sacred books be added to this decree... If anyone, however, should not accept the said books as sacred and canonical, entire with all their parts, as they were wont to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin Vulgate edition, and if both knowingly and deliberately he should condemn the aforesaid traditions let him be anathema. Let all, therefore, understand in what order and in what manner the said Synod, after having laid the foundation of the confession of Faith, will proceed, and what testimonies and authorities it will mainly use in confirming dogmas, and in restoring morals in the Church." (Council of Trent, 1546 A.D.)

"Touched inwardly with sorrow of heart' [Gen. 6:6], 'we are filled with the bitterness of wormwood' [cf. Lam. 3:15], because as it has been brought to our attention, certain ones among you, distended like a skin by the spirit of vanity, are working with profane novelty to pass beyond the boundaries which thy fathers have set [cf. Prov. 22:28], the understanding of the heavenly page limited by the fixed boundaries of expositions in the studies of the Holy Fathers by inclining toward the philosophical doctrine of natural things, which it is not only rash but even profane to transgress; (they are doing this) for a show of knowledge, not for any profit to their hearers; so that they seem to be not taught of God or speakers of God, but rather revealed as God. For, although they ought to explain theology according to the approved traditions of the saints and not with carnal weapons, 'yet with (weapons) powerful for God to destroy every height exalting itself against the knowledge of God and to lead back into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ' [cf. 2 Cor. 10:4 f.], they themselves 'led away by various and strange doctrines' [cf. Heb. 13:9] reduce the 'head to the tail' [cf. Deut. 28:13, 44] and they force the queen to be servant to the handmaid, that is, by earthly documents attributing the heavenly, which is of grace, to nature. Indeed relying on the knowledge of natural things more than they ought, returning 'to the weak and needy elements' of the world, which they served while they were 'little' and 'serving them again' [Gal. 4:9] as foolish in Christ they feed on 'milk and not solid food' [Heb. 5:12 f.], and they seem by no means to have established 'the heart in grace' [cf. Heb. 13:9]; and so despoiled of their rewards 'plundered and wounded by their natural possessions they do not reduce to memory that (saying) of the Apostle which we believe they have already frequently read: 'Avoiding the profane novelties of words, and the oppositions of knowledge falsely so called, which some seeking have erred concerning the faith' [cf. 1 Tim. 6:20 f.]." (Pope Gregory IX, 1228 A.D.) 

"With great zeal and closest attention, therefore I frequently inquired of many men, eminent for their holiness and doctrine, how I might, in a concise, and so to speak, general and ordinary way, distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity. I received almost always the same answer from all of them, that if I or anyone else wanted to expose the frauds and escape the snares of the heretics who rise up, and to remain intact and sound in a sound faith, it would be necessary, with the help of the Lord, to fortify that faith in a twofold manner: first, of course, by the authority of divine law; and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Here, perhaps, someone may ask: 'If the canon of the Scriptures be perfect, and in itself more than suffices for everything, why is it necessary that the authority of ecclesiastical interpretation be joined to it?' Because, quite plainly, Sacred Scripture, by reason of its own depth, is not accepted by everyone as having one and the same meaning. The same passage is interpreted in one way by some, in another by others, so that it can almost appear as if there are as many opinions as there are men... And thus, because of so many distortions of such various errors, it is highly necessary that the line of prophetic and apostolic interpretation be directed in accord with the norm of the ecclesiastical and Catholic meaning. In the Catholic Church herself every care must be taken that we may hold fast to that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. For this, is then, truly and properly Catholic. That is what the force and meaning of the name itself declares, a name that embraces all truly universally. This general rule will be correctly applied if we pursue universality, antiquity, and agreement. And we follow universality in this way, if we confess this one faith to be true, which is confessed by the whole Church throughout the whole world: antiquity, however, if we in no way depart from those interpretations which, it is clear, our holy predecessors and fathers solemnized; and likewise agreement, if, in this very antiquity, we adopt the definitions and theses of all or certainly of almost all priests and teachers." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)

Also See: Against Modernism / Novelty | Written / Oral Tradition (Scripture Reflections) | Popes as Preservers of Tradition / Against New Doctrines (Vatican View Reflections) | Unchangeableness of Dogmas | God is Unchangeable | Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition: Q & A | Latin Mass Facts | Traditional ('Tridentine') Latin Mass (Reflections) | Latin Mass Information | Traditional Prayers & Practices

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