Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CATHOLICISM AND TRADITION

There is often confusion when non-catholics hear us speak of the tradition of the Church. Sometimes when we speak of tradition we are speaking of practices that do not relate to belief per se but to practices. An example is the choice of vestments the priest is to wear at specific times of the year. We also understand a different use of the term tradition. It often referred to as tradition with a capital T. We can almost always substitute "history" in place of tradition in that case. An example is the Trinity. Though the word trinity does not appear in the Bible, it is the traditional understanding of the Church that God is the Blessed Trinity. In other words the history of the Church teaches that fact. It is reliable not because it is tradition, small t, but because it is part of the tradition, capital T. It helps if one realizes that the Church is the pillar of truth and that Christ will be with it always.

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