QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What does the Catholic Church mean by Sacred Tradition?
Sacred Tradition are those practices and beliefs that were passed down by the apostles to us. Some of Sacred Tradition is contained in the Bible, but some of it is not. For instance, the belief in the Holy Trinity is a Sacred Tradition which is not defined in the Bible.
The Gospels and the Epistles of the New Testament were written somewhere between 50AD - 100AD. These were not officially put together as Canon until the 4th Century, and was finally confirmed by the 2nd Council of Carthage in 419 AD. That was the birth of the New Testament that we know today.
During the time prior to a New Testament Canon, the Church was maintained through oral traditions and practices which we call Sacred Traditions and which we practice to this day.
I recommend that you read the early Church Fathers to learn of these traditions. A good book on this subject is the 3 volume The Faith of the Early Fathers edited and translated by William Jurgens.
To learn the difference between small "t" and capital "T" traditions in the Church, Click HERE.
- Deacon George Kozak (6/01)