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07 Sep 2016 Articles No comments

An Encounter With Jesus Through The Hand Of A Child

Surprises. Our God is full of surprises. A mentor in my life once told me to expect surprises in life, you are sure to have them. Good or bad, you will experien…

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19 Nov 2016 News No comments

Sister Blandina Segale v. Billy the Kid - Nun's canonization Cause approved by US bishops

An amazing woman who habitually calmed angry mobs, opened hospitals and schools and even challenged Billy the Kid has just had her canonization Cause approved b…

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02 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (2)

What do Catholic mean by "Tradition"?

Catholic Tradition often seems odd to those outside the Catholic Church. People assume it's something that we just... "made up." Sacred Tradition comes fr…

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23 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (21)

Why is God silent?

Full Question One huge impediment to my faith is that God never communicates with me. I pray daily, attend Mass often, and confess at least twice a month. …

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24 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (1)

How can I know God's will for my life? What does the Bible say about knowing God's will?

Answer: It is important to know God’s will. Jesus said that His true relations are those who know and do the Father’s will: “Whoever does God’s will is my brot…

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28 Jan 2016 Europe News No comments

Catholic Robert Flello MP appeals to Parliament to legally recognise Christian Genocide in the Middle East

A Catholic MP, Robert Charles Flello has put forward a Commons motion designed to appeal to the Parliament to push the UN to obtain an agreement that the word ‘…

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30 Oct 2014 Articles Comments (4)

On the So-Called “Choice in Dying”

By now you’ve probably heard of the tragic story of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman who has an inoperable and terminal brain tumor. While Maynard’s age ma…

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03 Nov 2016 Articles Comments (1)

The Myth that Religion Causes War

Religion and War CHALLENGE “Religion is inherently violent, producing countless wars.” DEFENSE This claim does not withstand scrutiny. War is not…

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18 Jul 2015 Articles Comments (6)

Mysteries of the Eucharist (part 1)

What really happens to us when we receive Holy Communion? Why do we call the eucharistic presence “real,” and how does it make a difference in our lives? What …

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Since we have God’s written word, why so much emphasis on oral tradition?

Full Question

You place a lot of emphasis on oral tradition in the Catholic Church, but doesn’t the fact that we have a written Bible show this was the way we were intended to receive the word of God?


The preferred method of communicating the word of God was not in writing but by word of mouth. Much of the Old Testament was known orally for centuries before it was written down.

Jesus himself wrote none of the New Testament. He established a living Church founded on Peter and the apostles, and he told them to preach. We see in the epistles of Paul how anxious the apostle is about the welfare of the local churches he has established and how he wishes he could be there with them in person to guide and teach.

In 2 John 12 we see explicitly in the written word itself how the apostles preferred to communicate directly with their own lips: “Although I have much to write to you, I do not intend to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and to speak, face to face.”

The Bible is a testament to the oral tradition that was alive and already at work. Our source of the revealed word of God is Scripture plus Tradition–a Tradition that the Church Christ founded preserves and teaches. Much of that Tradition was reduced to inspired writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit.


  1. Becky Jo Elster Reply

    Everything written, in my humble opinion has to be correctly interpreted, hence the reason for Chair of Moses sitters (Matthew 23).

    St John tells us not everything revealed was written, (ie the complete Table of contents OF inspired of God writings)

    Without both Oral and Written Tradition, one cannot KNOW the Truth, the WHOL Truth, and nothing but THE Truth

  2. Islandpride09 Reply

    2 Thessalonians 2:15 – Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

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