Sola Ecclesia Romanus
Only the Church of Rome is the Rule of Faith


Rome The Only Infallible Interpreter of Scripture:

10. ... God Himself has set up a living authority to establish and teach the true and legitimate meaning of His heavenly revelation. This authority judges infallibly all disputes which concern matters of faith and morals, lest the faithful be swirled around by every wind of doctrine which springs from the evilness of men in encompassing error. And this living infallible authority is active only in that Church which was built by Christ the Lord upon Peter, the head of the entire Church, leader and shepherd, whose faith He promised would never fail. This Church has had an unbroken line of succession from Peter himself; these legitimate pontiffs are the heirs and defenders of the same teaching, rank, office and power. And the Church is where Peter is,[5] and Peter speaks in the Roman Pontiff,[6] living at all times in his successors and making judgment,[7] providing the truth of the faith to those who seek it.[8] The divine words therefore mean what this Roman See of the most blessed Peter holds and has held.

Source: QUI PLURIBUS, (On Faith And Religion), Encyclical of Pope Pius IX, November 9, 1846.


Catholic Doctrine (Not Scripture) Is The Supreme Law :

14. ... Catholic doctrine, as authoritatively proposed by the Church, should be held as the supreme law; for, seeing that the same God is the author both of the Sacred Books and of the doctrine committed to the Church, it is clearly impossible that any teaching can by legitimate means be extracted from the former, which shall in any respect be at variance with the latter. Hence it follows that all interpretation is foolish and false which either makes the sacred writers disagree one with another, or is opposed to the doctrine of the Church.

Source: PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS, (On the Study of Holy Scripture), Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII dated November 18th, 1893.


   Traditions, it will be seen, are placed before the Bible in this [Roman Catholic] epitome of faith. Indeed, the Word of God, as a rule of belief and conduct is, in effect, done away; and the interpretations of the church are put in its place. So that in every case, the inquiry of the faithful Romanist must be not what saith the scripture but, what saith "Mother Church?" Not to follow the church, however opposed she may be to the Bible, would be a violation of his oath.
   The celebrated Council of Trent, which was called by a Bull of Pope Paul III, in the year 1542, decreed that the Roman Catholic church received and venerated with equal affection of piety and reverence, the Bible and traditions. "Omnes libros tam veteris quam novi Testamenti, nec non Traditiones pari pietatis affectuac reverentia suscipit, et veneratur." When, however, tradition was not in accordance with the Word of God, it would be manifestly impossible to conform to this decree, unless a man could conscientiously receive and reverence a truth and its opposite error at the same time. And therefore, to relieve the conscience of the Romanist, it was necessary that the right of interpreting the Bible should be given exclusively to Mother Church, who is also the keeper of Tradition. Hence the Papist has, in fact and strictly speaking, only one standard of faith, and that is neither the Bible nor Tradition, but the Church. He professes, indeed, to acknowledge both the scripture and tradition; but he is really bound to receive and obey whatever Mother Church declares to be the truth as contained in the Bible and Tradition. She must decide for him in every case, and from her judgment there can be no appeal. ...

   Tradition is one of the most essential subjects of dispute between Protestants and Romanists. The Romanists declare that the Scriptures alone are not sufficient for Salvation; but that there is the word of God, by hearsay, which is superior to the word of God in writing. By this hearsay, for tradition is nothing else, they assure the world that the Scripture must be explained; so that if the Scripture says white, and tradition says black, a Roman Catholic is bound to say, that white means black in God's written word.

Source: The Great Red Dragon; Or The Master-key To Popery, by Anthony Gavin, published in 1854 in Boston by Samuel Jones, 86 Washington Street, pages 250-251, 328-329.


Sola Ecclesia Romanus
as Taught in Catholic Catechisms

Catechism of the Catholic Church

85   "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form [Scripture] or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, published by Liguori Publications, English translation copyright 1994 by the United States Catholic Conference, Inc., Libreria Editrice Vaticana, page 27.


Deharbe's Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion

    24. And why do we say that through the Catholic Church alone we infallibly know the true meaning of the Scriptures and of tradition?
    Because the Catholic Church alone is 'the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Tim. iii. 15), and, therefore, cannot err in the interpretation of the Word of God.
    25. May no one, then, presume to explain the Scripture and Tradition contrary to the interpretation of the Catholic Church?
    No; for this would be as if ye understood the Scriptures and Tradition better than the Holy Ghost, who inspires the Church with the true meaning of it.
    26. But is the meaning of the Holy Scriptures not clear in itself, and easy to be understood by every one?

[pg. 76]

   No; for the Holy Scripture is a Divine and mysterious book, 'in which,' as St. Peter says, speaking of the Epistles of St. Paul, 'are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction' (2 Peter iii. 16).

'What else gives rise to so many heresies, save that the Scripture, which is good in itself, is ill understood?' (St. Augustine).

    27. It is not, then, true that the Bible alone is the only Rule of Faith? Or, in other words; Is not every private individual to search the Bible, and nothing but the Bible, until he finds out what he has to believe?
    No; for not the Bible alone, but the Bible and Tradition, both infallibly interpreted by the Church, are the right Rule of Faith. ...
    28. What has the Church decreed with regard to the reading of the Bible in the vulgar tongue?
    1. That we should have the learning and piety requisite for it; and 2. That the translation should be accompanied with explanations, and that both should be approved by the Church.

    By this wise provision the Church by no means intends to withhold the Word of God from the faithful, since she desires

[pg. 77]

nothing more than that all should know it and meditate upon it; she merely wishes to guard them against corrupted Bibles, which are often designedly offered to ignorant people, and against erroneous interpretations, sects, and schisms.

    Application. In matters of faith never trust your own judgment, but always humbly submit to the decisions of Holy Church; for when you believe what the Church teaches, you believe the Word of God.

Source: Deharbe's Catechism, A Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion, translated from the German by the Rev. John Fander, fifth American edition, revised, enlarged, and edited by the Right Rev. P. N. Lynch, D.D., Bishop of Charleston, copyright 1876 by L. Kehoe, published in New York by Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 42 Barclay Street, pages 75-77.


Keenan's Controversial Catechism

    Q. What is the rule of faith adopted by Catholics?
    A.
All truly inspired Scripture, and all truly divine tradition, interpreted by the teaching body of the Church, that is, by the pastors to whom Christ said, "Go teach all nations." This teaching body, when taken collectively with the chief Pastor at their head, all Catholics believe to be infallible, that is, they cannot teach any error against the faith or morals. Now, if this great fundamental truth be clearly laid down in Scripture, then Catholics will be quite safe in following the teaching of their pastors; then the teaching body will be, to the taught, an infallible rule of faith. Mark well, we do not maintain that the pastors of the Church are, of themselves, infallible, but that God has made them so, for the benefit of his people, and that Christ himself teaches by their lips.

Source: Controversial Catechism, by the Rev. Stephen Keenan, Second Edition, published in 1851 in Edinburgh; by C. Dolman, 13 South Hanover Street, and 61, New Bond Street, London, page 64.


St. Paul Family Catechism

152. What is Sacred Tradition?
Sacred or Apostolic Tradition is the Word of God entrusted by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and handed down by them to their successors in its full purity (Jn. 21:25; 2 Tm. 1:13-14; 2:2; 2 Thes. 2:15), 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.
    Therefore, both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are to be accepted and venerated with the same loyalty and reverence.

153. What is the Magisterium?
The Magisterium is the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. The Roman Pontiff and the Bishops teaching in communion with him, have the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed down, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit

Source: St. Paul Family Catechism, Third Edition, copyright 1992 by the Daughters of St. Paul, published by St Paul Books and Media,  50 St. Paul Ave., Boston, MA 02130, page 90.



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