the Roman Catholic Church entrenclied itself behind tradition,rnto the point that it formally recognized two sources of revelation,rnScripture and tradition. Catholics proclaimed this viewrnwith zeal in the 16th and succeeding centuries, although theyrnhave somewhat toned it down in our ecumenical age.rnThis understanding of tradition has been the standardrnCatholic position from the Counter-Reformation Council ofrnTrent up to the present The Council did not endorse merelyrnthat which had become familiar and habitual in Church lifernand patterns of worshijj, but argued that its content either wasrntaught orally by Jesus without being recorded in Scripture, or directK’rninspired by the Holy Spirit in the centuries after the aposties.rnThe Protestant objection to traditions is not to their existencernbut to the Catholic contention that they are not merelyrnuseful or edifying but necessary for salvation. Recent Catholicrnparticipants in ecumenical dialogue have sought to modify thernapparent sharpness of this position, bringing it closer to thernmore literal approach of the Eastern Orthodo.x, who see paradosisrnas including as its most central element the handing downrnof the Scripture itself, with the other traditions of the Church tornbe understood primarily as interpretation.rnDespite these contemporary tendencies to reinterpret andrnsoften the contention that tradition is a second source alongsidernof Scripture, the Catholic position at Trent in 1546 seemedrnplain indeed. The Council, in its fourth session (April 1546, 29rnyears into the Reformation), stated unequivocally: “[The Synod],rnfollowing the example of the orthodox Fathers, receivesrnand enerates with an equal affection of piefy’ and reverence allrnof the books both of the Old and of the New Testament—seeingrntiiat one God is tiie author of both —as well as also the saidrntraditions, as well as those appertaining to faith as to morals, asrnhaving been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, orrnby tlie Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church by arncontinuous succession.”rnThe reason that the fathers of Trent virtually began their 17rnyears of labor w ith a defense of what they considered thernsecond source of divine revelation is to discern: By their insistencernon the doctrine of sola scriptura, the Reformers werernthreatening the entire fabric of the Roman Church —its structure,rnits government, its worship, and its theology. From the beginning,rnthe Protestants’ attack centered on what they consideredrnthe Catholic error of requiring belief in, and obserancernof things to be found only in tradition. The problem was notrnthe authorih’ of Scripture, for the Roman Catholics full’ acceptedrnthat, but rather its adequacy, its sufficiency as a guide forrnfaith and life. By labeling Scripture aloire as iirsiffficient,rnCatholicism requires believers to put their trust in somethingrnadditional, namely tradition.rnThe Augsburg Confession (1530), the earliest Protestant confessionrnof faith, is ven’ explicit. It denounces Catholic reliancernon traditions as denigrating both grace and faith in such a wayrnas to endanger those who accept them; they were condemnedrnin Article V as “obscuring the doctrine of grace . . . and also thernrighteousness of faith . . . secondly, these traditions obscuredrnthe commandments of God . . . thirdl, they brought great dangerrnto men’s consciences.”rnIt is important to recognize tiiat, for the Reformers, the questionrnwas not whether the Scripture is authoritative; what wasrnreall}” at stake was its sufficiency. It is impossible to protestrnagainst all tradition as such. This becomes evident as soon asrnone obser’es the extent to which Protestants also ha’e traditions;rnthe difference is that Protestants do not, or at least shouldrnnot, regard their traditions as necessary additions to biblicalrnteaching.rnWlrile the concluding sessions of the Council of Trent werernstill going on, the Church of England agreed on the 39 Articlesrnas its confession of faith. Article Six makes the point about thernsufficienc}’ of Scripture ven’ clearly: “Holy Scripture containethrnall things necessan- to salvation: so that whatsoever is not readrntherein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be reqiured of anyrnman, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or bernthought requisite or necessar’ to salvation.” A similar statementrnis to be found in the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) almostrna century later: “The whole counsel of God, concerningrnall things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith andrnlife, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good andrnnecessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: untornwhich nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelationsrnof the Spirit, or traditions of men.” For the Protestants,rnthis is precisely what Catholic tradition does.rnPerhaps the most striking illustration in recent times of thernCatholic belief in tradition as revelation was the papal declarationrnof the bodily assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven,rnpromulgated as de fide, an article of faith, in 1950. Even the Orthodox,rnwho celebrate the Assumption (which thev call thernDormition of Mary), balk at the idea of making it a doctrine thatrnmust be believed for salvation.rnThe choice between Trent, on tire Catholic side, and Augsburgrnor the 39 Articles, on the Protestant one, is not as clean andrnsimple as it might look. It cannot mean Scripture alone, totallyrnwithout tradition, or Scripture plus tradition, for the simple reasonrnthat Protestants have traditions in addition to Scripture itselfrnThe Bible alone does not give enough information to enablernChristians to shape all the aspects of their life and worship.rnIf they make the attempt, as the Swiss Reformation (Zwinglianrnand Calvinist) did, then the products of that attempt soon becomerntraditions in their own right.rnInstead of shucking off and paring down traditions attackedrnas unscriptural, as Luther sought to do, the Roman CatholicrnCounter-Reformation inaugurated at Trent reaffirnred its understandingrnof traditional Christianity. Certain recognizedrnabuses were purged, but the structure of tradition was retained.rnIn contrast, the Reformation argued that Catholic traditionsrnwere usurpations and deformations, and that the Reformationrnwas the recovery of the true pamdosis, of the faith once deli-rnered to the saints, obscured by layers of Catholic paradusis, encroachments.rnNevertheless, there were edifying traditions,rnbeautiful traditions, valuable traditions, both in worship and inrntheology, and these could and should be presered. Thus thernAnglicans, particularly the High Church movement, and similarrndevelopments in Lutheranism created churches and servicesrnthat outwardly resembled those of the Catholicism ofrnTrent. Even within the Reformed confession that followsrnCalvin, there is a kind of “high church” movement. When, afterrnthe Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church abandonedrnsome of its forms, the Protestants who still held on tornthem looked a bit outdated.rnThe openness of Luther and his followers to tradition is evidentrnfrom the way they reformed Catholic worship, confiningrntiieir changes in the Catholic liturg)’ to the elimination of accretionsrnthat they considered unscriptural, such as the adorationrnof the Eucharist. Luther insisted that Christ is really presentrnin the bread and wine, but precise)} and only for thern14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn