I wanted to share with everyone at CathInfo this exchange between my husband and the TRADITIO Fathers. This is a case where they are teaching heresy and when politely asked to explain can only respond with denial and a refusal to correct the error.
I think everyone who reads TRADITO should be careful about anything they publish. Anyone who is not willing to admit and correct errors, especially errors regarding the truths of our faith, is promoting an ideology and cannot be trusted to transmit or defend the truth. They claim to have had 20 million readers since 1994. That is a lot people to lead into error.
On October 3 the following question and response appeared:
A Reader Asks: "Does the Vulgate Bible Contain Errors?"
Dear TRADITIO Fathers:
I just learned that there is a problem with a verse from the Vulgate Bible (1 Kings 6:19). One editor says that there is a discrepancy in sources about the number killed. However, the Council of Trent says that the Vulgate Bible does not contain errors and is wholly inspired by God. I wonder how to apply this definition to the above mentioned issues.
The TRADITIO Fathers Reply:
You have misquoted the Council of Trent. The dogma on the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture pertains only to the content of questions of faith and morals, not to the accuracy of the text in matters not relevant to those teachings. The Fathers of the Council of Trent were some of the most brilliant men in the history of the Church, who were quite conversant with the science known as textual criticism. To them, the three Sacred Languages (Latin, Greek, and Hebrew) were like native languages. Modern scholars have lost that fluency.
The phenomenon that you are talking about was well known to them. Textual variations in numbers are particularly common because in ancient languages numbers were usually represented by letters and diacritical marks (remember Roman numerals?), which are quite easy to misinterpret. Whatever the correct number is in the passage to which you are referring, you can be confident it has no significance whatsoever on Catholic doctrinal and moral teaching and that Sacred Scripture is inspired by God.
This is not correct. The inerrancy of Sacred Scripture is not limited to only matter of "faith and morals" but extends to the entire text.
But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it-this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the Vatican. These are the words of the last: "The Books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council (Trent) and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical, not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without error; but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author.
Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus
Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the
Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed:
#11) Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error. St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane
There are many other quotations that could be provided but these two should be sufficient. I ask that you reconsider your answer and publish a correction.
Sincerely in Christ,
THE TRADITIO FATHERS REPLY>>> What we wrote is correct. The sacred authors did not make the mistakes; the copyists did. The Catholic teaching is that the SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES are inerrant and inspired in faith and morals, but that does not extend to textual errors that appear that copyists made. You have not understood "Providentissimus Deus" properly. Refer back to the Daily Commentary for the exposition of the Catholic doctrine.
The question to you concerned the Vulgate which is the normative text. Regarding the Vulgate you
"The dogma on the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture pertains only to the content of questions of faith and morals, not to the accuracy of the text in matters not relevant to those teachings."
That is not correct. The quotations from Pope Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus
and St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane
refer to the Church teaching on the normative texts which teach that the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture is not limited to only questions of "faith and morals."
If I am missing something here you need to provide a better explanation.
It was so kind of you to write the Fathers and for being such an avid reader of TRADITIO. It is the dedication of you and over 20,000,000 other readers that has made the TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Network the most read of all traditional Roman Catholic sites. Thank you for reading and publicizing the site, so that the traditional Roman Catholic message can reach even more readers.
The purpose of the Ask the Fathers department is educational only, to provide answers to persons who are sincerely seeking information about traditional Roman Catholicism, not to engage in debate. The Fathers have to answer hundreds of scores of inquiries a day, as well as write their Commentaries. So, they have asked me to screen out those messages that violate the protocols published in the "Ask the Fathers" department.