The Teaching Church

Peter Preaching

The second of Fr. Dubay’s five root criteria necessary for openness to such truths as Gospel poverty, is “The Teaching Church.”

In the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum (Latin: “The Word of God”), the relationship between Tradition and Scripture is explained: “Hence there exists a close connection and communication between sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit … Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence.”

Fr. Dubay writes: “Jesus did not commit his message to private persons but to a community, the ekklesia (Church). They who listen to his representatives listen to him; they who reject these representatives reject him (Lk 10:16). Together with the rest of Christic revelation, his teaching about poverty has been committed to the care and proclamation of this Church. Just as a nation’s fundamental constitution needs to be interpreted by a living judicial system, so our fundamental Gospel documents must be authoratatively interpreted by a living teacher. Happily this living teacher enjoys divinely originated authenticity that merely human judicial systems do not” (p. 31, HAYP).

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