Here's a great link expounding the Roman Catholic issue on the Material Sufficiency Of Scripture vs Partim Partim view of Scripture:
Rome's Apologists At It Again (by James White)
The link contains a section from White's book, The Roman Catholic Controversy (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1996), 76-80.
Catholic Material Sufficiency: The idea that the Scriptures are “materially sufficient” simply means the entire content of revelation is in the Scriptures, or that divine revelation is contained entirely in Scripture. That is, all the doctrines Christians are to believe are found in the Bible. Along with affirming totum in Scriptura, Catholics who maintain material sufficiency also hold “Tradition” likewise contains the entire content of revelation: “totum in traditione”. Thus, two vehicles carry God’s special revelation in total: Scripture and Tradition. Both are infallible in the Catholic view.
Catholic Partim-Partim Sufficiency: Part of God’s special revelation is contained in the Scripture, and part is contained in tradition. In this view, the Bible is “materially insufficient”. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states of those who hold this view, “Neither tradition nor Scripture contains the whole apostolic tradition. Scripture is materially (i.e., in content) insufficient, requiring oral tradition as a complement to be true to the whole divine revelation” [Source: New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) Vol 14, p.228].David King points out that “…nearly every theologian from the Council of Trent to Vatican I (a span of about 300 years) understood the teaching of Trent to be a denial of both the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture” (Source: Holy Scripture, Vol 1, p.183).
Over on the CARM boards, I recently posted on this topic. One response from a Roman Catholic was quite interesting. He said in response at first:“The fact the Bible doesnt list the canon of Scripture can be used to say "material sufficiency" means nothing.” Then he later said: “In general (eg apart from the canon) I believe everything is contained in the Bible either explicitly or implicitly.”
This Catholic has a little dilemma. On the one hand, he posits that "material sufficiency means nothing” because a list of which books belonging in the canon is not contained in the Scripture. But then he affirms material sufficiency, except for the canon. Basically, he's attempting to affirm both material sufficiency and partim-partim while at the same time affirming neither. I think that if he can’t even affirm one of the positions, it seems clear to me that sophistry is at work. I know that sounds derogatory, but I spent the time to outline the two acceptable views of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s logically either one or the other. There wasn’t any intended trickery going on with my post. Perhaps he hasn’t studied this issue, so he's “winging it”. Perhaps he's trying to come up with his own view. His position is demonstrative of how much uncertainty exists with those who hold to Roman Catholicism.
Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner made the following comment in his book, Theological Investigations:
"We will not be able to doubt or dispute the fact that in post-Tridentine theology the main trend of thought has been to maintain, on the basis of an anti-Protestant front, that there is not only the truth of the inspiration and of the canon of scripture but that there are also other truths of faith which are not to be found in scripture, so that for them oral tradition is a materially distinct source of faith" [Source: Theological Investigations (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1969), Vol. VI, 106-107].
The irony is a Roman Catholic that uses the Canon to argue against material sufficiency is left holding the partim-partim view, as was demonstrated in the CARM discussion. The argument demonstrates that the a Roman Catholic cannot affirm material sufficiency without having to change their understanding of Canon certainty. When the partim-partim view is applied to believers who lived during Old Testament times, the paradigm fails. Believers in the Old Testament were able to recognize Scripture without an infallible authority telling them what they were. In other words, they recognized God's voice with out an infallible office. In Matthew 22:29-33, Jesus held people responsible for the teachings contained in the Old Testament.
For a Protestant, the recognizing of the canon is not itslef the product of an infallible tradition or human declaration. God defines the canon by giving us the canon.He did so during the Old Testament period, and did so as well during the New Testament period. The Old Testament saints did not need an inspired infallible tradition to determine the Old Testament canon.
If pressed, I think a Roman Catholic will deny material sufficiency rather than give up a favorite Canon argument. More likely is a redefinition of what material sufficiency means. Sophistry will be very busy for a Roman Catholic who wants both material sufficiency and partim-partim.