Sydney Anglicanism is very anti-Cathlolic …they made a full effort to convert Catholics during WYD. One minister , Mark Gilbert ran a column…this is my reply to him:
The Reverend Mark Gilbert has contributed an article on the media Web page item about Why Anglicans do not accept the Pope.
He sums up his position as regards authority in the following terms…
“The church is the support structure for the truth found in God’s word – always underneath, supporting, testifying, upholding. Never above – interpreting, re-interpreting, dictating and controlling.
The Catholic Church describes its Tradition, Authority and the Bible like a tripod made of three equal legs. Paul describes the Bible as the truth under-girded by the church, which submits to it. “
First of all Mr Gilbert does not explain what he means when he uses the word Church . Is he referring to an invisible body of believers, or a constituted visible hierarchical Church…a city set on a hill which cannot be hid? .
He describes the Catholic Church ‘s model as tradition, authority and the Bible…we would say No.
Mr Gilbert should read the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church. We know nothing of three legged tripods…we suggest he got that model from liberal Anglicans who talk of Scripture, reason and tradition and call it a three legged stool. It does not belong to us.
We see Christ as the head, the living fount from which come forth both the living waters of Magisterium,Scripture and Sacred tradition
It is for us (The Magisterium), the teaching Chuch that Christ established and that he commissioned to teach unto the end of the age, with his assistance. ( see Matthew ch 28)
We also believe that the Word of God comes to us through this living source of teaching authority and is also to be found in the written and unwritten tradition…the former is called Scripture and the unwritten word, sacred tradition.
Hold fast to the traditions I handed on to you, by word of mouth and by our Epistle…says St Paul
The Church to the Catholic is the living mind and voice of Christ ( he that hears you hears me) on earth. The Church tells us what constitutes the deposit of faith once delivered to the Saints. It was the Church that told us for instance that the Epistle of Barnabas was not Scripture and the Epistle to the Hebrews was, and it is the same Church that assures us that embryo experimentation, invitro conception contraception, abortion etc are sin.
St Augustine of Hippo summed it up beautifully when he said, “ i would not believe the gospels if it were not for the authority of the Catholic Church telling me they are true”
it is impossible for the Church to be above the word of God, for the Church of the living God is Christ’s living voice and Word on earth. Christ is not divided. or downgraded…we know of no ugly contraptions called tripods… Christ’s revelation comes to us as an organic and coherent whole…the full beauty and majesty of Catholic and Apostolic truth.
it is quite obvious that to Mr Gilbert ,his Church is not the living teaching voice of Christ on earth…it is a collection of believers who have no authority but their own collective fallible and subjective interpretation of the Bible, which leads to the myriad of Protestant conflicting doctrines. So Mr Gilbert’s church has no settled view of baptism ,the Lord’s Supper, divorce and re-marriage,the Gospel way of salvation etc…because as he states it is “Never above – interpreting, re-interpreting, dictating and controlling.”
A PICTURE FROM ACTS…ch 2 v 42
They devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers .( note the definite article… ahint of set liturgical prayer here ) Please note they had no published New Testament…Apostoiic teaching authority was paramount.
If Mr Gilbert’s reading of authority were true ,would not the above passage from Acts have read ( and correct me if I am wrong)
And they continued in obedience to the Written Word of God, fellowship,prayer and the breaking of bread on the first Sunday of the month.
And finally Mr Gilbert, where does St Paul ever use the word Bible and tell us the Scripture is the sole authority for the believer?