no Catholic would claim that the Church is superior in authority to Scripture.And her comment, in apparent response to that, was a very brief snippet reputed to be from a Catholic commentary on the Bible:
"In regard to these truth [faith and morals] the authority of Tradition and of the Bible is equal...Nevertheless, as we shall see later, the Church is superior to the Bible in the sense that she is the Living Voice of Christ, and therefore the sole infallible interpreter of the inspired Word, whenever an authoritative interpretation is required" (emphasis added by Carrie).Wow.
Where to start?
In the first place, I guess this little exchange demonstrates the pointlessness of some (many?) combox debates. Participants are free to pick and choose that to which they will reply. In this case, Carrie chooses to ignore the fairly long comment left by Paul, gouging a single sentence out of it for her purposes. That might be excusable if it were representative of the entire comment, or if she went on to interact with the entire comment, but neither of these are the case. One is left to wonder, then, what exactly the point of Carrie's remark is. Clearly it is not offered in the spirit of hearty or reasoned or even casual discussion.
Secondly, Carrie has not only ripped Paul's words from their context; she has done the same to the quotation that she offers "in response" to him: a couple sentences, with a fragment of one of them bolded (as though the highlighted part represented the point of the quotation, and/or were the end of Paul's argument).
Thirdly, Carrie is careful to point out that her quotation is from a book that carries an imprimatur. This she does presumably to suggest that her quotation carries such powerful authority that Paul's woeful contradiction of the few words that she put in boldface mean that he is wrong. What it actually does, though, is show us that she misunderstands what an imprimatur really represents.
Fourthly, Carrie has selectively boldfaced the quotation, as though its immediate context has little bearing upon the meaning of what she has highlighted. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. Here it is again, this time with supplied emphasis (from me) that does better justice to that author's meaning: "...the Church is superior to the Bible in the sense that she is the Living Voice of the Christ, and therefore the sole infallible interpreter of the inspired Word, whenever an authoritative interpretation is required."
...in the sense that...
What these few words do is temper the assertion just made, so that the author's meaning is that "the Church is superior to the Bible" relatively, not absolutely. Relatively speaking, I could be said to be superior to the Bible in that I have arms and legs and can move around. Absolutely speaking I'm not superior to Scripture at all, of course. So the author of Carrie's quotation is saying that in a certain sense the Church is superior to the Bible: namely, in the sense that the Church is the Living Voice of Christ (something that I've mentioned a few times before...in fact, I've addressed her usage of this quotation before). But this in no way contradicts the general teaching of the Church that Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium are mutually interdependent:
Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls" (CCC §95).Unfortunately, by means of her selective bolding, Carrie apparently wants to leave the impression that the absolute sense of the words she highlights is what is meant by the author of the quotation - but it isn't. Hence she misrepresents him.
Lastly, she has also misrepresented Paul's comment. Because Paul's comment isn't, strictly speaking, about the mere fact that no Catholic would say that the Church is superior to the Bible in an absolute sense. Rather, his comment (as any one reading it can see) is really about (among other things, because he had more than one point) the fact that the only reason we can say that the Bible is authoritative is "because the Church appeals to it as its highest authority."
No doubt Carrie thought she didn't have time to spend on responding to Paul's whole comment. But if that is the case (and I do not doubt it, since she is a mom), it would be better if she had said nothing at all rather than torture both Paul's words and her pet quotation (for at least the second time, in the latter case). As it stands, her remarks look like nothing more than a drive-by comment, and do nothing to contribute to the conversation.