Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Moderator urged to pull out of Papal service

I write to express my great disgust, frustration and hurt at the news that the Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Norman Hamilton, will be attending an ecumenical service in Westminster Abbey with Pope Benedict XVI.

When elders and ministers are ordained in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, we sign the Westminster Confession of Faith which states: "There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God."

Dr Hamilton will have signed this declaration, which makes his attendance at the service with the Pope a matter of confusion.

If he is now prepared to contradict his earlier confession of faith, what other statements and beliefs that he has previously signed and agreed with are no longer to be believed?

Pope Benedict XVI teaches that the Roman Catholic Church is the sole true church of Christ and that all other denominations are "not Churches in the true sense".

Ultimately, Dr Hamilton's desire to attend this service is an offence to the Lord.

I would yet urge Dr Hamilton to reconsider his decision to attend this service and realign himself with the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Protestant Reformation and, above all, the Word of God.

REV MARK NEILLY

Buckna Presbyterian Church, Co Antrim

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