His Excellency, the Most Reverend Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City State, will deliver a talk titled “Pope Benedict XVI, the Bible and the Synod of Bishops.”
The archbishop will review the seminal work of the of the world-wide gathering of bishops and other experts on the Word of God which happened in October 2008.
The talk is sponsored by the American Bible Society and is being presented at their NY Offices.
Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: The American Bible Society
1865 Broadway (between 61st & 62nd Streets) New York, NY 10023
head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abuna Pauolos, is set to unveil the Ark
of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant has been in the guardianship of the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church in a chapel in the Church of Our Lady, Mary of Zion.
But with many religious icons and relics the Ark has been claimed by a number of
people over the years, some credible and many not so believable. There is no reason I know of to doubt the authenticity of the Ark that’s with the Patriarch.
We don’t hear
much of the Ark of Covenant today except for intro Scripture classes; however,
it should be noted that the Ark is a unit of learning in the Catechesis of the
Good Shepherd (a catechetical program for little people developed around a
Montessori method). The relevance of the Ark, you will remember, is that it was
God’s command that the Ark be built to contain the tablets of the Decalogue
(the 10 Commandment), Aaron’s rod and manna. On the theological level the Ark
is emblematic of the Covenant God had with His people (Israel). Today, a
theology of Covenant continues but not in tablets or an Ark but in a
Person–Jesus Christ. Catholics honor and follow the 10 Commandments; we honor the
Ark but we worship neither. We adore, worship, and give glory to a God who
became a flesh and blood person, a man in all things like you and me except
sin; the Son of God who opened the doors of salvation for us. Catholics
believe, therefore, our salvation is not in the Commandments but from Christ
who lived, died, and resurrected. As I mentioned the Commandments are followed
and we revere the Ark so long as we recognize that they point to their fulfillment in Jesus. So learn about the Ark and pass this theology onto your
friends and family.
The Pontifical Biblical Commission (PBC) during their annual plenary assembly this week has been working on the theme of “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible,” as a result of the October 2008 synod of bishops on the Word of God.
In his address to the PBC the Pope spoke of the importance of sacred Scripture because it “concerns not only believers, but the Church herself, because the Church’s life and mission necessarily rest upon the Word of God, which is the soul of theology and, at the same time, the inspiration of all of Christian life…the interpretation of sacred Scripture is of vital importance for Christian faith and for the life of the Church.”
According to the Holy Father: “From a correct approach to the concept of divine inspiration and truth in sacred Scripture derive certain norms that directly concern its interpretation. The Constitution Dei Verbum, having affirmed that God is the author of the Bible, reminds us that in sacred Scripture God speaks to mankind in a human manner. For a correct interpretation of Scripture we must, then, carefully examine what the hagiographers really sought to say and what God was pleased to reveal with their words.”
Drawing his remarks from the Second Vatican Council, the Pope reminded the PBC –and us– that are “three perennially valid criteria for interpreting sacred Scripture in accordance with the Spirit that inspired it. In the first place, great attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture. Indeed, however different the books it contains may be, sacred Scripture is one by virtue of the unity of God’s plan, of which Jesus Christ is the center and the heart. In the second place, Scripture must be read in the context of the living tradition of the entire Church [because tradition] carries the living memory of the Word of God, and it is the Holy Spirit who provides her with the interpretation thereof in accordance with its spiritual meaning. The third criterion concerns the need to pay attention to the analogy of the faith; that is, to the cohesion of the individual truths of faith, both with one another and with the overall plan of Revelation and the fullness of the divine economy enclosed in that plan.
Thinking with the Church the work of scholars, in the mind of the mind of the Holy Father, is to “contribute, following the above-mentioned principles, to a more profound interpretation and exposition of the meaning of sacred Scripture. The academic study of the sacred texts is not by itself sufficient. In order to respect the coherence of the Church’s faith, Catholic exegetes must be careful to perceive the Word of God in these texts, within the faith of the Church. The interpretation of sacred Scriptures cannot be merely an individual academic undertaking, but must always be compared with, inserted into, and authenticated by the living tradition of the Church. This norm is essential in order to ensure a correct and reciprocal exchange between exegesis and Church magisterium. Catholic exegetes do not nourish the individualistic illusion that biblical texts can be better understood outside the community of believers. The opposite is true, because these texts were not given to individual scholars ‘to satisfy their curiosity or to provide them with material for study and research.’ The texts inspired by God were entrusted to the community of believers, to the Church of Christ, to nourish the faith and to guide the life of charity. Sacred Scripture is the Word of God in that is written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors so that they, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, could faithfully conserve, explain and spread it through their preaching. Only within the ecclesial context, can Sacred Scripture be understood as the authentic Word of God which is the guide, norm and rule for the life of the Church and the spiritual development of believers.”
If this is certain, then it means “rejecting all interpretations that are subjective or limited to mere analysis [and therefore] incapable of accepting the global meaning which, over the course of the centuries, has guided the Tradition of the entire people of God.”