Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recovering the Bible

"The world Synod of Bishops on the Bible should help reignite "passion for the word of God in the church," said Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general of the synod.

…The archbishop said the responses show a widespread desire to recover the interest and enthusiasm for studying and praying with the Bible that marked the years immediately after the Second Vatican Council.

..."However, the responses indicate there have been gaps in the knowledge of the Bible, partiality in its interpretation (and) omissions in the area of the biblical apostolate," he said. "Our hope is that the synod assembly will help recover the passion for the word of God in the church."

…In his presentation at the December conference, Archbishop Eterovic said special attention should be paid to improving translations of the Bible, guaranteeing that they are accurate and that the faithful are furnished with commentaries that help them understand the passages the way the church understands them.

He said many of the bishops' responses to the outline focused particularly on the need to help Catholics understand the way the church has understood the Bible with the help of its tradition and what it has taught over time."

-Catholic News

I wonder if an official bible commentary would limit Catholioc e-pologist's interpretations? I also wonder how easy it will be to meld "what has been taught over time" and the now-fashionable "development of doctrine".

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just Say No to Ecumenism

I'm glad my denomination is not part of the BWA.

"…The pope met privately at the Vatican Dec. 6 with more than 20 delegates who were in Rome for a meeting of the joint international commission sponsored by the Baptist World Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Pope Benedict said if reconciliation and greater fellowship between Baptists and Catholics were to be realized certain issues "need to be faced together, in a spirit of openness, mutual respect and fidelity" to the Gospel.

He said some of the "historically controverted issues" that needed further discussion include "the relationship between Scripture and tradition, the understanding of baptism and the sacraments, the place of Mary in the communion of the church, and the nature of oversight and primacy in the church's ministerial structure."

… Catholics place great emphasis on the sacraments, with particular reverence for Christ's presence in the Eucharist. Baptists recognize baptism and the Lord's Supper but refer to them as biblical "ordinances," carried out in obedience to the Lord's commands in Scripture.

Baptists honor Mary as the mother of Jesus Christ, but they do not address prayer to Mary or the saints because Jesus is the only mediator between human beings and God."

-Catholic News

Sadly, it appears these Baptists are willing to compromise the gospel while the Catholics won't even compromise on Mary.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lourdes Indulgence

"To mark the 150th anniversary of Mary's appearance to St. Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes, France, Pope Benedict XVI authorized a special indulgence to encourage renewed holiness.

Catholics can receive a plenary indulgence for taking part in any public or private devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, said U.S. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court dealing with indulgences and matters of conscience.

...An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due for sins committed. A plenary indulgence is the remission of all punishment.

Cardinal Stafford said the indulgence can also be applied to the souls of the faithful in purgatory.

...Cardinal Stafford said that to obtain the special indulgence one must fulfill the normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences; these include the person going to confession within a reasonably short period of time, receiving the Eucharist and praying for the intentions of the pope, all in a spirit of total detachment from the attraction of sin."

-Catholic News