Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources
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Pope intervenes at Synod, says faith must inform Bible scholarship

October 14, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI has taken the unusual step of intervening in the discussions of the Synod of Bishops and recommending a particular item for inclusion in the Synod's final report. The Pope spoke to a Synod session on Tuesday, October 14, and suggested that the Church should encourage Scripture scholars and theologians to work together, so that the study of the Bible is fully informed by the content of the faith.

The Pope's message was in line with the main theme of his book, Jesus of Nazareth, in which the Holy Father emphasizes that the historical-critical scholarship must be coupled with a sound theological understanding in order to grasp the true meaning of the Scriptures. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, had made a similar point in his earlier intervention at the Synod.

The work of a Synod of Bishops concludes when the Pope releases an apostolic exhortation, summarizing the Synod's discussions. Because the Pope can add his own insights to this document, it is unusual-- in fact, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter suggests it may be unprecedented-- for the Pontiff to make a suggestion for the bishops to include in their final report.


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