Synod Aims to Bring Bible to Daily Life

Study on Word of God Considered a Universal Need

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The upcoming Synod of Bishops on Scripture reflects a need for Catholics to live and breathe the richness of the Bible, said the secretary-general of the body.



Benedict XVI chose to dedicate the Oct. 5-26, 2008, synod to "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," and Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary-general, said the theme was also considered a priority by the universal Church.

In Wednesday's edition of L'Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Eterovic spoke about the preparations for the synod, and the necessity to help the faithful know Scripture more. His interview echoed recent affirmations from the Pope, who has encouraged more familiarity with the Bible during his reflections on St. Jerome at the Wednesday general audiences.

Archbishop Eterovic said the theme reflects "the anticipation of the universal Church."

In the previous synod two years ago, the prelate explained, "the theme of the word of God already arose as a priority."

He continued: "In the name of the Holy Father, I wrote to the leaders of the Eastern Churches 'sui juris,' to the presidents of the episcopal conferences, to the heads of the dicasteries of the Roma Curia, to the president of the Union of Superior Generals, asking them to propose opportune themes to address. The responses indicated the theme of the word of God.

"It is not, therefore, a theme the Pope has chosen casually, but is the fruit of a wide ecclesial consultation."

Deepening

The secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops suggested that the theme of Scripture needs deepening 40 years after the Second Vatican Council dogmatic constitution "Dei Verbum."

And, he said, "many contributions of the lay faithful who live deeply the sense of this great community experience" are arriving to the secretariat of the Synod, he said.

Archbishop Eterovic said he considers the synod's date a "happy coincidence" with Benedict XVI's call for a Year of St. Paul: "With St. Paul, also we are invited to rediscover and proclaim the word of God."

"We should act in a way that the faithful can know sacred Scripture more," Archbishop Eterovic stated.

He suggested that it will be opportune to reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and go deeper in the relationship between Scripture, Tradition and magisterium.

"The challenge we have before us is to help people better approach the word of God each time," he affirmed.

"For many, the only point of contact with sacred Scripture is in the Sunday liturgy. This is positive, but more is needed," he added. "People have to be driven to 'breathe' the richness of Scripture."

Archbishop Eterovic considered the pastoral objectives of the synod: "Deepening in the doctrinal reasoning, seeking to extend and encourage the practice of encounter with the Word as a source of life in the various fields of experience, proposing to Christians and men of good will adequate and easy ways to listen to God and speak to him."

"The faithful will know afterward how to translate the indications reached here to their personal, family and social life," he said. "Thus the word of God will have a more evident impact."