Saturday, October 04, 2008

Synod on the Bible Begins Monday

Pope Paul VI gave the world's bishops a voice in the governance of the universal church through the medium of the synod. [Synod come from two Greek words meaning journeying together. The discussion and debate by bishops, one hopes, will contribute to the progress of allowing the Tradition to speak to new circmstances.]

On Monday the 22d synod convenes. It's name is “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.”

Mr. John L. Allen Jr. offered a preview in his weekly online column published yesterday. Synods are considered by some to be wasteful of time and money, "expensive talk shop with no actual authority." Mr. Allen correctly added that
it’s nonetheless a unique sounding board. For roughly the first week and a half, each participant will have a few minutes to deliver a message to the pope himself, and to the wider world, about the state of the church.

The synod is thus a unique gauge for taking the temperature, so to speak, of the global church.

The subject this time around is the Bible, with discussion likely to oscillate between lofty matters of theology and exegesis and more practical concerns about how to foster greater Biblical literacy and a deeper passion for scripture at the grass roots. Here we’ll take a brief look at each.

Mr. Allen considers in turn the "lofty matters" and the "practical and pastoral concerns."

Will this synod make a turn that will be one sided, that is, church, or will it acknowledge the power of the Word in a deeply divided world?


Wiki-image of an illuminated letter P is in the public domain.

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