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CNS Bible Blog

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Latest synod headlines:

Pope closes synod, says Bible is put into practice through service

Pope Benedict XVI closed the Synod of Bishops on the Bible by preaching a lesson on love of God and neighbor, saying the word of God must be put into practice through service to others.

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Unclear if pope will support women officially in lector ministry

Probably the most newsy -- and somewhat unexpected -- item in the final propositions of the Synod of Bishops on the Bible was a proposal to allow women to be installed officially in the ministry of lector.

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Pope to visit Africa in March to help prepare for October synod

The pope will make the trip to help prepare for the Synod of Bishops on Africa, scheduled for October 2009, and to mark the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of Angola.

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Synod message says each Catholic should own -- and use -- Bible

Devotion to the word of God must lead Catholics to prayer, concrete acts of charity, unity with other Christians and dialogue with all people of good will, said the world Synod of Bishops.

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Baghdad cardinal hopes tragedy of Mosul Christians will waken world

Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq, expressed sadness over what he viewed as a chronic lack of concern and concrete action to stop the violence and protect all of Iraq's citizens.

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Synod members appeal for justice, religious freedom 'in the East'

Catholic leaders from the Middle East, Eastern Europe and India issued an appeal Oct. 24 asking God to protect those who suffer and calling on all people of good will to work for "peace in freedom, in truth and in love."

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Knights leader asks synod to consider linking Mass readings, catechism

The head of one of the largest, most active groups of lay Catholics asked the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible to consider drafting a book that would help priests and laypeople link the Sunday Bible readings to the teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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Blogging bishop welcomes idea of personal papal blog

Someone at the Synod of Bishops on the Bible suggested that Pope Benedict XVI start his own blog, and a blogging U.S. bishop thinks it's a good idea.

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Philippine bishop: Simple programs make Bible part of daily life

Making the word of God an integral part of people's lives requires simple, practical programs, not "grandiose and unattainable" plans, said Bishop Luis Tagle of Imus, Philippines.

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Articles from Faith Alive!, our weekly religious education series:

More synod headlines:

Archbishop Wuerl (CNS photo)

Catholics know Bible from their liturgies, says Washington prelate

Catholics know the word of God, they just don't read their Bibles, said Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. But the archbishop said he hopes their reading habits will change after the world Synod of Bishops on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."

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Synod on Bible can 'change Catholic culture,' says Ottawa archbishop

All Catholics should have a Bible, all Catholics should read the Bible and all Catholics need to have regular prayer experiences where they "open the book and let it become the word of God" speaking to them, said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa.

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Bible guide for journalists is also popular resource for others

While the 253 members of the world Synod of Bishops were discussing practical, pastoral ways to improve Catholics' use of the Bible, members of the Bible Society of England and Wales were trying to help journalists do the same.

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Pope Benedict XVI walks with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople after a prayer service in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Oct. 18. The patriarch delivered a speech during a session of the world Synod of Bishops. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Christians must help world understand Bible, says Orthodox patriarch

Sitting below Michelangelo's massive fresco of "The Last Judgment," the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople said divided Christians must be changed by God's word and must work harder to bring the joy of the Resurrection to all creation.

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CNS feature stories on Scripture:

Women of the Bible held wide range of roles throughout history

Deborah, Mary Magdalene and Esther are depicted in stained-glass windows.(CNS/Crosiers)

Benedictine Sister Ruth Fox likes to tell stories about women. Not just any women, but women of the Bible.

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Charlton Heston stars as Moses in a scene from the movie "The Ten Commandants." (CNS/ABC)

Can't wait for the book? See the Bible at the movies or on TV

It's no secret that the Bible has long offered filmmakers a wealth of rich source material.

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Bonus articles:

Prisoners at the La Mesa State Penitentiary in Tijuana, Mexico, listen during Bible study in the prison's Catholic chapel. Bible study is offered several times a week by nuns from the Missionary Servants of the Word. (CNS/David Maung)

Everyday evangelizers: Taking the Bible door to door in Mexico, U.S.

When Nora Hilda Rodriguez was studying in college, she noticed that her Protestant friends always carried their Bibles, which they frequently consulted. She often wondered why she didn't have her friends' familiarity with Christianity's guiding text despite her devout upbringing and involvement in numerous parish groups.

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Dramatic stories in Bible have inspired artists for centuries

Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, said artists have turned to the Bible for material because it is "a marvelous repertoire of situations."

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Catholic gospel music making a joyful noise unto the Lord

It may seem as if gospel music has been with us all our lives. But the genre didn't begin until Thomas A. Dorsey, widely regarded as the father of gospel music, changed his tune.

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Deacon Steve Taylor leads the Little Rock Scripture Study program at Holy Spirit Church in Fremont, Calif., Sept. 8. The Catholic Scripture study program was developed in the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., in the 1970s. (CNS/Greg Tarczynski)

Huge Catholic Bible study program began in diocese with few Catholics

In the early 1970s, few people would have chosen the statewide Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., with Catholics making up about 2.5 percent of the state's population, to be a hotbed for Catholic Scripture study. But there the Little Rock Scripture Study program took root and flourished, and over the years it has spread way beyond the diocese.

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A look at some of the most popular Bible verses

Here are some of the most popular verses of the Bible, according to lists supplied by the American Bible Society in New York; Top Verses, an automated program developed in Australia that counts and ranks Bible references across the Internet; and The Christian Post in Washington, which describes itself as a pan-denominational Christian media source.

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A statue of St. Paul is seen near the entrance to St. Paul Church in Chicago in early June. Paul's writings are among the most studied works by biblical scholars of the last quarter-century. (CNS/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

Biblical scholarship opens way to hearing God's message for today

St. Paul was a Jew. An evangelist for Christ, yes. But always a Jew. His writings tell us so. "That's the hard thing for us (to understand)," says Jesuit Father Thomas Stegman.

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Critical analysis of Scripture took centuries to develop

The quest to understand what God is saying in Scripture has been pursued for centuries.

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Biblical scholars provide pope with research, advice on Scriptures

Just as a president turns to his economic or military advisers for expert opinions on issues in those areas, the pope has his own team of biblical scholars for research and advice about the Scriptures.

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Jamie Garcia, 15, smiles while attending a New Testament class at St. Luke Church in Brentwood, N.Y., July 9. The class was part of a free two-week summer Bible course for teenagers sponsored by the Office of Faith Formation of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Catholic youths attempt to catch up to adults in Bible reading

After the Second Vatican Council, American Catholics dusted off their family Bibles and began charting the unfamiliar territory of personal Bible reading. But the same enthusiasm that sent adults in droves to parish Bible studies and discussion groups did not catch on with Catholic youths.

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'Bible Geek' shares his love of Scripture with today's teens

Mark Hart, executive vice president for Life Teen International, also goes by another name: "Bible Geek." That's the moniker he's been using for more than 10 years in his weekly "Spread the Word" e-mail messages, answering questions about the Bible, and his weekly podcasts called "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday," focusing on the upcoming Sunday Mass readings.

Full Story

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's Square last year to lead a weekly general audience where he said that Christians must read the Bible in order to know God and to know how to live their lives. (CNS/Reuters)

Leading more people to read the Bible is a challenge for Pope Benedict

When Pope Benedict XVI chose the Bible as the topic for this fall's Synod of Bishops, he turned the church's attention to an area he has long considered crucial and in need of revitalization.

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Biblical scholars trace historical events that shaped Catholic Bible

When Catholics think of the Bible, they often imagine a leather-bound book. But the Catholic version of the Bible is actually a library of books specifically chosen to reflect Catholic teaching, a collection that began to take shape between A.D. 50 and 400.

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A Bible in Italian and one in the extinct language from the Isle of Man sit next to each other in the stacks at the Library of Congress. The library's Rare Books and Special Collections Division includes thousands of Bibles in more than 150 languages. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec) Library of Congress offers access to 800 years of biblical evolution

The Library of Congress has thousands of Bibles in more than 150 languages, about 1,500 of which are considered significant editions for their rare or historic value. Some of the oldest Bibles in the collection date back to the 13th century and were handwritten by scribes.

Full Story

A Bible for every taste, but are they piquing Catholic interest?

There are Bibles aimed at couples, students, children, women and participants in just about every sport you can imagine -- skiers, skateboarders, surfers and on and on.

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Bishops who are biblical scholars say the knowledge enhances ministry

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, Ark. took an interest in biblical studies while serving as a priest in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, a part of the country with "a general environment where most Christians place emphasis on the Bible. Naturally, I knew it would be important."

Full Story

More stories from the Synod of Bishops:

Some prelates say private Bible reading just first step for Catholics

Private Bible reading is important, but for Catholics it is just the first step toward understanding the word of God, said several members of the world Synod of Bishops. During the first 10 days of the Oct. 5-26 synod on the Bible, a recurring theme in the synod hall was the tension several bishops see between some schools of biblical scholarship and the traditional faith of the church.

Full Story

Cardinal DiNardo (CNS photo)

U.S. cardinal says priests must prioritize, devote time to homilies

Although today's priests often are burdened by heavy schedules, they need to make Sunday preaching a priority and take the time to create intelligent and inspiring homilies, said Texas Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

Full Story

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec speaks at a press conference during the Synod of Bishops on the Bible at the Vatican Oct. 6. (CNS/Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo)

Synod official summarizes talks, offers questions for small groups

After members of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible gave more than 200 speeches Oct. 6-15, Cardinal Marc Ouellet -- the synod's recording secretary -- read a 20-page Latin summary of the presentations and offered synod members 19 questions as a starting point for their small-group discussions.

Full Story

Cardinal: Traditional Chinese wisdom contains seeds of word of God

For the good of Chinese society and the defense of people, the Catholic Church must engage in dialogue and work with those who defend the traditional values found in Confucianism, said Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong.

Full Story

Pope Benedict XVI, center, and bishops from around the world attend the Synod of Bishops on the Bible at the Vatican Oct. 14. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

Art as bridge to Scripture emerges as a topic at Synod of Bishops

Bishop Friedhelm Hofmann of Wurzburg, Germany, told the synod that the history of Christian architecture, figurative art, music and literature offered a valuable resource, one that should be used to incite the curiosity of people who do not attend church.

Full Story

More headlines:

The synod begins:

Synod participants call for emphasis on Bible's spiritual dimension

Greater emphasis is needed on the spiritual dimension of the Bible and how God uses Scripture to communicate his love for humanity, said two members of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible.

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Synod aims to help people listen to God in Bible, says cardinal

As children of God and brothers and sisters of Jesus, Christians must learn how to listen to what God is saying to them today in the Scriptures, said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec.

Full story

Scripture is essential to church's evangelizing mission, pope says

At a Mass to open the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible, Pope Benedict XVI said knowledge of Scripture was essential to the church's evangelizing mission in an increasingly godless society.

Full story

Pope explains history, importance of synod meetings

At the beginning of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible, Pope Benedict XVI explained why he thinks such meetings are important. He did it in typical Benedict style -- reviewing a bit of church history and explaining the roots of the Greek word "synodos" to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

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Synod countdown:

Synod head says it was logical to invite rabbi to biblical synod

Inviting a Jewish scholar to address the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible was logical given the role of the Scriptures in Jewish life, said the head of the synod office.

Full story

From the CNS Blog: Some pre-synod news

Over the next four weeks, the Vatican’s synod hall will be the setting for close to 300 speeches about the Bible as the 253 “synod fathers” (cardinals, patriarchs, bishops and a dozen priests who head religious orders), a dozen “fraternal delegates” representing other Christian communities and some of the three dozen “observers” invited by Pope Benedict XVI address the world Synod of Bishops.

Full story

'Spiritual nourishment' of Bible to be a synod focus, says cardinal

A renewed appreciation for the "spiritual nourishment" available in sacred Scripture, a shot in the arm for ecumenical dialogue, and enhanced preaching on "the word of God in Scripture" are among hopeful outcomes of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible, a U.S. cardinal said.

Full story

From the CNS Blog: Getting ready for the synod on the Bible

Many Catholics in the pews don’t realize the significance of next month’s world Synod of Bishops in Rome on the Bible.

Full story

Canadian cardinal, others discuss hopes for Synod of Bishops on Bible

A Canadian cardinal who will serve as recording secretary of the Synod of Bishops on the Bible expressed hope it would shore up ecumenical dialogue and increase appreciation of the Scriptures.

Full story

Pope names more women than ever to synod

Choosing men and women from every part of the world and from a wide variety of professional spheres, Pope Benedict XVI nominated 32 voting members, 41 experts and 37 observers for the upcoming world Synod of Bishops.

Full story

Pope names Australian cardinal to replace Indian as a synod president

Pope Benedict XVI has named Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, to be one of three delegate presidents for the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible.

Full story

Synod working document seeks creative response to hunger for Bible

The working document for this fall's Synod of Bishops on the Bible said the synod should help find ways for Catholics to better understand Scripture and relate it to their everyday lives, including works of justice and charity.

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Six U.S. prelates named as delegates, alternates to October synod

Among the delegates are the president and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., respectively.

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Italian cardinal hopes synod helps draw Catholics closer to Scripture

Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the retired archbishop of Milan and biblical scholar who repeatedly asked for a world Synod of Bishops on the Bible, said he hopes October's synod on the topic will focus on practical pastoral initiatives to bring Catholics closer to the Scriptures.

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Pope names Quebec cardinal recording secretary of October synod

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet as the recording secretary for the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible next fall.

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Synod outline says Bible is source of Christian unity, bond with Jews

While focusing specifically on the Bible, the synod's outline emphasized Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the fullest expression of the word of God and that the entire Bible can be understood only in reference to Jesus.

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Pope says he hopes 2008 synod helps Catholics note value of Bible

Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped the preparation for and celebration of the 2008 world Synod of Bishops would help Catholics realize how important the Bible is in their lives and the life of the church.

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Pope schedules 2008 Synod of Bishops on Bible in life of church

Pope Benedict XVI has scheduled a meeting of the world Synod of Bishops for 2008 and has decided the synod will focus on the Bible in the life of the church.

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