Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Dei Verbum 25
Catching up on a few days of Dei Verbum after my conference ...
This section prescribes reading (first) and study (second) for clergy and other leadership:
Therefore, all the clergy must hold fast to the Sacred Scriptures through diligent sacred reading and careful study, especially the priests of Christ and others, such as deacons and catechists who are legitimately active in the ministry of the word. This is to be done so that none of them will become "an empty preacher of the word of God outwardly, who is not a listener to it inwardly" (St. Augustine Sermons, 179,1: PL 38,966.) since they must share the abundant wealth of the divine word with the faithful committed to them, especially in the sacred liturgy.
Especially in the liturgy, note: not the classroom. Also the laity at home have their task:
The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the "excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:8). "For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."(St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah, Prol.: PL 24,17. cf. Benedict XV, encyclical "Spiritus Paraclitus:" EB 475-480; Pius XII, encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu:" EB 544.) Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and (people) may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying." (St. Ambrose, On the Duties of Ministers I, 20,88: PL l6,50.)
Bishops are responsible:
It devolves on sacred bishops "who have the apostolic teaching"(St. Irenaeus, "Against Heretics" IV, 32,1: PG 7, 1071; (Same as 49,2) Harvey, 2, p. 255.) to give the faithful entrusted to them suitable instruction in the right use of the divine books, especially the New Testament and above all the Gospels. This can be done through translations of the sacred texts, which are to be provided with the necessary and really adequate explanations so that the children of the Church may safely and profitably become conversant with the Sacred Scriptures and be penetrated with their spirit.
... and publishers:
Furthermore, editions of the Sacred Scriptures, provided with suitable footnotes, should be prepared also for the use of non-Christians and adapted to their situation.
... for the purpose of evangelization.
Both pastors of souls and Christians generally should see to the wise distribution of these in one way or another.