2009-10-26 14:45:38

Pope meets Pontifical Biblical Institute

(October 26, 2009) Despite the historical-critical method that is much encouraged and needed in the study of the Holy Scripture, the ultimate authority to authentically interpret the Word of God, both written and handed down, rests with Church bodies and institutions. Pope Benedict XVI made the point to the students and staff of Rome’s Pontifical Biblical Institute whom he met in the Vatican on Monday, on the occasion of 100 years of the institute this year. A university-level institute of the Holy See run by the Jesuits, the Pontifical Biblical Institute was founded by Pope Pius X in 1909. Speaking to the group, Pope Benedict explained that there is no opposition between the Bible and the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Rather than denying access to the Scripture, tradition actually opens it up. Reading the Scripture should be with the Church which is its vital place and one must regard the faith of the Church as the true key to its interpretation. If the critical explanation or interpretation of the Bible has to have a theological basis, it must recognize that without the faith and tradition of the Church the Bible remains a closed book. Hence, the last word on the interpretation of the Scripture rests with the Church and its bodies and intuitions.

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