More than a year ago, when Pope Benedict XVI first called for a special synod on Scripture, the St. Paul Center asked you to pray for the success of this synod. We knew what a successful synod could mean not only for the renewal of faithful biblical scholarship in universities and seminaries, but also for the renewal of Scripture study in the life of Catholics around the world.
The synod was an opportunity for the Church to take a giant step forward in recovering the Scriptural heritage squandered by neglect and bad scholarship in the twentieth century. For years, the St. Paul Center had been working “behind the scenes” to help the Church’s bishops, priests, scholars, and laity take this step. This past October, the bishops took it.
At the conclusion of the Synod, the bishops sent a document containing 55 propositions to the Holy Father. Those 55 propositions outlined the most important principles that should guide Catholics’ understanding of Scripture. They described, as you’ve so often heard the St. Paul Center say, what it means to read the Bible from the heart of the Church. Those 55 propositions also confirmed for the St. Paul Center that the work we’ve been doing and the work you’ve been doing along with us is exactly the work that the Church wants done.
That confirmation came in three ways. First, it came through the accomplishments of the bishops that the St. Paul Center has been working with in recent years, as well as through the presence one of our senior fellows, Dr. Michael Waldstein. These friends and partners of the St. Paul Center made many vital contributions to the debates and the final documents.
Confirmation also came through the bishops’ references to the work of the St. Paul Center in America and through their references to the writings of our president and founder, Dr. Scott Hahn, who was quoted several times by the bishops on the synod floor.
The most important confirmation, however, was the confirmation that came through the actual propositions sent on to the Holy Father. These included:
- The need for a recovery of Church Fathers’ way of reading Scripture
- The unity between Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist
- A call for laity to encounter God in his Scriptures
- The relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament
- The importance of homilies that break open the Word
- The need for biblical scholarship that is also theological
- The need for improved biblical formation of candidates for the priesthood.
As you know, all of those propositions are already being implemented in parishes, seminaries, universities, and personal Bible studies around the country through the work of the St. Paul Center. In part, because of our work, the Church is now calling everyone to do what the St. Paul Center has long been doing. This is an exciting time for us, and for you, our partners in this work. So many fruits have already come forth from our efforts, and with the Church taking this latest step even more great fruits are sure to come.
This past November, we launched our redesigned website, a redesign that is a whole lot more than a great new look. All the features you’ve come to count on over the years are still there: Our vast resource library on Scripture, Apologetics, Church History, and Liturgy, our free online Bible studies, hours of downloadable talks, and much more. We also have made some exciting additions to the site. Those additions include a brand new audio Bible study, “The Gospel According to St. Paul,” presented by Center President, Dr. Scott Hahn, as well as a new Spanish Language Bible study, a new blog, and new navigation tools that will help you find what you’re looking for both more easily and more quickly.