U.S. prelates remind synod of traditions that encourage Bible reading
Published: October 13, 2008
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Two U.S. members of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible reminded the assembly of Catholic traditions that can encourage the faithful to read the Bible and understand it. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a major Vatican tribunal, told bishops Oct. 11 that the church grants indulgences to the faithful who read or listen to a reading of the Bible as a spiritual exercise. And Byzantine Archbishop Basil M. Schott of Pittsburgh, also speaking Oct. 11, told the synod that the Byzantine tradition's "Akathistos" hymn to Mary is filled with biblical images that could lead the faithful back to the sacred texts. Archbishop Schott said the hymn particularly highlights the Old Testament stories that foreshadowed the coming of Christ and his incarnation in the womb of Mary. "Using the mother of God as a model, the faithful must not only read the Scriptures but listen to what the Spirit is saying in the present moment," he said.
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