October 21st: Best Synod Quotes
One of the most interesting things about culling through all of the synod interventions is finding some wonderfully quotable statements. Here’s my list of favorites with the BEST at the very end (It's long but worth it.):
* We let the faithful down by not proclaiming the Gospel in a deep and radical way. We have domesticated it, tamed it, so that it does not draw them to a radical response. Our priests today are probably better educated about the Scriptures than ever before. However, this has not resulted in a presbyterate whose heart is "a library of the Word" (Origen) or "dyed the colour of the Scriptures" (Cassian). Such an approach alone can lead to a head filled with the Scriptures but a heart bereft of them. David Louis WALKER, Bishop of Broken Bay (AUSTRALIA)
* The quality of the witness of the life of the Catholic and Protestant Christians in Mali inspire great admiration from their Muslim brothers and sisters who often love to say that the management of important things should always be given to the Christians because the Gospel they proclaim brings justice and peace. 10/15. HE. Most. Rev. Augustin TRAORÉ, Bishop of Ségou (MALI)
* I remember our Latvian priest, Viktors, who during the Soviet regime in Latvia was arrested for possessing the Holy Bible. In the eyes of the Soviet agents the Holy Scriptures were an antirevolutionary book. The agents threw the Holy Scriptures on the floor and ordered the priest to step on it. The priest refused and instead knelt down and kissed the book. For this gesture the priest was condemned to 10 years of hard labor in Siberia. 10 years later when the priest returned to his parish and celebrated the Holy Mass, he read the Gospel. Then he lifted up the lectionary and said: "The Word of God"! The people cried and thanked God.
In Latvia during the Soviet era no religious books, no Holy Scriptures, no catechisms were allowed to be printed. The reasoning was, if there is no printed Word of God, there will be no religion. Our Latvian people did what the first century Christians did: they learnt the passages of the Holy Scriptures by heart. Still today in Latvia there is an oral tradition alive. H.E. Most. Rev. Antons JUSTS, Bishop of Jelgava (LETTONIA)
* What exactly happened in the heart of these Samaritans, this Centurion and his companions, in Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles?... In my humble opinion, this is the finality of our studies, our discussions, our sharing. To lead our faithful and those who will allow themselves to be touched by our preaching to personally and uniquely experience the encounter with Jesus. They should reach this. “I believe not because I listened to the homily of this Bishop, of this charismatic priest, but because I myself met Jesus”. … Incarnation of the Word requires an encounter. When you have met He who loves you because He is Love, you cannot but listen to Him and apply what He says to you in your own life. - H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph AKÉ, Bishop of Yamoussoukro (IVORY COAST)
* Many of our contemporaries have from their earlier catechesis some knowledge of Jesus but may never have had the experience of a real encounter with him. H.E. Most. Rev. Diarmuid MARTIN, Archbishop of Dublin (IRELAND)
* The 'Word' of God must be brought to situations of conflict, contexts of injustice and of absolute poverty. We do not win a hearing through self-righteous condemnations, truth claims and pretensions to a higher moral ground, but evident human concern, Gospel-inspired commitment to the suffering, attention to various cultural sensitivities. The 'Word' reveals its power in actual life-contexts: it challenges unjust societies, it reconciles, it uplifts the poor, it brings peace. H.E. Most. Rev. Thomas MENAMPARAMPIL, S.D.B., Archbishop of Guwahati (INDIA)
*… It is therefore to be regretted that in only 438 of the world's 7,000 languages is there a translation of the complete Bible. The UBS is currently involved in 646 translation projects world-wide. During the Synod, the UBS will sign a new Joint Partnership with the Catholic Biblical Federation to give testimony to the growing collaboration that is enjoyed by the two organisations today. - Rev. Archibald Miller MILLOY, Secretary General of "United Bible Societes" (GREAT BRITAIN)
* … a lot of the corruption, injustice and violation of human rights on the African continent is perpetrated by people who profess to be Christians, indeed, even Catholics. H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph OSEI-BONSU, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong (GHANA)
* After the fall of the Soviet Union, today in Armenia, there is a spiritual awakening and a deep interest in listening to the Word of God. The number of Bible groups and persons who attend Church are increasing. This new attraction of listening more to the Word can, according to me, be explained in three points:
1. Learning and knowing the Bible and participating in the Eucharist and in prayer, one can find one’s roots. It is our ancestors’ faith, the faith of our grandparents and parents.
2. Professing Christianity, one feels part of the wider world, a member of the greater community of the Church of Christ.
3. The desire to read the Bible, understand it, study it... Because for 70 years, we were lied to and now we wish to finally learn the truth. - H. E. ARMASH [Hagop Nalbandian], First Bishop of Damascus (SYRIA)
* The Parable of the Sower. Despite all the obstacles (thorns, beaten paths, rocks) on the field to be sown, somewhere there is always some good earth that will bear fruit. Therefore sow: there will always be a harvest, but you don’t necessarily know where. Jesus says, But sow.
The Parable of Grain that grows spontaneously. All peasants throw the seeds on the earth, then go to sleep. During the night, he does not go to check if the seed has sprouted. Because “by itself the seed produces its fruit”, Jesus said. The success does not depend on worrying about what we are doing, nor on our urge for verification. Sow, says Jesus without worries and with a lot of patience: the harvest will come.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed. The smallest of seeds produces the largest tree and all the birds in the skies can place their nests there. In the Kingdom of God, there is no proportionality between investment and result as is the case in the banking world of men. Sow, said Jesus, even if the seed seems so small. H. Em. Card. Godfried DANNEELS, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussel, President of the Episcopal Conference (BELGIUM)
* For the Catholic Church, the ecumenical commitment is the main commitment of the third millennium. A commitment that cannot be limited to an exchange of invitations, visits and gifts, or all those gestures that express our desire to create unity. Desire is not enough. We have to be willing to sacrifice laws and structures to prepare for the blessed day we Christians will be united. - H.E. Most. Rev. Fragkiskos PAPAMANÓLIS, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop of Syros, Administrator to Milos (GREECE)
CHRIS’S FAVORITE SYNOD INTEVENTION SO FAR:
* The Instrumentum laboris rightly calls attention to the healthy tension between exegesis and theology in the Church. While theology often dwells on the power of the Word of God; we will always need exegesis to remind us as well of the humility of the Word of God. Do we not too often find ourselves speechless when confronted by serious readers of the Bible among our faithful who feel scandalized by Scriptural passages that are full of violence, bigotry, cruelty, duplicity, and all other contradictions that are characteristic of the humanity we share with all other sons and daughters of Adam? And yet we have not cancelled them out from the canon of Scriptures.
We have in this canon texts that deny the resurrection and afterlife and texts that affirm them. We have texts that regard Satan as part of the heavenly court with a specific task and texts that present him as a fallen angel. We have texts that declare evil as a consequence of human sin and insist on human culpability and texts that present evil as a disease and human beings as mere victims that can only rely on God's forgiveness. We have texts that emphasize divine grace, and texts that put a prime on human effort.
Ascent and descent, the divine and the human, the sublime and the wretched-these are aspects about the mystery of divine revelation, about God's Word in human words, about the God made flesh, that will always require both the contributions of exegetes and theologians, and above all of the pastors who have to keep us all together in humility and with the proper disposition of listening and self-emptying, keeping our focus on Jesus-the God with a human face- on his power in weakness, on his wisdom in foolishness, on his exaltation through humiliation. 10/9- H.E. Most. Rev. Pablo Virgilio S. DAVID, Titular Bishop of Guardialfiera, Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando (PHILIPPINES)