Catholic Church in England and Wales starts a ‘scripture revolution’
The Bishop of Wrexham is urging Catholics to read the Gospels daily.
His call comes as part of a new 15-month ‘scripture revolution’ campaign launched by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Bible Society titled ‘The God who Speaks: A Year of the Word’.
It also comes as a new survey found that only 34 per cent of the 1,600 Catholics asked said the Bible is extremely important to their faith.
“We would be delighted if people took up the challenge and read the Gospels daily,” Bishop Peter Brignall, the lead bishop for ‘The God who Speaks’, told The Catholic Universe.
He went on to add: “2020 will be the 1,600th Anniversary of the death of St Jerome – our most important Biblical scholar who translated the Bible from the Hebrew and the Greek into Latin.
“It’s also the 10th Anniversary of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (The Word of the Lord) in which he proposes giving everyone access to Scripture as a democratic imperative; our bishops are responding to this papal invitation.”
Not by coincidence, the campaign begins today, Monday 30th September, marking the Feast Day of St Jerome, the saint often depicted in paintings with a lion. With this in mind, ‘The God who Speaks’ also has a cuddly lion mascot who sports on his chest ‘The God Who Roars’.
The survey of 1,600 Catholics, which was carried out before ‘The God who Speaks’, also found that 53 per cent read the Bible daily, while 84 per cent most hear the Bible in Church, 45 per cent feel we don’t have enough time to read the Bible and 41 per cent admitted they aren’t sure where to begin with the Bible.
The survey will open again with the same questions when the fifteen months come to a close.
The campaign also includes a series of events including a St Matthew’s Gospel give-away (with a special edition for the prison community); Bible Society dome events where people can experience the big story of the Bible all over the country.
The campaign will also look to break barriers by making the Bible more accessible to people with disabilities, for example with autism-friendly editions of the Christmas and Easter stories, as well as grants for creative projects which engage individuals and communities with scripture.
Fleur Dorrell, the Co-ordinator of ‘The God who Speaks’ says we need to see God speaking in the present tense. The Word of God is dynamic, not a historical encounter. The Bible has much to say in our present times, she said.
“Brexit is a Biblical question. It’s a question about how we relate to one another, about our identity. How we understand law and govern our societies, what our place is in the world. What defines leadership for us and from whom and where,” she told The Catholic Universe.
“In a divided society we look for authority and leadership, for wisdom and guidance. The Bible transcends all our societal vicissitudes and provides a perennial light. It is the source from which we draw our meaning and our purpose,” she added.
“For Catholics, the Bible is more than the collection of 73 books; it is the Word made flesh in Christ.”
Nigel Langford, head of church relations at the Bible Society said: “It’s a privilege to partner with the Catholic Church on the God who Speaks. Bible Society was founded on giving everyone access to the Bible and we do this best through collaboration and partnership.”Tags: Bible, gospels, revolution, scripture, The God who Speaks, year of the word