England, Wales Bishops Host Scripture Conference

Bishop Brignoll: Giving People Confidence in the Word So As to Proclaim It

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A conference aiming to promote a deeper understanding of sacred Scripture among the Catholic community in England and Wales concluded last week in Durham, England.

«The Word of the Lord» sponsored by the Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, focused around three key areas of scriptural engagement: Catholic Biblical Theology; the Scriptures in the Church’s pastoral ministry; and the Bible in mission and dialogue.

Tied to the conference is a seven-day initiative still under way. From April 25 (the feast of Saint Mark) to May 1, the bishops’ conference Web site is posting a selection of the bishops’ favorite passages, and Twitter users throughout the country are invited to do the same.

The keynote speakers of the conference were Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP, Michelle Moran, and Fr. Henry Wansbrough OSB. They spoke about the foundation and inspiration that Scripture provides for Catholic beliefs, identity and practice.

Bishop Peter Brignoll of the Wrexham Diocese is a member of the bishops’ national Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, which organized the «Word of the Lord» conference.

The primary aim of the conference, he told ZENIT, was to «give our existing communities a greater confidence in their own reception of the Word.»

He noted how the aim of this year’s conference, which is an initiative for the Year of Faith, is significant in light of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Second Vatican Council. He noted how the Council spoke about the participation in the life and mission of the Church.»That begins with our own people having the confidence to listen to the Word, be able to receive that Word, and then in due time to proclaim that word through their own lives.»

It is important, Bishop Brignoll continued, to form people in a correct interpretation, «to begin to theologize themselves, and to have that confidence to enter into dialogue with other people. First of all, that dialogue may well be with fellow Catholics, and then they will develop strength, that confidence, that understanding, to be able to speak to others of the Word made Flesh.»

«Part of it must begin with attending to the Scripture, listening to its proclamation, or reading it,» he said. «And part of it is proclamation. But also, then, again the document on the Liturgy speaks about sacred silence within the Liturgy. There must be a silence in people’s lives for them to reflect upon.»

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Ann Schneible

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