Biblical Commission Marking 100th Year

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2003 ( The century-old Pontifical Biblical Commission is holding its annual plenary session this week, on the theme of the relationship between the Bible and morals.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, president of the commission and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is presiding at the meeting.

On Friday, a celebratory session in the Augustinianum Patristic Institute will mark the centenary of the commission.

A report commemorating the anniversary will be given by Cardinal Ratzinger on “The Magisterium of the Church and Exegesis.”

On Oct. 30, 1902, Pope Leo XIII instituted the Pontifical Commission for Bible Studies with the apostolic letter “Vigilantiae Studiique,” assigning it the task of promoting Bible studies and ensuring that they were free from error.

In 1904, Pius X gave the commission the faculty of conferring academic degrees in Bible studies. In 1924 and again in 1931, Pius XI made the degrees given by the commission equivalent to those conferred by pontifical athenaeums.

In 1971, Paul VI reorganized the Pontifical Biblical Commission, linking it with the doctrinal congregation, whose prefect is, by virtue of his post, the commission’s president.

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