6/27/12 | 234 views
Vatican Cardinal Affirms Church’s Scriptural Roots at Bible Summit
More than 500 people from the tri-state area gathered June 16 at the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan for the third annual bilingual New York Catholic Bible Summit. The summit’s theme was “Joy and Hope in the Light of the Gospel,” and it marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave the English keynote address. Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, president of the Latin American bishops’ council, delivered the Spanish keynote.
Cardinal Turkson said Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, “led to a surging vitality in the life of the Church,” by opening Bible ministry to Catholics and encouraging them to read, reflect and act on Scripture.
Cardinal Turkson said Pope Benedict XVI affirmed Dei Verbum in his exhortation Verbum Domini ("The Word of the Lord") in which he linked the Bible to the wider mission of the Church. “Nothing that the Church does is not rooted in Scripture,” the cardinal said. “There is nothing more consistent with the Word of God than to have a commitment to social justice.”
Cardinal Dolan, who presided at the Bible Summit’s joyful opening liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Church, invited participants to emulate Mary by treasuring God’s word in their hearts.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, was the principal celebrant and homilist. Speaking on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he traced the history of Marian apparitions. He said Mary has shown herself “through the centuries in extraordinary apparitions, giving each time a particular message for us to go deeper in pondering the mysteries of Christ in our hearts.”
Archbishop Vigano said the apparitions are an expression of Mary’s affection and seem to occur at times when the people of God are in particular difficulty. He cited the appearance of the Virgin of Revelation in 1947 as a foreshadowing of the events of the Second Vatican Council. She held a Bible in her hand when she appeared to Bruno Cornacchiola in Rome 15 years before the Council opened.
The Bible Summit was co-sponsored by the archdiocesan Catechetical Office and the American Bible Society.
Sister Joan Curtin, C.N.D., director of the Catechetical Office, told CNY that the Bible Summit “gives people an opportunity to delve more deeply into Scripture and be renewed.”
The Reverend James Puchy, executive director of national ministries at the American Bible Society, said the multicultural, bilingual event is “a foretaste of heaven.” He said the summit is the largest collaborative program between the Bible Society and a Catholic organization.
During the afternoon, Scripture scholars offered workshops in English and Spanish on topics including the New Evangelization, Lectio Divina prayer and How Early Christians Read the Scriptures.
Deirdre Gagion, a parishioner at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, said attending the Bible Summit for a second time opened her mind. “The workshops peel away layers and expose things we say by rote and take for granted.”
“I can’t get over the spirit here. You can feel it! It’s great to be surrounded by people who share our faith,” said Brenda Lattuca, director of religious education at St. Margaret’s in Pearl River. Her parish group completed the first half of the New York Catholic Bible School study program this spring.
Cardinal Turkson, a native of Ghana, is no stranger to the Hudson Valley. During his seminary years, he studied with Franciscans near Albany. On May 19, he delivered the commencement address at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh.
At the Bible Summit, he said he feels so comfortable in New York, “I can almost walk the streets in blue jeans.”
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