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Jerome, Take 2

The Pope returned to Jerome today. Here’s a news report from CNS. I’ll post full text as soon as I find a translation.

Pope, at audience, encourages Christians to read Bible

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To know God and to know how to live their lives, Christians must read the Bible, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Drawing close to the biblical texts, especially the New Testament, is essential for believers because ‘ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,'” the pope said, quoting St. Jerome.

At his Nov. 14 weekly general audience, the pope continued a talk begun the week before about the importance of the teaching of St. Jerome, the fourth-century doctor of the church.

Reading the Bible teaches believers the way they are to live their lives, the pope said, but the Scriptures must be read in a spirit of prayer and must be understood the way the church understands them.

“For Jerome, a fundamental criterion for the interpretation of Scriptures was harmony with the magisterium of the church,” he said.

Pope Benedict said the books of the Bible “were written by the people of God, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,” so “only in harmony with the faith of this people can we understand the sacred Scripture.”

The pope said St. Jerome also emphasized the importance of “a healthy, integrated education” in religion, morality and culture for all Christians, including women, which was unusual in ancient times.

St. Jerome, he said, recognized the “right of women to have a complete human, scholastic, religious and professional formation.”

Education, the pope said, especially regarding one’s “responsibilities before God and other human beings, is the real prerequisite for true progress, peace, reconciliation and the exclusion of all violence.”

“The sacred Scriptures offer us guidance for education and, therefore, for true humanism,” the pope said.

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