The Catholic Bishops of Canada welcome the new Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (The Word of the Lord). These reflections by the Holy Father will be a major impetus in the ongoing renewal and life of the Church, universally and in our own country. Catholics, as well as other Christians, were already enriched and encouraged by the deliberations of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. This Apostolic Exhortation distills the impetus and recommendations of that 2008 Synod.
“The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, no. 21). Saint Augustine wrote that when the Church and its members read and meditate on the Scriptures, our minds are enlightened, our wills strengthened and our hearts set on fire with the love of God. Vatican II encouraged a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. This is a major reason why the Council had such impact on pastoral life, catechesis, preaching, ecumenism and Christian witness.
As did the Second Vatican Council, so also may this Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI. May it inspire all the Church today to reclaim the enthusiasm and mission of Pentecost, and be ever more determined to renew the face of our earth — in faith, hope and love.
+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
11 November 2010