Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

29 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Would I be committing a mortal sin if I believed an act to be gravely wrong - even if it…

Full Question If you think that something is a mortal sin (even though it is only venial), and you go ahead and commit the sin, understanding that when you…

Read more

15 Sep 2016 Europe News USA Vatican No comments

ISIS slaughtered French priest declared a martyr by Pope Francis

When French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel was murdered mid-Mass by two ISIS members, the world was shocked. "Father Jacques Hamel had his throat slit on the cross…

Read more

21 May 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (4)

Bishop Volunteers himself to Die in-place of Death Row Criminals in Philippine

In what may be a precursor to a showdown between church and state in perhaps the most pervasively Catholic nation on earth, a Filipino bishop has said he’ll tak…

Read more

21 Oct 2016 Articles No comments

Reaching out to the new generation: John Paul II documentary unlike any other

Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square and around their television sets to pray for Pope John Paul II as he passed away on April 2, 2005. They remem…

Read more

27 Sep 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Gee, thanks Pope Francis! Why it is now harder to get a miracle

Pope Francis has approved new rules that will improve scientific accuracy when evaluating miracles. Before a person is beatified, a miracle is required. Befo…

Read more

27 Jun 2016 Americas Australia Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Orthodox Christian leaders close historic meeting

The leaders of the world’s Orthodox Christian churches ended a historic gathering on the Greek island of Crete on Sunday hoping to repeat the meeting within a d…

Read more

06 Aug 2016 Articles Comments (11)

Why God Can't Command Us to Do Evil

Theists and atheists wield many weapons in the battle over the truth of God’s existence. One such weapon for theists is the moral argument, which asserts moral …

Read more

04 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Retired bishop assaulted by passenger on a train in Ireland

Bishop Emeritus of Kerry said to be very shaken by the incident Bishop Emeritus Bill Murphy of Kerry was punched in the face last month by a drunken passenge…

Read more

15 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (2)

Do the indulgences granted for praying the rosary require that all of the mysteries are prayed?

Full Question Do the indulgences granted for praying the rosary require that all of the mysteries are prayed, or are five decades considered a complete ros…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Does the Catechism promote private interpretation of Scripture?

Full Question

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “knowledge of revealed truth” is “deepened” by “theological research” and by “the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience” (CCC 94). I thought that the magisterium was the authentic interpreter of Scripture and that private interpretation was taboo.

Answer

There is no conflict between the work of exegetes, scholars, and believers in exploring the meaning of Scripture, on the one hand, and the work of the magisterium in authentically defining the meaning of Scripture, on the other hand. Exegetes and believers must not pit their private judgment against the mind of the Church or treat their methods as the ultimate arbiters of what Scripture can or cannot mean (this is what is meant by “private interpretation”). But that doesn’t mean that ordinary Catholics and Scripture scholars cannot use their intellects to probe the meaning of Scripture. Indeed, Scripture is so rich that even when a given passage has been connected authoritatively with a certain doctrine, that does not remove that passage from the sphere of scientific or devotional inquiry. We can interpret and explore Scripture, just not in a way that contradicts what has been defined concerning it.

There is an interrelationship between the work of exegetes and believers and the work of the magisterium. It is the magisterium’s task to be the ultimate arbiter of whether or not a given theological idea belongs to the Catholic faith. But where does the theological idea come from in the first place? Who thinks of it, formulates it, develops it, expresses it? Bishops, yes, but also priests, saints, scholars, even ordinary believers. All of us, bringing our spiritual and critical faculties to the sources of faith (Scripture and Tradition) in a spirit of humility and docility to the teaching authority of the Church, may explore the meaning of divine revelation for ourselves.

Any interpretation we arrive at must not contradict what has already been defined as Catholic truth. That is why God gave the Church the power of defining things-to keep us from going wrong. We must be willing to submit our interpretations to the final judgment of the magisterium. But it would be a mistake to think that we are limited to parroting what the magisterium already has defined. That would be a recipe for crippling the ongoing development of doctrine that continually enriches our faith and unfolds the glories of that which was once for all delivered to the saints.









wpsd_autopost:
1

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories