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Joseph Wojt wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a 79-year-old, life-long Catholic. I am now taking a class on the Bible: the Gospel of Luke.

It is a very good class.

When I was in grade school (Catholic school) we did not study the Bible and for some reason I believed it was not to be studied.

  • If I wasn't misinformed in grade school, why did this view of the Bible change from the 60s era?

I know it is fine now and enjoy reading it on a regular basis.

Thank you,

Joseph Wojt

  { If I wasn't misinformed in Catholic school, why did this view of the Bible change from the 60s era? }

Bob replied:

Joseph,

It is quite possible that your perception was correct.

Many Catholics were discouraged from reading the Bible in the wake of rampant Protestant sects continually breaking off and forming a new interpretation of the Scriptures. For some, this was a reason to discourage people from taking the Bible into their own hands . . . the danger of misinterpretation was feared.

While this was not an official policy of the Church, it certainly happened in some places. These clergy wanted to take the path of least resistance and just have Catholics rely on catechesis and homiletics, thereby avoid having to answer troubling questions and issues brought up by independent reading of Scripture.

For these clerics, all you needed to know was your Baltimore Catechism. Sadly, it really wasn't until post-Vatican II that Catholics really began to embrace the independent reading of Scripture on a wider scale. Still today, we need to encourage people to mine the treasures from Scripture — in addition to all kinds of other devotional and educational reading.

It's great that you are doing a study; now you can encourage others to do the same.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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