To encourage people to read the Bible, Pope Francis distributed pocket-sized copies of the Gospels to the tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square in early April.
“I want to offer to you who are here in the piazza—but as a sign for all—a pocket-sized Gospel. They will be distributed to you freely,” the Pope was quoted in a report by the Catholic News Agency. “Take one, carry it with you. …“This is the word of Jesus!”
From Pope Francis on down, the Catholic clergy have shared about their love for God’s Word. On a recent trip to the Vatican to chronicle the launch of the Bible exhibit Verbum Domini II , I—along with a delegation from American Bible Society—met with various high-ranking cardinals and priests. They said the following about the Bible, its universality and its importance to Christians:
“What is common to all churches and ecclesial communities is the Scriptures. It’s not the Catholic book. It’s not the Protestant book. It’s the book for all of us. We must promote the Scripture and their importance to all faiths. We must read the Holy Scripture each and every day.”
--His Eminence, Kurt Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
“I would like to improve and sustain all things that help Christians. One of those things is the Bible. Giving the Bible to Christians is one of the most important charitable gestures anyone can make. It’s impossible to know God without the Word of God.”
--Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family
“The younger generation is looking to find God through the pages of the Bible. For us, the new evangelization is to live the Gospels. We need to show the younger generation—and all people—that we know the Gospels, but more importantly, that we live them.”
--Rev.do Krzysztof Marcjanowicz, PhD, Official, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization
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