Council Fathers Consider How to Describe Tradition

The ecumenical council may adopt one of two views as a result of its discussions on the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, an official council expert said here last month.

Father Georges Tavard, A.A., of the Pittsburgh diocese, told reporters at a meeting of the U.S. bishops’ press panel that the two views are:

1.That Scripture and Tradition appear as two sources of Faith (or as two sources of Revelation).

2.That Tradition and Scripture are not two sources standing side by side, but that Tradition is the explanation of Scripture by the Church.

Father Tavard also noted that the council’s stand on the matter can affect the movement for Christian unity. Prior to the council’s opening the priest was a consultor of the Preparatory Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and is now one of the experts named by Pope John XXIII to advise council Fathers. Continue reading

Bishops and the Common Bible

From America, December 8, 1962, by Walter M. Abbott, S.J.: The Fathers of the Council discuss the Bible as a common Christian heritage

Each day at the Second Vatican Council begins with a dialogue Mass. The celebrant faces the Fathers of the Council. After the Mass there is a ceremony that impresses all who behold it, including the Protestant and Orthodox delegate-observers. An archbishop carries a book containing the Gospels up the aisle of the Council hall, the nave of St. Peter’s Basilica. In the address he gave on the fourth anniversary of his coronation, Pope John referred to the ceremony in these words:

With happy thought, and following what was done at the First Vatican Council, our general meetings begin with the enthronement of the Gospels, so that the sacred code of the teaching and laws of Christ may continue to shine and have its central place at our meetings. . . .

The Gospel book lies open on the altar all during the Council Fathers’ deliberations.

As the bishops and the delegate-observers know, the text of this Gospel book is in Latin. They know, too, that the Latin text with its many gold letters and gold titles was made into a book during the Italian Renaissance by Matteo de’ Cantugi di Volterra. What is more important, they know that the Latin text dates back to a time when Latin was the common language of the Western world. The Bible in those early days was, truly, a common Bible—common to all who professed Christianity. Continue reading

Enough is Enough


The time has come to put an end to this nonsense. Either the Biblical Commission will bestir itself, do some proper work and by its suggestions to the Holy Father make a useful contribution to the needs of the present time, or it would be better to abolish it and let the Supreme Authority replace it in the Lord by something else.—John XXIII to Cardinal Amleto Giovanni Cicognani

Angry at the backward, literalistic views of the Biblical Commission and its attacks against Cardinal Agustin Bea, rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, where progressive approaches to biblical scholarship were favored. From John XXIII: Pope of the Century by Peter Hebblethewaite (p. 211).