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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Bible Belongs to the Catholic Church

Sometimes anti-Catholics talk as if the Catholic Church is the enemy of the Bible. The contrary is true; the Bible is the Catholic Church’s book! The late Paulist priest, Fr. Alvin A. Illig, CSP, joked, “It is a shame we never got a copyright on OUR book.” The Bible did not suddenly come into existence or out of bondage with Martin Luther. Prior to the invention of the printing press, bibles were produced by hand and could be quite expensive and time consuming to create. For this reason they were often secured in churches with locks and chains. A theft could cost the entire faith community its copy of the Scriptures. Many people were illiterate and thus received their bible instruction in preaching and in religious art. The first book printed with the new technology devised by John Gutenberg was probably the Catholic Bible. This was done under the auspices of the Church. Prior to Luther’s German bible in 1534, some 626 bible editions (or portions thereof) were printed in nations where the Catholic Church held sway. Many of these were in the vernacular languages of the day. Today, the lectionary used at Mass insures a wide exposure to Scripture in our worship. There is a papal indulgence available for faithful bible reading. Every Catholic home probably has a bible, or at least, is supposed to have one. The so-called Catholic hostility to the Bible during the Middle Ages and later to bible study groups or societies is a deliberate distortion of the facts by anti-Catholics. The Church was not against the Bible; rather, she was opposed to faulty and dangerous translations as rendered by the Waldensians, Albigensians, Wycliff and Tyndale. The fact that churchmen may have gone to unnecessary extremes in combating heretical versions of Scripture does not invalidate their overriding concern. Bible societies, just as they can be today, posed a danger in that false interpretations to bible passages were given to proselytize Catholics from the true faith.

For more such reading, contact me about getting my book, DEFENDING THE CATHOLIC FAITH.