Monday, October 10, 2005

The Church Speaks: 'The Bible is NOT a history or science text!'

So it is perhaps time to give props to the Catholic Church, church of my forefathers and source of much supression of knowledge and science in the not-so-distant past. Recently, it seems, the Church has declared that the Bible may NOT be 100% accurate when discussing science and history, a response to the recent upsurge in calls for a fundementalist or literal interpretation of the Holy Book of the Christianity, particularly in the United States. In discussing what is to be interpreted literally and what is intended as a spiritual lesson,

"...the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.” "
It is refreshing to see the Catholic Church taking a stand for science as well as for faith, rather than supressing either. It is unfortunate that many of those in the United States that should heed these words tend to view Catholicism and the Vatican as a false church with some good ideas at best and the 'whore of Babylon' at worst.
H/T Andrew Sullivan!

(Crossposted by Bostondreamer at FloridaBlues)
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