Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
"The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.
The Catholic Church was started in 325 AD by the vision of Constantine
The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect "total accuracy" from the Bible.
"We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision," they say in The Gift of Scripture. The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.
Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin's theory of evolution in schools, believing "intelligent design" to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began. ."
But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country's Catholic bishops insist cannot be "historical". At most, they say, they may contain "historical traces".
The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.
As examples of passages not to be taken literally, 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." source - Times Online
The Vatican and the Catholic Church News about Rome relating to end times bible prophecy.
"We cannot speak about the promised land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people." - Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros
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Vatican body asks UN to 'end Israeli occupation' Israel cannot use the Biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify new "settlements" in Jerusalem or territorial claims, a Vatican synod on the Middle East said on Saturday. In its concluding message after two weeks of meetings, the synod of bishops from the Middle East also said it hoped a two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be lifted from dream to reality and called for peaceful conditions that would stop a Christian exodus from the region.
Pope Benedict has clearly stated whose side he is on, and it is not Israel's.
"We have meditated on the situation of the holy city of Jerusalem. We are anxious about the unilateral initiatives that threaten its composition and risk to change its demographic balance," the message said. US-brokered peace talks have stalled since Israel rejected appeals to extend a temporary moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank that expired last month. Since the freeze expired, Israel has announced plans to build another 238 homes in two east Jerusalem neighborhoods, drawing the condemnation of Palestinians and world leaders. In a separate part of the document, a section on cooperation with Jews, the synod fathers also took issue with Jews who use the Bible to justify settlements in the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967. "Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable," the document said. " source - YNET News