In a pre-Synod briefing entitled "To Understand the Mystery of Jesus Christ, One Must Know the Scriptures" the Synod's Secretary-General, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, stated that:
"To become a member of the family of Jesus Christ, of his Church, it is necessary to listen to and observe the Word of God. Now, the Word of God is Jesus Himself, the eternal Word made flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), He who has words of eternal life (cf. Jn 6:68). To understand the mystery of Jesus Christ one must know the Scriptures, the Old Testament, which prepare for his coming, and the New Testament, especially the four Gospels, which narrate his life, describe the Paschal Mystery, through which the Lord Jesus saved the world, and tell of the beginning of the Church founded by Him...
"By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the faithful can find his presence in the Church, in prayer, in the celebration of the Word and, in a particular way, in the Eucharist."
Archbishop Eterovic went on to describe "Eucharistic" celebrations, prayers and ecumenical encounters which will accompany the synodal works at significant moments:
"On October 9, the Bishop of Rome will preside over Holy Mass on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Pius XII, who has, among other things, great merits in the renewed interest for Biblical studies.
"Even the Eucharist on October 19, in the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary in Pompeii, will be an occasion for the Holy Father to plead with the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for the Synodal Fathers, that they may follow her example as a Disciple of Jesus Christ who listens, holds close and meditates on the Word of God...
"Prayer will also accompany the ecumenical encounter on Saturday October 18 2008. In the Synod Hall, the Holy Father Benedict XVI and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will preside over the first Vespers of the XXIX Sunday of ordinary time. Then, they will intervene on the theme of the Word of God with special reference to the Pauline Year. This will be the first time that the Ecumenical Patriarch addresses the Synodal Fathers. He will greet on behalf of the particular Churches that the Apostle of the Gentiles founded before coming to Rome, where he was martyred.
"On his part, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI will greet the Ecumenical Patriarch with a fraternal embrace, showing the great importance of the mission of Saint Paul in Rome, the city that jealously and proudly guards the mortal remains of the two columns of the Church, Peter and Paul, as well as their rich apostolic tradition."
Archbishop Eterovic then invited everyone:
"...especially the persons of consecrated life, to pray with greater fervor and perseverance so that the results of the Synod may lead to renewed love towards the Word of God, that finds in Holy Scriptures the proven expression, the hoped-for dynamism of the Church and her mission of evangelization and the promotion of man.
"I conclude with the quotation from the last book of the Bible, which opens the horizons of eternity to those who love Jesus Christ, sent by God the Father, and, led by the Holy Spirit, move towards the Kingdom of the Heavens in communion with all the saints. "Blessed is anyone who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed those who hear them, if they treasure the content, because the Time is near" (Rev 1:3).''
Indeed it may be nearer than they think.
More unscriptural assertions enunciated in the briefing are:
That the New Testament records a Virgin Birth;
That Jesus of Nazareth is the "eternal Word" rather than a representative of that Word;
That Jesus of Nazareth saved the world through the "Paschal mystery;"
That the plain facts of the New Testament are a "mystery;"
as well as assertions for which there is no evidence whatsoever:
That Paul was martyed in Rome;
That the mortal remains of both Peter and Paul are buried in Rome.
stay tuned for more Synod stuff...