Pontifical Biblical Commission wraps up annual plenary assembly

Suffering and illness in the Bible were the main themes of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Biblical Commission which concluded on April 12, a day after an audience with Pope Francis.

Apr 13, 2024

Participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

By Fr. Pawel Rytel-Andrianik
"The Holy Father has asked us to deeply reflect on human suffering by specifically focusing on illness. We are delving into different biblical figures of sufferers who appear in both the New Testament and the Old Testament."

Prof. Nuria Calduch-Benages, secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, revealed that invitation in an interview with Vatican News.

She emphasized that "all the members of the Commission contributed, illuminating some biblical figure or a specific type of suffering."

Regarding the Old Testament, Prof. Calduch-Benages reported that the Commission focused much of their discussions on the Biblical figure of Job and the "Suffering Servant," as written in the book of Isaiah, along with other Biblical figures.

The Commission's members also considered Psalm 22.

As for the New Testament, in addition to the figure of Jesus Christ, the Commission dwelt on cases of healing, "such as that of the daughter of the Canaanite woman."

The Pontifical Biblical Commission is an advisory body placed at the service of the Magisterium and attached to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose Prefect is also the President.

The President is assisted by a Secretary, chosen from among the Members forming the Commission, and a Technical Secretary.

The members of the Biblical Commission, including the Secretary, are appointed by the Holy Father for a five-year term upon the President's proposal.

There are currently 18 members of the Commission from the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, India, Poland, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo, Slovakia, and the United States.--Vatican News

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