Fr. Bevil Bramwell, author of the thought-inspiring theology book Catholics read the Scriptures Commentary on Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini (CreateSpace; 2014), was featured on the latest episode of America Tonight’s “Author’s Corner,” where he was interviewed by Kate Delaney.
This book tells the story of Benedict XVI’s exhortation of Verbum Domini, a concise summary of the theology of Scripture in the Catholic Church that teaches the reader, or more accurately, those preparing for the priesthood, how to employ Scripture in prayer, liturgy, and theology in the Catholic tradition. Which shows the possible uses of the modern tools of exegesis and their limitations when dealing with the Word given by God to his Church. Where “…one has to be an expert in theological anthropology, in Christology and at least some philosophical hermeneutics,” he stated.
The Catholics read the Scriptures Commentary on Benedict XVI’s Verbum Domini discusses how Benedict XVI’s spotted this historical development and included a substantial theology of the scripture and tradition, which later on, due to the results of the Synod, outlined a substantial education project commensurate with the substantial reality that we call the scriptures,” Fr. Bramwell stated if it were ever implemented, it would transform departments of scripture and the entire conception of how seminary education is carried out.
Knowing Fr. Bramwell and what led him to write his book.
“Well, I figured I’ve been a priest for about forty years and teaching theology for a decade, so I thought well put some of that down on paper,” he exclaimed. Fr. Bramwell explains that, aside from his experience as a priest, he wrote this book to help newly ordained priests or priests who lost their way learn the basics of their work. “Because a lot of priests in any situation have difficulty passing on a full life of priesthood, because it’s so difficult, it’s so complicated,” he added.
In his recalled recollections, he said that mentoring was difficult in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas priests were usually assigned to other priests, and newly ordained priests were assigned to other priests, and any other priest who got them had varied kinds of experience. “It is a difficult vocation,” Fr. Bramwell expressed. How, as priests, they go back to learn the basics, such as how do you pray, are you really conscious with your connection with the bishop, and how do you serve your people in every possible way.
“How priesthood is viewed today?” Kate asked
“Well, the basic core of the priesthood is still representing Christ here on earth and basically showing people how to love him, and that’s been stranded all the way through by St. Paul. But what’s different is the socio-cultural context, and it’s gotten a lot more complicated, and so we literally have to gear up to be able to deal with that complexity.” Fr. Bramwell answered.
In fact, there are wonderful people coming into the priesthood that there is no question about that, but the tutor is gotta be able to train them, and training is gonna get complicated. There’s just no question.
Are there any boundaries or limitations for the priesthood in light of recent scandals?
“Very much so, um… it’s got a lot in there on boundary issues and so on, but it also ties that in with personal growth because actually maturity is a bit part of it.” Fr. Bramwell said.
He explained how “…. you’d think we’ve learned all these things from our mom and dad in the first place, yes that’s the normal expectation, but unfortunately, some people didn’t get the message. And of course, there were tragedies that happened.”
“Do you think the Catholic Church is starting to make amends with that, such as how to grow, and to grow parishes?” Kate asked.
“Yes, I do. I think most bishops are working extremely hard on that. You gotta understand that bishops are
incredibly busy because of the thousand jobs they have to do, and so it gets a little complicated.” He said.
But as far as training and formation of priesthood, this had always been the case since 2006, and it is all based on the Synod priesthood, which was established in the late 90s. Pope John Paul put all the conclusions together from the Synod and issued an exhortation that would have been utilized to build this priestly formation program, and it’s very aware of where the priests are, with the realization that they are still priests and that Christ is still at the center.
What key message do you have for young priests who are going through a rough time?
“I think with the right training that they know enough to be able to pray and be able to discuss, they get through it. I recommend that every priest has a circle of priests that he can talk to, and you know everything is in confidence, so they hash out what to do in this situation nor how do I need to address that person and so forth.” Fr. Bramwell said.
Interested to know more? Get your copy today at Amazon.