Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Bible

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to turn out a post-syndol apostolic exhortation on the Bible at some point in the next few months. Last time that he had an October Synod (2005), the exhortation came out in February 2007, about a year and half later. The Bible Synod took place last October 5-26, 2008. Cardinal Marc Oullet, archbishop of Quebec, requested that Pope Benedict write an encyclical on the Bible and biblical interpretation at the Synod last fall (see Zenit). While I do not think it likely for the Pope to produce both an apostolic exhortation and an encyclical on the Bible in a relatively short period of time, it is possible. We can expect he will be spending extra effort on the exhortation in order to sum up the synod and clearly re-state the Church’s views on the Bible. If Benedict remains with us for several years after the exhortation, it is possible he could produce an encyclical as well. However, I bet he will invest the exhortation, which he is obligated to provide, with a great deal of thought and energy. It should make for good reading. I imagine it will re-affirm what Catholics believe about the Bible and provide a good synthesis of post-Vatican II teaching.

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