Bible Sunday in Melanesia one way to combat fundamentalism

Helping Melanesian Catholics better appreciate the Bible is one way of combating propaganda from sects and increasing fundamentalism in the region.

That was one of the outcomes hoped for from a Bible Sunday organised by the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands for August 3.

The day was intended to move “the faithful to read the Bible . . . help the people understand the biblical dimension of the Church, sacraments and other activities,” said bishops’ conference general secretary Fr Victor Roche.

He told Catholic News Agency that, in his view, the event should help “fortify the faithful against the propaganda of the sects and increasing fundamentalism”.

It should also “offer nourishment for the spiritual life of the communities and help towards a better understanding of the Liturgy of the Word in the Mass”.

The Melanesian bishops encouraged parishes to celebrate Bible Sunday in practical ways.

These included a “meaningful entrance procession” to Mass with the Bible as well as traditional dance and “Enthronement of the Holy Bible”.

The bishops also urged local priests to give well-prepared homilies “on the Word of God”.

A special offertory collection was also made and will go towards sustaining the Catholic Biblical Apostolate in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Under guidelines from the bishops, local parishes promoted the Bible by tailoring activities to groups like parents, couples, youth, students and children.

Attendees participated in Bible song competitions, poster completions, story writing, quizzes, a basic seminar and enacting Biblical skits to inspire and foster evangelisation.

Parishes also organised Bible-dramas that have been popular with Papuan Catholics.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to carry a small Bible or book of the Gospels with them and to spend some time reading the Scriptures every day.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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